Have you ever noticed how much floor space is allocated to ladies hand bags in department stores? Obviously women must buy a lot of them. Why do we need so many bags? Bags are both a practical device for carrying items and a decorative accessory. Most of us have several bags for different purposes and all of us have an ideal bag. Have you ever found your ideal bag in one of those retail stores or are you still searching? You might consider making your own.
Bags are a very personal item. You could be a minimalist who only needs a credit card and a key in a tiny pouch to survive. On the other hand, you might be the always prepared type who carries enough supplies to survive an earthquake (a water bottle, rations, extra clothing etc etc). You need the heavy duty bag model. If you crave organization then you probably yearn for more pockets. You might be a craftsperson who needs to tote projects with you. In that case, you likely need a bag that allows you to cram bulky items into the bag while retaining the ability to find small items that fall down into the interior of the bag. Good luck finding a bag with that magical power!
|Fun purses made from fabric strips|
|handwoven fabric dyed in the piece|
Bags are a great practical project for the fiber artist. You can knit them, felt them, weave them, sew them or fashion them with glue. You can make them out of just about any material new or recycled. You can find loads of patterns in books or on line or you can just improvise. Even if your sewing skills are limited you can still make a simple bag. Maybe that is why guilds often have a bag challenge or exchange.
|2011 ANWG conference guild booth|
|Simple draw string bag in overshot|
|Embrodery on Turkish Shoulder Bag|
If you want to create something different consider starting with the straps or a unique closure and make the body of the bag to complement them. Or take an ordinary shape and add surface embellishment to make it extraordinary.
Even if you are not attending The Retreat consider making a bag for your next project. It could be practical, an exquisite accessory or just plain whimsical. You might just love it so much you throw all your other bags away.