A Return to Bag Making

While recent day temperatures here in Central Pennsylvania have been in the 50’s – accompanied by cloudy skies (blaming that on the surrounding mountains), the promise of brighter days keeps me going. Spring has certainly sprung and it’s a delight to see all the flowers and colors – daffodils, tulips, full-flowered forsythia bushes, and much more showing their pretty selves. Oh, and the flowering trees I swoon over during my walks and drive-by’s!

Much as I am grateful for how face masks brought my handmade business to a new level in 2020 (see my “Happy for 2021” post), I will be phasing them out shortly. Sales for my masks have slowed and this gives me hope that 2021 will pave the way back to normal days without needing them. It’s been a delight to eat in restaurants again and make plans to dine out with friends, as gathering places slowly and safely open back up. Moving on from masks has returned me to my passion for making bags, bags, bags! Working with glorious floral prints has been such a joy and creating new designs has given me a sense of renewal. I’ve also incorporated new tools and materials and more recently, conquered my fear of zippers!

Let me share with you some cross body bags I finished last week. So proud they’re zippered! Yes, geeking out a bit here, but I’m sure fellow sewists know this feeling. I avoided zippers for years – not wanting to be bothered with the extra steps…but now I’m hooked! As for these flowery prints, they are by Rifle Paper Company. I’m drawn to them all the time – they capture the true nature of the flowers, pods, fruits, bugs in each fabric print. Seeing them makes me smile, and I hope those who wear and use my bags feel their happy vibe like I do.

Bag making has always been a fulfilling undertaking. With any art form, as each step is taken – from design – then making – then the creation takes form…..when it’s finished, you can see, touch and feel what it is, how it functions, and dream of what it will become when it goes out into the world. Each item I ship to a customer, I send a happy dream of great function and enjoyment with the item. Corny? Sentimental? Or just funny? It’s OK to laugh! “It’s just a bag,” you might say – but my heart goes into everything I make. Making art and making handmade is all about that, you know? And I applaud all the artists and makers who have provided me inspiration to be on this path. Maybe you too can start your own path? There will be lots of learning, fear, mistakes, judgement, trial and error along the way, but if you put YOU into it and stay the path, you’ll come up with something really special, guaranteed.

OK, enough of that. Wishing all a very Happy Spring!

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