Monday, July 9, 2012

A Handbag for Spirit!

I spent all of yesterday (Sunday) making a bag to help a young, blind, injured and beaten-up horse named Spirit; you can catch her story on if you don't already know the details.  Anyway, I wanted to make a bag that I can sell and donate 100% of the proceeds to the NPO that has Spirit in their care.  I had posted a picture of the 'raw materials' that I would be using last week sometime, and yesterday I dedicated the day to getting the bag done and ready to offer to the public.
I thought it would be cool to take photos and take you through all of the steps for making Spirit's bag.  The first picture is basically the 'raw materials' that i would be choosing from.  I had already chosen the black shorts to be the base, or bones, of the bag, and the white with black cloth napkin for inner lining.
The second picture shows the inner lining attached
to the inside of the shorts aka bag.  I love the weight and touch of fading that the black and white cotton napkin offers to the whole package, along with its soft feel. I knew I would be adding interior pockets to the bag, thus having to cover up some of the lining.  If not for wanting more pockets I would have been happy for it to look just like this...simple and neat.
Next I decided to put the bottom on the bag.  I used a salmony-pink and white checkerboard cotton placemat.  This placemat has just the right color of pink and a nice weight and thickness for the bottom, pretty as well as durable. I also chose to sew the bottom onto the bag (I had already split the middle of the shorts and reconstructed them so that they resembled a skirt instead of shorts.) in an inset fashion so that the edges of the bag and the bottom 'rolled' together, allowing the bag to 'sit' flat when put down.
Before I could change my mind about putting pockets on the inside (since I so love he black and white lining and hate covering it up) I went ahead and devised a couple of pockets with the salmony-pink and white colors.  The first pocket I made was from a pair of baby girl's seersucker gingham- checked  'panties'.  I sewed the little leg openings together to close the bottom of the pocket, and used the waist as the top of the pocket.  The elastic in the waistband should work to hold items in the pocket, at least to some extent.  I would be happy to add a piece of velcro to the top of this pocket if it were requested by the buyer.
The other inside pocket was made from a pair of our special salmony-pink with white polka dots (big dots) in a soft but sturdy terry cloth.  I closed the leg openings to use as the bottom of the bag, and then I sewed up the middle of the bag so that it splits into two pockets, with mild elastic tops.  Each side also has a small outside pocket (like a back pocket) for stashing the little things.  I made sure that even with the added pockets there was still plenty of the black and white lining to see (yes, I am enamored!).
 Probably the most difficult part of designing this bag...the horsey part!  I had an adorable little girls' cotton knit skirt to work with...white with the salmony-pink (a bunch) or black (a few) horses doing various things, from trotting, cantering, rearing, etc.  It also was topped with a wide white knit fold-over waistband....i ultimately decided to cut the waistband off of the skirt, as it just didn't look like it belonged.  I cut the skirt in half at the side seams, and at first pinned the pieces to the front and back of the bag.  Well, it really didn't look right, and when I pinned a strap on to see how it would look when being carried, I knew that it was just not right that way.  I re-pinned the two skirt pieces to each side of the bag, with the center of the piece lining up with the side seam of the bag.  I pinned on the strap and went back to the mirror to see how it
looked....big improvement....really cute.  This also gave me a place to
add two outside pockets, one front and one back, in between the skirt
pieces. So everything finally fit together like it should.  I had managed to put this oh-so-cute puzzle together, for the most part.

Of course, the bag would not be complete without some type of closure at the top.  I took a black scrap of fabric and made the two pieces for the two parts of  a magnetic snap closure.  I attached the snaps to the fabric pieces, and then sewed them onto the bag so that it could be snapped shut instead of gaping open while being carried or while sitting around.
I had a hard time deciding on the handle/strap for this bag.  Ultimately I went with the leather-look woven belt with buckle, as it was soft and infinitely adjustable.  The daintier belts I had to choose from were simply too short to be anything but a handle, and I know most people these days want a bag they can sling over their shoulder or over their head and shoulder and just go.  Once I got the belt attached to the bag and had a look in the mirror, I realized that it didn't detract from the bag in any way.....yay!!!
Lastly, I sewed in the GoodKharmaReThreads label and whew!!! I had completed the Bag Full of Spirit for Spirit!
As I have posted elsewhere, I am asking $50.00 for this bag, and 100% of the price will go to the Beauty's Haven Farm and Horse Rescue as a donation toward the ongoing care of sweet little Spirit....
If you or someone you know are interested in purchasing the bag, just message me on facebook or google+ or e-mail me at  Would make a great gift....thanks & peace 2 U!

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