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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Handbags and Wallets Part 1

I was asked to design and make a few more handbags as well as a few wallets. What is a few? Difficult question. For this reason I have decided to do this process as a series of scattered blogs with others in between. In this first blog I will talk about the conceptualization process and then we'll look at the first pattern for one of the bags.

When paging through my sketchbook to find an open page, I came across this quick sketch I did when I just received my Pitt Pens. Right then and there I made up my mind to use this for the conceptualization sketches, remembering how much fun I had with the pencils when I did this sketch. The Pitt Pens is manufactured by one of my favourite and most trusted brands, namely Daler-Rowney. You simply can't go wrong with Daler-Rowney.

I had someone asking for a smaller version of the pleated handbag I made in an earlier blog series. I used this as a starting point, but it did not excite me to think I had to do copying of what I've already done. That lead me to a few more ideas, one for a round bag and another for an upright bag. You can see that these had me more engaged by the fact that I was starting to add notes.

I then got an idea that really excited me. Can you tell by how much bigger this drawing is? The more I thought about it, the more it excited me and I started adding all kinds of detail about pockets etc.

Feeling satisfied that I had a handbag I would enjoy making, I turned my attention to wallets. I worked on a few simple concepts and worked my way through to some more complex ones.

This three-panelled wallet would certainly be the most complex, but I get excited by challenges and this is the one that I felt the greatest tug to make.

Pattern Design
It was time to start working on a pattern. I chose to start with the pattern for the Paneled Bag.

I glued two A4 pages together to create a big enough surface to work on. I decided on the size of the bag and its panels and drew these lines. I then took another look at the bag and decided that this was already very big. I would rather not add seam allowances, opting to rather loose some of the size in the seams.

I folded the pattern in two and cut it out to ensure that the two halves looked alike.

I then traced the bag on another constructed paper, thinking to use this as the pattern for the lining. After I had done this, it occurred to me that I would prefer to use the outside pattern for the lining as well, because it would allow me to have pockets on both the inside as well as the outside of the bag. The intention is to use the seams to create pockets.

The sling a a simple, but long stretch of paper. The bottom of the bag was similar, as was the flaps for the zipper at the top.

I also planned for a pleat, but as I'm typing here, I am still not sure that I will include this.

In the next blog I will lay this pattern out on fabric and possibly start on the first steps of the construction.

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