A week or so ago I received an enquiry about custom making a Suits You! Tote Bag. I am always happy to try and make custom items, so discussions began between myself and a very sweet customer called Charlotte.
Having seen the Suits You! Tote Bag I had already made, Charlotte was happy with the style and background fabric. The only changes she wanted to make were a zip along the top instead of a magnetic clasp and an inside pocket.
Having established the basic remit, I emailed Charlotte photos of possible neck ties and also shirt fabrics for the lining. I knew she wanted brightly coloured ties but you also need to consider what colours and patterns will look right together. Charlotte chose the ties and lining I would have suggested, so we were obviously on the same wavelength.
I needed to purchase a brown zip for the handbag and remembered that the local hospice shop in town sold haberdashery items. I managed to find a new brown zip in there which was the right weight for the wear and tear of a handbag. It was a bit too long but that didn't matter as I just cut it to length when sewing it in.
Having assembled all of the materials, I spent an afternoon making the handbag. I was actually snowed in all day and couldn't get to work, so it worked out quite well time wise. I don't always use a pattern when making handbags, I just make them up as I go along, adding bits, cutting bits off. That is how I made the original Suits You! Tote Bag, so trying to make another the same shape and size was an interesting task. I did a lot of measuring, a bit of guessing, a bit of cutting and a fair bit of hoping!
In the end, the handbag turned out almost the same size as the original. I deliberately made the handles slightly longer so that Charlotte could carry her bag on her shoulder if she wished. I think the combination of ties she chose worked really well too. Thankfully Charlotte agreed ....
"My lovely bag just arrived and it's amazing! Thank you so much! Charlotte"