Jotting down ideas for a new design is the fun bit-it’s exciting and inspiring. But editing the ideas into one cohesive project is the tricky bit. I don’t like to overdo it on detail which means I usually end up with 5 designs as opposed to just one. The challenging part is imagining shape, form and depth from a flat piece of fabric. The measurements are a crucial part of the pattern making as this determines the aesthetics of the finished look.
As for most things in my life, I like to follow rules when I’m making up. I like to firstly make my pattern and then make a mock-up of the bag. At this stage I can alter the measurements if something doesn’t quite look right. Then I go ahead and choose the fabrics and cut out all the pieces. It’s not uncommon for things to change at the cutting stage as this is when you get a real sense of shape.
All my bags are made from the inside out, so quite a lot of work has to be done before I can see how it looks, this is why it’s important to get it right at the cutting stage. Turning the bag or ‘bagging out’ is the coolest part by far-I love it, this is where I really fall I love with the bag and just want to get it finished show I can show it off to you all.
Designing a bag with a person in mind (which is something I have been working on lately) is difficult. The bag has to retain the essence of Butterfly Tree yet reflect that person for who they are and what they would use the bag for. I enjoy the fact that I really have to learn something about their character and taste (and hope I interpret it correctly!) I have to listen carefully to their preference in details, pockets, strap length/width, internal pockets etc. When it comes to the lining “surprise me!” is a popular line-no pressure then!