So even though my background is in fashion design and I've sewn a LOT of garments, I had never really gotten into the whole make-your-own-bags scene until maybe six months ago. My sister wanted me to use some of her prized Cotton and Steel fabric to make a bag that she had found on Robert Kaufman's site and I was like "Sure, it'll be totally easy" with basically no forethought at all. It probably could have been a disaster since bag making is a different animal than clothing but I plunged ahead. That bag was actually a success!
I was instantly hooked. I mean...who doesn't love bags to begin with? And I felt that pride at a job well done. (I call it a finish high). And it was FASTER than some other sewing projects I was doing. I needed more. To the internet I went! After some Craftsy searching, I happened upon the "Goin' Uptown Tote" pattern by Lisa Ratford from Two Pretty Poppets. I wanted it. It was more structured than my first bag, with more elements and hardware, but I used my same lack of forethought as before and cut into fabrics that had been in my stash for nearly 15 years. And....success!
And that was going to be it. I made two bags! I was happy with both of them! I could go back to all my regularly scheduled clothing sewing and pattern making and other crafty enterprises. That is, until Lisa herself found the Instagram post of my Goin Uptown and invited me to join her Facebook group. That's right, what happened next is Lisa's fault. I fell in love with more (ok, all) of her patterns. She also released the Stand Up and Tote Notice (easily my favorite tote bag) around this time. I've made close to a dozen. at this point. I even won her Tote Notice contest! As a prize, I received store credit at Handbag Hardware of Australia and Emmaline Bags of Canada (as well as a free pattern from Two Pretty Poppets). Those prizes fueled my bag making addiction further. I fell in love with handbag hardware, I trawled through blogs looking for the best interfacing options for different materials, I actually USED my Teflon foot and leather needles that had been sitting in storage since I bought my machine. I was hooked.
On occasion, Lisa puts out a call for new pattern testers. The last round, I shot off an email expressing interest and I was over the moon when she accepted my application! Her patterns are so well written and easy to understand. Who wouldn't want to be part of that process? So far I've done two pattern tests, one is still super secret (and you will love it when it comes out) but the second was just released last week: The Stand Up Clutch. It's the perfect compliment to the Stand Up and Tote Notice! And it's size means I can use up all the little scraps from my other bag endeavors!
So that's how I got addicted to bags! A favor was the gateway drug in this instance, but I'm so glad to be on this wild ride! I'm looking forward to many many many more bags made!