Friday, March 30, 2007

Welcome to the Purse Challenge!

I think it will be fun to start a challenge to make purses, totes, or wallets, following a given theme of my choosing.
The lot of entries by you could then be viewed on Flickr (just as Amy Karol hosts the apron challenge,
Tie One On).

This is not a swap, just a challenge to follow a theme and express your creativity. Along the way, I hope we stumble upon some fun inspiration and ideas from one another.

My hope is that you'll reach out of your comfort zone and try to make something out of the box...that you'll stretch your skills or try a new one altogether.
Try applique or embroidery if that's new to you. Try making up your own pattern.
Try using an unusual material. Try a unique shape. Try thinking like a designer or an artist, and thereby challenge yourself to learn and grow.

Any materials are acceptable here--fabric, paper, vinyl, juice boxes, gum wrappers, knitting, crocheting, macrame....
consider unusual closures like knots, vintage buttons, handmade button holes, etc

This site will be a place for links to other bag-oriented websites and blogs, links to tutorials, etc. Feel free to forward any ideas you think I should include here. as well as suggestions for future themes. I will continually update the site.

I have queried a few of my blogging friends, and it has been determined that a good deadline for this would be every two months. I will purposefully end this project on a different month than the apron challenge, so we can all participate in both and not be overwhelmed with too many deadlines.

Sound good? Any questions, just email me at barbian7 (at)

Theme: Okay, so here's our first ever theme: Make a tote or a purse using a tea towel (vintage or new).
owl pouch
Cute pouch using a tea towel design for embellishment, by Dangargyle.

Mandy B Bag
Hip bag by Mandy B Bags

Any pattern may be used (or not), just make a tea towel part of it. Also acceptable: fabric calendars or cloth towels similar to vintage tea towels.

I am aiming to inspire creativity with unusual fabrics and the idea of recycling an item that was originally intended for a different use. In other words, don't just slap two pieces of fabric together and call it a tote--really try to push yourself, please yourself, and submit a little piece of wonderful.

Sure, I'll post whatever you make, but don't you want to aim for the realm of wow?

Due Date: A pic of your bag should be submitted to me before the last day of May, and I will post these June 1.

How to Submit your image: Please email your jpeg image along with a bit of info as to how or why you chose to create this, and include a link to your blog if you write one (and to the actual permalink of your post about your bag, if applicable).
I will not be able to include links to your etsy shop.

If you need inspiration, Rick Rack Ruby has some cute examples made with vintage fabric calendars here and here. And she has an adorable messenger bag here.

or Bella Dia's Big Bag made with kitchen towels.

Box or tote by I Knew That!

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Anonymous Lisa K. at I Knew That said...

Ooh! That sounds like fun. And I definitely appreciate the luxury of two months to complete the challenge.

Count me in!!

March 30, 2007 at 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

I love your bag site. Thanks for having some of my links. I have free patterns available for plastic bag projects.

A website dedicated to recycling & crafting!

March 30, 2007 at 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Courtney said...

Here's one I did back in February--

March 31, 2007 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Sounds like fun! I have been wondering if someone would start up something like this for purses and bags! I did do a teatowel tote, way way back about 15 years ago and I use it to carry my show and tell quilts to and from monthly quilt guild meetings -- but I am up for a challenge to do a new bag with tea towels again...

April 1, 2007 at 8:14 AM  
Anonymous feli said...

Count me in. I just bought a whole heap of new tea towels and vintage ones I found at the thrift store.

I made one a while back too.

April 1, 2007 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger ebony said...

Fun, fun! I could spend all day getting ideas from your links. I look forward to what people come up with.

April 2, 2007 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Domestic Chicky said...

just found your other blog, but count me in!

April 2, 2007 at 4:35 PM  
Anonymous dawn said...

this sounds fantastic. I'm definately going to sew along with your challenges.

April 3, 2007 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Mandelin said...

The day I saw this challenge I went to my nearest thrift store and dropped 15 bucks on material for the project I am so excited.

April 3, 2007 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous brooke said...

I was just sketching out some totes and market bags yesterday. I was waiting to be inspired by fabric-and this is a great idea!

April 4, 2007 at 4:22 PM  
Anonymous tash said...

count me in, i will have to learn to use a sewing maybe, or i might push the boundaries and use clear book covering adhesive plastic along with my t towel...

April 4, 2007 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger Bitterbetty said...

Prety exciting.. I am going to try and bend my brain around it and play!

April 4, 2007 at 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Catrina said...

This will be so fun Barb! Can't wait to sew up a tea towel bag!

April 5, 2007 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

How exciting! I can't wait to rummage around and see what inspires me....Count me in!

April 10, 2007 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger stephanie s said...

what a great idea! count me in too.

April 10, 2007 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Looks fun, I hope to join in :)

April 10, 2007 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger beki said...

Tea towels - right up my alley! They're one of my favorite things to use.
Here are some that I've done:
cocktail bag
orange MS tea towel
more MS tea towel bags

April 10, 2007 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

okay, this is fantastic! i can't wait to play along!

April 10, 2007 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Corrie said...

ohhhh yes count me in too!!!! making bags is one of my hobbies and with a stack of japanese books full of bags and little pouches I can have a reason to use them!!!

can't wait!

April 10, 2007 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger flanthrower said...

ooo..sounds like fun! definitely count me in. i've been really into making and purses and totes lately so this will be a fun twist for me.

April 10, 2007 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Wow, Barb, you got tons of people to sign up. Cool. Since you're giving us till the end of May, I think I can do this. I have a cool vintage calendar tea towel from the year I was born--and I need a new bag for spring.

April 10, 2007 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger LeeAnn said...

This sounds like a lot of fun! Count me in.

April 12, 2007 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Sarah B. B. said...

Just found this today - bag fiend that I am, I'll give it a whirl. (:

April 15, 2007 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger SagePixie said...

I've never made a bag but have been collecting info on hhow to like crazy!

Please add me to the list!

Love and Laughter,

April 18, 2007 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

I've never made a bag!! I have these great tea towels that are too pretty to dry dishes with! Thanks for starting this up...count me in Babeeee!

April 19, 2007 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Billie said...

I'm looking forward to this challenge, my first!

April 19, 2007 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

I'm up to a new challenge, count me in!

April 22, 2007 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Ahava said...

I'm really excited about this challenge. I've been scouring my local thrift stores for a good tea towel to use.

I did want to let you know that there is a problem with the inspiration photos that you posted, though.

April 26, 2007 at 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was looking to make a bag out of upholstery fabric that I found that looks just like the Nine West patterns....I never found what I was looking for but I sure had a great time checking out the purse collection....Wow.

July 17, 2007 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger oregongal said...

I am always going to the thrift store so now I'll have to look for an inspiration.

August 4, 2007 at 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Ana Cristina said...

i like very must the bags, in my blog i have many bagsand another things, with fabrics,i like so must work with patchwork, congratulations for your work. i am sorrie but my ingles is not got, because i am portuguese i on live in island S. Miguel Azores

July 13, 2009 at 11:22 AM  

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