The start of the bag making process is the jeans. I get the majority of these from charity shops across Clare and Limerick, but over Easter my parents arrived with over 70 pairs of jeans they had gleaned from various jumble sales in their village. That’s a lot of washing! So when the sun came out, which had been a rarity in County Clare until the middle of March, I took advantage. Load after load went through the washing machine, until the line was full and the denim was snapping happily in the breeze.
And of course, whilst the sun was out, it was a great chance to go for a walk at White Strand, near Miltown Malbay. The dog loves the freedom to charge around and sniff, generally do dog stuff. And walking along the headland is fantastic to clear the head. I love taking pictures on these walks, and occasionally I manage to catch a shot of a wave breaking, so I’m sharing that here, totally self-indulgently.
So once the jeans are dried, they have to be processed. They are split hem to hem, then split to remove the zip. The colours are sorted – the range of shades of denim is a spectrum all on its own. Forget 50 Shades of Grey. I have a Hundred Shades of Indigo. The denim is cut into the basic shapes needed for each type of bag, and all ironed. When I have the outer fabrics cut, I go to the cut denim to choose the best matching denim for each bag. It is an enjoyable task.
The bags then need to be made. All activity takes place under the close supervision and scrutiny of my Quality Controller, Coco. Those of you who know me or have read earlier blog posts will know that Coco is one of the two cats in our family. She is a large, cocoa coloured, very fluffy, very bossy feline who spends a lot of time checking up on what I am doing.
In this picture you can see I managed to catch a snap of her sleeping on the job. She was flat out and didn’t move even while I was turning the bag the right way out and stitching on the straps, the final parts of the bag-making process. Fear not – she later inspected the bag and it was up to her high standards and was passed for sale.
I managed to get a few extra box bags made too. These bags are proving popular with people, and are being put to a myriad of uses. The more traditional ones are as wash bags, for shaving kits or make up. But they are also being used to keep sewing or crochet bits and pieces together.
As we get into the Summer, do remember if you own a Sallyann bag to try to take a picture of it out and about on your travels. I love to see where the bags get to, and the best pictures will be posted up on my gallery on this site.
Finally, in a bit of market news, I will be at Chapel Lane Market on 9th & 16th April, then I will be making a return to the Milk Market in Limerick on 23rd April, before heading back to Chapel Lane Market on 30th April. Further ahead I will be at the Vandeleur Walled Gardens again on May 1st, and on May 22nd I shall be taking a road trip to Dun Laoghaire in Dublin, to a Craft Fair in the Marine Hotel. It’ll be exciting to be out on the road with the bags! Hopefully I will see some of you there. If not, you can always get your bag fix by shopping online at this site, or at my Etsy shop.
Enjoy the sunshine while it’s there….Share This: