Seven ways to indulge on your next handmade bag
By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Feb 17 2018 03:08PM
Sometimes we want to make something just for the pleasure of making it whether it be for ourselves or as a gift. Quite often this is when we will splurge and spend a little more money and take great pleasure in choosing the fabric and other components needed for the project.
1. Fabric Choice
Most of our projects are best made from firm fabrics with an even weave and we mostly make our prototypes from 100% cotton fabrics. Cotton fabrics come in a myriad of colours and designs and there are some very talented fabric designers around doing some fantastic designs. If you want a designer fabric you will have to pay a little more for it but most of our designs have a feature fabric that is not used for the whole project so you only need buy a small amount.
2. Alternative Fabrics
These days you don’t' have to just use fabric to create your perfect bag. There is a wonderful variety of new materials on the market, and with bag making becoming more and more popular, these materials are becoming more accessible.
(sometimes called PU Leather or leatherette) can add durability and a luxury look to your latest project. We have bought affordable offcuts from our local fabric mill, remnants from our local crafting recycling yard and shopped online. It is important to choose your pattern wisely if you are going to include fake leather, as it can build up into thick seams quite quickly.
These have started appearing on the scene, they can give you a gorgeous glossy finish to parts of your bag. This is something we want to try soon.
This is another new alternative. We haven't had the opportunity to try this yet as it is quite expensive.
We often use wadding sometimes called batting in our projects because it gives a softer but more substantial feel to the finished product. If you are a quilter you will know that there are different types and weights of wadding available. Polyester wadding tends to be white and springy and whilst it will do the job it is harder to handle than the slightly more expensive cotton wadding. Regardless of the type you choose if you choose to use wadding only a light weight one is required. If you plan to do several projects I would invest in a can of basting spray, it lasts ages and fuses the two fabrics together so that they can be treated as one.
4. Bag Furniture
Our bags have a professional finish because we invest in 'bag furniture' these are the metal loops, buckles and fasteners used to attach straps and close bags. Straps can be attached using a simple d-ring or a D-ring and clip, a gold or silver ring, or a square buckle loop. They come in many styles and finishes, a quick search on E-bay for 'bag buckles' will bring up thousands of results for all manner of fasteners, fixings and trims.
There are many ways to close bags most commonly a zip or popper. Zips come in many different weights and styles, and some have fancy zip pulls, but these can also be bought separately if desired. We have also in some cases used magnetic poppers they are a little more complicated to use because you must incorporate them in the construction process they cannot be added afterwards like the sewn-on ones, but they do make the project look more 'store bought'. Splashing out on some Emmaline Bling D Rings and swivel hooks can also elevate your bag to another level.
Buttons are very much in fashion at the moment and it would seem the bigger the better, they can be functional but for us they are mostly decorative used to high light a feature or pick out a colour. some are as elaborate as jewellery whilst others are quite understated.
We talk a lot about making your project unique and expressing yourself because it's an opportunity to make something that no one else has. There are different ways of achieving this from choosing the fabric to adding to the basic pattern. Things you could add depending on the project would be braid, ribbon, lace, beading, embroidery, appliquéd designs there are infinite variations to explore and enjoy.
We would be really interested in how you make your products unique, send photos of your completed projects to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we have enough we will create a gallery page to display them on.