Making a hand-dyed alligator bag

I've had this idea in mind for over a year that I want to dye an alligator skin like a mosaic. So that each scale of the skin is a different color. I think my new hobo handbag design would be the perfect  form to show off the hand-dyed alligator.

I have a beautiful purple lambskin to use for the lining, and I haven't made any bags with purple in them yet. So I'm using that as my inspiration. Also, I'd like to base the colors on something in nature, like a sunset or field of flowers. After going through hundreds of photos, I've landed on this beautiful sunset. Here's what it looks like after I Photoshopped it into a mosaic style. I love it!

Inspiration for hand dyed alligator bag

So, with this as my inspiration, it's time to cut my pieces. Here's what a whole alligator skin looks like. This one is white because it hasn't been dyed yet. In the leather world, that's called a "crust". You can see how I'm laying out the pattern pieces on it to efficiently use as much of the alligator as I can. My goal is to make this bag from just one animal, and fortunately I can just do it.

Alligator crust leather

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