Little Bird here! I’ve hijacked Lisa’s blog to bring you more of the Meet the Maker series and when you meet this talented maker, you are going to fall in love with her creativity. Leslie takes making bags and turns it into an art! From stunning free motion quilting, to the most creative reverse appliqué, she takes a unique artistic approach every time!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a stay at home wife and mother of 3 little ones. My angel baby Christian, my rainbow baby Rubie and my little wild man Rick. We live in a small farming town in Indiana where we raise hogs, and keep chickens. We also have a blue pit named Homer.
How long have you been making bags and how did you get started?
My love of all things art started at a very young age. I spent most of my time drawing and painting and I remember watching my mom sew. In middle school I was introduced to my first home economic class where I did my fist sewing project. I even spent 3 years taking summer classes at Herron School of Art. High school I loaded my schedule with every art class possible. After high school I went from doing alterations at a dry cleaners, owning my own alterations business, doing alterations for Macy’s and David’s Bridal, sewing for Angel Olivera of Angel Olivera Couture, to bag making.
For a long time I thought fashion was what I wanted to do. So I spent a few years taking fashion design classes at The Art Institute, but that just wasn’t for me. The last five years I’ve really honed in on what really makes me happy and that’s bag making!
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on a bag for an older lady who loved one of my bag patterns but wanted her bag to be lighter weight and yellow. I always use Pellon’s 809 for my interfacing because I love the stiffness and structure of it. For this bag I used SF101 for the first time and I hate it.
What’s your favourite part of making bags?
My favourite part is not following pattern directions! I love taking bag patterns and making them my own. I love being creative, thinking outside the box, and just being me. I want my work to speak for itself an when someone sees one of my bags they will know exactly who made it.
And your least favourite…?
Prep work. I hate prep work. I often find myself obsessing over an idea on one area of a bag, so I’ll do just enough prep to fulfil my thoughts. Then I’ll move on to the next area I want to work on.
What is one tip you would offer someone new to making bags?
Have fun. Don’t stress. Get creative. Be weird!
What has been your proudest creative make or moment so far?
Well, ever since I was introduced to the Handmaids line, by J. Welker Frisch, I’ve become greatly inspired by the art work within each print. Because of that I’ve made some pretty awesome bags recently!
How gorgeous is Leslie’s Creative Tote? We’ve fallen completely in love with her take on it! If she has inspired you to try something new, find Lisa’s newest pattern HERE today.
Thanks so much Leslie for showing us your creativity. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next!