Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Celebrating Autumn with The Brooklyn Handbag

And the season has changed, yet again! This means bringing out all my lovely autumn and winter pieces out from my wardrobe. And they include all those tweeds and the brown walking boots. Also the flannels and the fleece lined hoods. Ah, love! And to celebrate autumn, I decided that a new bag is in order. This beautiful little bag is the Brooklyn Handbag by Swoon Patterns, originally featured on The Bag of The Month Club in May 2016. The bag is a compact size of 11 inches long x 7 inches tall x 5 inches deep. It is almost the same size as my Little Minnie but it is deceivingly larger than it looks. 

I have been making bags with my own patterns for a long time but if you are self taught like me, you will only learn so much after a while. Alternatively, gaining knowledge and experience from another designer, through his/her patterns, is understanding and recognising that there is a whole lot more out there that can be learnt. And this pattern, has definitely given me that, and more.

I actually wanted a proper, grown up leather bag but having discovered the price of hide, which is usually sold by the square metre, I knew it wasn't cost effective for me. I now know why leather bags cost the earth. So I turned to the next best thing - faux leather material. It has the same finished look as a leather bag, in every way possible. But because it's faux leather, it could simply be wiped clean with baby wipes if you, say get a bit of chocolate on it. As you do if you constantly walk around with a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk in your hands. Like me. 

The main panels for the original pattern does not come in two halves, width-way. I just like the look of the stitches coming down the centre of the panels, as seen in most real leather bags, so I cut mine in half and then put them back together. Therefore, if you have the same pattern and wonder why yours turned out a bit different, this answers your question. I also opted out of the shoulder strap and the connectors that are placed on either side of the main panels because I am the sort of person who likes carrying my bags tucked under my arm. I have some valuable confectionary stash in my bags that my little people aren't meant to find out. Or steal. Or both. 

As usual, I added those feet for protection. Incidentally, I also found out that if you have bags with feet, you do not place them on lacquered tables. Especially if the table is a family heirloom. Trust me to find that out the hard way.

In my opinion, this is the star attraction of the bag - the accent panels at the bottom of the bag. Ah...those curves... such a beautiful feature. It doesn't really look like a big deal, but oh the impact they give on the design...

There is a lovely pocket, big enough for my iPhone 6 plus in the lining. The size of the internal pocket is a big deal for me as I like the option of being able to separate my gadgets from the rest of my bag content. I have only ever accidentally scratched my phone screen with my keys once, to learn this very valuable lesson.

And of course, the quintessential accessory for any leather or faux leather bags - The Tassel. It has to be just the right size - not too big that it drowns the bag, or too small to go unnoticed. I think I will have a tutorial on making these tassels one day. We should all have one for  (each of) our bags.

All in all, I found making this bag with the given pattern an eye opener. I have learnt a few design and assembling tricks along the way. If you ever decide to try the pattern out for yourselves, please bear something in mind - it is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL that you read the instructions first and also follow them as you go along. I got a bit cocky and skipped a few while I was making mine and got better acquainted with my seam reaper a few times. I could have avoided that very easily, simply by following the instructions but hey ho, you live and learn. So please bear that in mind. The written and picture instructions are simple and straightforward. 

I shall be making a few of these bags to sell soon, so please watch this space.

Anyway, apparently we are short of milk this morning. Can't have t'husband going through the day without his coffee. So i'm off to the shop to get some milk - in my country boots, tweed jacket and oh, my new bag (whoop whoop!)

See you all soon and have a love day ahead.

Fely xxx

PS/ This is not a sponsored post