Posts Tagged ‘handbags’

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.

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Sensational Stripes!

September 27, 2009

My Facebook status today read, “…going on a Fall Fashion Field trip!”

Guess where I ended up?

Brown and white and stripes all over!

Brown and white and stripes all over!

That’s right! The land of Brown and White Stripes, none other than the brand-spanking (and sparkling!) new Henri Bendel, at Northpark Center. Oh Dallas, what a fashion accessory fantasy land!

At first, I was surprised by the smallish space. From the outside, this Bendel looked like a closet compared to the dreamy and luscious 5th Avenue store in New York. Quickly looping the store, I felt a little thrill to be walking through the glimmering baubles and buttery handbags, but I kept wondering if this would be enough to satisfy style hunters in the land of bigger and BIGGER.

But a closer look was allllllll it took to realize that yes, this HB has got enough of the perfect signature pieces with all of the notable details (rivets, studs, charms!) to satisfy just about everyone–gift-givers to gossip girls!

Oh, and just in case you might the former, they’ve created a Perfect 10 list (and I can vouch for most of these…LOVE!):

Henri Bendel's Perfect 10 - What We Want for Fall!

Henri Bendel's Perfect 10 - What We Want for Fall!

P.S. I found out that they still have several of the giveaway totes left. Spend $125, get a cute canvas shopping bag (for more shiny things, of course!).

The more you shop, the more you can shop!

The more you shop, the more you can shop!