Rin notebook2

Wish you were here…

There are a thousand reasons why I love working from my sewing shed (the chance to think of new swear words is indecently high on the list) but the one thing that makes me squeal the loudest is when I get sent pics of my commissions by chuffed customers. I’ve had a shed load of them in the last week and they never fail to make me holler, “Look! Look! It’s my baaaaagggg!” MY BAAAAAGGGG!” You’d swear I’d never seen my own products before. Funny thing is that when a customer sends me such a pic it’s as if the product has finally become real, ending it’s journey from a fevered 3am idea to a tangible beast.

Rin notebook

My notebook cover: pic taken by Rin Simpson


It’s also some form of proof that when my customers say they love their commissions they really mean it. Rather than customers receiving items and shoving them in cupboards my bags, covers, birds and bunting get to live these entirely new lives, like teenagers let loose on Ibiza for the first time. They travel to countries I’ve not yet visited, meet people I don’t know, see sights I’ve only ever witnessed on the telly or been privy to entire lifetimes of events. Let’s not get too romantic about this, though. They also get treated to kids’ snot, spilled wine, bird shit, paint splatters and a thousand sneezes but even then I love that they are out there in the world and a part of the action, even while I am slumped on the sofa picking my nose in front of America’s Next Top Model.

Gill bag

What’s that Flipper? My bag?

All of which makes me sound ever so slightly like Lex Luthor or Doctor Doom, stealthily sending out my evil DNA in an effort to secure world domination. You could imagine my creations springing to life in the dead of night some time in the future, much like War of the Worlds but with ric rack and tassels rather than globe-stalking robots. Don’t worry though. I get all the giddy excitement I need with my customers’ snapshots which is lucky for everyone because if I did have world domination I’d be the female equivalent of Ming the Merciless. And yes, I’d keep the beard.

Tom's bag3

Pina Colada?

So, if you commission anything off me, the one thing I’ll beg you to do is send me a pic of your product in situ, for no other reason than to give me the sort of thrill for which most people would pay good money. It’s my version of porn. Yes, I drool and fumble over Molly Makes, Love Sewing or Sew Magazine but what I drool and fumble over even more is seeing my own efforts put to sterling use. Some people free injured animals for a living, some people free other humans but I free bags. Fly, my pretties! Fly!