Handbag designing consultant in Zwicky Riedgarten, just outside of Zurich

Consultant-Parent-Wife with too much time on her hands (sometimes)

Finished a project. Teenager in his room. Husband in front of his PC. What to do? 
Easy! My favorite pastime is to create stuff, specifically handbags – which no woman can have too many of – so out with the stuff! Let the ideas come!

This is my machine. Swiss Bernina. Two of them bought by my grandmother to her and my mother in 1989 and then one got handed down to me. Repaired in 2021 following heavy pandemic use. Wonderful!

(Yes, there is also a 1917 Singer in the background, “Model 15”. That one was my Italian husband’s paternal grandmother’s, a gift given to her at her wedding and probably used for earning a few lire, even if that wasn’t her job.)

This is my place. Zwicky was the old seamstress quarters of Zurich, back in the old days. Was renovated and built again as a residential area between 2016-2020 and now hosts thousands of singletons, couples and young families who don’t mind the 10 minute walk and 5 minute train ride to the city.

If you didn’t know, making bags out of Switzerland is hard. There are so many good and inventive makers of petty ware in Germany (and elsewhere) and we pay fees and customs on our online purchases. I’m so envious of you guys in the EU.

These are my bags, my darlings. If you like one, tell me.

(read at bottom)

Small pouch bags

or, “marsupio” as we say in Italian. They are very versatile:
  • can be carried on the waist, on one shoulder or across the upper body,
  • can close with either one or two swiveling hooks or a belt strap;
  • zippers can be matched or chosen for contrast, as can the cloth or artificial leather parts;
  • an in inner cloth and pockets inside and outside are optional;
  • the final touch can be labels, patches or why not something hanging down from the zipper or one of the metal parts.
My cloths in store are these and many others. The paper cloth at the top and to the left is white on the other side and the skull artificial leather also comes in a bronze version.
There is a lady version (top and left), which I call Ylva, and a male one (bottom and right), that we can call Bag for Guys.

Linda Bag

I’ve done a few of these. Large, practical. They turn out really well when made out of oilskin canvas and a matching canvas inside. The strap can be designed and adjusted for length. I’ll try next to combine large old copper D-rings and clasps with a purple-brown thin leather handle, and see how that goes.  A magnet  closes off the bag on the top of the inside. Possible additions include accessories and perhaps a pocket.
For you heavy users, pick a waterproof  artificial leather and the bag will never break. Ask Linda, the ideator and co-creator of my first Linda bag.
If using a light material, consider making it with a filler inlay between the cloths, like I did for Christina, the white one.
Cloths and straps for this may have to be ordered.

Goldie

Also called Emilia, or simply Magnifique! She is my darling, and one of my first to get commissioned for export to Italy. She also caught the excited attention of an angel investor in Paris! (Although he might have been thinking about his wife and not business.)
Golden metallic artificial soft leather with just the right size, a matching zip to keep it all together and a zip pocket on the inside just for the small stuff. Ah, there’s also the glasses holder, the tiny wallet and a couple more things inside. Love it!

Larger, more, different

Pouch bags can be large. They can be made of different materials. One can have many pouch bags and give them to friends, like to Rebecca the other day (big one to the right). Paper-cloth bags seem to work ok. Plastic parts of bags are cool but very hard to sew in and time will tell whether they work for use. The striped cord is a hit for such bags, as is probably the stepped cloth (sewn upon in stripes or squares).

Nothing found?

then this is yours. I call this model “My Bag“.
Large, simple, made out of three (or more) pieces with a visible stitch on the slides. With patches or hooks? With multiple colors? Since the bag is quite large and the edges are visible it is suitable to use high-quality artificial soft leather and think through if and how to decorate it.
It is a beautiful companion!

Now to the question - do I sell the bags?

I work for money and sew for fun. What is similar between my bagmaking and my consultancy is that I very much look for matches; I aim to meet needs and make adaptations, effectively. And I love to surprise with something even better. 
My business model for bags is different to that of my consulting services, though, and I have yet to sell a bag. What has happened is that grateful friends have sponsored me with cloth, or lunches. What could happen, I guess, is some kind of consulting on bag design and sharing of efforts in production and financing of material supply. 
I am certainly a chatty person whom one should not be shy of approaching. Especially when not engaged on work projects;-)
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