31 Oct 2015

Classic English Briefcase with an accordion gusset

When you begin working with leather you have a lot of ideas of what to make and before long you find yourself with all the leather goods that you need. Then you begin making the stuff you want but don't necessarily need. At this point, your skills are at a decent level. They are good enough to begin making stuff for your friends and family and, if you're lucky, they will pay for the cost of the materials. You hone your skills and before long you can charge for your time as well. I have just reached this point, so when I had the opportunity to make and sell a briefcase I jumped at it. This is by far the biggest thing I have ever sold.... so fingers crossed I don't mess it up!

I have made a briefcase like this before but besides the rough pattern I did not write much down. So even though I did not start from scratch, there were still a lot of details I couldn't remember. This time around I wrote down EVERYTHING and took several hundred pictures along the way - painstaking, but worth it.

I once had a professor who told me that if you include a picture in a report, it better have a caption. I took this to heart so the pictures are really all you need in order to make the briefcase. In the description for each step I will detail what I do, my thoughts I had along the way and sometimes I will even give reasons for why I do the way I do certain things. Leather work is surrounded by a lot of myths and quite often people do not stop to think about why they do things in a certain way. The bottom line is that you should do whatever works for you and don't worry about whether it is the "correct" way or not.

The sequence of the steps are not really a representation of how you should proceed. You go back and forth between steps according to your mood and what you need in order to proceed with another step, but it should give you a good feel for how it all works. The overall design of the briefcase is very heavily influenced by the briefcase call westminster 3 made by Swaine Adeney Brigg. The price starts at 1895£ or 2932$. Wow! That's a lot of money and then its not even hand stitched! For a lot less than this you could buy all the tools and leather required and make your own. Just saying! Sure it takes some skills but if you are a maker this should not frighten you. Within a year or two you should have no trouble making something like this.

This time I will use 3-3,2mm Italien double bends for the main part and 1-1,2mm Italien shoulder for the gusset both from laederiet.dk/. Last time I used a side for the main part which was not that good.

Material used:

3-3,2mm bend for the main part
1-1,2mm shoulder for the gusset

Round briefcase lock
3 x 25mm Buckle
4 x 20mm D-ring
2 x 25mm Snap hook
4 x chicago screw 10mm
8 x 2 mm round head brass rivets
Metal bar

ROC leather dye
Lin cable 432 white
Leather Protection Cream
Contact cement


  1. Outstanding ! Dude... you're good! As someone starting out in leather work I now have something new to aspire to.

  2. Thank you very much. If you have any questions feel free to ask :)

  3. This is just perfect leather bag,..
    i really like it,.
    " leather briefcase "

  4. This is an incredible bag. Do you have an online store you sell items out of?

    1. Thanks. No I dont have a store. I dont have the time to deal with a lot of orders. I have a waiting list but it is very long.

  5. Outstanding !
    As I know, these locks from Abbeyenglang do not come with any fixings, how decide this moment?

    1. Abbey england says that they do not provide any fixing but in the package they include Bifurcated Rivets. I dont use them. Instead I use solid brass rivets. I'm not sure what you question is.

    2. Thank you!
      Solid brass rivets, that you have used, you made them from brass rod or bought them in store? if bought, can you prompt a body diameter or №(caliber) of these rivets?

      Sorry for my English

    3. I bought them from a danish store:


      Brass rivet 2 x 8 mm
      the diameter of the rivet is Ø2 mm
      the length of the rivet without the head is 8 mm
      The head of the rivet is Ø3,5 mm

  6. Is it possible to get on this really long waitlist?

    1. Yes it is. Send me a mail at jonasboandersen@outlook.com