Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hobo Journey

Last month I posted about this adorable hobo bag that one of my co-workers saw in a fashion magazine. This Isabella Fiore hobo bag, accented with crocheted flowers, retails for $595 at Needless Markup...errrr, uhh, I mean Neiman Marcus. I've seen it in two basic in reddish tones and the other in yellow/natural tones (pictured here).
Of course, I took this as a challenge to reproduce this handbag for a fraction of the cost. I thought I could get away with just finding a ready-made hobo bag at one of the outlet stores in a fabric stripe, then I would just add the hand-crocheted flowers. No such luck. I saw lots of hobo bags at Ross, T.J. Maxx, Target, Marshall's and J.C. Penney's (excellent selection of bags here, by the way), but none were in a striped, tweedy or plaid fabric. Most of the bags I saw were in solid colors, white, beige, copper, gold and silver. I think that the fabric of the bag needs to be grid-like to offset the biomorphic curves of the flowers. This is what we call artistic tension. I'm all for tension in my handbag.
So, I was perusing the latest edition of the SnB book series, "The Happy Hooker" crochet book and I came across Julie Holetz' pattern for the "Fat Bottom Bag." Julie is the daughter of good friends of mine. Julie and her family live in the Seattle area and come to visit L.A. once in awhile. Julie was here last year to participate in the filming of the upcoming DIY Network show, "Uncommon Threads." Julie came to a few of our SnB meetings and I took her on a mini-yarn crawl on the westside. She is also the technical editor of crochet me online magazine. She's a great designer....very innovative. I based my hobo bag on Julie's pattern, modifying the top portion of the bag to accomodate the hobo-type strap, instead of the ring handles that Julie uses. For my bag, I used an assortment of colors: Rust, mustard, grey...some tweedy and bumpy, in a striped pattern. Then, I re-crocheted the bag in an olive green acrylic for the lining. After attaching the lining to the bag I proceeded to crochet the strap. I found craft "glamour rings" at my local Joann's. I may re-inforce the strap to accomodate the weight of the bag, but I'm not quite at that stage yet.
I've started crocheting a few flowers to sew onto the bag. Next, I'll concentrate on crocheting the leaf appliques.
All in all, I'm quite pleased with the outcome. I'll post the finished product as soon as it's done!



At 2:16 PM PDT, Blogger Annika said...

Ooh, can't wait to see this one in person! So far I like it better than the original.

At 3:32 PM PDT, Blogger ~drew emborsky~ said...

Wow, you are so talented. I can't wait to see the final item!!

At 4:09 PM PDT, Blogger Susan Wike said...

You should go into business designing handbags! You do such nice work and I love the outside- the-box thinking. That's what keeps me coming back for more!

At 4:56 PM PDT, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Your bag seems to have more life than the inspiration (Fiore, not Julie's - Julie's is nice!) I can't wait to see it with the flowers attached. I am CERTAIN I will like it way much more.

At 11:42 AM PDT, Blogger DarcyArtsy said...

Can't wait to see it with all the flunchies!

At 2:08 PM PDT, Blogger Lynda the Guppy said...


Fabulous bags! As usual. *grin*

It was great meeting you at Wildfiber today. I have to was the glasses that gave you away. *wink*


At 3:03 AM PDT, Blogger Ann said...

Amzing :) YPur blog is one of my favourites and I can`t wait to see new things.


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