A request for an evening bag had me struggling. Of all the things I’ve made (including a couple of everyday bags) surely this would be simple. “All the ones you can buy look cheap” I was told, which worried me. How can I make something that looks, if not expensive, at least not cheap?  The answer, it seems,  is all in the hardware.

I ended up making two bags.

The first, to me, looked very home made. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just not what I was after.

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I stepped my game up with the second, adding a chunky metal zip, brass coloured fixings, and leather tabs, resulting in a wholly more professional looking handbag.

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Now this is not your typical evening bag, but after racking my brains to come up with something suitable for a person whose taste does not veer towards decorative, I think this might be the ticket.

The process of designing and making this bag reminded me that while I often panic at a first request, it’s much easier to come up with something I’m happy with if I don’t force the idea, but give myself a bit of time to think it through. I forget that I have often spent hours working up sketches of items I make for myself. It also reminded me of how tricky it is to topstitch leather neatly…

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Pretty neat

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Not all so neat…

To make the denim bag I used the Bag’n-telle blog zippered clutch purse tutorial, thanks to Don Morin for the great content he posts there.

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