Back when I was in college, I had a friend/roommate who I always considered ultra trendy and fashionable, yet still practical. She occasionally made her own purses to match an outfit perfectly, so I took a cue from her and learned. I had some sewing experience since my mom and I would spend time together, sewing different projects throughout my childhood and into high school. Mom bought me a little simple sewing machine when I went away to college, so I was able to continue practicing. I only made one extremely simple purse back then, but I was still quite proud of my creation.
Now, being a military wife there are many very talented women I am surrounded by, and this is my contribution! I had seen a purse made from a flight suit and hinted to John for one. He instead encouraged me to make my own and therefore customize it to my choosing. So a couple of years ago, I made myself my first flight suit purse, or as I like to call them Flybagz- it was rough but I showed it off with excitement. I revised my design and made myself another. By that time, some friends were asking if I'd make them one... and so it began. I started making the Flybagz for my friends at Hill and word spread to the other squadrons... as well as other bases. I soon was getting orders from women I had never met, from bases around the country! There's a questionnaire I'd have them fill out to determine how best to customize the purse for their specific style and personality. Once I got the form and a flight suit from their husband, the sewing would begin. I've settled into a standard pattern that seems to work well, both for me and the ladies that use them. Making the different purses and seeing how each woman wants her own touch upon them really is fun, but I especially enjoy hand delivering the bags to their new owners. I guess that's the downside of making purses for women all over the country- I can't hand deliver the purse.
Funny Story- When I was in Utah, a friend of mine there ordered a couple bags for her friends who were at other bases. After she gave them away, I got an email from one of the new proud owners, asking me if I would make one as a going away present for their Squadron Commander's Wife. I made it and sent it off! Once we moved down here to Phoenix and I was introduced to the wives network, it seems my reputation preceded me since this was the Squadron that I had sent the purse to! Coincidence!
I've been doing this as a hobby and for a little extra money for some time now. The purse pictured is for a friend that just moved from here (Luke AFB) to go to Hill- my old stomping ground. She met me at Joann's to pick out the material for the inside of the purse. I just love how it turned out with the bold and fun lining she picked, and so did she! I got to hand-deliver and had my camera not been dead, I would have had some modeling pictures of her and her new bag! Sorry Em!
My hopes are that I can continue this hobby after the boy arrives, not only to keep me busy and feeling productive, but also as maybe a flexible part-time job at home!! Once Riley is here and I get the schedule down, I hope to build a professional web site to highlight and sell my purses. Although I blog, have multiple internet community pages and feel comfortable on the computer, I am intimidated by building a website for ordering... you know, one like the really cool "Harvey's seatbelt bags"! If anyone has tips or suggestions, I'd love to hear them!!
UPDATE: Check out my website!