Fashion Week: Floral Bag DIY

Back in the day, when my mum was clearing out her closet, she gave me the handbag pictured below. It screams 90’s and 00’s so badly, all you need left is a Von Dutch trucker cap and a brown 3/4 length a-line skirt. Honestly, in my opinion, it is so ugly and therefore I never ever used it. It looks so outdated and it doesn’t go with anything in my wardrobe, and I’m not even entirely sure what the design is meant to be? But I REALLY wanted to make it work and decided it would be the subject of my next DIY.

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Bag details: The bag is made of PVC pleather. It has a floral design embroidered onto the from in beige thread and it has a few clear sequins stitched on as well. The inside is divided into three sections, two open pockets and one zipped section in the centre. The bag’s closure is magnetic.

I completed this project during the time Fashion Week was on, and I was so inspired by the beautiful bag and clothes that were on show! Therefore it would be most appropriate if the title of this project is called: “If I went to Fashion Week my dream bag would look like…”

Design Process:

I initially brainstormed multiple ideas to cover up the design with something modern and graphic, but after much deliberation and feedback from my friends and family, I decided to simply add to, and empasise the features of the bag.

I had been really inspired by Dior’s floral embellished Lady Dior handbags (example pictured below), and decided to incorporate that into my design.

One thing that contributed to making my bag look outdated, was the fact that it didn’t have any metal pieces or hardware to give it that modern, edgy look and break up the pleather on pleather thing going on.

I also REALLY wanted to give my bag feet, but we are in corner of the world in little old New Zealand and no-one cares to stock anything like that on our shelves, so my bag was still footless by the end of the project.

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Starting the Project:

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I started by laying down the sequins on bag to experiment with possible designs, then I began to stitch the sequins on one by one using an ordinary needle and a thread that matched the colour.

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This was an extremely painstaking process that took the whole evening due to the fact that the embroidery was so dense and thick I could hardly get the needle through. When stitching the sequins on, you need to be careful that you do not sew through the lining, but only the outer layer of pleather. By the end of it, my hands were battered and bruised, but I was very happy with the results.

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To give my bag more functionality and a modern facelift, I added some metal D rings so I could use a longer strap and wear the bag like a crossbody if I wanted to.For this, I simply cut some strips of leather about 1.5cm wide and 5cm long. I then stitched these to the inside pleather lining of the bag (so that the stitches wouldn’t show through the sides), and then along the top all the way through both layers of pleather and leather (this ensures that the strain and weight of the bag will not tear the lining). For this I needed to use a leather needle, because the layers were so hard to sew through.

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Taking a long strap from a bag I already own, I clipped it on to the rings and I was done.

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Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!!

-Emma ❤

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