Friday, July 24, 2009

Tadpole Photo bags

I'm sure I've mentioned my wonderfully talented friend Brooke who takes the most amazing photographs. Oh, like these and these of my lovelies, to show you a few. Well, awhile back, she or I (not sure who's idea it was to begin with) thought up an idea to incorporate her photographs with fun, bright fabrics and make photo bags. Lots of photographers offer photo purses, but Brooke was looking for something a bit different to offer her clientele. Enter me...serial dabbler. I said I would make up a few for us to play around with and try out. It has taken me a month or so (or 2 ) to finally finish putting some samples together. Whew! Hooray! Picture me sitting here typing, much too tired, but thinking of throwing hats and other things in the air and dancing for joy! *sigh*
Here are some shots of them.


Brooke's for work... with her logo and website included.

Brooke's for play/real life... Aren't here kids adorable?

Ellen' this color combination.

Mine.. Hooray!
I had finished these 2 a while back. I did not let me use my own until they were all done.

These three were just done today.

Here is me attempting to get them all in one shot. I know it is a bit wonky and crooked, but I have limited places in doors to hang all of them at one time.

Aren't her photos seriously fantastic? I love them, and tried to make the bags show them off as best I could. You'll note, that the photos I took of the bags, like most of mine, are sadly taken in the late hours of the night, or wee hours of the morn, since that is when things get finished around here. I'm guessing Miss Photographer may shoot a few later on that will make me remove these shots in embarrassment :)

While it was a larger undertaking than expected, I learned a few things:

1) Sewing your own concoctions involves math. While I am appreciative of the college calculus that I took many moons ago, I am more used to using patterns and not adding in my own seam allowances... so this part of sewing caught me a bit off guard. More than one time. And more than 2. Ack.
2) Coming up with fabric choices that I like is easy. Coming up with ones that others would like is a bit harder. I second guessed my choices again and again. It is more accurate to say I fourth and fifth guessed myself. Honestly, the fabric selection for each photo bag was the hardest part. I stuck with fabric from Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line, as well as the lovely chandeliers from Tina Givens' Zazu collection. I added in some polka dots from Joann's, used thrifted fabrics for the interiors, added some vintage buttons, lots of fusible fleece and interfacing, magnetic clasps, washable and printable fabric sheets to print the lovely photos on, and finally, some Scotch Guard to preserve the photographs a bit.
3) Pockets rock - but they take a bit of time. If I ever am bored, I swear I am going to create like 50 pockets to throw on to any purse I make going forward. They really wreck my momentum. Just when I think "Here we go, things are finally cut out and patch worked together!" there is a pocket to sew somewhere. I debated not using them for the samples, but c'mon, we all know how essential they are in a handbag.
4) Each of the bag I made was for a person that I know at last reasonably well. That helped me think through the size and fabrics I chose (though not easily, see #2). Trying to even start to think through how to make these going forward is painful. I mean it. If we decided that the bags work well and are something she would offer, each would be custom made for Brooke's clients. So how do I limit/offer fabric choices? Size choices? What is reasonable payment for my time and blood/sweat/tears? How do so many crafty ladies figure these things out? And why does it seem so daunting? I give big kudos to those self starters out there who have carved out their own niche or business.
I'm happy with them overall and can't wait to use mine and see how it holds up! I plan to deliver these to Brooke's house in the morning...they will just be there waiting for her when she wakes up if all goes according to plan. Kind of like the tote bag amazing would that be?


Brenda said...

Love these bags. I've been wanting to do this. Thanks for the inspiration.

Brooke said...

OOOHHHHHHHHHH!!! the photo-bag fairy was at my doorstep this morning & her 2 adorable red-headed assistants :) THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL (bags & children)... I was actually on my way out the door to a shoot, so I handily packed the accessories I was bringing for the baby I was shooting (hats, blankets etc...) & it worked wonderfully! The baby's mom had a peak as I toted it along to each location as we shot - and commented that she loved it! YEAH - THANKS WONDERFUL FRIEND EM!!! Love you!