Oh friends, I have been shopping...shopping for FABRIC. Yummy yummy fabric. You see, I've come to a realization: when you're making bags (or sewing anything, I suppose), it really is all about the fabric. Seeing how it behaves (is it thick and unruly when folded or does it glide right under the presser foot like a dream?), and picking a lining that "sings" with the outer fabric.
And then, once I've picked my fabric, I must decide on the right look and shape for each particular bag. I swear to you, some of the bags I have been making lately speak to me (and, unbelievably, it's not because I've been making so many bags that I'm losing my mind.) What I mean is that I look at each one as I'm making it, hold it up to the side of my body (you know, like it's a bag), and if I pay attention, it tells me if I'm on the right track...if the bag is showing the fabric in its best possible light. If it's wrong, I simply turn it inside out and start trimming away to create a new shape, almost like I'm whittling away at it, and then sew it up into a new configuration. In this process, I've learned that I prefer to eyeball things rather than measure. And I've also learned that I don't like to make the same bag twice.
So yes, so far I have found fabrics from vintage skirts in thrift stores, from discount fabric shops, and from Indian saris. But last week, I couldn't resist also buying some new pretty upholstery-weight fabrics from Fabricworm. They're just so luxurious! And vibrant! Oh, I had such a hard time choosing, and yes, I wound up going with just about every color of the rainbow. And so, going in rainbow spectrum, here's a pic of each fabric, all of which are destined to become HeyAllday Handmade bags.
But what's interesting--and what I've only just recently come to understand--is that once I've made one bag one way with a particular fabric, I'm not interested in making it that way ever again. Why pretend that I'm a factory? Each piece is meant to enchant me while I make it, and hopefully, enchant others too when they see it. And for me, there is nothing quite as enchanting as transforming a yard of glorious fabric.