Thursday, 9 July 2009

More bags

I have had lots of custom orders for bags recently...it's not easy to become bored of making the same thing over and over when there's still the excitement of seeing each new bag take shape with a completely different look depending on what fabrics have been chosen. First is the confectionery combination of turquoise and brown - how is it that those colours make me think of sweets so much, I wonder, but they do - minty, chocolatey flavoured sweets. I remember having my first After Dinner Mint aged about 7, and falling quite in love with the whispery thin black paper that houses each mint and the lovely sweet, fresh smell that rose from the box the minute the cellophane was pulled back. I thought they were so incredibly grown up. Anyway, this fabric made me think of After Dinner Mints for the entire time that I was sewing.

So it was something of a relief to be sewing something entirely more sober later in the week.

The inky blues and blacks and muted sages in this fabric made a more conservative looking bag, which I love. I have to admit to trying it on in front of my mirror after it was finished, and like Narcissus, I fell quite in love with my own reflection (although, not entirely like him, in that my focus was on the bag, rather than my face) and I eventually managed to tear myself away to pick the children up from school rather than dying right there before the mirror...so actually, the similarity is slight, thank goodness. But let it be known that I thought it looked damn fine with a pair of jeans.

I love this minty lining, but I mustn't think on that too long. Do you see? My life is perpetually interrupted by the linking of inedible visions to sugar-laden goodies.

I've noticed that all my bag pictures tend to be taken either on my cupboard doors, or next to my sewing books. I am limited in that I am terrified of taking them out of my sewing room into territory that may be home to the odd cat hair, and so a pattern has emerged in my limited surroundings: the minute the bag is finished it is hung up on my cupboard doors - this somehow seems the perfect place to look at it from a distance and make sure that everything is lined up nicely. The next morning it seems to find itself moved next to my sewing books above my fabric drawers where I tend to take one final photo before I wrap it and post it off...bags feel a little like the sewing equivalent of babies to me - they are a labour of love that are harder to part with than some other things.

And then after a spate of Tabitha bags, this bag below is based on the Melly bag and was created for a Mother-of-the-Groom.

It took many emails of outfit photos and colour swatches to find just the right shade of olive and lime to go with her outfit, and actually when the chosen fabric eventually arrived I was utterly shocked by the colour of it - the fabric swatches that we had been looking at on the Internet (and indeed on Ms Butler's own website) show this fabric as being a soft sage on an olive background, but in reality it is far more zingy (and even a little luminous). But despite the shop being willing to let me return the fabric, she was happy to go ahead with this more lively proposal...and I'm now so glad she was. It looked far less shocking once it was made up into a bag than it had as a flat piece of material and by the time it came to posting it, I was feeling much more enamoured with it.

In a fit of wildness I thought I'd put this one onto a chair to photograph. The little sash on the chair is a matching band for the lady's hat, and below is the inside of her bag...the dash of cream seems to do much to tone down the intensity of this print.

Anyway, back in May I blogged about the bag that my mother ended up putting her name on before it was even finished (that I've subsequently named the Tabitha bag - you can read why here). I've since had numerous emails asking whether I'd be willing to sell the pattern for it for personal use. I'm hugely, delightedly and suprisedly flattered that other people love this bag design as much as I do and the generous and kind comments that I've had about it have been so appreciated. I feel bad not to say yes instantly to this when I've had so many lovely requests but I'm mulling on it, primarily because it's one of the things that I sell in my own shop...and also because I'd never really considered that selling patterns could be another arm to my little industry (or that I could be capable of writing a pattern in terms that normal people could actually follow - I've only just recovered from shock of the positive response to my make-up bag tutorial...so many firsts here!), so it needs a little thinking about...and I do tend to think quite slowly. Bear with me. x
p.s. I've posted about this here due to my being so appalling at keeping on top of my inbox - I'm so sorry not to have responded to individual emails on this.

12 comments:

  1. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!
    I love the linen...what colour is it?

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  2. Thank you so much, Soph. It's a completely natural, unbleached linen...so a very pale beigey colour.

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  3. They really are so lovely and beautifully made. I used to make bags as a vehicle for embroidery but wrestling with the pockets and the linings and fastening was just not me. You are an expert at it and your bags are not in need of extra embroidery.

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  4. Jackie - that's so kind - thank you! I know exactly what you mean about trying to find things to act as a 'vehicle' for the fun bit - I often feel the same about applique.

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  5. Lovely bags - I hadn't seen the coriander in lime before. Looks lovely, and glad to see your hunt for the right colours paid off!

    Also, I know we spoke about linen the other day - did you find more? If not, I found another online shop selling some that looks good.

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  6. The bags are beautiful!
    Rachel x

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  7. Don't know what was up with bloglines but it didn't tell me about any of your last four posts! Was starting to worry about you, and beginning to think that Mr T had commandeered your hands to serve as his own while he recuperates, and that somehow you were now proficient in the guitar, leaving no time for sewing.

    The bag is lovely, whatever you make it in. And you should make a pattern, absolutely. I've been trying to make one for my messenger bag lately and it's so much work, but really rewarding. Plus you already have ready made buyers!

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  8. Hello Florence. I am most annoyed as I have you on bloglines and they haven't notified me of your last 4 posts. Thought you were having a break! Still. lovely catch up of all your pretty sewing. My machine has a ruffler foot, but I haven't usd it as yet. So agree with you about doing them by hand - seem to have sewn miles over the years for little girls' dresses. happy weekend x

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  9. I especially love the second bag and the Coriander bag. Both are absolutely lovely.

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  10. Still awaiting your decision (about the pattern) with my breath half-held and with a couple of yards of linen set aside. Thanks for considering it!

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  11. Thank you for all your lovely comments. Bunny, do keep that linen on hold...I'm pattern drawing as quickly as I can. x

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  12. I relate everything to food, which probably explains why I blog about food. haha.

    Thank you so much for posting about the patterns. I hope you do decide to sell the pattern for your purse. (crossing fingers).

    Take care.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x