Behind The Seams

Ramblings of a sewing fanatic

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Location: Fashion Hell, Florida, United States

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bobby Breslau Purses

Some of you may recall that I have been working on making a copy of this bag (be sure to hit the back button to come back here). I fell madly in love with it after Kathleen wrote about it on Fashion Incubator. Kathleen was generous enough to actually loan me the bag and allow me to take it apart. I started work on my version but haven't had the time to finish it because I've been so busy with other things. So far I have constructed the main pieces but still need to construct the lining before joining the sections. I know I took photos but darned if I can find them right now.

This is the front pocket with a red Ultrasuede lining. The original bag was completely unlined and I wanted to improve upon this.

I intend to finish the raw edges of the leather with a product called Edge Kote.

Well, recently, while trolling Ebay for vintage patterns (I have way too much time to do that while my embroidery machines are running, sigh) I came across this pattern:

While I was unable to see the line drawings or the shapes of the pattern pieces, it looked suspiciously like the DE bag I borrowed from Kathleen. Being overly curious, I bought the pattern and was thrilled when it arrived yesterday. Interestingly, both the pattern pieces and the processes for these two bags are nearly identical right down to the inside pocket into which it is nearly impossible to put one's hand (and I have small hands!). The only difference there is that the pattern's pocket is free-hanging while the DE pocket was topstitched into place.

Based on the price, I'm guessing the pattern dates from the late 1970s. It was designed by Bobby Breslau who, according to Vogue, "designs the softest leather in the world. His BigPouch and family of Little Pouches sensualized the bag world, becoming classics in their own time!" So, which came first - Bobby Breslau or Beth Mitchell?


Blogger Els said...

I guess Bobby Breslau came first and Vogue made this pattern commercial available so others could make their own BB, like Beth Mitchell did.
I love that bag and remember reading Kathleens post about it.
Hope to see your version when you have time to finnish.The green leather with the red looks devine.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Kathleen Fasanella said...

I'd bet buckets of money that Beth used this home sewing pattern! That is so typical! Insult to injury, the newest DEs (who use home patterns) are the ones most likely to want you to sign a confidentiality agreement!

How funny that you found this. How come you didn't tell me? I would have blogged it.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous jojo said...

Wow - I just stumbled accross your blog - it is great. I totally love this bag does anyone knoe where else I could get this pattern?

10:00 PM  
Blogger Phyllis said...

Gigi - I also like the bag with the looooong strap that probabley hits at about the knee!

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

I bought the Bobby Breslau Vogue pattern in the 70s when it came out. Vogue had 2 Breslau patterns. Bobby Breslau made handbags for Halston. These were the original bags shown on the runway with Halston fashions. I'm sure I can find a picture or two of the bags in my Halston books. Breslau did the handbags, Elsa Peretti did the jewelry for Halston. To continue Kathleen's point, this bag was not an original design when Michael Kors made it in 2002. I have not yet made the bag ;-) I did just buy some gorgeous red mock croc in leather from an ebay seller, for which I have high hopes. I will be watching your progress! Pamela

9:34 PM  
Blogger Gorgeous Things said...

OMG, Pamela, I'm so glad you mentioned it, because I thought this pattern looked like a Halston bag I had back in the 70s. I got it at Filene's Basement and it was my mainstay purse for ever until it fell apart. Thanks to Gigi and Kathleen for pointing this out. And I agree that using homesewing patterns for production is a recipe for disaster - I didn't do it when I was designing, but I knew several who did and the results were absolutely atrocious. And they totally POd their manufacturers, who *knew*, even though the DEs claimed that they were original designs.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:36 AM  

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