Thursday, April 19, 2012

Size Matters

Was designing purses and bags a self-preservation method because of my addiction?

I have a huge collection of bags.  Even though I don't change the purse I carry daily (I tend to haul it around until it's filthy), I love to have a new bag to switch to for a trip or event.  I tend to have multiple bags of "stuff" when I travel and have often been called the Bag Lady.

As a designer, I'm always looking to make the 'perfect' bag.  What I've found is that different bags serve different purposes, so you have to have a collection.  Great use of logic, right?

What purse is good for a trip?

Travel Purse, Adventure Bag, and Journey Purse
My choice for a cruise, Universal Studios, and a trip to Europe.

The Travel Purse is ideal for a cruise or resort where you might need to carry your passport, your identification, a boarding pass, and a couple of dollars.  A cell phone will fit in the main compartment.

The Adventure Bag is perfect for an amusement park visit.  No wallet is needed, there are card slots in the flap and a zipper pocket for cash.  A cell phone or camera can fit in the main compartment and there's an outside pocket for tickets or a map.  The long adjustable strap lets you carry it cross-body, or messenger style for security.

The Journey Purse is a larger version of the Adventure Bag, with 6-card slots and a zipper pocket under the flap.  It's bigger so it can fit a cellphone and a camera and some sunscreen.  Customers asked for a bigger version because as we all know, you can always find more to carry in your purse!

So what purse do I carry everyday?

Joey Purse, Journey Purse, Sheila Purse, Mimi Messenger Bag
Small to Large - Everyday purses are the Joey, Journey, Sheila, and Mimi.

My first great everyday purse was the Joey Purse - lots of pockets with cell-phone handy in the outside pocket.  I figured I'd make a small bag and carry less! Guess what!  I stuffed that thing to withing an inch of its life!  The Joey Purse is preferred by my teenage daughters and their friends.

So, I made the same purse a little bigger - Joey's mama is the Sheila Purse.  It is still my favorite and holds everything with room to spare.  I can even easily carry my Kindle!  It has 2 pockets under the flap, 2 end pockets, and a pocket with penholder inside.  Recently, I added an adjustable strap tutorial just for this purse (but it works for any other).

I also like to carry the Mimi Messenger Bag (especially in the groovy Jay MacCarroll print shown in the photo above).  It's like the Sheila but vertical.  It has a wider (2") adjustable strap which is amazing comfortable with similar pockets to the Sheila.  But it also has an inside zipper pocket which is SUPER simple to make!

But what if I need a larger purse?

Mimi Messenger Bag, Zippy Tote, Lizzie Messenger Bag
Medium-Large Mimi, Large Zippy, and Super-Duper Lizzie

Occasionally, I need an even larger bag.  When I'm with my family on a trip, I know I'll be carrying maps & other bulky stuff. 

The Zippy Tote was the first purse I designed and I used to carry it all the time!  It's too large - things just tend to gather in it!  So I like to carry it once in a while.  It has 2 outside and 2 inside hidden pockets and closes with a zipper so it's the perfect pocketbook for a road trip.

The Lizzie Purse is the mother of all the pocketbooks and is actually a perfect laptop bag.  I've also used it on souvenir shopping trips to hold my purchases without having to carry an extra bag.  It has a comfortable, wide adjustable strap to handle the heavy loads. It's also ideal for a diaper bag (makes a stylish "man" bag).

Don't forget other types of bags...

A bag for every reason -
Zippy Wristlet, Charmer Tote,
Jamie Bag, and Reversible
Bookbag Tote
There are bags in my design line that were requested by family, friends, and customers.

The Zippy Wristlet is a favorite of my younger relatives!  It's perfect for a makeup bag, party purse, or quick pickup!  It has 2 hidden inside pockets and with the pattern it can be made with gathers or pleats.

The Charmer Tote is especially popular for those working women who need to carry an extra pair of shoes or makeup for a late date! It's roomy but stylish and has 2 hidden inside and 2 hidden outside pockets.  It closes with a big button and loop!

The Jamie Bag was designed at the insistence of my friend!  She wanted me to make a more slouchy, hobo purse.  This is my take - it has one strap and closes with a big tab.  It also has 2 hidden inside and 2 hidden outside HAVE to have those extra pockets, right?

The Reversible Bookbag Tote is an old standard!  Super easy to make, it has 2 hidden inside and 2 hidden outside pockets and is sized to hold a notebook and textbook.  I love to take this bag in my car on road trips to hold my charging cords, camera case with extra batteries, medications, and some candy in the pockets!

But there's one more:

Charmer Tote, Reversible Bookbag Tote, Crop Tote
The heights of convenience - Charmer holds shoes & such, Bookbag holds  maps & folders, Crop holds  tons of big stuff.

One of the hobbies I really enjoy is scrapbooking.  I've loaded up lots of my totes with supplies but my friends urged me to come up with a practical tote to lug to crops.

Enter the Crop Tote.  It has the hidden inside and outside pockets, but they're longer (for scissors and stickers).  It's nice and tall, able to handle a big stack of 12x12" paper, paper protectors, a paper cutter.  And it has a zipper for security!  The straps are long enough to throw over your shoulder (so your hands are free for all the other scrapbooking stuff - after all, who takes only one bag?).  One of my friends loves it for a beach bag - towel, change of clothes, etc all fit!

What bags do you have in your collection?


  1. As many as possible!! I love bags! (my crochet projects often get lost in a previous bag!)

    1. I love it! I have "lost" projects, too.