Friday, July 9, 2010

Are the words "handmade" and "sophisticated" an oxymoron?

Poor neglected blog!
I'll have to make a point of stopping in more often.

Tonight I have been searching for a purse pattern so I can make a friend a bag for her birthday.
The odd fact here is that when you go to a department store and buy a bag, it's usually leather, and it's usually plain black or plain brown.
Why then, when bags are sewn from a pattern, are they so often wild prints with that not-in-a-good-way handmade look?

I don't want a cutesie bag (though, to be honest, I am using a fabric with beagles all over it).
I don't want soft sides, but I want reinforced details as found on the leather bags I usually carry.
I don't want quilt blocks on my tote, or faux fur, or a teeny tiny paper sack of a bag.

There are a lot of indie designers out there with great patterns, but they're sometimes hard to find.
Purse Patterns (dot com) has 1100 ideas to browse through.

I think my best options for a sophisticated take on handmade might be The Cosmo Bag

or the Classic Messenger Bag

Hmmm....maybe a yoga bag would make a fun gift!

Though Carol's Executive Tote is seemingly more of a simplistic style that I'm trying to get away from, there is something about this design that I find quite pleasing, and I think it would work really well with the fabric I have chosen

Another option is to sacrifice a favorite bag and make a pattern from it, which I may do as well.
I will post my results when I finish the bag.