“Renaissance Totes”: Luxurious Handbags From Rich Fabrics

Over the past few months I’ve accumulated a few pieces of gorgeous, thick fabrics, with tribal/Southwestern designs. I just loved the look and feel of these fabrics, which radiate richness and a feeling of luxury.

Beautiful, rich fabric swatch

Beautiful, rich blue and beige fabric swatch

Beautiful upholstery fabric

Lush red and gold fabric

However, I wasn’t quite sure how to use them in a way that will do them full justice. I incorporated a couple as flaps for messenger bags, such as the one I gave my mom:

ANY Texture Maroon velvet messenger bag, beautiful boho purse

Or the one I listed on Etsy:

ANY Texture Southwestern mustard messenger bag, boho purse

I really liked the results. However, I didn’t feel that messenger bags showed the beauty of these fabrics to their full extent.

A few weeks ago, I was surrounding myself with piles of fabrics on my studio’s floor (a favorite pastime!). Suddenly, I noticed one of these pieces lying next to a beautiful velvety one. Normally I might select the later as the underside of a flap, where it would be practically invisible. Seeing the two pieces lie one next to the other, however, gave me a new idea.

I frantically started matching fabrics:

Sewing together luxurious fabrics for Renaissance Tote

I soon realized that framing my lavish, color-and-design-intense pieces with matching, solid colors enhanced their beauty. It really brought out the different colors in their design. Putting them next to solid fabrics with luxurious-feeling textures elevated the effect further.

I liked what I saw very much. Immediately, I went on to search for all the other pieces of this kind, and found matching fabrics for them as well.  I enjoyed this a great deal, for drowning myself in fabrics and matching them together is one of the best parts of creating!

Matching luxurious fabrics for Renaissance Tote

For the last four weeks or so I’ve been working on this new series. I call them “Renaissance Totes” for their sumptuous feel. This new collection includes eight totes, most of which are still works in progress. The work has been slow, partly because these totes are composed of many small pieces that need to be sewn together; partly because I am sewing some of the leather handles on by hand, which is arduous and time consuming (I have to use three thimbles simultaneously, and just broke my second needle ever!); and partly because there were many school vacations over the last few weeks, and my kids have been home more than they’ve been at school (or so it feels…).

Yesterday, I finally managed to finish the first tote in this series, and am really happy with how it turned out! Here is a picture of the front:

ANY Texture Finished Renaissance Tote, luxurious upholstery fabric handbag

And of the back:

ANY Texture finished Renaissance Tote back. luxurious purse

I am hoping to be able to finish all eight in time for my next crafts fair, which is coming up on December 10th. I think they will go really well with winter boots and coats!

Any Texture Finished Renaissance Tote ready to use, luxurious handbag

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