Low Batch Production – take one

blanks

I’ve just started making leather totes. I’ve made two so far, one at a time. This week I decided to up my production game and try to make three at a time.

I started this challenge by writing out all of the steps in making a bag, hanging that list on my studio wall, and editing the list as I need to. I’ll share that list here:

  1. Rough cut the hide – this makes it more manageable
  2. Cut the straps
  3. Fine-cut the leather with a template including rivet holes
  4. Glue and clamp the sides
  5. Groove sewing lines and punch stitching holes
  6. Saddle stitch the sides
  7. Tamp down the stitching with a mallet
  8. Glue and clamp the gussets
  9. Saddle stitch the gussets
  10. Tamp down the stitching with a mallet
  11. Turn the bag inside out
  12. Rivet the straps

What I’ve learned so far:

STRAPS. I need to cut the straps when before I fine cut the bag. I still haven’t done this and I’ve already started stitching. Why am I procrastinating? Because cutting long straps is a pain in the butt. Hopefully, there’s a strap cutter in my future which will make things a lot easier.

ALIGNMENT. On one of the bags, I forgot to glue it up before I punched the stitching holes. So I’m not sure if things will line up but here’s to hoping that they will OR that I can re-punch the holes that need it without messing up the seam lines.

CLAMPS. I discovered a bottleneck in step three. I can’t glue-up 3 bags at the same time because I don’t have enough clamps.

Oof. Writing this out makes me feel tired but in a good way. I enjoy paying attention to the process. A few semesters back I taught the well-known operations book The Goal so I’ve got that model in the back of my mind, too. Nerdy fun.

 

FOR EVEN MORE FUN (process p*rn)

Making watch straps at Hermes

 

 

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