I saw these very simple linen bags with leather handles somewhere in blogosphere but I just cannot find the place anymore! So if you have stumbled upon the same blog I did, please let me know so that I can cite the source. Anyway, I think the idea is simple yet stylish and I just had to try.
I bought some leather from a factory outlet of Isku in Lahti. I bought quite a few strips of leather and it cost me only 40 cents! So cheap and after this bag I still have enough of it to make at least two more bags - or something else. I would have wanted to use tan-coloured leather but this ivory that I found worked just as well with linen.
The fact is that I have never even tried sewing leather so this was a learning experience also. After careful Googling I came to the conclusion that even though most people recommended using a leather needle, some suggested that a heavy duty needle meant for sewing jeans might also work. I had one of those, so I decided to at least try with that first. I also bought some durable polyester sewing thread for my sewing machine, since cotton thread is not strong enough to be used when sewing leather. Some sites tell you that you should also buy leather presser foot for the sewing machine but I didn't and it seems that I managed quite well without one. I had to adjust the bobbin tension in my sewing machine quite a lot but otherwise I had no problems sewing the leather handles to the bag.
I loved the selvege of the linen I bought, so that pretty much dictated the size of the bag - I wanted it to show nicely at the top. One more picture (pretend that you cannot see my arm and fingers at the top).