Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ooooh, shiny!

Last week, my mom asked me to make a bag for my aunt for her birthday.  I can never refuse my mom :-)  After discussing bag style and material options, we decided that I'd make my aunt two bags:  a frame purse to use as an evening bag, and a zipped wristlet to carry when she runs her errands during the day.

My aunt shares my love of all things shiny, so we decided to go with an embossed silver leather skin I've had in my stash for a while:

Oooooh!  Shiny silver crocodile!

Instead of using the pattern I've used for all my other leather clutches, I drew up my own pattern this time.  I wasn't sure what kinds of things my aunt carries with her when she goes out, so I wanted the bag to be a little bigger than the ones I've made before, and I also wanted it to look a little more angular.  When I first finished the bag on Thursday afternoon, I wasn't sure I liked it.  But the more I looked at it the more it grew on me.  I'm now at the point where I think I need to make another for myself!

This photo actually makes the silver look a little understated, if you can believe it!

Here you can see the size difference between this pattern and my old pattern:


It's actually only about an inch deeper, but it makes a big difference.  You can fit a lot of stuff in there.   With my phone, a pen, a lipstick and a hanky, the bag was still relatively flat.  Plenty of room for a couple of candy bars or something!


I took a couple pictures of me carrying it, so you could get an idea of the size.



When sewing up this bag, I used a lot of the tips and tools from Don Morin's Craftsy class, Making Leather Bags.  It really did make things go more smoothly, so if you're interested in sewing with leather, do check out the class!

My mom and her four siblings were all born in Rome, so for the "day" bag I used up the last of my Italy Map fabric - I believe these landmarks are in Rome, but I could be wrong!  My mom and my aunt have both been to Rome (and one of my uncles still lives there), so they will know!   Inside is Va Bene stripe with a pocket in Vespas.




This pattern is the Perfect Zip Bags from Elizabeth Hartman,  but I also incorporated some tricks from Don Morin's article in the current issue of Threads.

And even though my mom wasn't sure if this kind of bag would be useful for her, I made her one anyway, because she's my mom and I love her and I like to make stuff for her.  I used some of (what I consider to be) the most beautiful fabrics in my stash, from the Dear Stella Piper line.   You've seen this fabric before:


And inside are airplanes:

I think these are such pretty fabrics for fall.

I've been experimenting with different interfacings for this type of bag.  For these two bags, I used the stiff woven interfacing for collars.   The bags feel crisp and supple at the same time.  I recently made a couple of very small zippered pouches using "Craft Fuse" and I think I prefer the stiffer feel myself.  For the silver clutch, I used "Shape Flex" for the lining and left the leather un-interfaced, although it is quite thin.

I'm hoping to try out this zipped wristlet pattern using some leather in the near future.  But as usual, too many ideas, and too little time!


28 comments:

  1. I love the shiny bag!! It is fantastic! Of course I also love your other bags:)

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    1. Thank you! I think I've got enough left of this leather to do one for me - yay!

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  2. Shiny, pretty and oh so generous :)

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    1. Thanks, Rhonda! I can quit being selfish - once in a while!

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  3. Your aunt and mom are going to love these! I really like the larger size of the clutch purse. And you carry a hankie! I always have that tiny packet of Kleenex, but my mom always carried a hankie. Sorry, just getting nostalgic! Anyway, great fabric combinations as always!

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    1. I already got the seal of approval from my mom this morning via email, so I hope my aunt will like her birthday present!

      I have quite a collection of vintage hankies, and I do use them occasionally. But with my allergies, I mostly use a lot of Kleenex!

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  4. these are adorable! i'm sure the gifts will be well-received. great fabrics, as always!

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  5. These are gorgeous. I'm sure your aunt (and your mum) are going to love them.

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  6. Shiny indeed, and pretty awesome! All this bag talk is making me want to bust out a few little bags of my own.

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    1. Thank you! I have a lot of ideas for bags in my head right now. Let's see if they make it to the sewing machine!

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  7. You are so creative and productive! I think you got the size of the shiny bag just right and all the fabrics are simply fabulous. Perfect presents!

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    1. Thanks, Carmela! I don't feel so productive, since this was my entire output for the week! But it's nice to have these done early, so I don't feel like I'm scrambling at the end.

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  8. These are so perfect! The silver one is chic for evenings out. The wristlet is so cute too run around with.

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    1. Thanks, Stef! I've been using wristlets like these a lot!

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  9. These are really beautiful! I'm so glad you were willing to share your source for hardware so I can try to make something similar!

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  10. Beautiful! I love the crocodile, and the map fabric is a nice touch given Rome is her birthplace!

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    1. Thanks, Pam! I hope she likes the Rome one - I'm a bit worried it might be a little cutesy for her, but you never know!

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  11. You had me at shiny! :-) I'm just in awe of all of the clutches that you make. They look so good!

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    1. Never enough shiny, right?! Thank you so much for that compliment!

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  12. Those are all really cute! That shiny silver crocodile leather is pretty amazing... and that map print too! I've actually never tried to sew any type of bag before... but those look really great and now you have me really inspired. :-)

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    1. Thank you! I have a big of a bag obsession :-) Can't seem to stop making them!

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  13. Oooh, these are perfect! I'm sure your mom and aunt will LOVE them!

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    1. My mom got these the other day, and she does love hers! (the purple) YAY! My aunt's birthday isn't until the beginning of November, so I'll have to wait a while to find out if she liked hers :-)

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  14. You make the prettiest bags! They always look so polished.

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