Oh, I can’t tell you how happy I am to get this giant, oversized bag made. It will be perfect to carry my tools & samples when I need to haul them around town. I made it just in time for a visit to our local Fairview High school tomorrow where I will talk to the student government about my small business. I already have it packed with repurposed samples and a couple tools so I can do a quick demo.
The bag was made from a really big, very old canvas carrying type, tarp. It had 3 leather handles attached on either side with old 3″ cotton webbing supporting the bottom. I don’t really know what it was used for so if anyone has any ideas, please do share. The canvas it self is a bit dingy even after 2 washes & I did have to cut off the webbing as it was falling apart. The handles weren’t in the best shape either so I kept the bottom part & reattached a new leather belting to the back side for strength. The thing I do love about all these old samples is the character that comes with them. The original rivets are fantastic & I can never resist an awesome selvage line. To clean it up a bit, I lined the bag in a subtle striped linen that has a bright pop drawstring closure. I also added 4 interior pockets on either side for organizing tools. After painting the stripe, adding the number “4″ & reinforcing the bottom with heavy white suede (very tool-baggish) I’m ready to go.
Although it’s basically the middle of winter, I seem to have gotten spring fever. It could be due to the amazingly warm, un-winter-like weather we’ve been having here in Boulder. I can’t seem to get enough of the natural & white combination on the leather which feels like a warm vacation all wrapped up in a bag. A simple stripe can make quite an impact! I generally like to keep my bags fairly simple but I can never resist that small pop of color whether it’s in a small embroidery, paint or appliqué . The overall effect is screaming summer! That’s what I’m thinking about as I look outside right now & the flurries are falling to the ground…. winter is back.
The construction of a clutch isn’t very complicated (especially the way I make them). Simple shapes need fabulous small details to make them special. For this brown leather clutch, I added a leather horse bridle tab that is attached with an antique mother of pearl shirt stud. By adding 2 simple gold stripes down the center, the whole bag becomes a unique, one of a kind handbag.
I had some suede left over from the tote project & I had just enough left to make 2 more clutch handbags. I painted stripes on the bags & cut some vintage belt for the tab detail. The inside lining is linen. These have such a special feel & I don’t just mean the buttery texture. The seam going down the middle is part of what I like the most. It reminds me that once it was a pant.
This tote was one of the first ones I made in this style. It’s made with a printed gray linen & then I painted the stripes on the bottom. The handles are natural vegetan leather that will darken with age & use. This is kind of where the painted tip started. My style keeps evolving depending on the materials I use but as I can see from this sample, I stay on the same path.
Sometimes it’s fun to make something smaller. These leather bags are big enough to hold the basics without having to lug around a big bag. I painted a stripe down the middle of the brown one & left the cream colored one plain. By adding just a bit of red on the tip of the strap, it turned a simple bag into something a little more interesting. The leather has wool felt bonded to the inside as lining.
I finally took the initiative & raided my own bag stash. I thought it was time to try out this new clutch craze. I’ve been using this clutch exclusively for the past couple of days & I’ll have to say I’m a convert. I like to just chuck everything in & leave. It sits happily on my seat when driving & also enjoys riding around in my bike basket. I thought it may become unwieldy carrying it around but I’m enjoying walking with it either snug under my arm or swinging it in my hand by my side.
The leather on this tote is so soft & spongy & has a really worn-in feeling & look. I paired it with vintage belt strips that are just the right attitude with a great patina on the leather. The touch of red on the straps & the silver stripes snaz it up & give an otherwise very casual bag a feeling of something more special. I left the inside clean finished without a lining because the backside of the leather was so soft & a beautiful light gray color.
This Apron was made from white canvas & the stripes were hand painted. The side leather tabs were put on to carry over the feeling of the handbags. When I wore this at the show, I totally matched my booth with all the white painted recycled items with yellow stripes. It also happened to be very handy! After wearing this the past 2 weekends I’m ready to ditch handbags all together & start an apron trend!