Handbags are beautiful accessories that many women love to carry. When used right, they add more class and style to a woman’s outfit, making her distinct. Behind every cute and stylish handbag you see out there is a fashion designer.
Previously, we interviewed Toluwalase Samuel on the creative process behind his stylish two-toned buba and sokoto. This week, we spoke with Mojirola Olatunbosun on how she made the chic sunflower yellow mini tote bag.
Mojirola Olatunbosun is the creative director of House of Rolar. The fashion brand designs unique handmade fashion accessories for the contemporary lady and specialises in leather and ankara bags, ankara jotters, leather belts and purses, amongst others.
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The brand was born out of a need to make designs and a love for handbags. This love for handbags often caused her to admire them on other women and wonder how they were made. Finally, she decided to learn the craft of making handbags during her service year and master’s degree program.
What was the Step-by-step Process of Making the Sunflower Yellow Mini Tote Bag?
Making a bag requires some background work first, including the design of the bag, the leather to be used, and the colours. To make this yellow mini tote bag, I had an image of what the end product would look like in my head. So, I got my leather, the bag lock, the bag handle and the pins. Those were the major materials used for the bag.
First, I measured the bag size on the leather, then, I cut it out with my scissors. Afterwards, I identified the position of the bag handle by folding the cut-out leather piece into an horizontal form for accuracy. I also used this to identify the position of the bag lock.
Next, I folded the leather piece into a vertical form with both edges touching each other and placed it on the machine for sewing. This way, I sewed both sides of the leather to create an envelope shape. At this stage, both sides of the bag are sewn down but the top and bottom are still left open.
Now, to create the base of the bag, I folded the leather at the bottom and measured my preferred base, it was 3 inches in this case. Usually, depending on the bag I’m making, I used 4, 3, or 2 inches for the base. The base plays a huge role in determining the shape of the bag.
Next, I went on to fix the handles I had already marked at the beginning. I always make sure my bag handles align to the centre and each other properly so the bag is not lopsided. I used a handmade bag tassel as an ornament for this bag. The tassel was made by me with leftover leather from other bags.
That’s it with the making of the bag. It was pretty easy to make because of its size and the simplicity of the design.
What Inspired the Design of the Bag?
This bag is called a tote bag because of its usage. Although it is small, it is spacious enough to contain essential items like a notepad, phone, keys, sunglasses, and so on. I was inspired to make this bag when I saw an actress carrying something similar in a movie. Even though I had big and medium tote bags, I always wanted to make a mini tote bag. It was difficult trying to make a small bag because customers want big bags, but once I saw it with that actress, I liked the way it was styled and went for it.
What Factors did you Consider when Making This Bag?
1. Its Colour
The first factor I considered was the colour of the leather I wanted to use for the bag. I chose yellow because of its brightness; it makes it catchy to the eyes. Since it was a first time bag, I needed something that would catch the attention of my customers. This yellow did the magic.
2. Its Price
The price was also considered. Since it is a mini bag, I knew it should not be too pricey but it still needed to fetch me some profit. After all, what is the point of selling something that would not bring in a profit?
3. Its Functionality
I knew this bag had to serve its purpose of being a functional bag for various occasions. I didn’t want something that my customers would bug and dump somewhere because they could not use it much. It had to have enough space to let them put a considerable number of things into it.
I got lots of good feedback from my customers on this bag and new orders also came in for other colours. So, mission accomplished.
There it is, the making of the sunflower yellow mini tote bag. What was your favourite part of the making process? Do let us know in the comments section below.