I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
Hey, are you sick of sewing bloggers going on about their projects for the BurdaStyle Book that they can talk about (vaguely), but they can't share with you? Because I'm about to join them! (Sorry 'bout that.) I, too, am contributing a design variation to the book. Is it a dress? A coat? No, friends. It is . . . a BAG.
This is possibly as surprising to you as it is to me. You see, I never make bags. I also care not a fig about them, usually opting for an old canvas tote as my daily bag (blogged a bit here). But that's okay! I've been asked to contribute a bag, and contribute it I shall!
The project started like this: the Burda folks sent me line drawings for two designs: a dress and a bag. They asked me to come up with two design variations for each, and (gulp) sketch them. Upon viewing the sketches, they would decide which of my variations would be included in the book. I, of course, spent all my time thinking about dress designs - 50s and early 60s-inspired, of course. I couldn't imagine they would really have me do a bag! (Oh, the hubris.) My bag designs were a bit of an afterthought, I confess. I eagerly waited to hear which of my two dresses they would have me make. (Hubris. Gets you every time.)
Well, to make a long story short . . . they choose a bag. Hey, that's cool! It's been an interesting journey nonetheless. My outer fabric and the thread were sent to me by sponsoring companies, and the rest of the notions have been left up to me. So I'll confess that I've spent weeks staring confusedly at purse handles of all things. There are so many different types! I've been to Pacific Trim on at least five different occasions to look at the handles, but left empty-handed each time. But with my deadline looming next Tuesday, I am forced to make a decision. Tomorrow I will march back into Pacific Trim, and I won't leave until I have some handles, dammit! (A note on the deadline: I'm lucky that my office is a block and a half from the BurdaStyle office, so no mailing in the project for me! I plan to sashay in at the last minute and bestow my bag upon them. Okay, not really. I expect to beat the deadline by a whole day!)
The nice thing about bags is that they don't take too long to make and there's no fitting required. I did, however, make a muslin just to get the lay of the land, so to speak. So I feel confident about finishing up the bag this weekend, as long as I get a handle on the handle situation (heh).
I can't tell you much about the design and all that (blah, blah, I know) but I can tell you that it has a vintage flair and that it was inspired by the book A Guide to Elegance. It's not a dress, but I hope you will like it just the same.