Admittedly, most of my focus with this blog has been placed on garments. Ok, so we did a few handbags using polymer clay (very successful posts, I might add). Up until the designer luggage post, I had really just skimmed through the handbag part, preferring to make terribly predictable, very boring simple purses. That post on Designer Luggage forced me to look more carefully at things like details and scale. It also forced me to reconcile the fact that designer bags are more than glitzy initials and quilted surfaces!
So for this post, I bit the bullet and did a little research on bags I'd like my divas to have. Inasmuch as I have two wonderful resources in Paris that sell leather scraps for a few Euros a piece, my girls get to have real luxury bags. Nothing beats the sheen or the touch! However, if you are not so lucky, vinyl, faux leather, pleather and the like are good substitutes. Should you opt for leather, choose the thinnest skin you can find for the sake of scale and manipulation. But first, let's go looking for pictures of the latest bags your dolls might want. Perhaps you may even have handbags of your own you'd like to make in miniature.
I did this pretty much by trial and error until I was satisfied with the shape.
These next two are "classic" bucket shaped bags with a bottom cut in the shape of a circle or square. A rectangular piece of leather wrapping around the base.
I turned both horizontal edges under and glued in place. A "cool" iron helps a bit with the glue. OR...take a hammer and pound! The seam allowance around the circular bottom is clipped first. I tried to fold and slightly press it as well to help in the process. Put glue on the seam allowance then press the side of the bag in place. Some of the clipped edges will overlap.
For the bag tie I cut a strip of leather 1/8" (2mm) then fed it through the eyelets. When you finish, make sure both ends come out of the front in separate holes. Pull the drawstring and tie. For my shoulder strap, I used a chain interlaced with another 1/8" sliver of leather, since my aim was to emulate a Chanel style bag. I thread each ends of the leather strips through opposite holes and glue it onto itself.
The next one, inspired by the blue Reed Krakoff handbag on my inspiration board, is a variation of this and begins the same way.
The bottom is a square which I have added 1/8" seam allowance then turned under and glued. The side is turned under on one horizontal side (which is the top of the bag). Manipulating this is much easier. You only need to clip the seam allowance of the bag's side at each corner of the bottom. Again, the rectangle simply wraps around the bottom base.
Before I could conclude this project, I insisted on making something I have been searching for but could never find....a handbag with outside pockets.
Again, the pattern is super simple. It is a shorter, wider version of the tote bag we've made before with a side gusset.
The dotted lines are fold lines. This time, however, I wanted a bit more volume, hence the 1/4" section at the top of the bag. After cutting out my pieces, I first pressed in the folds with a cool iron, then I folded the rest over the seam allowance of the side gussets.
At first I thought I needed to make cargo pockets. But the thickness of the leather is such that a simple rectangle folded into three parts and glued down provides the perfect illusion.
One last thing....the shoulder strap. I cut slivers from my leather strap and made a braid. At each end I made a knot. It I attached to the bag at the sides with small metal rings.
Well, believe it or not....fashion week around the planet is in full swing. The girls have been on the ground for more than a week and will be back in a snap with their roundup of New York Spring 2015 trends!!!
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