Why do items labelled “Handcrafted” cost so much?

Although few people are direct enough to explicitly ask this question, many do so through raising their eyebrows, quickly replacing the item they were holding, and walking away muttering about how the fabrics don’t cost anything near that amount.

Well, it’s not just about the fabrics you can see, although of course they need to be factored in! Bags and wallets usually need for more of the lining fabric than you might think, especially if pockets or credit card slots are involved. The exterior and lining fabric pieces each needs to be interfaced, and between the inner and outer layers there is often a stabiliser to give your bag structure.

Sometimes I make bags to my own design, but more often I make (or base my bags on) patterns designed and drafted by professional designers.

This week I made a Necessary Clutch Wallet (NCW). The pattern was designed by Janelle MacKay of Emmaline Bags, and the process began by actually purchasing the pattern pieces. Next was the task of choosing appropriate fabrics for the purse – in terms of colour, weight, texture, and blend. This took longer than you might think. After that it I had to cut the outer fabric, lining pieces, interfacing and stabiliser pieces, fuse then all together, and select appropriate clasps and zips. That done, I was ready to begin construction, Here are a couple of videos to illustrate the process: