So my boyfriend was in need of a messenger-style bag for school, to carry around textbooks and his laptop. Found one for a good price, buuuut it wouldn't fit his laptop. And was faux leather, which is just not the way we roll. Real leather all the way.
So he asked nicely if I thought I'd be able to make one. Naturally I took on the challenge.
I found this x-large genuine leather jacket/trench coat at Value Village for $8. Its a gorgeous colour, a nice rich dark brown, so dark its almost black. Little bit of mottling, and super soft. So I gutted the jacket (which is a disgusting task for those who like to rip apart pre-owned jackets), and took a look at what I had to work with. The chest part of the jacket had some zippers, which I kept, they are the slightly diagonal zips on the back of the bag. I didn't want the main zipper of the jacket to be included in the back of the bag, so I carefully cut it out and reassembled.
I used a belt that he had and no longer wore because it broke, but it matched the leather perfectly. Had some black 1.5" strapping kicking around with the adjuster, incorporated that as well. The length of the strap can be adjusted in two ways.
Because it was primarily meant to be a laptop bag, the bag itself needed protection. A lot of bags have a neoprene type of casing incorporated into the bag, so I waltzed over to Dollarama and managed to find two thinner neoprene laptop cases for $2 each. Those are now part of the laptop portion of the bag.
Some things didn't line up properly, but meh, good enough. He's happy with it, so I am.