it’s the pockets that make the handbag

Don’t you think?  Frankly, if a bag has no pockets, you may as well sling your belongings into an old pillow case and hoick that over your shoulder, ’cause that’s how useful a bag without pockets is.  Plunging your hand down into the dark, cluttered depths, rummaging about in a completely ineffectual manner that cries “Don’t mind me!  I’m just a bit ditzy and clumsy” to those who are patiently waiting for you to produce the keys so that they can unload your bursting box of veggies from their shoulder into your car boot – ahem!

The other thing that just brings a bag down – those ridiculous little shoulder straps we’ve been putting up with for the last decade.  Blech!  I never liked them – felt like I was wodging my bag into my armpit, and it only kept falling off, like my bra strap.  I think I have funny shoulders.  Maybe they’re unusually slopey.  I avoided them for years – short strapped bags that is – until my all time favourite handbag – Italian, with a lovely long strap – bought with my very first full time pay packet from David Jones in Queen Street, was nicked from the car in my driveway whilst I carried my sleeping toddler into the house (still quietly seething).  Give me a long strap to put over your head and across your chest any day.  That bag is going nowhere and meanwhile, you’re free to move your shoulders, arms, hands … armpits … in the manner in which we women regularly need to.

Yep, so last week … Friday? … yeah, Friday, when I was glum and unmotivated having farewelled Julian at the airport late the night before, I cast a flat eye across my trolley.  Decided no.  Then reached to the floor to pick up a piece of leftover blanket.  Hmm … handbag potential?  Lined?  Quilted?  Appliqued?  Crocheted closure?  Long strap?  Multiple pockets?  Huge potential for happiness?  I think so!

It was hard work – fighting through the glums and the unmotivateds – but I did – spurred on by Julian calling from Dubai to see how things were and he’d READ MY BLOG.  He was chuffed to hear he’d pointed the turtles in the right direction and wanted to know how my trolley was progressing.  I said it was slow, that I was working on a handbag instead.  Oh cool, he said, post about it so I can see.  So there you go Jules – it’s your fault I’ve finished my latest quilty/patchworked project.  ha! ha!

And today when I took my perfectly-lovely, perfectly-sized handbag out for it’s first proper run – she worked like a dream.  I don’t even have to LOOK in my bag, I just slide my hand in, remember if required object is front or back, and find it instantly.  Pockets – made by laying required object under fabric and measuring how much is needed.  Doubling that (with a fold).  Sewing it up right sides together, leaving a wee gap on the side for turning out.  Turning out.  Pressing.  Stitching shut the gap.  Pinning it into position.  Slip stitching it onto handbag lining.

Now, my requirements are … keys, lippy, phone, pencil/pen, ventolin/spectacles.  But if I was to make YOU a bag – you could tell me what YOUR requirements were and I could make YOU a bag with a long strap and pockets and you too would be able to wave your arms around and find what you needed to in a flash.

‘Cause I have this lovely, freshly washed, thrifted blanket and it’s just waiting to be turned into a perfectly lovely handbag, along with several embroidered felt appliques … mmmhmmm!

9 thoughts on “it’s the pockets that make the handbag

  1. I’ve laughed hard because I feel you just described my bag. I am always on the hunt for the perfect bag…several bags later I am still looking. I love the design of yours and the little dolls appliques are so darling!

    1. See! Another kindred spirit :-) The things we put up with from the fashion industry, huh! Thank you for your kind words – the applique was the most enjoyable part of it .

  2. aww… Lily! only you could make such a cheerful little bag!
    The girls on the front seem like best buddies and they are so so sweet!

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