Have you done custom projects before? They’re fabulous, as long as you are willing to concede a bit of control and have faith that you can marry your personal vision with the customer’s desires. For the most part, I really love them! Here is a perfect example of why…

My friend, Mary, asked me to create a Messenger Bag in her company colors, which are red, black, and gray. First of all, we are starting off strong! I love those colors! Bold and classic – you can’t go wrong! Red isn’t necessarily one of my go-to colors, but I always love when it shows up in a project. At my sister’s wedding, she had all the bridesmaids decked out in a fabulous lipstick red color and we all looked stunning! It’s an excellent choice!

Sleying the Reed

Sleying the Reed

Mary asked for a Messenger Bag. A Messenger Bag (at least as I define it) is a crossbody bag big enough to hold plenty of stuff! The version I create is about 10″ x 15″ with two interior pockets, an adjustable strap, and a hidden magnet to keep the flap down. It’s perfect for those folks who like to carry it all! Toiletries, wallet, a book (for the old school peeps), a tablet (for the high-tech ones), make-up, a sandwich, file folders – you name it, it’ll probably fit! It’s a great choice for an active entrepreneur like Mary!

Winding on the Loom

Winding on the Loom

Now, if I’m setting up the loom, I’m definitely going to crank out more fabric than what is required for one bag. The minimum is four bags, which takes a couple of yards. For her project, I was sticking with a traditional approach and only using a variety of yarns (no recycled materials this time around). I have to say, after dealing with multiple projects incorporating recycled neckties, it was a lovely change of pace to simply load up the shuttle and go to town! When using any kind of recycled material, I hand place each one, which slows down the process quite a bit. This fabric? Zip, zip! Done! So much fun!!!

Red Black Woven Fabric

Classic colors, right? So pretty!

In an effort to create four different bags that Mary could choose from, I made sure that the warp (yarns in the loom) had subtle changes from left to right and the weft (yarns in the shuttle) morphed as I created the yardage. Joyce, my seamstress, did a wonderful job of strategically cutting and sewing the Messenger Bags in a way that enhanced their differences, too. One bag definitely featured more red, another was heavy on the black, and two were somewhere in the middle.

I knew Mary was going to use the bag in a business and personal capacity, so I chose a gorgeous suiting material for the lining – mostly gray, a bit of black, and just a kiss of red in a fine plaid pattern. Yum! (I LOVE suiting material! I don’t know what it is that makes it special. But, it makes me immensely happy!)

Messenger Bag Lining

Check out the sweet suiting material!

I was thrilled with the results! Mary picked her favorite and the remaining three Messenger Bags were claimed before they were finished. I do believe this is the universe’s way of telling me to do more fabric in red, black and gray! Thanks so much for the inspiration, Mary!!!

What color combination really inspires you? Happy weaving, my friends!!

Four Woven Messenger Bags

Choices, choices…