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Victims of Sandy Hook

Stop the Slaughter of Innocents. Congress is bought and paid for by gun lunatics and gun promotion groups. If you want to live in a safe America, help buy Congress back for America. Send a donation to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 909 Third Avenue, 15th Floor New York, NY 10022

How to Become a Handbag Designer

Handbags can range from simple and utilitarian to all flash and fashion, and everything in between. If you intend to design them, learn both ends of this spectrum. Then, combine the different elements into new and different designs all your own.

1. Determine whether you want to design handbags as a hobby or as a profession. Your handbag habits could also be a little of both, making handbags in your spare time to sell for a bit of extra money.

Sharpen your sewing skills

2. Sharpen your sewing skills.

Get a sewing machine and learn how to use it.

If you're short on cash, used sewing machines can be a very good deal. You don't need a lot of fancy stitches or computerized embroidery to learn to sew. Ask around and see if someone you know has one you could have or borrow, perhaps in exchange for doing some mending for them. Check garage sales and thrift stores in your area, too. Sewing machines are pretty durable.

Thread your sewing machine

Learn to wind a bobbin and thread your sewing machine.

Learn a little hand sewing, too, at least enough to sew a button, though this can be done by machine. Buttonholes can also be done by hand or machine.

Invest in a good pair of sewing scissors.

make your own patterns

3. Start making your own bags from patterns. Try a denim purse, a tote bag, and a drawstring bag for some good introductory projects. Notice how the pieces fit together to form the shapes of the bags.

4. Try making some of the less conventional bags. Recycled and reclaimed materials give their own unique character to bags. What other materials and objects could you turn into a bag or purse?

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