I spent the weekend recreating one of my favorite tote bags from Graf Lantz — a felted wool and leather tote bag that I use for my knitting projects (and just about everything else!) I may have gotten carried away with all of possible color combinations . . .
I sourced the 5mm felted wool from Filzfelt, and kept the cost reasonable by purchasing wool design felt remnants. The leather pieces were also scraps, sourced from Springfield Leather. I wrote out the pattern as I went, noting adjustments that needed to be made and sewing tips. I found that I was able to cut both the felted wool and the leather with a rotary cutter (sometimes using an Xacto knife to cut out stubborn corners).
I first tried using heavy-duty thread, but my sewing machine wasn’t having it, so I switched to Gutermann’s all-purpose thread and used a triple-thread zigzag stitch. I was able to get the felted wool pieces sewn together, but once I moved on to sewing leather into felted wool, I had to use an industrial sewing machine. Luckily, we have an amazing cooperative workhouse here in Portland called Klum House, where you can take some amazing classes, or learn to use (and then purchase time to use) an industrial sewing machine. As is so often the case, the right tool made all the difference, and I was able to sew through the various materials and thicknesses with no problem whatsoever.
The pattern is just for personal use, but if you sign up for the By Hand Serial newsletter, you can get it for free!