Monday, September 19, 2016

On seeking software solutions to hardware problems...

Inspired by a sketch I saw in an antique sewing book I own,,,
I decided to make my own bag, using that design aa a springboard for an idea

I called it my "cradle bag"

An idea that kept me awake at night some years ago, was this "cradle bag", with an interchangeable "shell" that could transform the bag into a million different versions of itself.  So I designed it.

But... the straps always made it feel amateurish and homemade to me, so I found myself not carrying it too often.  Depite being neatly sewn and efficient, they just weren't graceful.

One thing I have been finding lately, is that making projects has always made me seek sewn solutions to making functional appendages work, when in reality, the "hardware" already exists to give the project the polish it needs.

I had already used Star Snaps (316 West 39th Street - no website) for my grommet installation on the "cradle" shell you see pictured and some others (not shown).

That's where Botani comes in...


Lobster clasps from Botani (where my bag's beautiful zipper was also obtained) and ready-made bag handles from Joyce together are just what my bag needed to function with strength and beauty, and disassemble on command to change out the look!

Another example/thought:

It occurred to me that the difference between a beautiful piece of fabric I'm reluctant to cut and a beautiful, flowing skirt made of that fabric, is a great piece of elastic. A simple cylinder, pulled in to fit the waist with elastic, can be my favorite wardrobe staple, if well done. 

What am I waiting for?

Clearly, a trip to Manhattan Wardrobe Supply, where the elastic is of superior quality.  Am I just saying that?  No.  Geek that I am, I actually did a REAL test at home, gauging stretch, resilience, softness, and strength, using my own tools and supplies.  Manhattan Wardrobe Supplies won, hands down.

Not all elastic is created equal.
Can you get quality elastic elsewhere?  Sure. But here's the thing: you want BETTER for your garments, clients, and your own needs, don't cha? 

My point here is simple.  Sometimes I seek the sewn ("soft") solution for an area that may be better served with better equipment, materials, or even a hard ("hardware") component. That hard component can often give me the professional look I need.

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