Lisa DeMio Shows You How to Pack Up in Style
Handcrafted bags are sewn to show — and last
The eyes have it for Lisa DeMio’s bags. The fabric artist, from Hampstead, took her love of luscious fabrics and created a coordinated line of bags, from a crossbody/messenger to an urban tote to small cosmetic bags and more.
Functional and fun, the bags are a pleasant combination of contemporary Scandinavian prints and supple leather. DeMio’s works with high-end designers for her prints and leather from abroad. Her triple stitching and careful construction, plus lots of interfacing, make them as durable as they are eye-catching — maybe the perfect happy-note solution for a trip to the grocery store.
For her backpack and a few of the tote designs, she uses a water-resistant waxed cotton canvas fabric. The wax, embedded in the manufacturing process, helps give the bag shape and durability. It’s an age-old process once used by the British Navy for sails, now used here to protect iPhones and other precious possessions.
DeMio had been sewing, mostly quilting, before she created her first messenger bag about 10 years ago. She was pleased with the effort and decided, “Yes, I can do this.” She’s been full tilt ever since, except for earlier last year when she sewed 400 masks for Hampstead townsfolk.
Red Staggerwing is a one-woman shop, with occasional helpers. DeMio decided on that business name after listening, nonstop, to a Mark Knopfler/Emmy Lou Harris song of the same name. It was only later that she found out it was also the name of a biplane of the 1930s.
Like all of us, DeMio is looking forward to embracing her public soon, but her first show may well be the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s fair in Sunapee in August. Meanwhile, her website is well stocked with tasteful yet fun solutions for stowing stuff on the go. As she says, “Carry your color!”