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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Handmade vs. Mass Produced: Drawstring Purse

   Do you ever have the urge
to make something you saw in a store?

   I have to admit that one of my guilty pleasures is to go to places like Claire's, Icings and Exentrix and roam around to take a look at the pretty girly stuff. Sometimes what I see is so inspiring that I have to control the urge to buy something with mental images of Chinese sweatshops. A few weeks ago I saw this in the clearance area of Claire's.

   It yelled "buy me please", I LOVED it but as I said before I try not to shop in this kind of store. I had a mental trip through what I thought the construction of something like this would be like. Then said: "I can try to figure this out, but I'll need faux leather and eyelet grommets". To make this story short, I forgot about it until yesterday when I found Pixie Blossoms blog for the first time. I started to read the entries and stumbled upon this:

Pixie Blossoms publishes her awesome pictures in this Flickr

   In this entry she talked about how proud she was about this purse and how it turned out, and I must say I am too. She made this purse in 2008 (way before Claire's released its version), but never sold it and decided to keep it. It's just too pretty to be real! The nicest part is that it is handmade with love and looks professional. I must admit that the next thought in my head was: "I can try to figure this out, but I'll need faux leather and eyelet grommets".

   I only hope this time I don't forget about it.


  1. Both bags look so pretty!! I also think about the people behind the mass made products, its creepy thou

  2. It is creepy indeed. Stay tuned, because I want to make one of these for me.

  3. Yadira, this is pure awesomeness! Both are gorgeous :) Really appreciate you linking this up at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.

  4. It's very nice that you like the bag I made, thank you. Fortunately I did not see it in a store, really. Perhaps the store saw my bag 3 years ago, in my defunct files! It's creepy indeed, when you make something and later on you'll find something really similar in popular stores! It has happened with some many independent designers out there. Some companies copy without shame. I know a designer in Portugal that had her dolls copied by a known company in Europe. It's so sad. It's worse when people think we are copying mass produced.
    This is the type of bag I don't think I will put in the shop anymore, because it takes lots of patience, hours and a lot of people don't heart handmade! It would cost much more than what is offered at Claires, for sure.

  5. SJ,

    The Creative Blogger's Party & Hop is a super fun idea. I got to see many blogs I'd never seen before plus as an added bonus I've been getting some extra visits.

    I'll definitely keep an eye open for future parties.

  6. Zee,

    I couldn't agree more. Since I started crafting and buying from other indie artists I've noticed a very ugly trend: Whatever becomes trendy on sites such as Etsy inundates the mall a couple of months later.

    I've only been sewing for a couple of months, but I'm very aware of all the work involved in creating such an item. I would never settle for a cheap mass produced version of something like this, because I know it wasn't produced under fair labor conditions.

    I edited the last paragraph of this post so that there's no confusion; I know that you didn't copy from Claire's, or from anyone else for that matter. Not only did you make yours before it became available on Claire's, but your work is definitely superior!

  7. Oh...I did not think you said that either! Thanks so much anyway. Some patterns out there are just so obvious, so simple. Tote bags for example, nothing amazing about tote bags patterns. It's just a square. Simple pouches and many other things are just what it is, anyone can make. I don't think Claire copied me either, honestly. There so many other creative minds, better than I, they could hire or even copy.
    Sometimes we look at things at stores and we find it at Etsy or any other place and we wonder, who had the idea first? And it's true, some people @ Etsy are so out of control. There's a brazilian girl selling handbags there and she became kinda popular and soon another shop is selling very similar bags using the same material. Jute webbing. Ha!
    Oh you have asked what was the material used on the bag: I used burlap and it was interfaced with canvas, I had to sew them together for structure. The patterned fabric also has interface, but fusible interface. The botton has a very heavy fusible interface as well.


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