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Nov 26, 2013

My Sewist's Calling Card

Nov 26, 2013
Pin It My MIL saw my new Mabel bag and asked "Did you make that?"  My response started out as a simple "Yes.", but I elaborated a bit and a pent-up realization came blubbering out.  Because we all blubber about our latest projects, right?
I was narrating the fact that I had been carrying around another bag I made for quite sometime and needed a change for the fall.  But I'd sewn quite a few of my own bags.. and I felt as if I couldn't visit a chain store to replace it.  I was compelled to make another.  How could I possibly substitute a store-bought bag for the one I poured my heart into, one that I finally installed a sturdy magnetic clasp in and turned right side out myself?

The beginning of an addiction.  Sure.  But it's more than that...

The first bag had become a bit of a trademark.  I used an Echino print that was noticeable by others when I was out and about.
If a person didn't sew, they'd comment "That's a cool bag!  Where did you get it?"

If a person sewed, they'd comment "That's cool fabric! Where did you get it?"

If a person was an admitted fabric-aholic, sewing blogger, flickr/instragram sewist or somehow involved in the online sewing community, they'd comment "I looove that Echino print!  I've got some at home!"

I was spotted across the parking lot at Wal-mart this summer by @sasikirana, honing in on the Echino.  Funny - we had a good laugh about how she spotted me from across the lot - I.D.-ing the fabric before the person.

I know when I have traveled to sewing weekends or Market, I am always sure to travel handmade, looking for people doing the same in the airports.  Why not do this all the time?
If I saw you in Target carrying a bag with a Melody Miller or AMH print, am I gonna say hi?  Heck yes!  You just might be my new best friend!  And I'll invite you to the next guild meeting....

These bags are my new calling card.  Since I can't run errands in a quilt.... well, I guess I could make that leap to some quilted apparel..... never say never?.... (I once swore I would never be caught dead in capri pants, which are a daily for me in the summertime, and suddenly I find myself wearing knee high boots and leggings in my mid-30s when I haven't worn leggings since I was 10.)

I digress....

So, these bags are my new calling card.

Saying to the world, if you recognize this, let's meet and talk giddy about DS's new line....





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17 comments:

  1. The bags are awesome! A girl can't have too many cool bags. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I so wish someone would ask me where my bag (I've only sewn one so far) comes from or whether I've made it myself :-) But I just don't have that kind of friends to ask such questions...
    Anyway, just wanted to thank you for the post, it made me smile :)

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  3. I love the look of the bags you made, but I like bags that zip closed as well as having a flap. Do you have any pattern suggestions.

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    1. Hi KAtie- I haven't myself made a bag with a zip and a flap yet... But I think there may be some like that in Sara Lawson's Big-City Bags book....

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  4. Love it! We had a guild tote swap last month and I LOVE my bag. Now I just need to make one in a smaller size for when I don't have to carry around as much. :) I have some of that Echino fabric too! ;)

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  5. I am so there with you sister!

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  6. So cute story! One time, I was at our Giant supermarket , pushing the cart to the door, and I saw a bag that was so distinctive, that I made it, on a lady's arm. She was putting her groceries into the car. I stopped and asked her if she got that from a fellow teacher (who bought it from me to give it to a co-worker teacher who just had a baby. It is a bag that works double : a purse and a diaper bag.) Sure enough, it was her. She was really USING a bag that I made! I was so happy.
    I imagine you feel so happy when ladies stop to ask you where you got your gorgeous bag!
    Keep making them and inspiring me!!

    Susie

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    Replies
    1. OMGsh I had a similar experience just recently. When I came out front from a dental appt a talkative elderly lady was sitting by my friend showing her all the pockets in her bag. I did a double take & realized it was a bag I had made for a gal at church. I was so astonished to see it that I walked up smiling saying "Hey! That's one of my bags!" The poor lady looked horrified an pulled it as far from me as she could. I realized she thought I was trying to claim it as mine & take it from her. Poor thing. I don't ever think she believed me that I had made it. Lol. But it was nice when my friend said "I just knew that was one of your bags!" It's nice to be recognized for our good work.

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  7. So true! I made a sweet little handbag and used it all the time, it looked fancy cause I'd ripped the handle and clasp from a knock off Coach bag that I'd recently decommissioned and people would always remark "what a cute bag" and then I got to gush about making it. That bag fell to pieces and I feel a bit bummed using my store bought bag cause while it's a neat bag with holograms on the side when people ask where I got it I don't get to smile and reply "I made it."

    Great now I'll be making a new bag this weekend :)

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  8. I get the most comments about my purses too :-). When I used to make my own clothes, I got even more!

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  9. When I'm not diaper-baggin' it I always carry my handmade tote bag from MayChappel - I've gotten lots of compliments, but no new friends yet ;) But then again, I don't get out much.
    Guess what cute green & blue quilted zippy bag I'm taking to FL! A Genxquilter original ;) Love!

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  10. Nothin like making purses...sew bad for the stores...I just can't buy one when I have beautiful fabrics to make them!

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  11. I love the bags!! My AMH figure eight scarf is my calling card. :)

    Working at the bookstore (running the arts and crafts section!), I have the opportunity to chat with people who are toting their handmade purses and wallets. Sometimes I get a weird look and a sheepish, "my aunt made it" - sometimes I get a friend who stops by to chat every week! No joke a lady pulled out a Tula Pink credit card wallet the other day and wouldn't fess up to having made it... it was clearly handmade!

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  12. This was a super fun post to read...I completely get it!

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  13. Love the bags! It's so hard to find the perfect purse, so why not make a bunch!

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  14. I love the idea of a bag as a calling card!!! And you are becoming quite the bag lady, I hadn't realized how many bags you've made - and if you ever tire of your AMH feathers bag, I promise I'd give it a good home :) Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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  15. Great post! I swore of anything g that wasn't flat recently because it just frustrates me with all the directions. But I just changed my mind and I'm on a hunt for the perfect purse and pattern......

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