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All Things Change

ALL THINGS CHANGE!   And that includes fabrics!  Because we value our customers, we want them to know when their favorite Tapestry is going bye-bye.  Because we value our customers, we want them to know when we have found another gorgeous Tapestry to add to their color choices.flowers and brocade remaining

In 2015, we were no longer able to obtain the Tapestries we call “Brocade” and “Flowers.”  Examples of bags with those fabrics are pictured here.  We are now at the end of the rolls of those fabrics, and we have limited numbers of bags made up with these two Tapestries.  But after they are gone … well, they are gone.

If your heart desires a bag in this color, this is your opportunity.  Brocade and Flowers are NOT on the website, but you can telephone us 303 421 2919 and we’ll be happy to review with you the colors and styles that remain.

I am personally sorry to see these go.  They are nice, beautiful fabrics and lots of people have enjoyed them.  On the other hand, I am enjoying looking for a fabric that goes with green.  I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

 

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Wardrobe Malfunction – A Broken Purse Horror Story

Why You Want to Buy a Quality Bag:  When you buy a cheap, not-well-made purse, the seam bursts open when you are shopping.  When the seam of your bag bursts open, your car keys fall out and you lose them.  When you lose your car keys, you stand in the parking lot unable to get into your car.  When you are unable to open your car door, it inevitably rains and then pours.  When it pours and the wind howls, a tornedo forms and the tornedo sirens go off.  When the tornedo sirens go off, you seek the closest shelter.  When you seek the closest shelter, you dive into a muddy ditch and wait for the tornedo to pass.  Don’t dive into a muddy ditch to avoid a tornedo, BUY A QUALITY BAG!

Here’s what it takes to make a sturdy handbag:

1.  Heavy-Weight, Industrial Sewing Machines.  We have two Juki DU-141 Walking Foot machines, as well as a Brother Industrial 5-Thread Serger.  I also have a home machine — a real nice Bernina — but it’s just too PUNY in relation to the Juki.  I use the home machine for household mending … it never touches my bags.

2.  Good Quality, Heavy-Weight Materials.

 I buy only 1000-denier nylon Cordura to use as the base of most of our bags.  “Cordura” is a Dupont Corporation product and is much better than “microfiber” or other knock-offs.  It’s strong, holds its shape and wears and washes well.

Most accent fabrics/tapestries are not a strong as the nylon Cordura, so wherever we use the tapestry we line it to give it extra strength.  Also, some tapestries are a looser weave than others, so we serge the edges of those so it will not fray or run.

Aztec Tapestry with edges serged to add more stability

I sew only with Number 69 nylon thread.  It’s strong stuff and you cannot break it with just your hands.

After researching the break strengths of the buckles, etc. I chose a supplier who is (unfortunately) more-expensive but sells better-quality hardware.   And you’ll notice that our webbing is stiff when it’s new.  There is a light-weight and a heavy-weight version of most webbing and the heavy-weight is stiff when it’s new.

I use only YKK zippers, mostly #5.  Again, I researched brands and weights of zippers and these are the best that are made.

3.  Going the Extra Mile with Sewing Techniques.  I double-sew all the zippers, triple-sew all the intersections and bind all the seams.  I back-tack often at the beginning of a seam so there is no chance of coming un-sewn (I’ve worn the paint off the back pedal!)  If I run out of bobbin thread when top-stitching, I take out the entire seam and start again so that the top stitching is one complete line and there is no danger of coming undone.  I have been sewing since high school when I took sewing lessons from a professional seamstress so I’ve had many many years to develop my skills.

We do all the work ourselves and can be sure of our quality that way.

4.  Sturdiness Built Into the Design.  Several of our patterns call for straps that are sewn down the side as opposed to fitting into a top seam where they might pull out.  Our three Totes even have the straps sewn all the way around the bottom!

SO … BUY A QUALITY MKI BAG.  Warning:  Make sure you like the color …  you’ll have it a looong time!

 

 

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SIZE MATTERS — for Sewing Equipment, that is!

Many people have asked me what type of sewing machine I use.  In order to obtain the sturdy construction that I require on our bags, I use heavy-duty industrial machinery — the kind that will sew through your finger if you let it — and heavy-weight nylon thread.

Industrial sewing machine for Tapestry purses

My main sewing machine is an Industrial Juki DU-141 Walking Foot.  The walking foot moves the top layer of fabric while the feed dogs at the bottom push the bottom fabric. This prevents wrinking, bunching, stretching and all sorts of nasty seam stuff.  (Is this TMI — too much information?)

I also have a second Juki DU-141 that is set up with a binder attachment.  It’s probably overkill, but we bind all the seams in our purses.  This makes a nice finished interior with no zipper ends sticking out to snag anything and no possibility of fraying.  I like it that way!
Probably one of my major accomplishments in life is that I taught my husband how to use the machine with the binder attachment and now he does all the binding.  It only took me two years!  Really, though, the machines are not that easy to learn.  They have a power foot pedal that will run away with you unless you are gentle with it!  My husband is better with tractors and engines.  The words “machine” and “gentle” are not used in the same sentence in his language.
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Four Best Ways to Ruin your Tapestry Purse

Should you wish to ruin your Tapestry Purse, here are the four best ways to achieve that:

1.  Wash your tapestry purse in hot water.  Hot water will shrink the fabric and the purse will be wrinkled and look like your hands that have been in dishwater too much.

2.  Put your tapestry purse in the hot dryer.  This will result in shrinkage as above, only this may also melt your zippers a bit, depending on how hot the dryer was.  Your could end up with the wrinkled look AND sluggish zippers.  This would REALLY ruin the bag!

3.  Overstuff your bag.  When you put lots and lots of things into a small bag when you honestly need a medium-sized bag, the pressure of all that stuff trying to get out compromises the zippers.  Your end up with zipper blow-out!  You know… the zipper opens where it shouldn’t.  Then you can’t use the bag because you can’t close the zipper.

4.  Keep sharp pointy things in your purse without protection.  A loose pair of sharp scissors, for example, can poke a hole in most fabrics, given time.

Now, should you NOT REALLY want to ruin your purse or bag, we can help you with that!

First of all, wash your tapestry purse/bag in COLD water and then, secondly,  hang it out to AIR DRY.  We realize that the Tapestry fabric is not as strong as the nylon Cordura that we use, so everywhere we use Tapestry, we line it.  That gives it extra strength.  It’ll still shrink, but not as much.

Thirdly, we try to prevent zipper compromises by buying the best zipper available.  We use only YKK zippers!  That’s all we can do.

And finally, we have numerous small products into which you can place pointy objects to prevent pokes to the fabric or your fingers!  Consider carrying sharp things in an Organizer, a Money Pouch, or a Grab Bag.

Like Queen Latifa sings in the movie Chicago:  When you’re good to Momma, Momma’s good to you!