The Handmade Bag Blog

Imbolc is here – and that’s a Good Thing!

According to Wikipedia, “Imbolc, or Imbolg, also called Brigid’s Day, is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of Spring. It is held on 1 February, or about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.” Here in West Clare it […]

Handmade in West Clare

Beat the January Blues with Mood Enhancing Handbags Designed and Made in West Clare!

Mood Enhancing Handbags! As the bright lights and festive atmosphere of December become a distant memory, and we all face into a grey and dreary January, it’s time to look at a small thing that can make a big difference to your mood and wardrobe.  And it doesn’t involve dieting or Dry January! Most women […]


I Did Promise a Little Bit of News.. …and that bit of news is a new design I’m experimenting with. I have been asked SO many times when I am going to do a backpack, and finally I have a prototype up and made that I am willing to share with you. At the moment […]

Last Posting Dates are Fast Approaching!

And in fact one is today, Wednesday 12 December! If you are planning on treating yourself or a loved one to one of my bags for Christmas, the last posting dates are rapidly approaching. Today, 12 December, is the last date for parcels to go to Europe, excluding the United Kingdom. I’m saying nothing about […]

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 […]


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 […]


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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