Hand Crafted Bags and Purses
Handmade Bags by Melted Rachel
For as long as I've been making textiles I've been making bags too. It's a little bit odd because I'm a rucksack-sort of gal. I need a huge bag so that I can lug around all my notes and books and whatever craft project I'm working on next.
But I love cute bags! I love pink and frills and sequins.
This is a collection of some of my favourite bags, the early bags I made and how I've resolved my rucksack vs. pink filly purse issue.
Check out my one of a kind handmade bags at Rachel's Melted Fabrics
Doodles for Early Bags - A few of my first ideas c.2003!
Some of the first Bags I Made
These are fairly easy to make because all your pattern pieces are rectangles.
Little Squares - These pieces are really simple bags to make. The fun comes from decorating them!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pendant Pocket Purse
Keep your valuables safe with this design!
This is an early bag of mine- made around 2003.
Learn how to make it from "Making Handbags and Purses" by Carol Parks featured below.
This bag is a really cute idea for keeping all your valuables safe. You have a cover that slips over the inner pouch and you can only get to the pouch by sliding the cover up the strings- not easy for a pickpocket to do without you noticing.
The best part of this bag design (for me at least!) is that technically you have too bags to cover with beautiful decoration.
Here I've chosen an autumn leaves theme. In Carol Parks's book a rabbit and turnip theme is use.
Making Handbags & Purses - 50 Patterns & Designs from Casual to Corporate.
I own this book- it's where I got the idea for the pouch purse from.
There are some really cute and unusual purse designs in here- a great place to start if you want to work from a pattern.
Squares and rectangles were easy but I wanted to start producing more-organic circular bags. These were some of my first attempts.
Winter Roses - My favourite circular bag.
I love how the red fabric melted in this piece to reveal the white underneath.
Big enough for a sketchbook but feminine enough for sequins.
This is my bag. I needed a bag big enough to cart around all the junk I like to take everywhere- my A4 diary, a couple of paperbacks, my camera and all the usual keys, wallets etc- but i also wanted something pretty too.
This bag has taken a lot of punishment over the years but is still going strong! I believe I made it in 2006.
I made it from 2 rectangles of melted fabrics and one long strip to make the width. The zips at the closure were salvaged from an old pair of jeans and I made simple straps out of 2 tubes of sturdy material
A little about me
Rachel of Melted Fabrics.
My name's Rachel Field and I'm a textiles artist from the UK.
I make wall hangings, bags, purses and figurines from layered, embroidered and melted textiles.
As you can see from the image opposite I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of woman but this doesn't stop me from making some of the girliest bags and purses ever.
Some of My Favourites - Frills, bobbles and beads abound in these beauties!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Making Beautiful Beads - Glass, metal, polymer clay and fiber.
This is another of the craft books that I like to flick through.
I use this book as inspiration to make beads to decorate my bags and also for inspiration. Some of my bags are based on beads featured in this book.
Bobble Bag Doodles - As you can see, I'm fond of bobbly bits on bags.
Green Bobble Bag - One of the first purses I made with a purse frame.
Decent purse frames are hard to get hold of but they look so adorable on highly decorated jewel-like purses.
I made the handle for this bag from handmade bobbly beads- clay beads with glued strings of seed (or rocaille) beads.
The Bead Maker - Recipes for creating hand-crafted beads.
This is the book I used to create the beads for the Green Bobble Bag handle.
Mitochondria Purse - Just enough room for a ten dollar note!
This has to be one of my most bizarre bags. It's based on an image of a mitochondria cell.
I started by making a wire frame and then I covered the frame with my textiles piece, made a lining and then covered the whole thing with soldered organza, beads and sequins.
Handbags - The Power of the Purse
This is a great book packed with odd little purses- some of the handbags featured are ancient.
If I ever run out of ideas (which isn't very often) I just have a quick flick through this book.
The Power of the Purse is a must for any bag obsessed people out there!
Blue Iris - Can you guess what I used for the structure of this bag?
The handle is made from a fabulous necklace a friend found for me at a charity shop!