Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tasmain: New Materials, New Skills (to learn)...

One of the perks in my line of work is contacts with the savvy Fashion Students. They have a great network and information resources through their schools, and they do not mind sharing it with us, self trained folk...  During the launch party of my line at Blushing Boutique last year, one very savvy young lady tipped me off, that a fur coat business in my neighbourhood is closing down – and they are selling off their supplies... I knew that they would be a great source for beautiful, well kept, soft garment weight leather, just waiting to get rescued amidst their mayhem of pre-closure down-sizing. 

The next day, I paid the Fur Place a visit.

What I discovered was a happy ending of a long career of a fourth generation fur traders and crafters. Since early 19th century this family have been working with growers, hunters and trappers, they sourced fur and produced high end clothing, and now, decided to retire. For me, what they had in store, was lambskin in three lovely colours! None of my usual suppliers carried lambskin, so this was a great opportunity for me to try working with something different, and rescued! (of course, needless to say, I loved their huge work-space and tall cutting tables, mannequins, sergers, machines - I wanted to get my hands on everything!)

I immediately loved working with lambskin. Not only is it soft, and perfectly pliable, but also, very resilient, which is extraordinary for a 1.8 oz weight. I first dug into the small pre-cut pieces, to try and build a new, evening bag design with pleated detail, I had sketched a few weeks prior.

Tasmain prototype, still with rivets...

Tasmain – a compact and elegant shoulder bag, with pleated front pockets was designed for lightweight leather, such as Lambskin. It proved to be the perfect experiment and a challenge. I re-inforced the body, pocket bases, connectors and the straps with stabilizer, I picked up at the same place. Then spent the evening pleating the pockets with glue, folding them in narrow strips and attaching them to the base for a structured finish. 
Tasmain was my first Western Rounded Sack design, to have the strap base connectors sewn onto the shell, as opposed to riveted, which I used to do in the past (for Kerry or Sarah bags).  I cut down on using metal even further, replacing  hardware, that attached my straps to their bases before, with re-inforced leather ties. Tasmain has made me more confident about my sewing skills....

Tasmain, Pistachio  - showing off my strap ties!

The final result was a sculpted evening bag; a design that plays up the elegance of Lambskin, it’s pliability and natural beauty. It holds it’s shape naturally without being a hard-shell purse. Darted bottom, just like the Sarah bag, closes with a non-flashy zipper and has two pleated front pockets. Strap can be adjusted by changing the length of base ties.

Tasmain bag comes in Black, Cocoa and Pistachio.

Fall/ Winter 2011 Cebrellex collection.
Posted by Jolanta http://jolavdesigns.com/


  1. I really love the bag. I know lambskin is so soft and I can only imagine how nice it must be to work with it. Looks fabulous!

  2. Thank you, Ann --I am so glad you like this design! It was quite the test for me, but, thanks to the sweet characteristics of Lambskin, I was able to achieve, what I had in mind...Thank you!