Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May The Plush Be With You!

I get absolutely ecstatic when people have baby showers, and those people are way into something as nerdy as I am. Necessity gifts are fine, but a stuffed lightsaber lasts forever! *bzzz!*

The "Baby Lightsaber" is made of dove gray broadcloth adorned with sheer black ribbon for the handle, with hand-embroidered texture details. The laser is a snuggably soft pale blue flannel, doubled up for stronger seams as I imagine in time this toy may receive some brutal sessions of playtime haha.

I'd love to sell this in the shop, but I'm not sure if it would offend Mr. George Lucas. I've seen lightsabers, lightsaber knock-offs and "lazer swords" all over Etsy. Anyone know anything about copyright laws with this stuff? If there are, a lot of people apparently don't know about it, and as far as I can tell, Etsy is fine with it.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Curses, Purses!

Sometimes I get the impression that I'm the only one in the world who is incredibly picky about handbags! Is anyone else this way or am I crazy? If so, does it make you hold on to the same too-small, military-issue (similar to this), $15 sling-bag for 5 years? This is my situation.

My in-store shopping experiences only turn up gawdy, ugly, too large, too expensive, bottomless-pit style bags that don't have enough compartments. I need something that's organized enough where if I had a lost tiny item, I could locate it within seconds. I've noticed some women searching for minutes for their cell phone within the bowels of their bags. Bags should not have bowels people! (in my opinion).

To be worth using, a bag has to work 100% for me. If it's too small or too large, it doesn't work. If it doesn't have enough pockets, it doesn't work. If it falls in my way when I'm bending down to grab things, it doesn't work. If I can't find a tiny object within it immediately, it doesn't work.

So far there is no place that I have found to stock this imaginary "perfect" bag that I need to keep my stuff organized exactly how I'd like it. Maybe I don't fit the demographic for purse designers these days, I don't know. But I'd like to solve this, perhaps with a new design of my own, which I'm working on plans for. Here's my ideas so far:

This is the bag style I've made so far, the Purse de Leon. It's sort of a combo cross-body sling + backpack style. Issue: For me, this doesn't have enough compartments or much room to add them. I do like it's flat, out of the way functionality but am not sure about the shape of it for my personal preference.

Then I found this pattern (view D, the largest image, ignore the ugly visor) for a more symmetrical bag shape, in comparison to the Purse de Leon's shape. Issue: This bag only has 2 main pockets + one for a cell phone, and even less room to add more.

I found this "baggallini hugger backpack" at Ebags.com and considered its usefulness. More pockets = good. Issue: The shape of this one is starting to look more backpack-like, which is something I'd like to avoid. For some reason backpack purses always seem to have a pretty dated look, and I hate the top loop.

I like the squarer shape of this one from Elenachiesa's Etsy shop and the pleats on the front pocket are nice, although it only has at least 2 pockets. Issue: This one is too flat. From a side-view, you'd see that you wouldn't be able to fit many items in this bag.

Remember "belly bags"? Now they're calling them "hip bags". This one from Nomadum's Etsy shop is kind of interesting. Issue: This would not work with all outfits, especially in the winter. It wouldn't fit over any longer coat, and you'd have to rummage under your coat to access it.

My Personal Bag Requirements:
• Must contain at least 5 variously sized compartments (exterior compartment for a pen + sunglasses, one for cell phone + ipod and other small things, an interior pocket for personal items, a main interior pocket for wallet and other larger items, and finally another outer pocket for project notes, notebooks, business cards, etc.)
• A 6th compartment for odd items that aren't used a lot but come in handy now and then would be nice too: small scissors, measuring tape, sewing repair kit, etc.
• Must be cross-body style. Shoulder and hand bags are not functional for me, they fall in my way. I often carry a lot of other things and my bag should be 100% hands-free.

*Observation* : I've noticed that the more compartments you have for specific groupings of items, the less beat up those items tend to get. If everything is in one bottomless pit of a bag, the more beat up they will become as they collide against everything else in your bag.

Other Issues:
With all the listed stipulations in mind, I'd like to design a bag that does not need to change with the season or the event necessarily. This is the greatest challenge. It needs to be simple, in an all year round color, and a color and style that I could wear with almost any outfit, excluding ballgown attire of course. Mostly casual. But I don't like changing my bag monthly to fit the season - this is excessive to me.

Should it be more combo sling + backpack style? Or more messenger baggish, but cuter?

So yes indeed. This is a great task. I wonder how many other women are purse weirdos (who find it difficult to sacrifice function for fashion) like myself? And if they'd be interested in the solution that's forming in my mind?

I'd love to hear any feedback you may have!