Benjamin has a lovely aunt (quite possibly my favorite of our combined aunts) who loves food photography as much as I do and cooking more than I do. We love comparing notes and sharing ideas. Anyway, last winter when Aunt Mary saw my black-and-tan Elinor bag, she wanted one of her own, and this fall she commissioned me to make a custom pink and brown Elinor bag for her.
I finished and mailed her bag last October, and I snapped this photo of her modeling it when we saw her and her husband a few weeks before Christmas. She simply loves it which makes me oh, so glad.
Aunt Mary was very specific that she wanted a purse made with pale pink and chocolate brown polka-dots and stripes. I thought it would be a piece of cake to find pink and brown polka-dotted fabric since both polka-dots and pink and brown are all the rage right now. I was wrong. After searching unsuccessfully in three fabric stores, I gave up and looked on Etsy for the perfect fabric. And sure enough I found it. (It's Michael Miller's dumb dots design, in case any of you wanted to know.)
Once I found the pink-and-brown polka-dot fabric, making the bag was a breeze. I loved adding the careful details that make custom work so special: pretty top stitching, perfect sized pockets to fit the things she likes to carry, a coordinating flower pin, curly-written care instructions...
As much as I love the detail work, I think my favorite aspect of custom orders is having my tastes and opinions expanded. I think I've mentioned before that I don't really like polka-dots even though Martha Stewart assures me that I should be in love with them. I would also tend to find the candy pink palette a little over the top. However, as I talked with Aunt Mary, her enthusiasm was contagious. And while I still wouldn't choose this combination for myself, I actually enjoyed using over the top pink and brown polka-dotted fabric to create a very pretty perfect bag for her. It's very rewarding, really.