Students at the Studio!

finished bags

Students Handbag Making Day

Last Saturday I had two lovely students spend the day at my studio in Edinburgh designing and making their own handbags. Neither of them had ever made a handbag before, but both had a love of textiles. Everything was included in their day, including a metre of Harris Tweed each. They designed and made their bags themselves, and were very surprised at what they could achieve in one fun and busy day.

The day began with them choosing their Harris Tweed and coordinating lining. They had already decided to base their designs on the classic mini IKEA blue bag, but of course in tweed it was going to look very different.

Students Pattern Making

The students learned how to make a pattern for their design. No computer aided design in this studio! Just good old paper and pencil, with the aid of a grader square and pattern curve.

student pattern cutting 2 student pattern cutting 1

The students then cut out the pattern in their chosen fabrics, including interlining fabrics to add strength and structure to the bags.

Students Get Sewing

They then got busy on the sewing machines sewing them all together. Not only were the bags interlined, they were also lined in lovely fabrics to give a professional finish. All interspersed with a few cups of coffee and biscuits!

students sewing 2   students sewing

students sewing on machinestudents making bag

Finished Bags

The final bags turned out perfectly. They used different webbing for the straps and even had their own trigger hooks for hanging keys off.

finished bags

If you would like to come and make a handbag in a fun and relaxed environment, maybe with a friend or two, please get in touch! Gift vouchers are also available.

The full day runs from 10am – 4:30pm. Everything is included (except lunch.) There are a number of options for the day, depending on what you would like to learn, and there are also half day options.

New Elsie Day Bags on the website

Katherine Emtage Elsie Day Bag limited edition front brown herringbone check

There are new bags on the website this month, including a few limited edition Elsie Day Bags.

Featuring limited edition tweeds, some from the now closed mills in the north of Scotland, others from further afield in the UK. These limited edition tweeds will never be repeated, once they’re gone, they’re gone, which only adds to their exclusivity. Combined with tweeds from the borders and the islands, the Elsie Day Bag perfectly showcases the diversity of colour, texture and pattern in British tweed today.

The comfortable shoulder straps are made from high quality Scottish leather, and the zip closure is extra chunky to contrast with the soft textures of the body of the bag.

All Elsie Day Bags feature the three layer construction technique, meaning quality and durability are never compromised. The Elsie Day Bag also has an extra layer in the base for added strength, and four metal feet to protect itself from mucky surfaces.

The lining is made from organic cotton hemp and hand printed in our bespoke Katherine Emtage design. It also features two internal pockets, one patch and one zipped, for keeping small items handy.

The Elsie Day Bag is the perfect balance of timeless style and contemporary design, and the ideal bag to use everyday, from season to season.

Ooh la la – Ces Pochettes Sont Grandes!

Katherine Emtage dark cherry Harris Tweed large pochette mustard long strap tied front

That’s right Francophiles, there’s a new range of Pochettes on the website, and these ones hold a bit more than the originals. To the uninitiated, the Pochette is a ‘pocket’ sized clutch bag. However, the new style is approximately twice the size of its older sister and even holds a mini iPad. They are all still sleek and flat, with tweed and velvet trim on the outside, smooth silk taffeta on the inside and a chunky metal zip closure. But both sizes now come with either a wrist strap or an across the body strap in lovely matching velvet.

Let me at them!

New Collection at Cromlix House Hotel

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Just before Christmas I was asked to create a collection of accessories and home wares for Cromlix House Hotel by Strictly Come Dancing’s Judy Murray. Judy has created her very own Harris Tweed, so she approached me and two other Scottish designer makers to create an exclusive collection of bags, accessories and home wares in her bespoke cloth. All to be sold at son Andy Murray’s hotel, Cromlix, in Perthshire.

The Harris Tweed is a beautiful combination of dark purple, black and bottle green in a bold tartan checked weave. Reminiscent of the colours of Wimbledon, and very Scottish.

My collection, exclusively for Cromlix, consists of a clasp purse, cushion cover and a tea cosy. The clasp purse and tea cosy are lined in cotton florals for a vintage feel, and the cushion cover is generously sized for maximum comfort.