zip zip zip!

A quick note to share my YKK zipper color card.  I am in love.  I plan to order all sorts of zippers, I am working on pockets and closures.  If you are a knitter, do not worry – I don’t want your yarn caught in a zip, either.

YKK zipper color card

I was in ‘the zone’ with my color card the other night, and when I came up for air, I saw my table with fresh eyes and had to take a picture.  Sometimes I wonder if I am spending exponentially more time than anyone else, ever, in developing bag designs rather than just making stuff and ‘going for it’.  I am aware that choosing colors in the middle of the night is really dumb, but when the color card has just arrived….well.  Gotta do what I gotta do.

selecting zipper colors for fabrics

hee hee, what a mess.  The sun is up, I’m gonna review my choices.


design development!

I’ve been talking to friends and asking for input on the whole Bag Thing. I’m also getting feedback on the fabrics I’ve been designing which has been nothing short of fascinating. I don’t have new pics, I am currently waiting for orders of interfacing, fabric, and labels to arrive – then I expect I will be able to finish several bags at once and move a step closer to my many goals.

So far, I am designing bags I think I would like – I will talk about that more later, but I do want to hear from anyone who reads this…. please take the poll, it will totally thrill me.

too hot for pressing

Yesterday it got to about 98 degrees?  it felt like that at least.  Rather than turn on my iron and start cutting and pressing the next generation of tote bags, I took a trip over to Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkeley.   I go there for their remnants, the sale aisles, and the cotton quilting weight solids.  They don’t seem to mind if I take my pile of swatches and hog up a corner of the store for a couple of hours.  I suppose if I’d stayed in my non-air-conditioned apartment I could’ve lost some weight by sweating….maybe today.

fabric stash score

So for yesterday, I have no bag progress, but I DO have a fabulous pile of solids, new bobbins for my new threads, and a whole host of ideas to try out today.  Today may have to focus on cutting and getting bags started….but not pressed.   It is warm already, and not even 9am.  sheesh.

My friend DL loved the chairs – he wanted  a “man bag” for grocery shopping in manly style.  I adore DL – he’s The Super Fab Dude if ever there was one.  Since DL (a friend from Garden Architecture) chose the chairs as his favorite pattern, I set about working out designs for his man bag.

chair handbag

The New Braunfels Chair pattern I had from Spoonflower was too small for a full-size tote so I made a shoulder bag instead with a flap closure (and 2 magnetic snaps under the flap!).

I loved the slate blue wool blend fabric with the image and the gray lining, but once it was done, it looked kinda postal – not sure I’m down with that, so today I got some alternative lining fabrics….whee!

chair handbag flap

I think my sewing is getting better too, don’t you?

Hellebore bag

When I showed my Spoonflower fabric swatches to my friends at Garden Architecture, DL and TK both liked fabric designs that I wasn’t super focused on – their faves weren’t the same as mine!  I was pleasantly surprised by their reactions, and decided to develop bags inspired by them with those particular fabrics.  The first is the Hellebore Bag – I have some tweaks I want to make on the sewing pattern – the focal fabric wants to be more off-center on the bag.  This was TK’s favorite of my fabrics, so I owe her a big thanks for that!  Otherwise, I might not have looked so closely at this fabric for a while and I wouldn’t have had all that fun making this bag (and the ones to come).

Hellebore bag with gardening books

The flannel fabric is a local fabric shop score – it is gray-purple and has a subtle stripe in it.  It’s wonderfully flannelly soft and smooshy.  It seems a good bag going into fall for it’s snuggly-ness.  Comfort” food” in fabric form.  I hope she likes it when I give it to her (shhh….don’t tell!).

Hellebore bag fabric textures

Project Bag for Knitting

My first project bag is done.  I like it, I think it needs to lose the contrasting color bottom and have more grommets.  I love this fabric, looking forward to using the same pattern in the pastel colorway!!  that will also be gorgeous.


takin’ it seriously

I’ve shown a few friends and colleagues my bags/patterns/ideas and the response has been good.  Naturally, I am skeptical of positive feedback from friends.  I would be surprised if they said “wow, your ideas suck, you should stop now.”  So I showed my stuff to a few other people – people who I suspect wouldn’t try to shield me from bad news.  Still positive!  A woman who’s opinion I respect in these sorts of things said that I should treat the whole bag thing seriously, not as a hobby or ‘sideline’ but as a real business venture.  I am encouraged.

I’ve got so many fabric patterns and bag ideas/patterns in the works, I don’t know what to do next!  I’m not really even “in business” yet and I need an assistant AND a draftsperson.  Make that two draftspersons.  I have pages and pages of sketches and notes for new patterns, whole collections, colorways, coordinates….whee!  I really do feel like I’ve been getting ready for this for years already and am just opening the floodgates.

Here’s one of my test/prototype bags – I made this tote bag a couple of weeks ago and have been carrying it around abusing it ever since.  I already have a list of details to change like size adjustments, a closure needs to be added and I want to change the proportions of the exterior pocket … it is a work in progress.  I hope that if I improve from here and my bags get better, the fabrics, shapes, pockets and closures all continue to evolve … I don’t think this bag is such a bad place to start at all.

totebag with spoonflower 1c