Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Cut-Your-Losses Handbag


This is not the bag I was trying to make.

Last spring, I made a beautiful version of Alicia Paulson’s Tanglewood Bag, which is a gorgeous pattern, cleverly designed and written. I adore this bag. Adore it! The teensy little straps, though, were made to go with a swingy dress, and not with a down parka.

I was thinking fall; I was thinking browns and golds. I was thinking hobo bag, I was thinking something with a little more heft. I wanted wider straps. I cut up a pair of my pants (yes! I did!) and chose some autumnal fabrics to go with it.


I don’t know how it works for you all, but for me, the bag takes an hour, but the straps take two days. And, as you can see, they failed.


And then, I ran out of thread. And then, I couldn’t figure out how to make a buttonhole on the Loaner Machine.

So, I cut my losses, chopped off the ridiculous wide straps (maybe they can be a belt someday? I’m always thinking…) and picked apart the failed button flap. Then, I cut off the entire top of the bag, reshaped it as in the Tanglewood Bag, and made Alicia’s bias edging straps. I also added a leather lacing and vintage button closure. Sometimes, the perfect vintage button can save the day.


This bag is fully lined with fabrics that remind me, somehow of cowboys:


I love my little label.

This bag is not what I had planned, but I do like it. I definitely like it better than the ill-fitting pants it used to be. Next time, I think I’ll make a wider bias tape for the handles, but attach it the same way. Maybe there’s a winter version of this bag waiting in the wings?


I’d like to do this in a pearl gray, with frosty blue lining fabrics and a crystal button. I think I have just the pants…