Welcome to the first instalment of our brand new blog series, Meet the Maker, where we will be getting up close and personal with some of your favourite bag creators. Discover what they love about bag making, and what they kinda-like-but-think-maybe-we-should-just-be-friends. They may even share a few of their own hints, tips and favourite bag making tools (and perhaps even the odd give away! Woohoo!!! *hint hint*).
The first guest aboard our Meet the Maker train is the lovely Mel, from Buntings & Things. As a busy stay-at-home army wife and Mum to 3 boys at home, plus 3 step kids, soon-to-be 5 step grand kids, and a boxer dog named Bundy, it’s a wonder Mel can find the time to breathe let along create her beautiful bags. She assures me that she hates real coffee, but I suspect her addiction to Dare Espresso (and who can blame her) might explain her superhero levels of energy. Like many Aussie gals, Mel loves a hot bubble bath in winter and an ice cold beer in summer. Just don’t ask her how she feels about cats…
How long have you been making bags to sell and how did you get started?
I am the face behind Buntings & Things, where I started sewing custom personalised buntings and cushion covers a little over four years ago, before expanding my skills and repertoire to purses, and of course, BAGS!
I sewed my first bag two and a half years ago. I had joined “The Sewing Library” Facebook group to pick up tips and inspiration of things to make. After a while I was repeatedly seeing posts about the NCW (Necessary Clutch Wallet by Emmaline Bags), I just had to see what all the fuss was about! So I made one…and that was the start. I was amazed that I could make a real life practical item like a purse (wallet) that I could USE every day! So that led me to ‘well if I can make a purse, surely I can make a bag!’ and my new addiction began.
These days I test patterns for a few designers, run several Facebook sewing-related groups, and am making a paper drafting mess at my house on the pursuit to one day become a designer myself. I’m also very much a night owl… There’s so much sewing and networking to do, but so little time!
What’s your favourite part of making bags?
The friends I’ve made along the way. I’ve made some of the best friends in the sewing community from all around the world from bag making, it’s amazing and I love them. And the range of bag design options available, seeing how the same bag pattern looks in different fabrics, the never-ending combination possibilities! And always learning new sewing techniques.
And your least favourite…?
I’m still trying to make friends with piping and binding. I love the finished look (when it works)….but I do cringe whenever I have to do it. Especially piping with bulky seams.
And not enough time to MAKE ALL THE BAGS!! 🙂
What are you working on right now?
My 205th NCW.
What is one tip you would offer someone new to making bags to sell?
Don’t ever think you can’t do it. However, get HONEST constructive criticism along the way, and learn from it.
Do you have a favourite tool or notion that in your eyes is an absolute life saver when it comes to making bags?
Walking foot, and lately I’ve discovered a regular office stapler is a life saver when sewing bulky seams, putting a few staples in the seam allowance to help hold it together.
A big THANK YOU to Mel for inviting us into her bag making world! You can find out more about Buntings & Things at:
Thank you all for joining us for the first instalment of our Meet the Maker series! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about the lovely Mel from Buntings & Things and to help kick this series off with a bang, Mel and I have decided to run a little giveaway for all our wonderful readers! Yay!!!
Ooh so what’s up for grabs I hear you ask? Mel has generously offered to make the winner a custom made, large sized Stand Up Clutch – my latest pattern to be released. If you’re not sure what the Stand Up Clutch is, you can find all details for this pattern here. I will also be donating one copy of the Stand Up Clutch pattern to the winner as well.
(If you’ve already purchased your copy of the Stand Up Clutch pattern, don’t worry! Please still feel free to enter the giveaway and if you end up winning, you will be more than welcome to gift your winning copy of the pattern to a friend).
To enter: simply answer the question below and add your answer in the comments at the end of this post (make sure you include your name and email address in your post so we can contact you if you are the winner!).
Question: If you won, what would you use your Stand Up Clutch for?
Perhaps for a night out with the girls? Or to give to your Mum for Mother’s Day (coming up soon here in Australia)? Or maybe you would give it to your daughter or granddaughter? Or something else entirely? It’s up to you!
The fine print –
Entities close midnight, Sunday. 27th March (Australian Eastern Standard Time). The winner will be chosen by Mel and I and all decisions are final. The winner will be contacted shortly after the giveaway ends via the email address provided on their entry comment. Only those comments containing a name, email address AND an answer to the question will be considered as valid entries for the giveaway. The winner will be announced on my Instagram account, on my Facebook page and in my Facebook patterns group. If more than ONE WEEK passes following the drawing of the winner and no contact has been made from the winner, the giveaway will be redrawn (after all options have been exhausted to contact the initial winner). If you have any questions regarding this giveaway, please feel free to contact me via the Contact page.
Best of luck everyone and thank you for popping by! Lisa.