Type of item: Accessory
Style: Geeky, Hipster, Classic, Traditional, Preppy
Black Cotton Upholstery Exterior, Black Microsuede Upholstery Lining, Handmade Polymer Clay Beaded Pulls and Silver Metal Key Rings for 2 Interior Zippered Pockets.
What was your inspiration?
THINKING WITH MY FINGERS: Most of my projects begin with a question. In this case, the question was "how to add texture and function to a basic black laptop tote?" I answered the question by thinking with my fingers.
I know you and I enjoy shopping for fabric, and part of auditioning fabrics is using your fingers to glide over the surface. I imagine the fabric already constructed: how will it "feel" as a pocket, or a carrying strap, is it firm enough to handle a zipper or require a stabilizer?
Most of the time I unroll a bolt, freeing several yards of fabric, seeing how it drapes, analyzing its weight, durability, and even answering construction questions like--"can I press this fabric successfully when I work with it?"
What are you most proud of?
My client in London, England asked for a basic black monogrammed laptop tote. I'm so pleased to offer her a durable zippered bag constructed of a flat black coarse weave cotton for the exterior and the surprize of a buttery soft black suede lining with zippered pockets featuring black/white, and turquoise handmade polymer clay beaded zipper pulls.
The silver metal ring finger pull with a string of beads attached makes zipping and unzipping a breeze. I removed (snipped off) the little zipper key that came with the zipper, and inserted the metal ring in its place. I was inspired by vintage cabinet finger pulls from the 60s and earlier? Do you remember those?
In the photos, I included polymer beads, and a bracelet I made featuring overlay thin slices of translucent + white, and translucent + black to form spiral canes inispired by Donna Kato's The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques--a fabulous book for all, even beginners like me.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
Step up your game--consider dressing up your solid color fabric totes with a bit of jewelry--making the zipper pull a statement of fashion and function. Remember: even a little black dress always looks nice with a bit of jewelry.