Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Making Vintage Handbags

I am a sucker for almost any book that talks about making handbags. I was hoping that this book would talk about vintage construction techniques... like handling horse hair interfacing or closures prevelant in previous years. None of these issues were addressed however this is a great book of vintage shapes from the 1920's, 30's, 40's and 50's.

I needed something that used a lot of buttons for the ASG annual meeting. We had a challenge to use a bag of buttons in a project. The buttons were given to us at last year's meeting and, Friday afternoon, this book arrived in the mail and inspired me to use my buttons in a bag. I know that I had a whole year to select and complete a project using the buttons but what would be the fun in that?

Here is a picture of the shiny brass buttons I received, for the challlenge ,with my helper.

I removed the shanks, mounted the buttons on a styrofoam board, spray painted them with primer then sprayed them with copper paint. I did learn that if you get spray paint on styrofoam the styrofoam tends to shrink up and I ended up with a piece of styrofoam with a bunch of button shaped mountains on it. I don't think I will use styrofoam as a background for spray painting again.

The bag I chose to reproduce was Grace from th 1940's. The supplies list and cutting instructions are very well done.

Here is Grace as I interpreted the design:

The fabric was from one of the wool sweaters I picked up in Canada and felted. The leaf was created from gray Ultra Suede, fused to the wool and stitched down using copper thread. The buttons were applied to the leaf using Glitter Glue. The handle and lining are more of the same gray Ultra Suede . If you look real closely you will see that I twisted the handle when finishing up the bag.

This handbag is an excellent size for a day out... not too big, not too small. It held most of my bits and pieces but I did not ask it to hold my Nintendo DS or a book, both of which I tend to carry when I am out on my own.


mamalife said...

Ooooohhhh.... did that make you SOOOOO mad about the handle? I HATE it when I do dumb things like that when I sew! Very creative and cute all the same!

Laura Bucci said...

Hi Alice, thanks for stopping by my blog. What a great looking bag this is. It came out really well.

Kim said...

I've just started sewing and am particularly interested in making bags. You've really inspired me, I love that bag! :)

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