I personally think it's the small details like hardware that make your handmade bags professional looking. You can easily incorporate items like magnetic snap closures or purse feet, even when the pattern doesn't specifically request them. A lot of times these don't even require additional tools to install.
Case in point--a bag I started while I was still living in NYC. It's the Folklore Bag from the book One Yard Wonders. I unearthed it in a bin last week while I was finishing up Fall class samples for MD and thought to myself "While I may not be in love with this bag anymore, it won't do anybody any good sitting here in pieces. I should finish it!" Aren't you proud of me?
The next step was for me to stop by Bolt and pick up magnetic snap closures.
Even though I had used interfacing (some non-woven, non-fusible I had laying around and wanted to use up because it's not my fav), I reinforced the area with Stacey Shape-flex fusible interfacing (my actual fav) that I had cut into squares just large enough to surround the hardware, about an inch. I did double it for extra stability.
The package suggests a small piece of cardboard but that seems like overkill to me. After marking the location, I pierced two holes with an awl and pushed the prongs through to the inside.
Then placed the support over the prongs and bent them to either side.
All of this, of course, wants to happen before joining the exterior and lining together. Now I could zip around the top edge and turn my bag right side out through a hole I had left in the lining. A quick press and an topstitch around with my trusty #10 Edgestitch foot and my bag is finished.
I think it's cute but a little small for my taste. I'm a big bag kind of lady. If I were to do another bag (or more appropriately WHEN I do another bag), I might stitch up one of these. Similar in shape and I like when the pattern calls for finding fabric combos.
Naturally, I couldn't help but pick out some fabric while I was there. Home-dec is great for bags because of its heavier weight. And I've totally been eyeing this amazingly bizarre bunny-in-flowers Kokka fabric we got in. I LOVE it, especially with the scroll-work Alexander Henry.
Or this highly graphic Anna Maria Horner with the Echino dot?
As you can see, I'm obviously in a major plum and mustard phase right now because my second option is a little too similar to my first. I'm nothing if not consistent.