Warning: spoiler alert. Well, actually just writing this makes it a spoiler. I’ve just seen The Force Awakens and was so psyched to see the Millennium Falcon with glowing engines on it’s shaky takeoff (#somethingsneverchange). Call it a “garbage ship”, but it has history and that has to count for something with the Rebel Alliance! Fellow Adafruit blogger Mike Barela hooked me up with this fan purse on Instructables that is sure to get looks. This version was carefully crafted with leather by Mikaela Holmes, but I’m sure vegans can work their magic with some faux leather and opt for decorative stitching/ink instead of carving.
Mikaela starts by simplifying the Falcon into a few pieces and traces the pattern onto leather. Then, special leather tools are used to cut out the pieces and carve the lines that add textural interest. One of my favorite pieces of advice:
Though I chose to use some specific leather working tools and stamps here, this would also be a great project for experimental tooling using ordinary objects. If you don’t have exactly the tools I used, try experimenting with different tools and found materials on a scrap piece of leather until you figure out how to create a texture you like. I’ve gotten some great results in other projects just using things I found around the shop.
Just from having worked with vinyl before, I can tell you it is difficult to stitch using a regular sewing machine needle. So, I imagine leather is also tricky. You usually need to get a special needle and a “walking foot”, since the material can be slippery. This tool Mikaela is using to perforate the leather before sewing is really interesting, and probably makes it a lot easier for the machine to do it’s work. There’s a lot of time spent in creating the holes and grommets, as well as the dyeing in keeping with the ship’s panels.
There are a few more details that really make this purse special. One is the use of LED strips for the hyperdrive, which are activated with a magnetic clasp for the circuit. Another is the use of Star Wars technical readout fabric, which literally adds a layer of history for the lining. So nice! There are also small things like the vent cover for the hyperdrive, a “sensor dish” and cockpit. So much devotion in one little purse.
The finished piece is a dream for any Star Wars fan, complete with creases that add dimension to the ship. It would be fun to create a video using a green screen to get this thing in space! I have to say that I’m not used to seeing this kind of craftmanship in any purse, and it is a wonderful achievement just based on the leather-work alone. Well done, Mikaela, and I hope the holiday brings you more tools for your craft!
For those of you ready to take the leap into purse-craft, we’ve got the LED strip you’re looking for–Cool White LED Weatherproof Flexi-Strip. It’s got a great tech color, it’s rugged for shopping excursions in foul weather and it responds well to 9-12V power. So, get ready to join the Alliance and prove that the force is with you. Just remember, whatever happens, DO NOT GIVE UP THE MAP.
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