welcome to my world

TABITHA EMMA HAS MOVED, you can now find me at

Sydney designer, illustrator and collector.


Behind the scenes

The design process, is a very interesting process and each designer has there own way of developing there ideas to get to the final product. So I thought it might be fun to share how I got to my latest design, rather just posting it and saying 'look what I made!!'

After getting some bird nest fabric from pippijoe I felt inspired to do something using bird nests.

So I started just looking around the web fro bird nests to see if anything would trigger an idea..

And then I cam across these 2 images which suddenly began to trigger ideas...

('Marcel' by Sea dream studio)

I love the little beret thing on this birds head which got me thinking of making my bird sort of french looking. ('A Chaque Oiseau' by John Alan)

And this picture had a really awesome quote on it in french!! it is a french proverb that means, 'to each bird his own nest is beautiful' prefect!!!

But now i had the idea, how was i going to turn this into a purse...

I decided i wanted to make something a little bit similar to this, in terms of having a panel at the top and tucks.
(Pleated cream and gold flower print clutch by Bespoke Boutique)

I wanted a purse that would allow for a design in the middle but I didn't just wantan ordinary zipper purse design. I quite liked the idea of using tucks.

These are my initial sketches..

In the very bottom sketch, you can see I also considered using gathers instead of tucks. But in the end I went with the tucks.

I then began to work iut how the whole design would fit together.
I decided it looked too squashed putting the bird next to the nest and moved it above, to even out the composition.

I was feeling a bit uncertain how it would all work out, so I did a mock up drawing on photoshop. I chose to go with balck and white and use lace to give it that french look.

I then mocked up a prototype.

I was happy with how it was working, so I decided to go ahead with the design. You may think.. well what if I wasn't happy, all that work and then you scrap the idea. Well yes, thats just how design is either you develop the idea futhur or if it really isn't working then it gets the heave ho. Theres been a few designs I have never gone ahead with as I felt it wasn't working out.

So.. now to fabric. As you see in my photoshop illustration I wanted to use a nice black and white print. But I had a look through my stock and and didn't have anything suitable.

So I bought this fabric 'Urushi' by Alexander Henry

Finaly I began to make the purse! :)

And here it is..

The Finished thing!!



boxofglory said...

Oh my gosh, I love it! I am very tempted!!

Thanks for sharing your design process. Very insightful. My sketchbook looks like that when I make something too! Haha!

'fancypicnic' said...

Love it! Great work...and lovely to see the process!

R. said...

Heya Tabitha, I love your etsy and have been seriously considering buying Type Bird for ages now. But I am commenting tonight because I have just found out you are from my hometown OMGWTF. How did quirk and style find its way to ol' C'town?! Clearly I must get out there to visit more often now...

daywalker said...

Thanks for that. Interesting to see that we have pretty similar design process. I love that fabric, and pleating too. I have a favorite mimco bag from years ago with the pleating detail. It looks great in soft leather. You make gorgeous things and i love that bird cage purse from a while back.