'Can you make me a wallet? The ones I have are either the wrong size or shape.' We looked at what the wallet would need to hold and took it from there. Sketches eventually led to models in paper and then calico of a 2D and 3D style


My client tried out the different models and chose a shortened version of the calico in 2D. 

Meanwhile I experimented with sewing through three layers of leather, uncertain if my sewing machine would ever talk to me again.


It could only cope with two layers at a time, so I made holes for the third - first with a hammer and nail, then a big darning needle. After 10 hours of sketching, planning, prep and model-making, I was ready to cut out my final design from leather, using a metal ruler and a fresh blade. 


I handstitched everything, using a beeswaxed thread with a needle at each end. The pen-slot needed stretching and an extra layer to contain ink; this was glued to where the nib would sit. After that I sewed all four side seams, adding extra stitches to reinforce the stress points. Finally the seams were trimmed, and burnished twice - with a damp cloth and a dry one.

21 hours after my first sketches - voilà, polished and finished. 'It looks lovely.'


© Freya Brookman 2015