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Busy in the studio

Published on July 13, 2011, by in art, fabric, friends, purses.
Bag for Cyndy

Handbag commissioned by Cyndy

It has been quite busy in the studio lately!  I worked hard and long (and I mean really long!) to get a commission done. My friend, Cyndy Kempken, asked me to create a handbag for her with special pockets to meet her needs. The main challenges were using earthtones (not usually my thing) and working with upholstery fabric, rather than quilting weight cottons or silks. Cyndy also wanted me to do something “creative and arty” on the front. It was a tall order, but I finally finished it and delivered it to Cyndy yesterday.

Throughout the process, I shared the bag’s progress with Cyndy. I first did the pattern in some inexpensive cotton fabric. We made adjustments to it and then I started to create it in the final fabric. I found that I had difficulty with the fabric, but with the help of a walking foot, I was able to complete the bag. The front flap is decorated with a hand-painted cord I used to tie up a scarf I made. I knew I needed something to just dress up the bag a bit, and the colors in this cording were perfect for Cyndy’s bag. The strap, which you can’t see very well, is made from the strap of a handbag I purchased at Goodwill for $1! It was perfect, as Cyndy wanted an adjustable strap that would allow her more versatility. I couldn’t have created a more perfect strap if I tried!

Under the front flap of the handbag

Inside fo Cyndy's Bag

design is different than you’d expect. The flap does not go over the opening. Instead it goes over the front. On the flap, there is an iPhone pouch. You can barely see it, but it’s there on the front. Under the flap are two additional pockets. The top one is a zippered pocket for change. It has a gusset at the bottom to hold the weight and bulk of coins. Below that is an elasticized pocket for Cyndy’s keys. The fabric used for these pockets matches that of the interior of the bag.

And the inside has a different fabric with a magnetic snap closure. There are pockets meeting Cyndy’s specific needs. There is a pocket for her cosmetics, another for small jars (like liquid stevia), and finally, one for glasses.

I handed the bag to Cyndy yesterday. She was so excited to finally have it! As soon as I gave it to her, she put it on her shoulder and didn’t take it off! She was going to start using it immediately. I hope she loves it as much as she did yesterday!

More to come soon!

One Response

  1. Kathy

    It turned out gorgeous!! I see why Cyndy went a little gonzo!! It’s exactly as she envisioned it! Excellent work, Fran!


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