I love Field Notes notebooks, but I've never been able to find a leather case that met my needs. I wanted a case that was small enough to fit in my pocket, big enough to hold a pen, could easily hold two notebooks, but could protect the notebooks from getting destroyed as well. Even better, if it held the notebooks in place so I could quickly jump between my beer-rating notebook and my sketch notebook, I'd be delighted.
Unhappy with what I found online and at shops in Tokyo, I decided to invest the money in a simple leather making kit from Amazon. For close to 3,000 yen, it gave me enough tools to get a feel for leather making. With the addition of a rotary blade, some waxed thread, leather, and ample use of Youtube, I started making small key chains in late 2014. Once I felt confident enough, I built a notebook case out of paper. After a few tweaks, I moved the pattern over to leather.
I have about 8 covers under my belt, and while fun, I'm still terrible at stitching straight. The number of hours needed to hand-stitch each one has made me hesitant to make any to sell.
It is a great feeling, though, to invest in tools to make a product, instead of simply buying something you're not entirely happy with.
Art and things.