Posts Tagged ‘Designer Handbags’

Handbags You Can Knockoff

Handbags 2

Nancy Zieman and I have seen so many versions of Designer Handbags (our first handbag embroidery collection and book), we decided to create a second series, Designer Knockoffs, Handbags 2.  This collection focuses on trendy grommets, beautiful and functional pockets plus in-the-hoop techniques. I have to admit, I love these new bags!  Let me show you my favorite details.

The grommets are highlighted by subtle embroidered details while precisely stitched cut lines are hidden underneath the grommets. This combo of function and beauty guarantees success for all embroiderers and produces extremely professional results.

I think many of you would agree that the best part of making your own bag is customizing it to your needs. Nancy shares her coveted technique for making interior pockets and I love how my personal items – cellphone, nail file, pen and more – each have a special storage spot, nestled under a monogrammed label! Love that! Interior Pocket

If you’re a fan of exterior pockets, then you’ll enjoy a roomy exterior pocket like the Scallop lace pocket – created in the hoop.  It looks complicated but I’ve added some key elements to make the continuous embroidery easy to duplicate. I share two continuous embroidery techniques in the book – applicable to any embroidery machine. Scalloped Pocket

In addition to the book, Nancy invited me to teach the whole process on Sewing with Nancy. You can watch online here. Of course, what you see on television doesn’t reveal all of the prep that goes into taping or writing or book. And it always seems to start with my suitcase practically imploding in Nancy’s office. Truth be told, there’s nothing glamorous about this career. Even the airline employees shake their head when see how many bags I check for such short journeys!  Packed suitcase

But once it’s all sorted out in the conference room, we make a list and then divide and conquer. Sorting

Nancy handles the script and tricky sewing details and I man the embroidery machine.Embroidery machine

After a bit, okay – HOURS of stitching, we’re ready to pack the van to head to the studio. Van

And before you know it, we’re sitting on the set of Sewing with Nancy. Sewing with Nancy

And now Designer Knockoffs, Handbags 2, is available for you to watch and make your own bags. I can’t wait to see the fabrics and grommets you select.  Before you get started, tell me what your favorite bag is: the red diamond bag, teal scallop pocket purse, the green starburst bag or the small clutch.  Two lucky winners will get an autographed copy of Designer Knockoffs, Handbags 2.  Bags-1

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell me which of the bags above is your favorite; the red diamond, teal scallop pocket purse, green starburst or the small clutch. Two lucky winners will get an autographed copy of Designer Knockoffs, Handbags 2! Good luck.

The winner of last week’s assignment:

Thanks for the help with my holiday linen update! Leave a question below that you’d like me to answer. I’ll answer one random question and award an open flat stocking you can personalize this holiday season. Good luck!

The winner is Gail M.

Q: When will “Sewing with Nancy” broadcast the Handbags 2 Designer Knockoffs? It was advertised in the latest issue of your magazine that it was to be broadcast on November 24th. It was not on her show last Saturday up here in Michigan.

A: Gail you can watch the show now online, just click here. And congratulations on winning the flat stocking!

No need to limit yourself to cotton!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Part two of the Designer Handbags series on Sewing with Nancy is on the website. Watch how easy it is to finish the bag after the embroidery is complete.

As you watch, you’ll notice we used cotton quilting fabrics for the bags. But you’re not limited to those fabrics. In fact, almost any fabric will work since it’s the interfacing that gives the bag body.

Recently I raided the home décor aisle in my local fabric store and scored two awesome fabrics. I selected an animal print canvas along with a brick-patterned polyester. The results are two totally different looks. The animal print is great for everyday use; I used headliner fabric for the interfacing and really enjoy the soft feel of this bag. I didn’t bother making a tab closure but opted to add a ribbon-embellished zipper. You’ll see the how-to steps for this bag in the January/February 2012 issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery (shipping now).

The more formal brick-patterned polyester fabric called for a more serious approach. So I used Peltex craft interfacing and ultra-suede scraps for the tab, corner trims and strap connectors. The result? A proper bag appropriate for business meetings and ventures into the city. I’ve been stopped twice by strangers asking where I bought this bag. Wow! What a compliment!

I am having so much fun making handbags. I love the professional finish of each one and yet they are all so different. I love how just a bit of fabric is needed for each project and I get to use scraps for some of the elements. I love how the bags can be any size I need and any style that I envision. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do with these ideas.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell me what Nancy Zieman uses to press the seams on her Designer Handbag and you could win a copy of Designer Handbags. Does she use a clapper, a seam roll, a wooden dowel or a pressing ham? Leave your comment and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Designer Handbags.

Designer Handbags by Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

If you’ve been browsing the pages of Designs Nov/Dec. 2011 issue, you’re probably wondering what happened to Platinum Embroidery’s ad on page 81. It wasn’t a typo, Platinum Embroidery wanted their ad displayed in that manner. Tell me what was different about their ad and you could win a $35.00 gift certificate to Designs’ website. Hope you win!

And the winner is… Rachel D.  

“The ad is upside down. It’s an awesome way to grab your attention!” – Rachel D.

Congratulations Rachel!

Just a Couple of Bag Ladies

I’m afraid to count. I feel like Imelda Marcos but instead of shoes, it’s bags. Handbags. In the past five months, I’ve made over 20 handbags. Wow – it would be embarrassing if it wasn’t necessary. Every time I made a bag, I learned something very valuable that I applied to the next bag. Eventually, I got the hang of it.

But I wasn’t the only one. My good friend, Nancy Zieman, also made bags (I’ll bet she’s up to 20+ too!) just for this project, Designer Handbags. We decided to tackle this subject together because she has a line of handbag templates with Clover and I developed a ‘functional embroidery’ technique that not only looks good but works too. It sounded like the perfect marriage. And it was – we had a blast and hope you will too.

In Designer Handbags, you’ll find a 30-minute video illustrating all of the steps – embroidery, stabilizer, foundation, hardware, pressing – everything you need to make your own Designer Handbag.

There are some very clever – or smart – techniques that simplify complicated sewing tasks with an embroidery machine. What pleases me the most is every corner, strap connector and tab are exact duplicates of each other. There is no ‘bad side’ to your Designer Handbag because the digital files do all the work. You will be so impressed with your professional results when you create your own handbag with Designer Handbags.

Of course, Nancy brings her years of sewing expertise to making bags. I learned so much from her! And you will too. Nancy enjoyed using her purse templates as a starting point for Designer Handbags while I just started with rectangles of fabric. So if you have a favorite purse pattern that you’d like to add smart embroidered accents to – you can. Truly, the choice is yours.

I have made cutesy bags, quilty bags, sophisticated bags, go-to bags, gadget bags, and travel bags (with a zipper sleeve!). But I’m probably not stopping because each one is sooooo different from the one before it. I’ve been feeling like a hoarder because I haven’t been able to share the handbags until the product is out. And now it’s out! Last weekend, Nancy and I showed a few of our bags with quilt shop owners at Quilt Market in Houston. Here we are – caught in the act of hauling our precious cargo.

Finally, I get to show them off this weekend in Orlando at the Stitching Sisters event at Sewing Studio. Click here if you want to join us.

Here’s your assignment this week:

I can’t wait to see what you do with Designer Handbags and I’m hoping you’ll share photos on Facebook in a few weeks but for now, tell me what size bag you prefer. Do you tote a jumbo bag, a mid-size or petite purse? Tell us what you’re carrying now and you could win Designer Handbags.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

I would really like to know how many of you prefer books or ebooks when it comes to embroidery/sewing/quilting titles. So tell me your preference and you’ll be in the drawing for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from All About Blanks.

And the winner is…. (drum roll please!)
“Your quilt is quite beautiful and I am sure your niece loves it!  I prefer books b/c I like to riffle through the pages which is hard to do on an e-book…just a little old fashioned, lol”