I have been creating and making my own bags for 10+ years. I love the creativity that is involved!
This process starts with choosing fabrics. I LOVE fabric shopping, whether it’s online or in a fabric store! When shopping for fabrics and depending on what is on hand in the color theme I want, that is when I decide what design I want to create for my bag. After I start piecing the bag, that’s when I choose trims and threads to add that extra sparkle and beauty to the bag. I have a large plastic container filled with trims that I use specifically for bags and wearable art. I also have over 400 spools of thread–thread in different colors for sewing my bag together and specialty threads for embellishment, decorative stitching and embroidery.
When crazy quilting a bag, I love to design and add certain embellishments as I go along. I’m more creative that way!
All of the bags I create, whether or not the bag is for me or someone else, I make a sturdy lining out of corduroy. I know, some of you are thinking “corduroy?” but it’s what I have been using for years and the lining in my older bags has held up after using the bag for over 10 years! I always hated it when my lining ripped when I used to buy bags. Now, I do not have that problem!
The second thing I insist on is having lots of pockets in the lining of my bags! I HATE trying to find something in my bag when it is all at the bottom. How frustrating! Both inside walls have pockets along the entire width of the bag. I also include an attached cosmetic bag. I carry several tubes of lipstick and other items that are in my cosmetic bag. It is so wonderful to reach into my bag and find what I want right away!
I create and give my hairdresser a new bag every year for Christmas instead of a tip! I have been doing this for around 10 years. She loves the bags I design for her! She has been one of my clients ordering bags from me and she has sent me a couple of other people who have become clients as well.
Last year for Christmas, she wanted a primary color bag. I designed a bag with light blue faux suede and each design on the bag was a different primary color (see the charcoal bag with the Avant Garden designs next to last photo). That’s when I decided I wanted a bag like hers but I wanted all of my Avant Garden designs to be the same color. I also created bags for my mom and mother-in-law for Mother’s Day. They both wanted denim blue and their Avant Garden designs are all the same color. I have faux suede in several colors to make bags–winter white, cream, light blue, charcoal, burgundy, forest green, and black.
The reason I am writing this blog about bags is I want to know what others think about the bags I have created. I’m thinking about putting them in my shop on etsy and I need to know if they are what women are looking for in a bag. I need honest input because when I ask my family, especially my mom and mother-in-law, they all love what I do. That does not mean that everyone else feels the same way or that I will sell these bags in my shop! Please be honest without being unkind.