Leather Case - Opus of Love

Opus of Love - Leather case for hand-made journal


I was shopping at my local Tandy Leather store one day, when I was approached by Demetrius.   Demetrius was a newlywed, about to celebrate his First Wedding Anniversary.   

In his first year of marriage, he kept a hand-written journal of what his marriage was like EVERY day, so he could share it with his wife, Hollye.  In this journal, he used parchment paper, calligraphy handwriting, and stamped gold leaf on every other page, then silver leave on the opposite pages.   He bound this beautiful book with a custom-engraved Zebra wood cover.   I mean it was GORGEOUS! 

Anyway - Demetrius asked me if I would make a cover for his beautiful, hand-made journal.  I quickly said "NO WAY!".   He asked why I refused and I said, "Look at this thing!  I'm not going to be responsible for covering up this beautiful, painstakingly-made work of art."    

Long story short - we agreed to make a case for it, so he could pull it out and show people anytime they wanted to.  

We got a bit of a late start on this, so I had to work fast.  I spent a solid (consecutive) 24 hours on making this.  I was the first such case that we've made and I love how it turned out.

We started with a side of black leather that Demetrius picked out while we were at Tandy Leather, in Dallas.  Rolled it out on the work bench and found my way around any blemishes.   Then, we just got to cutting!  
We drew up a pattern for this case, making sure to leave room for seam allowances.  I used my Epilog Helix Laser to create some clear acrylic bag pattern templates, so I could get a nice, clean cut on these pieces and keep the measurements exactly where they needed to be.  

First, we cut all of the suede parts out of a beautiful batch of pigskin leather suede from Tandy Leather, in Dallas.  
We used the templates again on the black leather pieces and cut them to match.   NOTE:  we made the front flap intentionally larger, which meant I would have to trim down the suede piece of the front flap.    

This was because we rolled the edges of the flap and stitched a seam along the outer edge, giving it a nice, finished look.   We did the same on the top-inside edges of the entire piece, rolling the top edges of each part of the bag at the opening. 
We glued the sueded pieces to the back of the black leather pieces, and then used a leather marker to mark our seam allowances.   Once we had all of the parts matched up, the corners notched out and the edges ready, we could move to the next step. 
We folded the leather edges over and glued them down.  I used these little clamps from Harbor Freight to hold everything in place while the glue dried.   This is the front flap, outer lip.   We repeated this process on all of the pieces that faced the top opening of the bag, so all of the edges would be rolled nicely once the case was open.  
Once everything was glued, dried, rolled, and in-place, it was time for us to get stitching!    
We assembled the bag inside-out - one piece at a time.  We lightly glued the seams together (front to front) and clamped them down as well.   Once the seam was dry, we sewed it into a french seam. 
Front Lip of the bag is stitched and we begin sewing all of the seams. 

We assembled and stitched the case, inside-out, so we could get to all of the seams.   Once the stitching was complete, we turned the bag inside out and got ready to slide the book inside.   

Since we had just assembled this piece and the stitching was just completed, it would likely be a tight fit (and it was).   We had to give this bag a little "Stretch" until it relaxed.   Eventually, it did and the fit was NICE!

Now that we've got it stretched out where we wanted it; it was time to add the clasp.  Demetrius chose a really cool, steampunk padlock closure for this bag.  I think it added a classy touch and it came out really nice.  
As we were a relatively new company in 2017, we didn't have our photo-game on point yet (Still don't quite have it down), but this was our attempt at getting a good shot of this before we had to deliver it to Demetrius.  We were running out of time! 
Here's a shot of that beautiful purple suede lining and the open case with the book inside.   
Our inscription said, "For my beautiful wife, Hollye, Love always, Demetrius".   

This was done with our Epilog Laser, as was the "Opus of Love" title engraved in the front flap of this beautiful case. 
The finished product - waiting to be "relaxed" a bit.  




Demetrius loved this case, and I think his wife will, too!  We'll soon find out.  

Thank you, Demetrius and Hollye, for letting us celebrate with you!   Many blessings for your marriage, family, and future!!