That moment when you unroll a new design of fabric for the first time….
….is pretty scary!
It takes a considerable amount of time to come up with a new fabric design. Last year’s Poppy design was months in the making. This year I knew I wanted a new colour way of this popular design.
So I started with a new innovation for me – a colour atlas. It was sent to me by the company that prints my fabrics, and it has every shade of every colour that they can print listed on it. Each has its own hexadecimal code, so I can tell any graphic designer or printer that I want shade C55A39 (for example) and they will know exactly which rich shade of orange I am talking about. You can cut and paste that 6 digit code and put it into Google and it will show you that shade too. Go on – try it. Just remember to come back here to finish reading my colour related ramblings when you’re done!
I wanted to have another of my bags with a black strap too – until now I’d only had Grey Meadow with a black strap. So I started looking at the soft grey colours as a starting point. And of course I wanted rich reds for the poppies with some cerise pinks. There was a little pop of yellow, so all was going to plan. But I needed another colour for the California poppy in the design.
And then I went to visit my parents in August. They have a beautiful garden, absolutely full of flowers, some of which are really exotic looking, like this agapanthus flower. And when I photographed this flower the penny dropped – I had my colour for the other poppy in the design. I like to think there is a little bit of both my garden (where the original poppies were growing) and my parents’ garden in this design as a result!
The Finished Result
So the week before last I unrolled that new fabric colour way for the first time. There was a sharp intake a breath, then a lengthy exhale as I took in the results of this colour wrangling. I love it. So straightaway I cut out a Fiona Small Messenger, a Clare Large Messenger and an Amy Small Zip Top Handbag, which I have now made up. Fely Medium and Tara Large Zip Top handbags are to follow shortly.
…will be neckbands and fleece neck warmers in this colour way too – I can’t wait to cut and make them as soon as possible.
My web developer Olly has been helping me with another new idea too, one which I hope we’ll be launching very soon. Bundles. By this I mean that it will be possible to buy two things on my website “bundled together”, and at a special price because they are a bundle. The plan is to have a few of these bundles reflecting some favourite bags and matching neckbands, so you can treat yourself or some of your family and friends to these special sets.
I know it is only September, but (shhhhh! whispers…) they will make excellent Christmas gifts!
I’d like to ask for a bit of feedback. Those of you who follow me on social media will know I have been working on a new style of bag. It is a tote, or bucket, bag, which will be worn on the shoulder, not cross body. It has slightly shorter straps than my reversible beach bag, sitting comfortably under the arm when worn on the shoulder. It has an open top, closed by a magnetic button, and two pockets inside, one of which will be a zip pocket. I’m about to make a few of these so I can list them on my website, and I *think* I have a name for it now, but recent denim cutting unearthed a very funky pair of jeans, which yielded these pieces of denim…
Thanks to some input from an Instagram post I have narrowed my choice of outer fabrics for this special tote bag to one of these 2 designs…
But which one do you reckon I should go with?
I’m of the opinion that this bag should be reversible because that embroidery on the denim is really cool, but this means inserting pockets will be an interesting challenge. This might end up with just one, zip pocket and no patch pocket, because I certainly don’t want to cover up that pattern. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what you think!