I first came across a Bitter Candy Handmade bag on Instagram, and when I followed the story back, I knew instantly that you'd love to read about Elizabeth, the wonderful bag maker behind the business too!
She says, "Colleen 'radroadkill' is one of my best childhood friends who wanted an amazing surprise baby shower gift for her friend & coworker Stephanie 'bellyuptotheclouds' (this would be her second child, and first girl). I actually sent her images of quite a few diaper bag patterns and the Nappy Bag was the clear winner!
Next came the secret scheming to figure out fabrics and colors. Colleen said Stephanie always jokes about sloths being her spirit animal and I knew the perfect fabric for that!! It was especially perfect after learning of her love of warm bright colors and that her upcoming baby girl's name would be Ruby. We went with a complementary bright alpaca fabric for the changing mat as their brother in law Bear's father owns an alpaca farm (Stormy Hill Alpacas) that they all visit and work on at times.
|The finished Nappy Bag inside|
Now Stephanie did know she was getting something from me and my 2 sneak peeks on instagram drove her nuts! (which was 8 weeks ago!) You can see them here and here.
Colleen was planning a surprise shower at their workplace but it kept (and continually keeps) getting moved. Every phone call to Colleen turned into "so... when's the baby shower? I'm getting antsy!"
Finally it happened (though at the official baby shower, rather than the work one) and Colleen sent me photos and gave me the details afterwards...
It worked out that the Nappy Bag was the last one to be opened (fate, right?). Stephanie got to it and said "oOoOo, do I know what it is?" (Colleen is not very good at keeping her gifts secret, but this time she did!)
Her expression upon opening and seeing the Nappy bag was "OMG SLOTHS!" As she kept playing with the outside and showing it off, Colleen kept saying "open it... open it... OPEN IT!"
|Photo shared with permission from Stephanie|
She did and found the bright alpaca changing mat and out came "OMG ALPACAS!" Both were loved and people kept commenting on how cool and cute they both were.
I was so happy that those moments were captured on camera! I loved seeing how happy she was with her new baby bag! (which of course is thanks to your great pattern!)"
|Stephanie's custom made Nappy bag, handmade by Bitter Candy Handmade|
What a lovely and gorgeous story, right? I thought it'd be fun to interview Elizabeth, and find out a little more about her business.
1)How did you get into sewing, do you have any formal training etc?
- I must admit that although I love art in many forms and toyed with many mediums over the years, sewing was quite far down the list. But my life took a big 180 a few years ago. After a stroke (whoa!) that left me with really bad anxiety and no longer able to drive, and a big move... I was left trying to figure out what to do with my time at home and how to move forward. A little encouragement from my grandmother led me to sewing! Together we made a cute little Xmas quilt while she schooled me on the basics. After that, some online tutorials, and Facebook groups, my mother-in-law made a request for a new wallet and the rest is history (as they say)!
2)What is your favourite thing about sewing?
- My favorite thing is when a project is finished! There's that feeling of accomplishment and then the obligatory gushing over the wonderful thing I made MYSELF! lol And, of course, when I finish that means I get to have a fun and adorable photo shoot with my puppies <3
3)How do you decide what to sew next?
- Most who sew probably have the same 'problem' of an ever growing pile of patterns sitting there that have never been tried out... While sometimes I pick my next project based on need, usually it's what catches my fancy at the time. Sometimes I'm just going through my pattern cache and something will scream they need to be made, or a new fabric will arrive in the mail that would be just 'perfect' for a particular pattern.
|This is exactly why most of us get into sewing, to see this sort of reaction!|
4)Is there anything you wish you'd known when you first started sewing?
- Especially when sewing bags I feel like there needs to be a 'Quick Start Guide' on great tools, hardware, and an overview of interfacing all in one place. I feel like I would encounter difficulties wishing there was an easier way to do "blank", only to discover a cool gadget later already existed to do just that!
And as I found all those cool gadgets, I guess it would've also been good to know how there would never be enough of those tools, hardware, interfacings, fabrics, and patterns in my 'stash'... There's always room for more! ;P