Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fabric Tuesday: Circle Ribbons

Ripple Ribbon, 1.5" wide. Available in red, orange, espresso, lime,
and black. Click image to enlarge it.

We've had so many email inquiries from folks who are interested in seeing more of our ribbon options, I've decided to use Fabric Tuesday to showcase some of our strong sellers. You can visit our Faux Leather Palette to come up with endless color combinations.

Circle Dot Ribbon, 1.5" wide. Available in Green Multi and Black Multi.
Click image to enlarge it.

There is something timeless and appealing about circles. Maybe that's why our ribbons that feature round shapes and polka dots tend to be quite popular. From Lola Clutches to Kate Bags, ribbon adorns many of our most popular purses.

Monday, March 30, 2009

On Saddle Shoes and Checkbooks

Custom photo check book cover, $24. Available online here.

Even with the advent of online banking, credit cards, and ATMs, many of our customers still use checkbooks. Like the little girl's saddle shoes in the above photograph, checks have a nostalgic quality.

As money tightens and folks pay more attention to their budgets, I'll bet many of us will return to the practice of logging our purchases in a check register.

Who can resist a checkbook cover that says Cash on triplets?

Why not make this process a little more fun by ditching the ugly plastic checkbook cover that came with your bank account? A new checkbook would be a great gift for Mother's Day too.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mother's Day Planning

Custom photo notebook, $25. Available online here.
Paperweight, $26. Available in our store and coming soon online.

Mother's Day is second only to Christmas here in terms of how busy we get. I guess that makes sense since we have year-round visits from mothers and daughters who come in together to design bags.

I always enjoy seeing the special photographs that our customers bring us. From sweet new baby smiles, to nostalgic views of family events, each image has a story that makes it special.

This year we're adding several new custom photo items just in time for the holiday. Visit our website to see your options. You can place orders online, upload your images and set up shipment or request store pickup, all from your desk at home.

Mother's Day is May 10th. We'll guarantee that delivery deadline for custom orders placed by April 24th.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Envirosax Now In Stock

Photo courtesy of Envirosax.

We've just received a big shipment of new, colorful Envirosax styles. Designed for shopping, these rip-stop nylon bags are equally at home on the beach, at the pool, or on vacation. They are also terrific, functional gifts.

$8.50 each.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Button Thursday: Looks Like Fancy Candy

Floral Button, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ashley's Trendwatch: Pajama-Rama

When the designer shows hit the runway during New York Fashion Week in February, there were lots of fresh prints and ethnic influence.

But... pajamas?
Photo courtesy of Ayyyy.com
Yes, pajamas as outerwear. Highlighted most prominently in the Dolce and Gabbana line, pajamas are apparently not just for home-based lounging anymore. The idea surfaced mostly in various menswear lines - At least this trend blogger hopes that the bra-and-robe set Naomi Campbell rocked down the D&G runway wasn't actually meant for your next cocktail party.

Starlet Jessica Alba was fashion-forward when she was photographed wearing this ensemble at a winter movie premiere:

Photo courtesy of Ayyyy.com
Unless you're a college freshman with a daily 8a.m. class, this is a seemingly impossible trend to bring into real life. But even the craziest of flash-in-the-pan ideas can be turned into something classic and sleek by using it as an accessory instead of a head to toe look.

Take these Lela Rose for Payless shoes for instance:
Photo courtesy of Payless.com
Using the pajama-classic piping along the seams gives a refined twist to a hot pink shoe.

Tiny, feminine prints are also nod to being pajama-clad. This blouse from Heritage 1981 uses just such a print, as well as a button-down front, and delicate pin-tucks at the collar.
Photo courtesy of Heritage1981.com
Along with its loose fit and banded bottom, all the construction elements reflect a classic pair of pj's, while managing to look pulled-together trendy.

It's easy to bring all of these influences into a handbag - A few minutes of looking around Laura Bee brought me these inspirations:

A slinky striped silk to use on an evening clutch:
Or a nod to childhood with a funky Japanimation print on a Sophie bag:

Or, as with the above blouse, several of the same vintage button along a seam:
...Not seeming so crazy anymore? That's the idea.
Taking fashion off the runway and into real life is the portion of the design process where you get to use some creativity and put your own spin on things.

So maybe looking like you just rolled out of bed isn't such a bad thing after all... Just remember to run a comb through your hair.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fabric Tuesday: Black and Metallic Brocade

Perfect for evening bags, this brocade has both silver and gold floral accents.

Every woman should have one elegant bag to use on those special nights when a big daytime bag just won't do. This fabric would make a timeless, versatile bag that would look lovely at the theater, dinner, or on date night.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Magnets with Thrifty Display

Everyone who works at LBD loves using our trusty 1.25" button machine, so I'm always trying to come up with new ideas. Recently, we've started making these Seattle neighborhood magnets.

I have them displayed on a pretty tin tray that I found at Goodwill for a couple of bucks. You can find interesting tin objects aplenty at thrift shops and they are usually quite cheap. These trays would look fantastic mounted on a wall in a group to be used as a quirky bulletin board.

I find it handy to keep a little magnet with me when I'm thrifting so that I can tell if something metal has steel content. (Magnets only stick to ferrous metals, so you're out of luck with aluminum.)

Ballard magnets $2 at our store.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Pickup Artist

I took this picture of one of our pickup racks just after I closed up shop last night. You can see several custom made bags that are waiting to be retrieved by their new owners this weekend.

We never tire of seeing the designs our customers create. The bag in front is an Eve with a button embellishment and added rings.

All of the bags shown are black-based - some glossy, some matte. You can see our various faux leather options here, just click on the appropriate palette.

PS - Some of you might be too young to get the movie reference in my silly title. More info here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Peek at our Lining Fabrics

We use an American-made material to line all of our purses and wristlets. The taffeta is specially manufactured for this purpose.

We stock about twenty colors of this durable and rich lining fabric.

Each color has a name. Most names are food-related like Chocolate, Vanilla, Raspberry, and Lime.

Here's an example of a custom bag featuring Watermelon lining. Our customer chose to pop a bright color inside of her blue and grey purse. She'll always be able to find her stuff, and she'll smile each time she looks inside her bag.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Button Thursday: Gaudy Gold and Topaz

1970s Gold Button, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

I love this button even though it is a bit over the top. It reminds me of something that a singer on the Lawrence Welk Show might have worn on a jacket.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eve has Tiny Feet

We put little metal feet on some of our purses to protect them as well as to add some shiny hardware. This glossy black Eve bag has four of our standard nickel feet. We also carry a pretty warm gold tone option on most of our hardware.

Often we use ribbon detail on Eve, but this example features a black and ivory Asian fabric. I love the button embellishment, which perfectly completes the purse.

Eve bag, available in our store $86.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fabric Tuesday: Velveteen Upholstery

We have a large remnant of this gorgeous and durable fabric. It features textured blue-green flowers and brown stems on a thick ecru background. The flowers are raised velveteen and heavenly to touch.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blue Skies, Blue Birds

How about navy blue for your new spring purse? Paired with sky blue and bird-themed ribbon, our glossy navy is anything but boring. Not to mention the hot pink lining will never let you lose anything at the bottom of this Eve bag.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Eleanor Loves Spring

Here's a pretty spring Eleanor bag that we made this week. Inspired by the bright, new ribbon, we paired soft aqua microsuede with glossy black.

Adding a colorful twist to basic black can be a good way to experiment with a more fashion-forward look.

If you usually carry a black bag, consider some colorful accents. I guarantee you'll smile every time you pick up your purse.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Button Thursday: Metal and Plastic

Teal Plastic Button, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As Promised...

As Laura mentioned last week, here I am to share my hot-pink woodgrain fabric creation.

Laura really inspired me with her design of the zipper coin purse, and I'd been dreaming of a ruched Veronica for some time. The Veronica is my favorite shape, and while we don't offer a ruched version as of yet, it's always fun to try something new and test it out.

The joy is in the details for me:

Because the Veronica shape has a zipper closure, the lining can become whatever brings a smile to your face when you unzip your bag. Mine is aqua, and I chose to add a secondary fabric shell to my interior zipper pocket:

I loved this nesting doll print from the moment Laura brought it in, but didn't want a black-based exterior for my summer bag. The hot pink tag is a remnant from days gone by - We change our tag color every 2,000 items. This one is from about 7,000 ago, and happened to be floating around my workstation, clearly waiting for me to design this bag!

I also added two cell phone pockets, one for my phone, and one for a Laura Bee Snap Coin Purse, which fits perfectly into the standard cell phone pocket size:

The question of capacity always arises when people are choosing their bag shape in the store. For me, the Veronica shape even works as a carry-on for air travel - My snacks, magazines, and ipod all fit snugly inside along with all of my regulars:

This bag may be a little crazy for some, but to me it is a neutral, happy, summertime carry-all that makes me smile every time I see it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fabric Tuesday: Overlapping Ovals

This cotton print has organic oval shapes that overlap to form new colors. It features a soft palette of blues, teals, and greens on an espresso background.

I thought you might like to see how we store much of our fabric. My husband Jeff made us hundreds of these 'mini-bolts' from masonite. Since I tend to buy just one or two yards of each fabric, the petite size is perfect for thumbing through our collection.

Jeff drilled holes in the top of each bolt so we can loop elastic around the fabric easily.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Woodland Pink

A little while back I showed you this crazy pink wood grain fabric here. I thought you might like to see a couple of things I made with the material. These are small zipper coin purses with vintage button embellishments and key clips.

I couldn't resist the fairy tale pairing of a tiny yellow deer with fuchsia wood grain fabric. (Next week Ashley will show you what she did with this combination.)

Now, where shall I stitch this little red squirrel?

Friday, March 06, 2009

My New Olivia Clutch

Yesterday I made myself this new clutch. I used a vintage linen print I'd had in my stash since last year, when I bought the remnant at a button show.

The fabric gathered beautifully, and paired nicely with our new crackle black textured microsuede. I added a removable silver bangle so that I can carry the bag on my wrist.

My excuse for making this bag for myself was to test our new Quad Pockets, which you can also see here. These pockets are sleek and functional, fitting credit cards, cash or business cards. You can add the Quad Pockets to any bag that is at least 10" wide for $10.

The Olivia is quite roomy. She measures about 11" wide by 6" tall. I plan to use mine to transport the essentials. I like having a clutch inside my larger work tote so that I can just grab it and go.

Here's what I've put in my Olivia so far: cell phone, lipstick, pen, photo notebook which contains all of my to do lists. I plan to tuck an Envirosax bag inside for shopping excursions, as well as a coin purse to hold change and business cards.

The leaf is a vintage brooch with a faux pearl dew drop. I found it last year at an antique mall and think it looks just lovely with this vintage fabric.