The Process with Vanessa Crook of Realm

Feliz has some big love for REALM, since her ice-dye workshop with us, her creative-cool booth set up, and her bags that embody that fierce-funess of the Feliz-maker. We can't wait to have her back again this Sunday, with her amazing embroidered pouches. If you have any friend that has done something brave, badass, or worthy of a solid "yaaassss" then be sure to gift them one (or three). Here, Vanessa lays out all the steps it takes to make her signature pouch:


All of the Realm bags are embroidered and constructed here in east Austin, Tx so I thought I’d take us through the construction process of a simple clutch.

My studio isn’t far from my house so I like to ride there whenever it’s nice and I don’t have a big haul of supplies to bring with me. It’s been really nice out this week so here’s me cheesing it up biking to the studio and being so SAFE with a helmet:

Having your name on a door somewhere is a pretty cool way to feel official and like you’ve got your ish together.

Maker-types are often asked to describe where they they get inspiration from. For me, inspiration and ideas come from absolutely everywhere so I keep a sketchbook on me to log the seeds of ideas and then revisit those sketches later to create new designs. I also find it useful to moodboard current inspiration items, sketches, and in process designs around my workspace.

Today in the studio I am filling individual customer orders so instead of making several of one design I’m making ones of several designs. All of my designs start out as sketches that I digitize and create into embroidery files. I hoop the fabric for the bag I’m working on to get started.  

And then I load ‘er up on the industrial machine and let it rip

Embroideries can take anywhere from five to thirty minutes to complete, depending on the complexity and number of color changes in the design. When it’s done I take it off the hoop and add it to the pile.

Sewing the bags goes in several stages and requires different machines so I attack these in piles. First lining is serged to the backs of each piece of the bags.

Then zippers are sewn in and topstitched.   

Final step- sewing the sides up on the industrial Juki beast. Most of my bags have several layers of canvas in them and this machine treats all of that bulk like childsplay.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaassss!

Another one! There ya have it, it’s not the most complicated bag I make but it’s definitely the bag I make the most often and it’s fun every time.