About Us

If you want to learn more about us, you’re in the right place. Read to learn about ilyware and where it’s come from!


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Our story

I really hope you love my hand crafted handbags and purses as much as I do. Each one has its own quirks and no two bags are the same – even if I tried!

ilyware = individual wear


A little bit about my process…

I live in the beautiful city of York, UK (I am from Winnipeg, Canada) and for me I like to spend a lot of time looking for the right materials to create with. I get to walk down the lovely cobbled streets, where the colours themselves are inspirational, looking for wonderful materials which often inspire the bag designs.

Spending time thinking of creating the surface area that I will be sewing with is always exciting. How do I want to embellish it? Is the material so nice that I don’t want to add anything on top of it? Can I mix two or more fabric styles together? What sewing techniques and folds can I add to the fabrics? How many pockets do we need? I like to think of colours and textures to create the perfect balance.

My working area is a big mix of sewing kit, electronics, and many different materials!

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Since I can remember, I’ve been a geek and from those early days of being (the only girl!) in the afterschool computer club, I’ve wanted to see how I could mix my love of fashion, design, and technology. For me, creating personal handbags with style and technology embedded seems the most delicious mix!

When a handbag or accessory is all planned out, designed and pieces are cut and ironed, I then line them with different weight interfacing or padding. I map out the bag area where the pockets will go and make the pattern pieces. These are typically done with several pieces of fabric. The outer fabrics are chosen for strength and ‘feel’. I always love making the inside of a pocket with a beautiful piece of fabric. I know that this really will only be seen by you and me but I always think of it as a nice bit of ‘secret’ luxury.

The bags are then photographed. I also plan the packaging as much as I can. I like to choose tissue paper and boxes that are as nice as the bags so you feel like a gift has arrived is important. If the item is a gift I can add a handwritten card too if you’d like.

The bags are always noticed when out and about, and they are a real treasure to use but also for me to make.

Goodbye boring bags!

Mostly, I focus on creating handbags, but I also like to make little accessories to go with them. I’m confident you will find some products that you find as useful as I do – and they make great gifts!

ilyware is all about exploring fabrics and materials. I like to create unusual ways to mix and match things in non-traditional methods. Making bags that will delight people when they see them is part of my goals! A handbag or purse may surprise someone when they see the bag opened and the lining is playful in contrast with a serious exterior. I’ve had people say part of them wishes the lining was outside so people could see how beautiful it is!

I can easily spend hours looking through zips, fabrics, clasps and techniques to try. Sketching out a design and sewing prototypes are all part of the process and work that goes into each design. I know they are finished when I want to keep it for myself and feel a little sad to be letting them go.

The handmade bags are specifically marked as such. This way you always know when you are getting an ilyware original, 100% unique handbag, purse or accessory. There are also made to order, or build-a-bag which are all handmade as well. These make fantastic unique gifts.

The bags are handmade. You always know when you are getting an ilyware original, it is a 100% unique handbag, purse or accessory. There are also made to order, or build-a-bag which are all handmade as well. These make fantastic unique gifts.



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