A Handbag for Helen Zille

Helen Zille is the leader of the Democratic Alliance, the opposition to the current ANC government.  You can read more about them if you want to over here, and more about the lady on Wikipedia here.  I am an admirer of the dynamic lady, as well as a member of the DA since 1996.  So I have been following her on Twitter since I joined Twitter.
One day she was tweeting about only wearing South African made clothes as far as possible and I tweeted back that I would make her a bag and …well…I did.

When considering what I should make I first thought of shweshwe, as it is a truly South African fabric. Obvious choice.
I wanted a bag that’s not too in-your-face, but not something demure either, something with humor, originality as well as practicality.  Something that is not everyday, something one would notice.
I decided on a basic enlarged clutch shape with a flap.  And yes, you will recognise a similar style to the one I gave away in This Cosy Life’s Monday Meltdown.  Well, if something works then keep the same feel, I say.  But where that bag had no frills, just the ruching, I added frills to the flap of this one (that one didn’t have a flap).

I once again chose to use different prints of the same colour shweshwe, in fact, I used SIX!

As this bag was to be quite a personal bag, I felt it appropriate to use as lining, the satin that was left over from my daughter’s matric farewell dress.  Which is purple – and not only does Ms Zille apparently like purple, it also went quite well with the brown.  And purple isn’t exactly a demure colour, is it?

As to the practicality, I added a little zippered pouch to the back of the bag, for anything that a political figure might want to have close at hand.  Like…erm… I dunno, the latest facts on corruption…?

And of course inside are two little pockets for all those things that gets lost at the bottom of one’s bag: lipstick, keys.

If you’re wondering why the pocket’s white on the inside:  Well, the satin is quite soft and needed to have some interfacing on all parts to help it keep shape and make it more durable.

 The flap closes with that wonderful invention: the magnetic snap.

I sent some of the photos to Ms Zille’s very capable and friendly assistant and received back and email from Ms Zille saying that she could see it had “verve and a sense of humor“.  Well, I was as pleased as punch and tried my best to get someone, anyone to personally take the bag to Cape Town.
I failed to find someone and ended up using the good old PostNet services to send it.

To say that I’m quite proud of the fact that a person like Helen Zille not only has one of my bags, but LIKES it, is an understatement.

Now if I could only get a photo of her with the bag…..