Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Made by others!

Hello my dears!

Firstly, I should probably explain myself for not updating for so long. But the story of lack of posts is just too simple - my sewing machine is in the closet for the last half year. I guess the inspiration for sewing is on vacation (haven't we all been there?)...

Anyway, today I'm updating to share with you a very special creation - a bag made by a blogger Rita!
Click here to see the post on Rita's blog!

Rita contacted me a few days ago and showed me the photos of the bag she made by following my A Bag from a Jacket tutorial. To be honest, I was stunned when I saw the photos of this bag - it's simply amazing! Can you believe it's the first bag she made? Very inspiring!

Thank you once again, Rita, for sharing with me - I'll be looking forward to more bags from you!

P.S. If any of you have made a bag according to my tutorials - please don't hesitate to share them with me, I'd love to see them! :)

Have a nice day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Making of Famous Bags...

I must admit - I haven't used my sewing machine since I made the bag from a jacket (mainly because I use that bag almost everyday and I just can't think of a new bag I need), therefore I don't have a bag to share with you. But hey - it's a perfect time to make a second entry on luxury handbag making!

Here you can find the first entry on this subject (I talked about Hermes Kelly and Dior Lady bags). 

I'd like to start with a bag that I bet everyone has heard about or seen - even I have seen this bag in magazine pages long before I became interested in bags. Can you guess what bag it is? The answer is Chanel Classic flap bag. It's an iconic bag that didn't loose it's popularity decades after the release. 

Here you can find photos of how the classic version of this bag is made (due to the popularity and classic design this bag has a lot of versions):

Though I am not a huge fan of the Chanel Classic bag design, I think the craftsmanship in this bag is simply stunning and each step in the making process is eye catching. And the story behind the bag is worth reading - Coco Chanel herself designed this bag and gave each and every detail a meaning:

And finally, let's move on from one classic brand to another: from Chanel to Louis Vuitton: the making of Louis Vuitton Monogram Empreinte Bags (I wish there would be more LV videos like this one, but I guess the company tries to keep the process a secret because, unfortunately, there are so many fake LV bags in the market...):

Have a nice weekend! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Sewing Machine

There is one question that I get asked quite often when I post a tutorial: “Do you use an industrial sewing machine?”. And today I’d like to answer this question: No, I don’t. I use my very simple domestic sewing machine – Bernina Bernette E55, which I’ve been using for the last 3,5 year. It’s a very basic sewing machine with 13 stitches (though I have never used half of them) and probably the cheapest Bernina in the market. 

The reason I’m posting this is that people sometimes think that their sewing machines won’t handle the task (like won’t sew stretch fabrics or faux leather), but the thing is that nowadays there are a lot of domestic machines that can handle difficult tasks and yet don't come with a huge price tag. So, here you go – if my sewing machine can handle my bag making - yours probably can too :)

Have a nice weekend! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tutorial: How I Made a Bag from a Jacket

A Jacket + An Idea = A New Bag

As I promised, today I'm showing how I made a bag from a jacket you saw in my previous post. The bag is not hard to make and does not require a lot of skills, so don't hesitate to make it even if you never made a bag before! 

Let's move on to the tutorial :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Bag From A Jacket

Hello Everyone!

Note: the tutorial for this bag is going to be up in a couple of days, so be sure to check it out! Update: the tutorial is now here.

Today I’d like to share with you my latest bag – a bag made from a thrifted jacket. The design is a combination of my previous bags: the handles (I find these handles the most comfortable to carry) and the square shape is from the Simple Bag, the construction is basically the same as in the Day Bag, the ends of the handles are from the first bag I made. The long zipper was inspired by Celine Luggage Tote, which allows carrying a lot of things in a bag when opened.

Despite small imperfections (like a zipper that opens a bit too hard. But with a bag color like this I couldn’t be picky), I really like this bag and I think it’s probably the best bag I’ve made so far. It will be a good substitute to my current everyday bag.

A couple of modeling photos to give an idea about the size

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thrifting For Materials and Bags From Jackets

I'm now making a bag from this jacket - hope it will be done in a couple of days!

There are many places to find materials for sewing projects: the usual fabric stores, online shops,  own closet filled with I-will-never-wear-this-again clothing, a friends closet, also filled with some unwanted clothes, a fabric stash, hidden in bottom of the closet with fabric we can’t re-call purchasing, thrift stores and probably some very unique places which I forgot to count.

The assortment in local fabric stores isn’t as big as I wish it was and it doesn’t change as fast as I hope it one day will; the online fabric shops aren’t for such picky shoppers like me, who must to test the fabric before spending money on it; my closet is already in a state where I can’t look at it and think of what I can get rid of; my fabric stash is small and now only contains things that are in I-will-finish-it-one-day condition, some big sewing flops which I can’t force myself to throw away and the very first garments I ever made. So, I have one option that works quite fine for me: the thrift stores. Even though I usually leave thrift stores empty handed (as I said, I’m very picky when it comes to this matter), I still go to them with expectations to come across garments with interesting materials that I can use in my projects. And sometimes I find something I really like.

There are a couple of things to look for while thrift shopping: old handbags for either leather, either interesting hardware; silky scarves for lining and leather garments for outside of the bag.

So I’d like to share a few points how to choose materials for bags project in a thrift store:
1) Price – the very first point to look at. I have set a limit to spend on a garment in a thrift store and I don’t pay above that line. Reason is very simple – I like to keep my hobby as inexpensive as I can, because I would lose motivation to create if I could buy things for less than it would cost me to create.
2) Condition – it’s pretty clear why: if the garment you would use as a material looks very “used” there’s a great chance your creation from it won’t look good or will not last long.
3) Material – of course, it’s very important to know what you are going to make. For example, I like making bags that’s why the first thing I check when in thrift stores is the leather jacket section. Originality of material can also play a role when choosing. Also, be sure that your sewing machine will be capable to deal with chosen material: I had left a couple of nice jackets only because the leather was too thick and my sewing machine wouldn’t sew it.
4) Size – if you buy leather jacket with expectation to make a big bag, be sure to look for a large size with little details – in this way you will have enough material :) That’s why I usually buy men jackets instead of women – I have more space to create!

Now let me share my latest purchase (see the photo above), which fits in all 4 categories mentioned above: 0,75 Euro cents; great condition – seriously, I almost didn’t want to cut it!; amazing material – alcantara, which looks like suede, but made from polyester; large size - plenty of space to create. Great choice for a bag (which is in a process of making right now).

I hope this will encourage you to look for materials for your projects in thrift stores! Have a nice day :)