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How did I build that?

Bag Seven – Embellished Maximalism

The benefits of actually doing some maths become crystal clear on this build.

Bag Six – Parisienne Party Bag

Intriguing shape and lots of custom detailing make this bag a party stunner!

Bag Five – The Original Micki

I built Bag Five -the original Micki – as a gift for my BFF. She wanted a bag that was durable, not too big, and with some specific features.

Bag Four – Bowler Style Weekender

Bag Four was a bit more difficult to make; I hadn’t created anything with this kind of structure previously. The main requirement was to be able to sit the bag on the handle of a rollaboard suitcase.

Bag Three – Finding My Own Shapes

Bag Three turned out to be a real stunner – an intriguing set of textures and patterns. It’s a pity that I don’t have more pics of it, but sometimes that’s just the way it works out.

Bag Two – Not the Same At All, Really

Bag Two offered me the opportunity to design a bag completely from scratch. It also taught me I needed to learn more about how to construct a bag properly.

Bag One – Ground Zero, Really

The original prototype bag - this is it.

 

Bag One literally was the first one, that’s right.  I decided I wanted to start making bags, with a lot of original art and hand crafted elements.  Sounds simple, right?  Hahaha, yeah, like a moonshot simple.

Bag One lives with a friend, and it’s been a lot of places in the past twelve months – right now it’s in Colombia (yes, the country, not the city) – it’s been to Mexico multiple times, and all over the US.  It’s still kicking right along and doing the job as intended – which really makes me happy.  It’s definitely not the most elaborate bag faces, but it was never meant to be delicately toted around to fancy get togethers.

Making bags is both an art form and a utilitarian process.

Of course you can find patterns for bags all over the place – the internet, the fabric store, etc – but at the end of the day you still have to actually make some bags to be sure that you’re on the right track.  I decided to start by making some prototype bags for my friends to test out; I was looking for feedback regarding design, durability, usability, and more.  And of course, the only way to get that feedback is to get bags into hands and onto shoulders in order for people to use them and report back on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Just like writing a recipe (or creating anything else from scratch I suppose), all the feedback isn’t going to be great – there’s no such thing as a perfect bag.  Seriously, I have yet to send one out into the world that couldn’t use some changes to make it more usable or more stylish or just plain more, at least in my mind.

Construction details like top stitching, welt trim, and double interfacing as needed are now standard operating procedure.

Other details like hand cut wooden feet to keep the bag bottom clean and dry have been with me since day one.  The use of recycled and repurposed materials like drop cloth fabric interiors, upholstery scraps and fabric remnants combine with vegan leather, recycled fur, and original artwork to produce some truly stunning, one of a kind bags and totes,

Oddly enough, my friends haven’t done much complaining – the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and the exceptions are mostly derived from the original requests for specifics in the prototype bags.  I have learned a lot, and that includes the fact that my guest bathroom is not the best place for product photography, LOL…

Changes to the finished product now include top stitching around the fabric/vegan leather join, magnetic snap, strap cinch, or zip top closures (this one was specifically requested with no top closures of any kind), and a few variations on the strap attachments – based on the materials combo and the look and feel of the bag itself.

 

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