The fashion industry has evolved so much in the last few years. Now there are so many independent handbag designers sitting at their sewing machines pumping out the most gorgeous clutches & totes we've ever seen.
Myself included (haha!)
There so many different types of indie designer bags to choose from nowadays. You have your pick of zipper clutches, fold overs, roll ups, small, medium, large, leather, fabric, shoulder strap, no strap, large totes, small totes, EVERYTHING!! With so many choices I'd like to ease some confusion & share some tips on how to select a quality, long lasting handmade bag. This will also serve to shed a bit of light on what goes on inside the heads of independent handbag designers like myself.
1. SEAMS & CONSTRUCTION
Independent handbag designers don't play when it comes to construction. The most important thing about buying a good handmade clutch or tote is that the seams MUST be in tact or obviously the entire thing will fall apart eventually. It might seem like a given but we don't want all of your goodies falling out of your bag! There must be enough seam allowance for the stitches to hold as well. Plus they must be strong, the right tension, & the right length/fairly uniform in length.
Up close look of top stitching. Outside construction. (Massara Clutch)
What makes this bag unique? Is it the design, shape or the type of fabric used? One thing to take into consideration when buying a handmade bag is that each one is going to have it's own slight uniqueness. For instance, the finishing stitches might be wider or narrower in some places depending on thickness of the materials, or the shape might be slightly different. This doesn't affect the overall construction & fabulousness. It just shows you that no two bags are the same & that every one that's made is uniquely made for you.
Now for the fun part! Handmade bags come in a variety of prints, colours & materials types like cotton, silk brocade, leather, faux leather, & fur, to name a few. This is where you can really go crazy with picking something really unique to make a statement. When I shop for fabric, apart from leaving with way more than I came in for, I like to go for prints & textures that stand out to me. While choosing fabrics I am keeping in mind that whatever I buy has to be appropriate for the type of bag I'm going to make. This means that I wouldn't buy fabric that I consider flimsy because I want my customers to not only have something that is beautiful, but something that is also going to last them.