Mystery “Bag” Challenge: Charlotte from Les Envies De Charlotte
Welcome to the 8th big reveal! I am so excited to share with you Charlotte from Les Envies De Charlotte‘s Mystery “Bag” Challenge creation today 🙂
So without further ado…over to the creator & owner of Les Envies De Charlotte!
Hi my name is Charlotte, I’m French, and live in the Parisian suburbs. I’m 37, have 2 boys (3 and 9), work full time in an American investment bank in Paris (but not for long though…) and started sewing when I was pregnant with my youngest. Been making bags for the past 2.5 years now and sooo longing for extra free time to make so much more…
2. Tell us something not many people would know about you…
My sudden urge to learn to sew came when I was pregnant with my youngest (no, I didn’t crave strawberries, but I craved for a sewing machine !! (and my first machine was an Ikea one…)
3. How long have you been sewing?
Exactly four years now. I work full time, so sewing only happens during my spare time (which I have so little of, as my two kids are still young)
4. Is sewing the only craft you spend time enjoying? If not, what other crafts help you pass the time?
At present, yes !! but when I was younger (ages ago…), I loved making jewellery
5. Do you only make bags? If not, what else do you enjoy making?
I started off with pencil cases, small pouches, accessories for babies (bibs etc), but now, I mainly do bags)
6. What made you fall in love with making bags?
All the beautiful patterns out there!! I’m amazed at all the talented bag pattern designers who come up with new designs every other day. So many patterns, so little time.
7. What was your favourite item in the mystery bag challenge list? Did you use it in your entry? If not, why?
I loooooove grommets. They add just the touch of bling you need and you can use them for so many reasons… and yes, of course I use some!!
8. Have you got any exciting things coming up that you think would interest us? We would love to support you if you do!
I’m finally taking the plunge and quitting my day job to focus only on my sewing. My little online store is four years old now and I’m so glad I’ll be able to stock it up with all the things I love, and not just focus on custom orders. I’m also thinking about giving classes to beginner sewists. My family and I are moving this summer and my sewing area will be five times as big as what I currently have, and will be able to accommodate a working area for classes.
9.Which category did you decide to enter the Mystery “Bag” Challenge in? Why did you chose this category?
Category 1: design a bag
I chose the category for the challenge to actually come up with a design of my own. After searching quite a while for said design (and after 2 fails…), decided to ‘upscale’ the very first bag I made when I launched my online store, and after learning so many things along the way thanks to all the amazing patterns out there.
10. What is your favourite thing about your entry into the challenge?
To be able to do a before/after of my very first design 🙂
11. What did you enjoy most about the challenge?
The personal kick in the *** I gave myself to actually come up with something and not follow pattern directions… I actually am pretty satisfied with the result. Thanks Emma with this awesome challenge !
As mentioned above in the interview, I started sewing just over 4 years ago. When I finally decided to start selling what I made (mostly children’s accessories), I opened my little online store in the French equivalent of Etsy.
My very first bag order was from my sister in law who actually requested I made her a bag based on this designer model she liked.
I don’t really think it came out exactly how she wanted it to 😉 buuuuuuut, I made quite a few of these in various colours that I decided to list. Boom! Sold over thirty in just over 2 months.
Long story short, I made so many in the first year of my business that I ended up removing the bag from my ‘catalogue’ as I didn’t feel like making more and I also believed that my sewing skills had improved since then… 😉
When Emma kindly invited me to participate to this challenge, I mulled over several design ideas. I actually made 2 bags that didn’t really came out as I planned them to (making bags doesn’t mean you can actually design them!! 😉 ).
So, I thought about this very first bag. THAT bag that got me going into the bag making business. And also about all the things I have learned from all those great bag designers over the past few years and said to myself (yes I often speak to myself…) ‘Hey, how about spicing it up with all that knowledge’…
So here it is! It’s a fairly simple tote but has lots of gorgeous details to give it that ‘special touch’.
First off, the pain panel: I used a single piece of fabric for the front/bottom/back parts in order to avoid seams and for it to keep its curves.
Added exterior pockets (pleated at the bottom) on each sides.
Here, I riveted the 1st item chosen from the challenge list: chains! And I added some vinyl in the links to give it this ‘Chanel’ look (remember I’m French!)
Straps are attached thanks to D-rings (2nd item from the list)
The main panel also has pleats at the top to give it a ‘girly’ look, and I just had to add a tie to finish it off (thanks to the 3rd item chosen on the list: grommets’!).
So, what do you all think?
Here’s the before/after versions of my very first tote!
See! I told you Charlotte’s creation was amazing…I bet you can hardly wait to see the next one be revealed in a few days time 😉