Archive for February, 2010

A Design Dream Come True!

February 4, 2010

Wondering where I’ve been? I know, I know. Not only is it not so much a brand new year anymore…it’s already February!

Over the last month, I’ve had the pleasure and amazing opportunity of working with leather craftsman, Arthur Porter. He is the founder and creator of Dallas Designing Dreams, a non-profit artists collective in Dallas, Texas where established and aspiring artists of all ages come to learn to create, craft and market unique, handcrafted fashion accessories. Here are a couple of examples of pieces that Arthur creates:

Beautiful handcrafted leather bag from Dallas Designing Dreams

Dallas Designing Dreams leather clutches.

Since 2006, Arthur has dedicated his time, talent and resources to help others transform their artistic dreams into tangible creations through programs such as Young Entrepreneurs, a program that empowers youth with marketable skills and strengthens academic performance, and New Start Apprenticeships that help facilitate the learning of a skilled leather crafting trade for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed.

So not only does Arthur teach the beautiful craft of leather work, he also teaches vital workplace skills.

Over the last month, Arthur has helped me design and create an amazing bag in his studio at Southside on Lamar, one of my favorite places in the whole world!

I’m so proud of this creation that I just had to share! Check out my progress:

Starting with magazine tears and initial ideas, we created a pattern of the basic pieces that would become the body of the bag, and then cut those pieces out of a full cowhide.

We stained and glued a lining to the inside of the pieces and stitched the large pocket to the back panel of the bag.

Glued and then stitched the bottom/sides to the back panel.

Did a lot of edge coating to give the raw edges a nice finish.

A few design-on-the-fly decisions were made on the front of the bag!

Here's Arthur Porter helping me make some vital design decisions!

Before stitching the front, we clipped it together to work on additional construciton ideas.

Added a buckle to the front panel.

Added a zipper!

Punched holes on the top edge for lacing (yes, this bag has LOTS of design details...better to learn the whole process, right?!).

Working hard...lacing the edges!

Stitched and punched and grommeted the front strap closure.

Cut out the adjustable strap and attached it with brass hardware.

We also made a smaller leather pouch to go inside the bag!

Voila!! My brand new, custom handcrafted, designer handbag!!

If you’ve ever had a desire to design and create your own accessories or leather products, I can’t recommend Arthur Porter’s Dallas Designing Dreams enough! Get contact information here, and get ready to design your own dreams–and make them come true!

Dallas Designing Dreams is continuously looking for partnerships to help keep their programs alive and thriving. Please contact the studio if you’re interested in discussing a worthwhile partnership. And check out the Designing Dreams storefront at the studio in the Artist Quarter at Southside on Lamar! You’ll find the most amazing creations from clutch bags to guitar straps to belts to chaps!

Arthur Porter's Dallas Designing Dreams studio and storefront.