CLAFLIN, THAYER & CO.

bags

QUILTED iPAD CASES

Liz
I don't have one of these fancy things yet but everyone else seems to, so I thought it might be a good thing to make a carrier for. I definitely wanted to add real foam into this bag to keep the iPad safe. Following my camera bag, I made a zig-zag quilted template.I was inspired by this service elevator quilt to do the zig-zag pattern.This is 1/4" foam for sufficient padded interlining. It's thicker than the original wool batting I used for the first camera bag, shown in the next photo below.I used just a little bit of glue to anchor the foam to the leather so it doesn't shift when sewing. Sewing the zipper down at the top.Finished bag also works great as a clutch.iPad case and camera bags.
I'm planning to reopen the online shop in the next month to offer a select group of items like this...please check back.

AMPERSAND AS APOSTROPHE

Liz
I just found the very cool handbag line Ampersand As Apostrophe by Jessica Park, based out of Seattle, WA. Starting with my favorite first: Hair-on hide Aztec printed bag with zipper trim and chain handle. I love the unexpected print on the hair.

Parcel Bag HERE
Mailbag Clutch in Grey Suede HERE
Mailbag Clutch in Black Crackle Leather HERE
Mailbag Clutch in Mustard Suede HEREMailbag Clutch Black Leather HEREMailbag Clutch in White Suede HERE

MM6 X OC BAGS

Liz
Very cool new bags from the collaboration between Maison Martin Margiela MM6 and Opening Ceremony. I especially love the double bag at top. It's similar to my sketchbook bag, seen HERE, which might be my most favorite and well-used thing I've ever made. These styles are simplicity at its best - nice materials, clean lines, and functional. Read more about the collaboration HERE.

SOMETHING NEW

Liz
I'm saving newer styles to show when I can really get myself together proper. I work here and there on these things, and I've been taking a semi-break which will continue through April. Just a bit to share in the meantime:

Here is Sara at the Port of Oakland. Nice evening, real girl, real bike. Note the battle wound on the tank by Max. She's got a cross shoulder bag with a tassel zip and an upside-down cross just for kicks.Railroad security in the background. Didn't seem to mind 3 ladies on his turf too much. Check store in May for new styles. Photos by Becca and Liz.

HELLO, JAPAN!

Liz
I am very excited to have my first retail locations in Japan! Limited styles are available at American Rag Japan at the following locations:

*SHINJUKU
*SHIBUYA
*OSAKA
*YOKOHAMA
*AOYAMA

Check the website here: AMERICAN RAG CIE

HANDBAG...SERIOUSLY.

Liz
Here they are...my "hand"bag collection. I call it "a collection" even though I only have two. I always think of a collection as being something special, something prized, something that you own and are proud of. These bags fall into that category even if I only have a couple. Perhaps my collection will grow at some point. Why am I so fascinated with them? They are beautiful, creepy, delicate, old, and a bit disconcerting all at the same time. I wonder why it became popular at the turn of the century to carry your change in the hand of an alligator suspended by a rope? How morbid yet practical. Victorians were such weirdos - making jewelry out of hair and purses out of animal hands...how did this become normal? What do you think of these? Are you repulsed, fascinated, confused, or all of the above? I am "all of the above," and that is precisely what makes these bags so interesting. Handbags rarely effect me emotionally, but these are so reminiscent of being alive that it's hard not to be moved by them. Thoughts appreciated whether you love or hate them...

XMAS LIPS!

Liz
Leather lips for Christmas? They make quite a good present, no? You can find them HERE drinking, brushing teeth, eating fruit, things like that.
Place your order by December 20th to receive by Christmas...

GLOSSY

Liz
I'm working on getting more lips bags made in time for Christmas orders...pushing it, I know. Check back Monday and they'll be in store. I'll send an email out to those of you have have emailed me directly.
Red hot patent leather!

LIPPY

Liz
The masses has spoken and they love lips! Thanks to everyone for your abundant lip bag orders. I'll certainly have bloody fingers making all of this but it's out of love for you, of course.

*NEW* TILED BAGS

Liz
Leather bags with gold/black and silver/black studded patterns. Handmade leather tassels. Inspired by tile work from swimming pools. Fancy fancy, bling bling!
In store now, click HERE.

LEATHER LIPS, TAKE 2

Liz
Basically, I've totally not been feeling like sewing bags lately because I'm having much more fun doing summery adventure things. When I do get around to cooping myself up with needle and thread, this is what I've been making. Who doesn't like some shiny red lips? I've obviously been into them lately as seen here and here. I quite like the idea of putting my makeup in a bag that looks like lips.LuLu Guiness designs some bodacious lips bags a seen below, but to be honest, I really hate making hard bags with cardboard or whatever in them. I want my lips to be soft and pillowy and fun to make. I've been putting off reopening my online store, but I guess I gotta stop avoiding it forever. I got better things to do sometimes then sewing leather pieces into mouths, you now? Anyways, aiming to reopen after this weekend or next week...does anyone else care about lips bags? Email me if you're interested in anything specific in the store. I've had a lot of people asking about the laptop bags, when I can get my shit together a little more maybe I'll make some of those...

LEATHER LIPS, TAKE 1

Liz
I've become completely enamored with 80's lips icons lately, as you can see here. So I nearly flipped this past weekend when I saw the whole Sonya Rykiel Resort 2010 accessories collection because there are lips all over it. These are the only photos I could find online yet - in person, they're awesome. I've know for a while that I wanted to make a lips bag with zipper teeth, and I was finally motivated tonight to tackle it. I generally start a new project by thinking it about it for a while, sometimes drawing it, but often just making a first rough pattern or even freestyle cutting and sewing directly from my head. I make a couple versions until I figure out how the pattern will work best. Thus, I generally end up with at least on crappy prototype that I usually end up liking more than the nicely constructed finals. I like mistakes and flaws because they add character.
Here we have a some paper lips patterns in various sizes, the remains of an old leather skirt, zipper, and piping. And my great-grandmothers sewing shears that are almost as long as my forearm.
I sewed the pieces to some leftover wool batting I had used for a quilt, but I think it's not poofy enough for what I wanted. Now I know for the next one. You learn as you go, always.All sewn together, definitely flawed, but pretty good for an hours work. This is just step one, I'll be working more on this one...fur sure.Throwing in my favorite photo of Margiela's Sonya-inspired coat, made for the 40th anniversary of Sonya Rykiel. Red heads do it best.

ACID WASHED COMPUTER BAG

Liz
12"H x 15"W acid washed denim laptop bag by Blond. At Pixie Market. Oops, guess not - sold out. It's a steal at $62.I made another leather laptop bag sample which I like better than the first. I'll put it up after the weekend...