Sunday, July 02, 2006

The other day, I decided to claim a couple of hours for myself upstairs at my sewing machine, just "playing" with fabric and thread.
Although I have fabric stashed all over the house, I have a special box of pieces up beside my machine. These are fabrics that really zing and sing. Lovely brights...limes, purples, golds, deep reds, oranges, royal blues etc, and a few intense blacks to balance them. I always know that anything I pull from this box will go with any other piece, because they are all of a similar saturation and intensity. I do not need to worry about colours matching or harmonising...all they need are some little bits of neutrals, even just neutral embellishments, to pull them all together.
Anyway, this day I decided to do a couple of simple little bags.
I got my backing, which is a length of cotton waste that I was given in large quantities years ago.
Then I covered it with random scraps of fabrics. In this case, my "neutral" was some pieces of a cotton fabric I bought in Honolulu 10 years ago, which has a print from old vegetable catalogues. I also added some small pieces from a black silk shirt I bought at the Op shop a few weeks has silvery Chinese characters on it. (I love fabric with writing on it.)
Next I laid down some swirls of threads and yarns, then some glittery shreds of packing material that had come from the perfume shop where Kim works. I overlaid some black tulle, and then went to town with the sewing machine, going in all directions with black stitching to hold all the layers together.
I prepared the handles by plaiting some black rat's tail cord.
Then I made a very rash decision which I deeply regret.
I decided to put zippers in the top.
Zippers are a bit technical for me, but I know you really do need them if you want to be sure your "stuff"will not fall out of the bag.
I found out (the hard way) you need a zipper that is at least an inch or so shorter than the finished width of the top. I also found that you really need one of those more modern zippers that are very light.
I corrected some of my mistakes on the second bag, and the zipper sit much more easily in that one. But I think I will stick with loops and buttons in future.
To finish off the embellishment, I sewed on some shell discs from some cheap necklaces I bought at the toy shop.
Finally I inserted a lining of bright pink taffeta - by hand.
After that exercise, I feel I am ready to play with some soft pastels and laces next time!!

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Mary!those glittery packing threads.......have you tried putting a scant handful between two sheets of glad-Bake and pressing?
It also works for glitter fringes from old Xmas decorations!

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