Emma Tote

Speaking of those trial-and-error experiences, this was a big one. But, it would work out in the best way possible. At this point, I was on a roll. I had made 2 bags by now and I wanted to tackle a large bag. I wanted a tote, but I also wanted something that wouldn’t just remain wide open. I don’t know why, but I’ve never been comfortable carrying just an open tote, so I figured there might be more folks out there like me. I didn’t want a zip closure, but something that would at least pull the bag together when I wanted. So, I dove into making my first “real” bag. This would need to be a true everyday bag and would need to have tons of versatility and durability. So, I worked on my pattern and set out to make it happen. Interesting note is that I hadn’t been taught how to create a full handbag yet. But, I didn’t let that stop me from forging ahead. Funny thing…after I had cut the pattern and got to the point of putting it together and gluing the leather pieces before I was ready to sew, I realized my mistake. I had accidentally glued the front panels in upside down and it created an angular east-west look to the bag. But as they say, sometimes the best things are born from mistakes. And this was no exception. I loved the way it looked, so I decided to keep it. Moreover, I loved the look so much that I decided to use it in the Ava as well. This bag was easy for me to name. It was going to be my reliable, versatile, all-things bag and that is the definition of my maternal grandmother. She raised all of her grandkids and is the center of our family. With this being the center of my collection, it was a no-brainer. It also happens to be the name of my 10-year-old god-daughter, so it would double in nature, just like the design of the bag. The first bag was technically a disaster. When I showed it to my leather instructor, he showed me how fix the construction mistakes on it and that second one became the prototype. For production, I decided to make the gussets convertible so that the bag to take on both it’s original shape and also pull in to give a simple, slender silhouette.  The taupe is the disaster 1st draft...the green is the second, much improved attempt.