Thursday, June 23, 2011

Style Preview: 'Traveler' Chef Knife Messenger Bag

The 'Traveler' Chef Knife Bag is a large cross-body messenger style bag that is designed to accommodate those who need to carry around lots of knives.

The Traveler is similar to the backpack in style on the exterior, but utilizes a shoulder strap rather than backpack straps.  When its opens up flat, it  features both sides of the bag with four knife slots each and elastic straps again for your extras.  Each side is stiffened with an additional layer of felt and an adjustable strap to hold your knives in place.  The two sides fold on top of each other, so the knife pouches have been placed on opposite ends.  Don't worry your precious babies will not touch each other.  Think of this as a large knife binder.  If you are one of those people that carry around a special knife for every kind of job imaginable, I call you prepared for anything.  You are proud to be addicted to your knives and this is the bag for you.

Style Preview: 'Commuter' Chef Knife Backpack

The 'Commuter' Chef Knife Backpack is another style of bag that will be offered in both leather and wool felt.  Perfect for those of us who commute to work by bike, bus, subway, etc and who have extra things to carry like clothing items.  It is also a good option for pastry chefs and students who have lots of odds and ends to carry around that don't fit into standard pouches.

This is a large pack that on the exterior is a similar design to a standard backpack. it has two adjustable straps and zips down the sides, opening up to lay flat.  There are four divisions in the flat pouch for your main tools and taut elastic across the front of the pouch to carry extras, just like the Stage roll-style bag.  A flat adjustable strap near the top of the bag holds everything securely.  An additional layer of felt stiffens the back side of the pack.  What makes this one different is that the opposite side of the bag features a large zippered pocket (12" x 17") with a 10" opening to hold any of the things you might need that don't fit into the standard knife slots: clothing items for work or street clothes, keys, wallets, phones, measuring cups, small scales, piping tools, cutters, pastry scrapers...if you need it for work,  it will probably fit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Style Preview: 'Stage' Chef Knife Roll

Initially, I will be offering three different styles of bags, all offered in either leather or wool felt.  The most basic version is my take on the classic knife roll, what I call the 'Stage'.  (French pronunciation, meaning.)

Small and lightweight, it is an over the shoulder style bag with a carrying handle.  It features a flat pouch made of the same material as the body of the bag with five divisions for storing your main tools.  Over the top of the pouch are taut elastic straps to securely hold all the other essentials.  The bag folds over itself, zips up and then rolls up and buckles to hold all of your items right where you put them.  I have been using one out of the Saddle Tan leather and couldn't be more pleased with it.  I can't wait to make one for you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Materials Preview

Popping in for a little sneak peek of the materials I will be using. 

First, 100% Merino Wool Felt.  It is thick, sturdy and absolutely lovely.  Wool is naturally water repellant and antibacterial, so it makes a great choice for a knife bag.  Very modern looking and the colors are pretty amazing too.

These are the three colors I am starting with: Medium Grey, Persimmon (red-orange), Charcoal.  As an added bonus, the Medium Grey and the Charcoal are both natural, no dye used.  I already want one of each bag style in each color for myself.  As you can see, there are lots of great colors to choose from later on too.  What color would you order?

Next up, the bags will come in leather too.  Leather is, well, leather.  Strong, durable, soft, classic, luxurious but rugged.  I have two cowhide leathers, one chrome-dyed suede in Chocolate Brown and a deer-tanned leather in a classic Saddle Tan color.  Touching them just makes you feel good.

Wanting to see the bag styles?  Stay tuned, that preview is coming soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Combination of Skills

I have sewn my entire life.  I initially learned to sew through encouragement from my mother and my grandmothers.  Over the years, I have picked it up, left it behind, wondered what new things I could potentially make.  Recently, I have begun to make nearly all of my clothing, and I spend a majority of my free time sewing.  I have developed my sewing skills through lots of practice, a slight case of perfectionism and a drive to improve my technical execution of various techniques. 

As my day (that actually happens at night) job, I am a cook at a restaurant.  Basically, I make food.  Before doing this, I was an architect.  Here I go again, making things.  You could say I have an interest in detail and how things are put together.  Figuring out complex ideas, simplifying them, streamlining them, making them better, more functional, more attractive, tastier, better fitting. I find that these three fields have a lot more overlap than one might initially expect.

The other day at work we were talking about chef bags and our thoughts about them.  My brain began to spin just thinking about the possibilities of bags that I could make.  I started asking the people I knew how they felt about their particular bag and what they would want out of an ideal bag.  I began drawing up patterns for various bags to make.  And the idea for Beef & Lamb was born: practical, functional chef bags made out of luscious, durable materials.

Pictures will be posted soon and bags will be sold through Etsy at beefandlamb.