The Handmade Bag Blog

A Man’s Guide to Buying a Handbag

How to buy a handbag for your wife or girlfriend and get it right! I thought I might re-post this blog post from last year. Updated to take account of the fact that I now have a dinky new website too, so if you can’t get to try out your bag buying skills outlined below […]

It’s Christmas Craft Market Season!

For Crafters and Retailers, This is the Busiest Time of Year You probably didn’t me to tell you that! I’ve been cutting, sewing and packing like a crazy sewing woman over the past few weeks, and now is the point at which I spend much more time on the road travelling to markets to meet […]

Ballymaloe, Burren Fabric and Cat Beds (not necessarily in that order)

It’s a day for the fire As I type, yesterday’s glorious blue skies seem a distant memory with the rain currently sliding down the windows. I’m hugging the radiator in my little studio.  Walking into the lounge, I was confronted by the sight of all three of Bag Making HQ’s animals, Poppy the dog, Coco […]

Prepping the zips

Autumn is here, the nights are drawing in, thoughts turn to Hallowe’en and the C word….. CHRISTMAS!

But not here in bag making HQ, its all about the jam! Just when the August blood red fingertips from picking blackberries seem like a distant memory, I raided the freezer and pulled out 6 kilos of blackberries. I threw them into a pan with some apples (that have been donated from various back gardens […]

My Bag of many colours (to misquote Dolly Parton)

It’s that experimental time of the year again! I have been working on new fabric designs, which you will be the first to hear about, but, in the meantime I have collected a few pairs coloured jeans that have been nagging me from their pile in the corner of the sewing room. They keep saying […]

Great Drying

We’ve Moved!

Well, kind of, not really, actually not very far at all, in fact you couldn’t really call it a move, more of a shimmy.   I’ve actually measured it and its just under 8 metres or about 26 feet in old money.  For four years now I have been running this business out of our […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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