Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My favorite bag shape

This is my favorite bag shape.  I bought a bag last summer at TJ Maxx.  You know I don't buy bags very often, preferring to make my own.  But, sometimes summer bags are hard given my preference for wool.  The bag was the perfect size with a nice, wide gusset to add space inside.  Perfect length handle allowing for shoulder use or just holding in the hand.  I had to duplicate. I drafted a pattern on poster board and I was off and running.

 The outside of this winter bag is alpaca taken from a beautiful coat I bought several years ago at a sidewalk sale.  $400 coat for $75.  I was thrilled and happily wore it for a couple of years.  Then I got a puppy who promptly chewed a hole in it.  The coat was reversible.  Dark charcoal and pale, dove grey.  Gorgeous.  I couldn't just give it to the Goodwill so I cut it up and made this fabulous bag.  The embellishment took FOREVER but what else does one do on a stormy and cold weekend in Ohio?!  I machine stitched the base of the tree and then hand embroidered the veining using hand-dyed embroidery floss that I found in my stash.  The cardinal is a bit of red wool plus some embroidery.  The handle is an old belt attached to some really great, heavy duty hardware from The Buckle Guy.  Lining is from Purl Soho.  Basically the outside of the bag was free stuff from my stash but I spent my whole budget on fabulous lining and hardware.  It's the details...

So here's the bag I just finished from the same pattern.  The fabric is crewel upholstery fabric I got on Ebay an embarrassing number of years ago.  Same drill on lining and hardware -- that's where I spent the money.  The lining is Liberty and was ridiculously overpriced but this bag is for me.  Actually, I made two of them.  One for me and one for a very good friend with a July birthday.  She wears a lot of blue.  Hopefully she doesn't follow my blog or I just ruined the surprise.  Handle is, again, an upcycled belt attached to fab hardware with rivets.  Surprisingly easy and great, professional looking results.  This actual bag is my friend's bag.  Mine has silver-toned hardware because I'm planning to switch out the black belt from my winter bag.  Super smart, right?     Hopefully you find some inspiration from this.  Once you find a style and shape you like, there's nothing wrong with making a closet-full of accessories.  Words to live by.