Many years ago, when I was still single and working full-time, a close friend of mine and I were totally hooked on patchwork leather bags. We loved one brand in particular, 'Garahe', which means 'garage' in English. At the end of each year, the factory making these bags held a massive one day sale. The best thing was that the factory was actually just a block away from our house. As customers were entertained on a first-come, first served basis, my friend would sleepover at our place the night before and we would be up and about early the next day and would be standing in line outside the factory at 6:00 in the morning! After all, the early bird did get the most bags and the best choices! We would hoard everything we liked and then decide at the checkout which ones we will purchase (based on our budget).
My friend and I had a common favourite bag (pictured on the right) - a very roomy one, which literally fit everything we needed and brought to and from work, including our office blazers and even some extra footwear. I still have that bag - it's probably nearly 20 years old by now. I haven't been using it for a long time as it is already tattered in places and the magnetic snap is wrecked. When I left the Philippines in 2001, I had to give away most of my Garahe bags, but this one I just had to keep...for sentimental reasons. It constantly reminds me of a friend I dearly miss and of the great times we had together.
That friend of mine recently visited Australia (just in time for my birthday!). From the looks of it, I reckon she is still very much a bag person up to now. I am contemplating on making her a fabric patchwork bag patterned from our favourite bag. But as I am not yet that good at sewing, I know I need tons of practice first before attempting to embark on such an ambitious project.
For starters, I made this patchwork bag yesterday. I believe the pattern is Japanese in origin. The size is just right for my needs. Sewing the patchwork pieces together and then quilting it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be, but assembling the bag was quite a pain. I actually broke 2 needles. The stitches are still not so perfect and I find the handles a bit too stiff, but I simply adore it. I even managed to embellish it with a flower yoyo!
I guess I'm on my way to making that bag for my mate.