Driving past the St. Louis Arch one day, I noticed how much it resembles a purse handle. I was on the way to the airport with my husband and children to spend Christmas with family back east. While ...
Driving past the St. Louis Arch one day, I noticed how much it resembles a purse handle. I was on the way to the airport with my husband and children to spend Christmas with family back east. While the rest of the family slept in over the holidays, I woke up early, made a pot of coffee and jotted down my ideas in my sketchbook for a handmade bag business. I tinkered around with the logo, the St. Louis Arch my inspiration, and the name Hold It Right There came to me and stuck.
This was about three years ago. The idea has simmered on the back burner until about spring of 2011 when I signed up for a reupholstery class. Sitting behind an old, black tailoring machine, learning to sew welting, I remembered how much I LOVE this craft. I pulled my own sewing machine out of my closet and began sewing again. I started making purses, pillows and diaper bags as gifts.
Making things with my hands is second nature. In my bag designs, I see DNA from both my parents, from the inspiration to the design to the construction. I grew up in a very DIY environment. During my childhood, my engineer father built his own airplane in the basement of our house. And, then, when it got too big, he built a hangar in the backyard to house it. My artist mom spent her spare time writing poetry, painting, sketching my five siblings and me and sewing.
In designing and sewing bags, I see strands of many experiences as well. In my lifelong passion for cooking and baking, the perseverance I've gained tweaking and perfecting recipes applies to fiddling with designs until they feel "just right". My experience in graphic design finds new relevance in designing purses. Tinkering with beading and furniture refinishing the last few years, I've learned to incorporate some of the processes from these pursuits, blending them into a new composite.
Mostly, of course, I sew. I learned to sew as a seventh grader in Home Economics class. I am sure I would have given up had my mom not encouraged me, helped me when I was completely frustrated with a sewing project, and taught me many tricks and tips, especially in fabric layout. (She is meticulous in matching prints; all her plaids chevron perfectly!) I felt thrilled to wear clothes I sewed, and my mom generously shared her sewing machine, her knowledge and mostly, her patience, with me.
Years later, as a new teacher in Northern Virginia, hearing about a winter storm that could (and did!) close school for a week, I hurriedly bought a sewing machine to cope with the prospect of being home bound. Drinking far too much coffee, I sewed into the wee hours while the snow piled up outside. Stores sold out of shovels; skirts accumulated in my apartment.
It's this same sewing machine I pull out most afternoons when I turn my dining room into a studio for a couple of hours. Designing and creating handbags is to me what Fahrvergnügen is to Volkswagen owners. It's a wonderful way to ramble through an afternoon.
Make a splash with a completely unique purse!
This listing is for one PDF e-pattern and instructions to create the Coconut Grove Womens' Purse. Instructions are detailed, tutorial-style and contain full-color photos.
The purse features a center pleat, flirty knotted tie shoulder strap and pom pom fringe. A magnetic snap closure secures the bag shut. The purse is fully lined and includes two pockets with spaces for two pens.
The Coconut Grove purse recalls a joyful time with my family. We traveled from our deciduous midwestern domicile to Miami for my brother's wedding at a tropical botanical garden. There, the sun ignited the colors of everything it struck. Leaves gleamed glossy, deep green. Shadows stood cool, and dark beside flamboyant pinks and oranges. It is this riot of color and light that inspires this bag design, as well as the fun I had in Miami. I delighted in visiting my treasured family and reconnecting with old friends. This trip also took my children for their first swims in the ocean. My oldest son brought home a natural sponge he found on the beach. My daughter delighted in a coconut she picked off the sand. I like to think this is a bag to fill with Love and Joy and Wonder.
With the exception of mass production, you may sell the finished bags you create from my pattern. Please note the purse pattern is designed by Hold it Right There Bags in the item description. The Coconut Grove pattern and instructions may only be purchased from me. Distribution of pattern and/or instructions is prohibited.