I was talking about leather bags with Tony, and mentioned how I was looking for a good sized leather messenger bag – one big enough to handle an iPad, some books, and A4 folders. He offered to make one up, and I filmed it from beginning to end. One things is for sure. There is much, much more involved on making a bag than what you can see on the surface. It wasn’t until we were well into the bag that Tony told me he was making this design as he went along. That was shortly after some stitches had to be pulled out to accommodate a change in plans, when Tony said “The prototype is always trouble, but the second one goes much easier.”
This bag is the result of several drawings, and some redrawings. You don’t immediately see the liner, with the zippered pockets. Nor do you see the zippers, the support fabric underneath, the support material so the back will stand firm even when empty, or the steel rods that enable the bag to snap back into shape each time it’s used. You can see, but might not notice the various edge linings, and details on the strap. Many of the things that go into making a bag are only noticed if they are not there. Even if one doesn’t notice the lack of a proper edge, for example, the subconscious will pick up on it, and the bag will be perceived as rough or unfinished in some indefinable way.
This process will be released as a DVD, warts and all. Why? Because it’s one thing to watch an instructional DVD when steps A to Z in perfect order, and then find that when you do it yourself, it’s more like A,B,C,D and then back to C again. Then D,E,F,G,H,Q,I,J,K…. and then you’ve noticed that Q probably should have come later, like after P. And that maybe K shouldn’t have been there at all, and instead you would like to have a second J. Yet, in the end, a bag gets made.
It’s helpful to see the whole process, with the mistakes included, so you’ll get a sense of what it’s like to do something like this on your own – and it will hopefully encourage you when you get frustrated by something that needs redoing.
Does that make sense?