How To Dress Claire Handbag in Drama!

Lazies, The Claire Handbag pattern will be here in two weeks! So we have a little time to plan, scheme and dream until she gets here on June 15th.

Last week we discussed stack, chop and swap: Claire’s built-in secret for creating drama. As a good drama queen, Claire is equal parts attitude and attire. She’s got the attitude covered. The attire is up to you. So let’s talk about that a bit today.

Here are twelve cool cuts of the
‘Krakow’ line of fabrics by Mark Lipinski for Northcott Fabrics.

Cover and Pocket Fabrics
Claire needs 7 fat quarter (18″ x 20-22″) cuts of fabric total. Three fabrics for the outside and four for the insideĀ  of the bag. Today, let’s pick two for the cover and one for the pocket. The collection above offers nice variety and there are a number of combinations that would create the drama we are after.

Sort Fabrics by Scale, Color, and/or Print
Color: there are 8 reds, 3 whites and 1 black. Perfect, I’ll use one of each color if possible.
Scale: there’s only one black fabric option, so we need to compliment its scale which is the smallest repeat print.
Print: several different shapes/repeats/random. Of the three whites, the stripe is fabulous, interesting and works with the black the best. Finally, I’ll chose a red print that works with both.

The Selection
Together, these three fabrics offer different levels of diversity.

Fabric 1: large scale random floral, primarily red
Fabric 2: wonky stripe, horizontal element, primarily white
Fabric 3: small scale repeat, primarily black


Two Feature Fabrics is Key
The red and white fabrics are good choices because they are interchangeable as the feature fabric for Claire. Both prints are strong enough to be the main fabric, are different enough to offer contrast and coordinate enough to serve as secondary fabric for one another. This is exactly what we want.

With the stack, chop and swap technique outlined last week, the fabrics will change places from the front to the back of the bag. So we want them to look good in both situations. Also, keep in mind that each of these two fabrics will provide one handle for the bag.

krakow-2 krakow-1
Front/back of Claire. Shown here with the optional flap
closure to be discussed in future blog post.

The black fabric with the small repeat is an opportunity to tie it all together. The black fabric is used to create a pocket at the middle panel on both sides of the bag. As the third fabric, it needs to play second fiddle to both feature fabrics.

Look how the depth of the black anchors the bag. Due to its shape and location, the third fabric is an accent, playing a very strong part in this production. Shown here with one of the bag’s options, the flap closure will be discussed in a future post.

All of this fabric fun creates interest
and drama where the seams meet.

She’ll Be Yours In No Time
We are growing closer and closer to Claire’s arrival. I can’t wait to get her in my hands and send her on her way to her new home with you.


Leave a Lazy Comment

23 Responses to “How To Dress Claire Handbag in Drama!”

  1. Debbie — June 1, 2009 @ 7:44 am

    This bag makes me hold my breathe Can’t wait to see how it comes together…… looks like fun!!

  2. Karen H. Bolinger — June 1, 2009 @ 7:45 am


    Love the fabric combinations! She’s a beauty!

    Looking forward to the due date of her arrival!


  3. Jan — June 1, 2009 @ 7:46 am

    Joan: your fabric combinations are so terrific. I have a Word folder called “Joan Hawley” and I put all of your blog posts in that file and then I print them off and put them in plastic sleeves in a three ring binder. This way, your posts are so handy to refer to.

    Looking forward to your new pattern “Claire”.


  4. Paula — June 1, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    Oh my, you are such a tease!

  5. Jean Zeiler — June 1, 2009 @ 9:33 am

    Joan, I love the combinations that you share with us. I really look forward every week to my newsletter from you. You really do make us a part of your adventures. I keep every one you send out to us…Are you going to be on Kaye’s again soon? Jean

  6. janet c — June 1, 2009 @ 9:44 am

    love that red!

  7. Elfesfilz — June 1, 2009 @ 9:54 am

    Hello Joane,
    this Bags are wunderfull. Very nice Colours .

    Lg Gabi

  8. Sandy Dodson — June 1, 2009 @ 9:57 am

    so many bags so little time and MORE fabric that WE MUST have.

    love a good surprise.

  9. mary ann b — June 1, 2009 @ 11:43 am

    My first time to blog……! Noticed the new Clair bag to come out on this site shows a middle flap, but not on original pattern design…..does it have one ???

    – – – – –

    Hi Mary Ann, The Claire Handbag pattern includes directions for the optional flap closure shown in today’s post. Joan

  10. Margaret — June 1, 2009 @ 11:45 am

    Well Joan your pre-orders for Claire should be awesome, I did mine, like a good little lazy!! What fabrics are you showcasing on this example? Waiting with bated breath for my new “baby” – maybe she’ll be a preemie!!!!!!!!!!! Take care and thanks again Bea

  11. Margaret — June 1, 2009 @ 11:47 am

    OK so I missed the part about Mark LIpinski – got it now. Old age is wonderful if you still have the mind of a twenty something!!!!!!!!! Thanks again Bea

  12. Kim Davis — June 1, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

    I cannot wait to get my hands on this pattern!

  13. Isabeau — June 1, 2009 @ 3:26 pm

    I just love Claire, and I’m itching to get a hold of the pattern! I think I’ll be addicted to make ‘just one more’ from the huge stash I’ve been building for years!

  14. Joellen — June 1, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

    Cannot wait! I can tell this purse will be made several times with lots of fabric variations.

  15. Laurie — June 1, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

    AWESOME! I’m getting excited since I have a ton of FQ’s!

  16. Dionysia — June 2, 2009 @ 12:54 am

    Hi from Australia… do we get the Claire the same time as you lot, or do i have to buy one online from you! I think its v cleaver how you teach us to use fabric.. i love fat quarters.. cant be botheredd with patterns saying to use silly amounts of fabric.. i think you take it one step further and do your pattern up in kits… as im really a “KIT” kinda gal… lazy, too. I just let others do the sorting of fabric and then i can just sew and display !! (show and tell, we call it here )
    Well done. Cant wait for the pattern and to use up my fat quarters so ican buy more, of course….( or hide more….)

  17. Anita — June 3, 2009 @ 7:32 am

    Hi Joan, I just love your emails every week, especially when they are about a new bag that you have out. Thank you for all the information. It is very helpful. Can’t wait to make this new bag.

  18. Alene Moulton — June 8, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

    Hi, I can hardly wait to get this pattern. I love the materials and also your choices.
    Just to let you know– those were th ones that I would choose also.

  19. Daisy — June 8, 2009 @ 8:10 pm

    I can’t wait to get this pattern, I have the fabric waiting to be cut. Sure am excited about it.

  20. Lesley — June 22, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    Joan, your bags are so beautiful. Do you make your own name tags?

  21. Betty Jackson — June 29, 2009 @ 10:10 am

    I love all your work. I made 3 bags for my sisters and cousin last year for Christmas. What a job.

  22. Edy Marsal — July 1, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    Joan, I don’t know if this is the right forum to ask but here goes! I have watched your demos on Kaye Wood TV several times and enjoyed. But, am frustrated that when you demoed the Summer Tote, you didn’t finish by showing the “how to” of the zipper tab. That may sound elementary but I just couldn’t get it right. Any hints?
    Since discovering your purse & tote patterns, I own them all and hope to try one of each eventually. Thanks!

  23. kathleen — July 6, 2009 @ 9:19 am

    Your handbags get better and better… I love making them all