Where does creative inspiration come from?
Yesterday I wrote a little about what it means to be creative, and came to the conclusion that it's partly through the ideas we have and partly through how we use those ideas in the things we do, and the things we make.
When you pick out your fabrics and hardware, cut into those fabrics, and sew up your beautiful bags, you are creating. And I'm pretty sure that each and every bag that you are handcrafting is different from the ones that came before it, and from the ones you've yet to sew.
But how do you choose your fabrics and hardware? How do you decide which pattern you're going to sew? Or which bagmaking techniques you want to add to your makes?
Where does creativity come from? Invention? Innovation? Inspiration?
Did you know that Samantha's bag sewing patterns are designed with skillbuilding in mind? It's true! When Samantha begins to work on a new pattern, she looks at new or unusual hardware, interesting fabrics, or particular bagmaking techniques, then starts figuring out ways to help you learn how to use the hardware or fabric, or learn how to do the technique while sewing a beautiful bag.
The Button Lock Bag, The Jangles Anchor Bag, and The Companion Carpet Bag all have hardware at their heart. The Ring Sling bag demonstrates how to maximise stability through structure by offsetting the seams, and The Bucket Tote teaches how to use an oval base.
Samantha's designs all begin with inspiration from a technique or piece of hardware - sometimes after a bagineer has asked how to use that hardware! - and this inspiration then sometimes leads to her inventing or innovating in order to make the hardware or technique accessible to bagineers.
What inspires you?
I love asking this question of bagineers. You'll see it come up every so often in the Facebook groups, and almost every time we have the honour of interviewing a bagmaker. The three most common answers are:
- - the pattern
- - the fabric
- - and other bagmakers
Kimberly from My Dani Bags told us:
"When I design a bag it almost always starts with the pattern. Swoon has been an all time favorite place to start."
For Helen from Sew Helen Richardson, inspiration comes from upcycling:
"There is so much pre-loved stuff out there that is just longing to be made into something beautiful and unique."
And Sylvie from Sam et Merveilles finds inspiration in your makes:
"I really enjoy watching the work of others! Some designers are real geniuses! They are amazing! They allow me to discover new patterns of bags in different ways."
Need a hand finding your creative inspiration?
We all get a bit creatively blocked sometimes. But what do you do when that happens?
Why not try something new?
During our interview earlier this year, Stacey from Crickhollow Creations told us:
"I look to be inspired by a pattern I think will challenge me or teach me a new skill, but isn't so far out of my skill set that it runs the risk of being a disaster."
We think this is a super idea! To help you to try something new, to find your creative inspiration, we've a special discount code here at Sewing Patterns by Mrs H and over on the Swoon Patterns website. Take 20% off your basket at checkout on both websites using the code CELEBRATECREATIVITY until the end of June 19th (excludes The Cwtsh Bag charity sewing pattern).
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