Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aunt Mary's handbag

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.


stitching under oaks said...

it's fun making something for someone else and getting to use fabrics that are fun but just not you. I love the loopy stitching you put on the bag. Christina it is wonderful. I'm sure you'll be getting many more comissioned pieces. Your work is wonderful.

Tammie said...

you make me laugh.

and you make me proud.