You already know I am a bag fanatic. But did you know, I hardly ever carry one of my own bags. Yes, for a night out or a holiday I do, I am forever making one suitable, but not when it comes to my everyday bag.
As you can imagine, I do have rather a large collection of handbags, favouring something strong in leather that I can stuff to the gunnels with ever more junk that I carry around when leaving the house – how did we ever manage with small handbags??
So I finally made a bag for myself for everyday use. Amazing we bagmakers don’t ever have time to make one for ourselves.
What started me on this thought was seeing a fabric on a Facebook board that was just so ‘Me’, I couldn’t live without it, and then trying to track the print down all over America. I just had to have it; it was so apt and just perfect for an everyday bag for a stitch lover like me. I finally got hold of some and then had to wait impatiently for it to arrive a month later.
I wanted a tote bag as I often stuff a bit of shopping in there along with dog treats (and the odd poo bag), a purse the size of a bag, sweets, scissors, my Kindle, tablet etc etc, but to improve on the tote bag I currently use, I wanted to add lots of pocketry in the lining so I could find things like my phone, keys and car park ticket easily without having to empty out the whole bucket on the street swearing and cussing that I’ve lost them, happens every time!
My gorgeous bright sewing print fabric never arrived and after chasing the American supplier numerous times, I located it in a Royal Mail warehouse in Manchester. Finally – oh not quite, I had to pay £18 to get it out. In the end it was probably the most expensive fabric I have ever bought per metre when you include the shipping and charges.
I already had my pattern planned out with a wide top opening tapering to a nice rounded base, with leather handles large enough to get over the shoulder. I felt the print needed framing somehow, so I pulled out some black from my vinyl stash. I’m such a snob though. I like a leather bag, so off I went to my leather stash, but it revealed nothing that was large enough for the whole width of the bag. Then, light bulb moment – I remembered, that black leather jacket that’s been hanging in my wardrobe that I hadn’t worn since nineteen oatcake!
I cut pieces from the sleeves of the leather jacket to make a top and bottom frame for the side panels and used the back of the jacket to make a quilted base with lovely gold feet.
I used Bosal foam throughout so the bag will stand on its own (knowing I tend to throw things in my bag like it were a basketball hoop)
I set the whole thing off with extremely bright pink lining trimmed with accents in the Love Sewing print (I still don’t know who it’s by). A large divided pocket on one side for my Kindle and chargers, three pockets on the other side – suitable for phones, pen diary etc, plus a specific Polo (the mint with the holo) pocket at one end. Yes its true, I did – well I carry them everywhere and it’s so hard to find them in the bottom of a tote bag full of crap.
I added a concealed zip opening to the top using a rather beautiful gold Emmaline zip with double puller – so decadent!
I added leather handles that I had harvested from a bag some time ago, and had been sitting around waiting for the ideal project – not the easiest things to stitch on though through the 8 layers I had included, but thankfully now attached. If they ever get loose, I will be hauling out the rivet machine, I couldn’t face that fight again with the sewing machine.
So here it is, my finished project I hope you like it. I am really pleased with it, but haven’t started using it yet as I don’t want to get it dirty! Right, I am going to swap all my handbag contents over to it right now and make it part of my everyday life – And I’ll get much more wear out of that leather jacket this way too.
If I get lots of adoring comments when I am out and about – I may even make this bag my next published pattern.
Oh, I made a purse to match this morning too! (Another pattern that I have on the go at the moment) A girl has gotta have matching accessories. Maybe I could make some shoes next.