It would be great if I could make a living off this crafting stuff. At the rate I'm going, though, I'll be pulling in about $250 a year. Not exactly enough to make a difference. That being said, I did make a couple of sales this week.
One was the Mondriaan Ikea bag. The buyer requested that longer handles be added. I was going to make them red, like the other handles, but I had used up all that material on the poodle skirt for the Grease costume. I had some of the Mondriaan fabric left, so I made them out of that. One side of the handle was the white, red and green strip, the other side was black and red. Not quite the same, but coordinating and with some punch. I was pleased that the buyer said I should put my name on it. Luckily I had remembered my tag, and even added the blog address and week number. I felt so professional!
The other sale was a duct tape wallet. I was paying for brunch at the diner around the corner and the waitress noticed my hot pink wallet and said "You could sell those. I'd buy one." So I made her a leopard print one with a hot pink lining. She commented that it looked so neat and even, which is good because I have a habit of not dotting all my i's and crossing all my t's when it's for myself. I'll blame it on a background in theater, where things really only have to look good from the audience, not necessarily up close and in full light.
Today's project is the test run for a commission. We're calling it "The Man Clutch" but it's more of a wristlet, since it has a little wrist strap. The bag needs to hold, keys, cards, bulky phone and the detritus that accumulates over the course of a day. He decided on a denim exterior and a sail cloth lining, with card slots and a key clip. This is the one he found online, but it's a bit pricey. And it's not lined. And it has no interior detailing.
We settled on 4.5" x 8" x 2", which is just about the size I need to carry most of my daily detritus. At least when I don't have the kids with me. Because then I need room for snacks, water bottles and whatever plastic flotsam (thank you, Cake Wrecks) they pick up in the course of the day. So I made one for myself out of some lovely tan organic denim that's been rotting away in my stash for about 12 years.
It turned out to be relatively easy to make. I looked at Sew Sweetness' zipper-top bag for a bit of direction on how to attach the lining. No big zipper secrets other than to sew the fabric to the zipper one piece at a time. Since I wanted an exposed zipper, I didn't need to follow her instructions for that step.
It turned out that the hardest part was getting the card slots aligned and even. That waitress was right, it's the details that make things stand out, for better or for worse. It bothers me that the strap isn't centered on the zipper. I'll trim the interior seams more closely so things aren't as poofy in the inside. I'll leave a gap in the lining where it meets the ends of the zipper so it works more smoothly. And I'll let the zipper extend down the sides just a bit more, for easier access. But all in all, I think it turned out quite nicely for a first draft.
UPDATE 9/27/2012: It's holding up nicely. The interior "puffiness" has settled down as I've stuffed it to the gills several times over the last few months. This is now my go-to bag and my shoulders thank me for switching from a cross-body bag. It didn't help that it was a bit bigger, I carried a larger ladies' wallet instead of a duct tape billfold, and I kept it completely filled most of the time. One of these days I should wash it to clean up the handle, but other than that the stains are not showing.