Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bag Making Basics Part 5.................Hardware & Tools

Hardware sounds a little funny while talking about purses,but it is a fact!!!
We do need hardware along with tools while making purses.Right from the solid embellishments to the pliers we use are all hardware.I am going to add them alphabetically as I remember the sequence if I miss out something you know where to find me:)
So.......let's get started.Remember you may not need all of these,but if you are a passionate bag maker like me,I am sure you will have most of these or you will end up adding all these to your pile of bag making stuff  like me!!
 1. Awl- An awl  is a long pointed spike with which holes can be punctured in majority of materials, or existing holes can be enlarged. It is useful while  sewing heavy materials, such as leather or canvas.

2. Bag feet- OK............newbies don't laugh!!!!.....................I know bags can't walk,but they do have feet! Here they are in my new purse
I think now I don't have to explain what they are.............but anyways,they protect your bag's bottom:))
Shoes protecting bottom.................it does sound hilarious:))))

3.Buckles-It is basically  used to join two  ends, with one end attached to the purse and the other held by a catch in a secure but adjustable manner.For me,it is more decorative.I love the different finishes & designs it has to offer!
 4.Chain-  Used instead of straps in clutches or small purses.In my opinion again they are more decorative than weight bearing.
5.Decorative beads-There is such a lovely & mind boggling variety of beads available!!!!! Metal,wooden,ceramic,acrylic,you name it & its available.They can jazz up any plain looking purse.....of course ,don't add so many that it will blind everyone with the bling:)
6. Frames-Ornamental purse frames add a professional finish to your purse or clutch. Again  available in a mind boggling variety..........I love the ones with antique finish. They add a  stability to the bags along with providing a ‘skeleton’ on which to construct your bag!!!................S o its a "win win" situation:) I will be very soon adding a tutorial on adding frames to bags..........so keep an eye here:
7.Grommets-A grommet is a ring inserted into a hole through the fabric,they  are usually flared or collared on each side to keep them in place, and are made of metal or plastic.For purses I always use metal grommets,plastic gives a tacky look!  A small grommet is  called an eyelet. Mostly used  to strengthen the holes for strapping but they are also good for draw-cords as the grommet prevents the cord from tearing through the hole.I use it more for  ornamental purpose like here.
 To insert these you need grommet pliers.They are designed to insert the grommet /eyelet . These pliers are similar to a paper hole puncher, except instead of removing an object, they install  grommets !

8. Handles-Other than usual fabric handles ,you can add different types of handles too!Bamboo,beaded,corded,braided,leather, vinyl, wooden, plastic bag handles are a fab way to add a “mmm.....-it's-handmade,not just homemade” touch to your handbags.  Handles  instantly add a pro look to your bags.You can see my tutorial  on making different type of leather straps here.
9.Handle holders-These are used to attach  handles to the bag.Of course you can just stitch the straps to the bag,but as you make more purses you will want to experiment & adding holders is a lovely variation!...There are a plethora of holders available in market.I am a total sucker for them & always have a good stock available at hand:)
10. Key Fobs-They are basically the swivel latches which are used in purses.I use them as key fobs,they can be used to add detachable straps  to the bags too.
 11.Machine foots-Machines provide a lot of foots............you can add them to your stock pile depending on your interests & usage.These are the most common types-Even Feed Foot/Walking Foot,Roller Foot,Leather Foot,Flat Fell Foot,Zipper Foot,Piping Foot.I have none:))))
Indian machines do not have these options.................so I have a regular sewing machine which I use to make the lining & pockets & an industrial machine to sew the leather,rexin,vinyl & canvas bags:)

12.Magnetic snap- Well.............you all know what is a magnetic snap:)................so I will save myself some typing & instead tell you that I have a tutorial on adding a magnetic snap to bags here.The non-magnetic version is called a snap fastener.
 13.Plastic Grid- They are also known as plastic canvas & are used to create a “solid” bottom for purses. You can take the regular grid available for needle point too.
14. Purse Clasp-A purse clasp is a cool type of closure instead of a zipper or even magnetic snap.I like them especially on clutches...very neat!  They are not difficult to install and they can be added to almost any bag style.I like the tongue clasp also quite a bit!....................Sorry I don't have any at home so no pic:(

15.Rivets- They are probably the easiest way to attach straps to bags.They are super cheap too.....at least in India.I bought 1000 rivets for 90 bucks i.e 2 $!!!!!..................So I am going rivetty,rivetty,rivetty on all my bags:)

Put the smooth cap of the rivet from the front side ,back it up with the shank & you can feel the soft snap of them fitting together & then .............take a hammer & hammer away to glory!!!!!
Seriously,no kidding!............If you intend to make purses regularly,its a good idea to invest in an anvil...........it helps to maintain the concave shape of the rivet,otherwise even a flat rivet does not look bad!

If you are going to go into bag making business.............you can invest into a pop rivet gun where all you have to do is squeeze the trigger to attach the rivet....easy peasy!

16.Rotary cutter-It is a  practical tool for achieving the straight, squared lines that are so important while sewing anything ,not just bags!

17.Zipper-Now I am not going to be a smart ass & go tell you what zippers are;)...............But I do have tutorials on adding zipper to bags as top closure & adding a zippered pocket.So go enjoy!

Other than these,the common things which you will need are a Sewing machine(actually I AM a smart ass;),measuring tape,tailors chalk,pliers,pins,VERY important-seam ripper (duh........),scissors,iron,....................most importantly patience to do the ENDLESS fabric cutting & the courage to know that many a times you will end up throwing away everything & start afresh!


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