Tuesday, April 20

Work in progress

I'm currently working on a new bag where the handles are integral to the main panel design. As mentioned in a previous post on working with leather it's necessary to get familiar with a different set of tools than for regular sewing. That pair of heavy-duty scissors you see in the picture above is specifically designed to cut leather. On the left you see a tube of leather glue. Even though it smells horrible it's essential since you don't use pins to sew the seams on leather (holes!!!). Next to that is edge dye to seal the cut edges.
On the left you can see part of a handle piece I'm working on. Note the rounded outside edge is notched, while I've cut small slits on the inside edge. These are the seam edges which will be stuck down with glue toward the inside.
Apart from store-bought handles, all the leather that I'm using for my products is salvaged from the clothing industry: from clothing samples, to be precise.Yes, my evenings are spent carefully unpicking seams :) I probably mentioned it a few times on this blog, but for those not in-the-know I used to work in the textile business- St. John probably rings a bell with my readers from the USA, Joseph Ribkoff  is well known in Canada, as well as many European high-fashion and leather manufacturers - where I had access to end-of-season samples. What happens to all those samples, you might ask? The best of the lot either go back to the manufacturer to be archived or find themselves into employees' wardrobes. The rest go into sample sales. Maybe it's not the case with all companies, but all I know is that each season the product managers dumped the 'old' samples nobody wanted in my tiny little office where they collected dust until I eventually took them home.
Now, here's the thing - most samples come in one size - 38 - only (and I wasn't likely to grow into them), so I gave away most of the stuff to people who fit into them, while the rest found a permanent home in my wardrobe. Where they stayed and stayed until I had the brilliant (imho) idea to repurpose them into bags!
And this is where the 'exclusive' part of DB Exclusives fits in. This top-of-the-range line will consist of classic black, white and red, each a one-of-a-kind design. The all-leather bags are one-off creations and cannot be reproduced once sold! Of couse, as in the bag I'm working on above, my main line will be the fashion bags using decorator-weight fabrics such as the leaf print above accented with real and faux leather embellishments.

have a great day!


  1. Thanks for the look behind the scenes at your work! Can't wait to see the finished bag. Interesting about the samples, too-- as a dollmaker now, I'm always looking for interesting fabrics. Looks like I need to make friends with people in fashion... ;)

  2. Very interesting about the samples! I have no experience whatsoever with the fashion industry so didn't know all that. It's wonderful you are able to put those fabrics to use in your exclusive designs!

  3. I cannot wait on your results
    working with leather is not easy !!
    Have fun ...

    hugs for Sammy from Kareltje =^.^=

  4. Very interesting and great to hear a little history behind your bags. How brilliant to repurpose the samples into one of a kind bags. I just love the pattern on this one and can't wait to see it when it's finished.

  5. How fun and to have such resources at your disposal. I can't wait to see the finished product.

  6. I'm so happy to learn a bit of the craft and the history behind your bags!! What size is 38 in American sizes? I have no clue if that's big or small!

  7. Duni...you always come up with the coolest stuff! So much I didn't know about working with leather, that is just so common sense (pinning leather to sew causes holes) that one would just not think about!

    I can't wait to see the finished product. And very cool that you get the samples to work with!!!

  8. I love how you are able to take something bond for a trash can and can make it into something quite lovely. Your talent continues to amaze me, Duni. I offer you the best with the new line.

  9. I used to work in a leather jacket factory. After reading your post it made me miss my work.
    Thanks for sharing this to us, Duni. :)


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