Friday, May 23, 2008

Custom Bags

Ok this is why I love creating custom bags...
"Jackie, This purse is just great! I love the changes that we made. The lining is perfect! I bought some new brown pants so that I'll have a whole outfit to match. Thanks for all your work!L."

I cannot tell you how happy I am to create a bag that you want. I love it when you fall in love with my designs but I get a lot of joy creating something you desire. Which is why I am working on a system that allows you to pick what is created already or personalize the bag to fit your needs and your desires. More info to come soon.

Thanks to "L" for all your kind made my week:)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Birth of a Bag

Someone recently made a comment to me about designing handbags. Now I don't think she meant to be mean or rude, she simply spoke her mind. Her comment was anyone can make a purse, "come on it's only basically a square or a rectangle with some handles". True most bags are a form of one or the other, some with rounded edges or a combination of both. But really folks it's not that easy! My husband always says to me when I get crabbing about how frustrating a design is being, "if it was easy everyone would be doing it". He could not be more right. So I thought maybe it was time to give you a slight peek into the birth of a bag!

A lot of thought and effort goes into the pattern. I use my own patterns as well and designing those takes time. I begin with paper and pencil, many sketches later I settle on what looks most similar to the image in my head. I measure things and cut out a paper pattern. I start with a muslin as most fashion designers do (a mock up in cheap fabric that you don't get sick about throwing away). A few muslin's later I am typically satisfied with my design or it's back to the paper!

Ok that doesn't sound too bad! But here's the thing...where do you place the handles for the best drape? Do you use hard handles (bamboo, etc.) or do you use fabric? Which would maintain the structure of the bag best? How wide do you make the bag to work with those handles? Too wide and the bag caves in, not wide enough and it looks homemade! What about interfacing? Do you use the heavy kind or the soft one? Both? Do you interface the outer fabric, the lining, or both? Which will maintain the feel and drape of the bag while maintaining the integrity of the structure? When the bag is filled will it hold everything or will the contents be poking out here and there? And then the cutting process...what is the most efficient way to use the fabric. Same with the sewing process...what is the most efficient way to sew to save time yet produce a bag that looks handcrafted and not crafty? I won't even tell you about the hand stitching needed!

Ok so yes maybe you too can make a bag, it comes pretty easy to me, but anyone??? As the other women stated to her friend "just getting the image from my brain onto a piece of paper would be challenge enough"! I could not agree more.

Check out A World of Creativity for a well written article about my bags. (Pic is of a Singer Sewing Machine circa 1901).

Friday, May 16, 2008

Time is Flying

I cannot believe that it is already May 16! Time is flying once again. April was such a busy month and May is looking like she is going to be just as busy. I am finding it hard to sit down and do some serious blogging! I am actually almost caught up with bag orders. I have spent the entire week sewing and loving every minute of it.

I managed to grab a spot on the upcoming Trunkt Book for Fall of 2009! This book features a select group of Trunkt artists and will be distributed to galleries and boutiques, and for sale to the general public. Now the agony over which bag design, which fabric, trim, no trim! The great thing is the featured bag will be professionally photographed and there will only be 100 artists featured in the book. Excited and nervous at the same time.

New ideas are forming here at Blue Orchid...virtual home parties! Now you can be the hostess and not have to clean the house, cook, entertain when you would rather put your pj's on, or get rid of the husband and kids! Virtual parties which are virtually effortless. My kind of party! More info will be coming your way here and in our newsletter.