Registration is officially open for my next online class, Everyday Handbags!
We all know that the RIGHT handbag makes all the difference, and finding it feels like the Holy Grail. When I was in high school (and I won’t say how long ago that was, but when you hear the rest of this story, you’ll probably be able to guess), I was on the hunt for the perfect sack purse (and if you don’t know what that is, bless you). I wanted it to be a deep, forest green leather with a brown strap. Please don’t ask my why I got that into my head, I can only tell you that I had a picture in my mind and it was very clear. My friend Caree was sure I would never find it. And yet! After work at Record Town in the mall one afternoon, I walked over to one of the department stores and found EXACTLY the bag I was looking for. I snatched it up and headed over to visit Caree at the Chocolate Chip Cookie Factory to share with her my victory–and probably a little to gloat. I was not entirely kind about it, which she told me (as true friends always do). She didn’t hold a grudge, thankfully (I know this because she still sold me a half dozen peanut butter cookies at a discount), and my purse and I went home. I carried it for the rest of my junior year, and we still think of one another fondly. Me and the purse, that is.
My point in sharing this startlingly long-winded story with you? That the perfect handbag for the occasion makes a tremendous impact on how you look and feel and carry yourself. I created five designs that I really love for Stitch Savvy, but there are still some shapes that I wanted to explore–not in small part because of Audrey. If one is going to have an Audrey Wardrobe, one must have the accessories to match, n’est pas?
There are FOUR handbags included in the e-course, and I’m showcasing them one at a time this week as we build up to the launch of the class. The first is in my mind constantly right now, because summer is on the way, and I intend to spend a solid 72% of it cross-stitching by the pool. Which will necessitate a lovely bag that goes with everything, is easy to access, expands when needed, and will keep my hand sewing materials neat and tidy. Introducing: The Summer Poolside Tote.
I wanted a tote with real presence and substance; this one uses a nice, stiff interfacing to give it some shape and allow it to stand up on its own. There isn’t even stuffing in it in these photos, just the body of the bag! It’s fully lined, and has an optional interior pocket for your phone and keys.
I wanted to be sure that there was room for the bag to expand so it could hold as much or as little as I felt like carrying. My on-going realization as Someone Who Sews is that I like things reeeeeally tiny or reeeeally HUGE, and in the case of handbags, I tend toward GIANT. I designed this tote to be both a poolside-throw-everything-in-it bag and also a carry-around-town bag, similar to some high-end raffia bags I’ve seen in summers past.
The corners are anchored with giant snaps, allowing you to expand the bag as necessary, and also giving it a really fun profile.
All the edges on the bag are finished with–shocking!–bias tape, which I adore. Very easy finish to this bag, and gives the option of a lot of design possibilities. Plus, it makes the rounded handle opening possible–and that might be my favorite feature! I wanted to create a bag that looks professional and handmade but not home-sewn, and something about the way the handles are open with just the bias binding to finish them off feels special to me.
The corners of the bag are boxed, giving in that flat bottom. This is the simplest of the four bags included in the class, and where we’ll begin the course during the four weeks that it lasts. If you’ve mastered sewing a straight line, you can totally make these bags! We build from basic bag-making skills up to more advanced construction and hardware, including pockets and clasps and snaps and zippers.
Check out all the details on the course and keep watching the blog this week as I roll out photos of the bags we’ll be making! Spaces are limited in the class, which begins just two weeks from today–looking forward to having some of you there!