For the Love of Denim

denim_clutch_side b_300I’ve been working with various types of denim for a few months. I like to alter the dye by discharging. This is done by using discharge paste which is a bleach product.  The bleaching process must be halted by using another product called bleach stop; I buy both products here.

I like to add more interest to the denim with paint and stencils. Once I’m happy with the effects I proceed to consider whether hand stitching would crystallize the end result. Some bags are beautiful in their simplicity while others cry out for details.

Michelle bag 300_ 12-2015 WM

This bag has lots of hand stitching and painted with stencils. Made with discharged denim and solid black denim.

The design and functionality of the bag requires a completely different set of decisions; a bag can become virtually ANY design and serve multiple needs. Bags are personal to me. Not only the exterior “personality” but mostly the functionality of the interior.

One simple accent I like to use is narrow pleats sewn by machine. I like to use variegated thread for this. Sometimes I stitch the pleats horizontally all the way across and sometimes I add a few shorter lengths. Occasionally I will go back in the opposite direction for a grid/box like effect.

I consider these bags as prototypes.  Now I can reflect upon the results for further consideration, refinements and how to improve them in general. I want them to look “handmade” rather than “homemade”. After reflecting upon these prototypes my conclusion is: Simplicity is best.

This is my favorite bag

Fold over clutch with interior pockets

denim_bag_pleats WM_300

Front-Folded over, narrow pleats with variegated denim color thread on sold black denim.

denim_bag_pleats-back WM_300

The same bag, opened flat-Reverse side with discharged indigo denim

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