One question that I am often asked is, “Where do you get your creative ideas?” The answer is “Everywhere!” A lot of it has to do with being a good listener. It is best to address the needs of the end-user whenever trying to be creative, innovating and problem solving in generating ideas for product development. The fashion bag marketplace is teeming with variety because they are not designing specifically for you but someone who may be like you. Although selection is a good thing when it comes to fashion design, even the greatest amount of choice does not guarantee you will find exactly what you are looking for. On the bright side, it is relatively easy to design and assemble your own fashion bags to suit your own needs. Here are the things I consider whenever coming up with ideas to make a new style:
Purpose. While a good-looking bag style will compliment your wardrobe and enhance your personal fashion image, how functional is it? What will you be carrying in it? Make it large enough in size. Does it provide organization for your essentials? Add compartments for wallet, keys, cellphone. Do you require security? Add zippered pockets or snap latches. Your bag design can be customized to your needs and lifestyle.
Complexity. How difficult or simple do you want your fashion bag design to be? Tote bags, which are basically two pieces of fabric sewn together with handle straps attached, are very easy to make and only require basic sewing skills. On the other hand, a saddle-stitched embossed cowhide leather satchel demands more extensive time and effort. Keep in mind that the more involved your bag patterns, the more energy and money you may have to spend to accomplish the look you want.
Budget. Ask yourself how much you are planning to spend. Do your fashion bag designs involve expensive components such as fancy frames, brass hardware or carved wooden bag handles? Pairing quality fabrics with luxurious linings doubles your cost. Adding trim and other notions also increases the amount of money you should plan to spend. Simple fabrics such as cotton and polyester blends are less expensive than richer ones, and metallic and wooden bag hardware drives up the cost more so than plastic.
Skills. Illusions of grand design are easily shot down with the realization that you don’t understand the project instructions or the terminology. Make sure your chosen style makes it perfectly clear what you should be buying and/or doing in order to achieve your desired look. It’s never a good thing when you are half done and realize that you bought broadcloth when what you really needed was a faille for the bag lining.
Measuring. Remember the old saying, ‘measure twice and cut once.’ Be precise in all your measurements; many bag patterns purposefully require you to leave some ‘extra room’ for the eventual turning, gathering or draping of the style. Leathers and suedes can be one of the most expensive components of the bag design — cutting corners when measuring will only result in you cutting the material incorrectly and losing your investment in your fabric purchase.