Prototype shopping bag Style# 4214
Continuing my series in experimental production (pt.1, pt.2), I’m working on a new bag, Style #4214 which is made of black rayon velvet -again, hardly a grocery bag. It has a different style number for several reasons. One, it’s a different shell and interfacing pattern. Oh wait, the lining is different too. 4213 has an inside patch pocket. My rant about patch pockets is below but suffice to say the construction of this one, based on the application of doo-dahs is completely different. The costs are different and it requires completely different machines.
At right is a photo of the bag, partially constructed. You have to apply the nail heads before sewing it together (or at least I do, it annoys me when those are applied last). When finished, the design configuration of the nailheads will form the same pattern as the black velvet blouse I posted on Friday. Hopefully this one will be more popular than the leather bag which only one person seemed to like. This velvet bag isn’t even done and I may have already sold it.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate making patch pockets? Probably not, I rarely do them so it’s easy to forget. It’s usually fabrication that is the killer and the lining of the lamb bag (#4213) was beyond obnoxious. It did not want to hold a pressed crease. Now I remember why I prefer to do welt pockets over patch pockets any day. Time wise, I think it’s a draw but I get more predicable results with the reece (welt) pockets. Plus they just look better.
It took awhile applying all of the nail heads by hand but I’m nearly done and expect to finish sewing this one today. It would probably (or maybe not) surprise you to know this one is heavier than the leather bag (#4213).
Testing of #4213
I tested the leather bag all weekend. First I took it to the farmer’s market where all the people I buy from every week said it was great. Truly, what else would they say? I was happy to try it on one vendor who was 5’2″; her height was important. The bag can be carried in three positions. Slung over the shoulder, held in the crook of one’s arm and with one’s arm fully extended along their side. Anyway, on her I could see I could still add another inch or so to the strap length without the bag hitting the ground. I also asked other bag makers what they thought of it. I was surprised that this banter was not welcome. I found that odd if not unprofessional. Or maybe I’m just weird. I have no problem dispassionately discussing products that are in the same genre as my own. It’s not as though mine would compete with theirs based on price points alone.
Next time I’ll mention the considerable machine and shop constraints I had when sewing these bags. There’s a big difference between sewing one-offs and preparing for a potential run of them. At some point I should also give you a run down on the sewing differences which also bears on the costs. It is entirely conceivable that although you use the “same” pattern, the sewing will be different based on the design constraints of the product. Yet another reason to issue different style numbers. I’ll bet you get tired of me saying that.