I begin by laying out my own original patterns, taking the direction of the grain into consideration for each individual piece. I use a white upholstery pencil to mark them out -- it rubs off easily after I've cut the pieces. I use simple hand tools -- I cut the gusset with my trusty metal straightedge and a rotary cutter; all other pieces and laces are scissor-cut with a sharp pair of leather shears.
Every hole is punched with a drive-punch and mallet -- when you punch as many holes as I do, a squeeze-punch is not your friend!
Every step is done by hand -- each seam is stitched twice, once in each direction. This gives a good-looking v-stitch that is strong and stable. I use round-braid straps on most of my bags for the same reasons -- looks good, very strong.
Fringe benefits of what I do... sorry for the pun ;-)
Here are a few, all done and looking great!
They are soft and sumptuous and feel every bit as good as they look! Deerhide is surprisingly easy to clean -- it's a very friendly and reliable leather! These can be viewed in my Etsy shop, linked at the top on the left.