First Challenge: a new bag

19 Dec

My handbag is wearing out. I’ve dragged it around with me every day for more than a year, and the handles are wearing thin, as is the spot where each handle attaches to the bag. I’m a bag-as-big-as-a-tote kind of girl–I need a bag big enough to live out of, and I only change out bags for special occasions.  So I need a good, go-to kind of a handbag, on the large side.

It occurs to me that I could just go buy a bag, and claim my little project hasn’t officially started yet…but what would be the fun in that? Sure, making my own handbag isn’t as easy as, say, an A-line skirt…but I have tons of A-line skirts, and this whole deal is about finding my real necessities, so a handbag actually seems an appropriate place to start.  Also, I realize my specific needs in a bag are probably just as easy to fulfill, hand-making it, as they would be, trying to find something ready-made (that I can still afford.)

What I require in a bag:

-Versatile for everyday wear

-Sturdy, but not heavy or stiff

-Easy-access pockets for essential at-the-ready items like phone and keys and subway pass

-Long enough handles to sling over my shoulder and leave my hands free, even while wearing my winter coat

-It has to have at least one smooth side, the side against my body. Zippers and details (even seams) often rub and wear on more delicate clothing, over time.

And on top of all this, I’d like it in some fun color, not a print, but not boring. Some small bit of color that goes with many of the colors frequently found in my general wardrobe palette.  I’m thinking maybe mustard, or gold, or a caramel-toffee kind of color.
While most bags I choose tend to be leather-look, I think a sturdy fabric will be fine for a home sewn purse, as long as it’s heavy enough to be sturdy, with just a bit of slouch, some relaxed shape without looking…too hand sewn. Maybe lightweight canvas, upholstery fabric, or a wide-waled corduroy.

I’m off to find the perfect bag…

2 Responses to “First Challenge: a new bag”

  1. milchstern December 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    First of all, thanks for your invitation to Pinterest.

    Maybe you wanna have a look at Amy Butlers blossom handbag (this is offered as a free pattern). I didn’t do mine as stiff as proposed, there are dividers to organize and I know that some added a “ribbon” to fix the keys onto it. I suppose there are many other alteration possible. And there a two types of handles, shorter and longer ones. But I don’t know if it is big enough.

  2. handmadejulie December 21, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    Cool, thanks! I’ll check it out.

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