The Handmade Bag Blog


Making Handbag Fabric out of a Hedgerow

A New Fabric Design in the Making After the success of my Meadow Collection of fabrics, I felt that I should try to develop another fabric print that is exclusive to Sallyann’s Handmade Bags. This process has its origins in the walk I take almost every morning with Poppy, our Springer/Pointer dog. Each morning I […]


A Man’s Guide to Buying a Handbag

How to buy a handbag for your wife or girlfriend and get it right! It’s that time of year again. You can try to ignore Christmas, but once they’re playing carols on repeat in the supermarket and there are reindeer in every shop window, the annual task of buying a gift for the leading lady […]


How the Tara Bag got its name….

Most of my more recent bags have got names, and a number of people have asked me how they end up with these seemingly random choices: Fiona, Fely, Carolina and now Tara. Why did the small cross body bag not get a name and is known in my studio as the X Bag? And the […]


Meadow Fabric’s New Colours

So I’m back on the ferry, heading over to Hampton Court Palace for Kirstie Allsopp’s The Handmade Fair. So much has happened since I was travelling over last year. One of the biggest differences for me is that this year I am travelling over to England with stock boxes full of bags made from my […]

Cat & Mouse Zip Top Tote

The Tale of a Cat & Mouse Zip Top Tote

Once upon a time, there was a Cat & Mouse Zip Top Tote Bag. It lived happily with its owner in County Clare, and for the most part, behaved impeccably. One day, the bag’s owner decided to go on a fantastic trip to the United States, to visit New York City. It’s a known fact […]

The Handmade Fair site

Back to the Sewing Machine

Well! Wasn’t The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall fun? Driving into such an amazing location was stunning.  Ragley Hall itself is gorgeous, standing on a hill overlooking glorious rolling parkland and a lake, beyond which was the marquee village that formed the Handmade Fair. And then the set up. It was warm work, moving all […]


Off to The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall

It’s been a very busy few weeks, as I increase my stock levels in preparation for attending The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire in England. Trying to get the balance right of which bags to take in what fabric and which bag style has been challenging.  Just at the point when I was feeling a […]

Meadow Messenger Bag

How the bags get made

I was fortunate recently to be visited by a photographer, Julia Dunin, who was tasked by My Creative Edge to photograph the creative process that results in my bags. Julia made it an enjoyable process, and I’m delighted with the photographs. I thought I’d share the results in this blog, but first I’ve also added in […]

Naked zips

Zip it up!

Sometimes I have the chance to make little coin purses. These deceptively simple little purses are made from the recycled jeans zips and little pieces of my bag fabrics. But how do I make them? Well, here’s a step by step guide.  Parental Guidance Statement: Gratuitous video footage of a man putting jeans on a […]

Zips for purses drying in the sunshine

Divided by a Common Language

I have to start with this picture of zips from jeans drying in the sunshine yesterday.  This is the start of the purse making process.  The zips are cut from the jeans, washed and then stripped out of their denim.  The zips are divided by size, then I cut the fabrics to match up with […]

Sallyann Handmade Bags for My Creative Edge by Julia Dunin Photography-50

A quick (and I mean quick) video

I’m often asked how long it takes to make a bag, so here you go – all 32 seconds of it! I can only dream of this being the reality, but at least it gives you a basic idea! The end result of this making frenzy, a Mixed Messenger Bag, will be on sale at […]

Misty morning

Back behind the Sewing Machine

And breathe…! It’s been a very busy few days since I last posted a blog.  Last time I wrote I was about to head off to Showcase Ireland 2017. It was  a huge experience for me and the bags.  We headed off to the RDS in Dublin’s leafy Ballsbridge on Saturday 21st January to set […]

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