On The Design Process and The Latest Handbags

designer and maker of stanfield canvas bags, sewing process

I’m asked a lot about my process and how often new designs are released.  So here’s the quick and dirty rundown:

What's My Design Process?

There’s a lot that goes into designing a new bag and it all starts with a function – what will the bag be used for?  How are people currently traveling or commuting with their bags and what are they carrying?

I’m constantly exploring and experimenting with new ideas throughout the year and my inspiration for a new design is influenced by many factors:

  • A recent trip I’ve taken or plan to take in the future.  
  • Catching someone rummaging through his or her bag at the store.  
  • Watching people at the airport or on the street and how they carry their bag.
  • Feedback I’ve received on my current collection.

Eventually, when I have an idea that I want to pursue, the rough sketching begins.  Ideas are explored in more depth and I think about the function and details of the design, which eventually leads to page upon page of doodles and even a mini paper model, which most likely comes from my background in Architecture.

Once I decide on the final aesthetic, I will reverse engineer the design to create a pattern so that I can then create a mock-up in plain canvas.  {I've used CAD in the past for pattern drafting but prefer hand drawing lately.}  This is when I really start to understand the size, how it will hang, how it functions, and how it feels to hold. 

Then, there is this cycle of test/ revise/ test/ revise, sometimes ‘til no end. 

The great thing about building your own designs from scratch is that I can design it, create a prototype and post it online within weeks, sometimes even days, if I’m feeling really ambitious.  It’s a quick and efficient way for me to maintain a direct connection with my customers {which I love}, plus I discover new and often better ways of building a bag.

zip pack laid flat before it becomes a three dimensional object
Zip Pack in process

When Are New Designs Released?

After new designs have been tested and finalized, the question becomes, where are all these bags I’ve been working on behind the scenes and when will they be available?

The short answer:  You may never see them, and that’s ok.

The fact is most designs never make their way to production.  More often than not, something that starts off with good intentions of becoming something better yields nothing new that can actually be useful.  And I’m ok with that.  It’s a process and good things take time. 

I’m not one to force the process either and I embrace the idea of things happening organically.  My inspiration may be here one week and gone the next.  It may not return for weeks, months or even years later.  Plus, as we all know, life happens, which can cause delays in releasing a new bag. 

I like to take my time and let the design be driven by inspiration rather than feel forced to meet a timeline.  This is one of many reasons why I don’t release new designs purely based on the change in seasons.

There’s always a lot happening around here and when a design is truly ready, I’ll let you know.  Follow along on Instagram and Facebook or sign up for the Newsletter for the latest updates.

Until then, I appreciate all your support and interest in this little bag-making business. Your feedback, product reviews and pics of your bag in action are invaluable and inspire me to make things even better than they are. Thank you!  Thank you!

 



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