Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Recycled Tapestry Bags Galore... and a tutorial. Of sorts.

Alrighty. I have completed not just one tapestry bags but TWO!

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a glimpse of the journey I undertook. This might not be 'the' way to make a bag, but it's my way.

1. Play about with your tapestries until you have a layout that pleases the eye. This may take several days.

Ignore any funny looks you may get from your family during this procedure.

I personally like having the plain background pieces next to the busy background pieces.

2. Press them flat under a damp tea towel, fuse some fusible interfacing on the back (I think this might add strength to the flimsier bits and also hold it together better when you start cutting.)

3. It's unlikely that your pieces will be square. Square them up with a try square from your toolbox.

4. Do not use marker pen to do this as you'll get marker pen on the ironing board. Oops.

5. Zig zag those raw edges. Twice. Because you don't want the whole thing to unravel.

6. For the next piece, repeat the steps above and make it the same height as the first then pin them, right sides together...

This is really just a gratuitous shot of my fingernails as I've been growing them and for the first time in 27 years I have hands like a laydee!

7. That makes it sound like I'm 27 years old. I'm slightly older than that. Stitch together with a generous 2cm seam allowance and press seam open...

Yes it does look wonky.

Better from the front thankfully.

8. Carry on with your next row pressing the seams open. If you offset the joins it will stop the back getting bulky and will run through your machine better when you join your rows.

9. Join your rows. Press seams open.

10. Check for squareness again. Mine needed re squaring for some reason. If you chop bits off, zig zag your edges again. You can add a strip of the bag backing on to the top if you need to, to give you a decent fold over so you're not losing too much of the design.

11. Ignore the voices in your head, nagging you about the ironing pile that needs doing. Don't stop. If you stop you'll NEVER pick it up again. This is a scientifically proven fact. Stop taking photos of your work to save time. Who needs to see a photo of a seam pressed open anyway?

12. Cut a back piece the same size as the front. Zig zag edges, place right sides together and stitch 3 sides together leaving the top open. Clip corners and zig zag over them. You can also add a gusset at this point if you have nothing better to do or like a roomy bag.

13. Turn inside out and fold in top hem. Stitch this down.

14. Add your handles.


And the other one? I took off the handle to use on the bag above and found a leather belt in a charity shop to use as a handle. My local independent and quite attractive cobbler riveted it on for me and I left the ends of the belt on for added quirkiness. That jangly buckle is going to drive me insane though...

Do come back in a year or so when I'll be finally attempting to LINE the bags. I have now earned a much needed break from sewing and I have to tackle the ironing.

I shall be taking my bag to Kirsties Handmade Fair this weekend where I will no doubt be mobbed by women wanting to stroke it. It's very tactile.
Kirstie will want to commission one and I will tell her I did all the tapestries myself and charge her hundreds of pounds. In spite of this we'll become best friends. We'll go to Magaluf together where we'll get up to all kinds of mischief.

So I'll let you know how I get on with that. 

Linking with...

 Savvy Southern Style

Friday, 11 September 2015

Obsessive? Moi?

I seem to have a new collection. It's a great thing to acquire. It's storable and cheap. Dirt cheap. My tapestry love might have turned into an obsession.


I've still not finished my first bag. But what I like to do when I'm part way through a project is down tools and start another one.

Some of these I already had. The bird above came from a stool I wrote about on here.

Some of these I actually stitched when I was going through my cupid phase MANY years ago.
Oh come on! We all went through a cupid phase didn't we?

Birds and roses...

Cottages and gardens...

Ships and castles...

 Even York Minster. And why not?

  It's like all of English history is here!

The most I've paid for these is £2. I've removed them from dusty old frames and they're ready to be transformed into bags. I like to place them together to see what goes with what as I design my next bag. My husband gives me strange looks.

Look what happens the minute my back is turned...

Bad Bobby has no respect for precious textiles.

When I wrote the post before last, I couldn't recall what it was that set me off on an exhilarating google journey into recycled tapestry.
I have now remembered.
I saw this cushion cover in a charity shop, liked it but didn't need a cushion cover and thought it would make a nice bag.

A seed was sown. (Or should that be sewn? )

Here is my very much still unfinished bag. In case the suspense has been killing you...

It will ultimately have two handles...

The handles are leather and pre drilled for ease of sewing them on. I got them HERE.

They were £13.95 with free postage which isn't bad at all for leather. You could alternatively use an old leather belt and have your local cobbler rivet it on for you. I think I'll do that next time.

The cows are worked in petit point which is laborious to do. (Not by me.)

I thought that stitching the handles on with a contrasting embroidery thread and doing a running stitch round the edges in  the same thread would funk it up a little.

I think that was a fail.

But, here's the thing. Next weekend I'm going HERE....

So I'm going to need to finish my bag, (or another one) to take with me!
I've got a week.
I'm highly productive under pressure.
So watch this space.

If you're going to Kirsties Handmade Fair next weekend and spot me, come and say hello. I'll be the lady with the recycled tapestry bag.