Having made the decision to give my bag shapes flowery names, I've had great fun and some head scratching to come up with the following. (Hover over or click picture to see caption) Hopefully it will make it easier for you when choosing a shape to give me the name, so that there's no confusion about which is which! We'll see! By the way if the shape isn't quite right we can always tweak it to get exactly what you want-just ask!
When we produce so much waste per household, it's very satisfying to re-purpose clothes that you've loved and worn to death! I currently have a pile of T shirts collected over the last couple of years that I intend to turn into a rag rug.
A while back, I carefully unpicked the pocket section from a pair of jeans and have finally got round to making myself a little denim bag. As I usually get the cast-offs from failed bag attempts, making one especially for me feels like a luxury!
I made it to the same sort of shape, but narrower than, my little "Clover" clutch, with magnetic fasteners either side so the bag opens up to find stuff and looks neat when closed. I already had a Liberty print that made a vibrant lining and I attached an adjustable blue leather strap to a ring each side so that I can wear it as a cross body bag.
It was Lulu's first modelling job for me and she received a few compliments on Instagram! She's very modest and said it was just the bag that caught everyone's attention! I'd like to think so!
In case you hadn't noticed, this month I've added another page to my website, called 'Fabrics'. It's jam packed with beautiful pictures of all types of fabric in both vintage and contemporary designs. Now anyone who is thinking about having a bespoke bag made to their own unique specification can get some idea as to what type of fabric designs are available. Needless to say-there's plenty more where they came from-so don't be put off if nothing takes your fancy from that array-I can soon source some more options for you to choose from. Just give me some idea of colour/ type of design - as traditional or as wacky as you you like! Just complete the form on the Bespoke Contact page to let me know what you're thinking.
I've never been happy with how my bags are named-I tried to start them all with 'B', Belle, Boxy, Big (!), but that didn't really work for all of them. So some have funky titles like 'Beaujangle' and others just a descriptive phrase like 'silk framed purse'. I wondered whether if I gave them all a floraI related name it might make a perceptual difference?
A straw poll on Instagram and Facebook seemed a good idea, to see what my friends and followers thought. Instagram showed 69% in favour of a floral themed change and FB was 66% in favour. Lots of folk on Insta didn't vote and who knows who didn't like to say no on either platform..!
A very respected fellow maker, Pauline Greuell, based in the Netherlands (click on her name in this paragraph to check out her unusual and beautiful products on Etsy) messaged me to say that she thought it would make the bags more difficult to find with an online search and of course she's totally right! It makes sense to use both the new name and the old to cover both the prettying effect and the practical side.
Please meet 'Posy' Silk Frame Purse, 'Poppy' Cross Body Bag, 'Fleur' handbag with leather handles and 'Clover' clutch bag. After all, as Juliet declared: 'a rose with any other name would smell as sweet'!
Now that Christmas has been and gone, I can show you the last thing I made. For only the second time since I started making bags (in 2011), I actually used a bought paper pattern rather than making it up as I went along! I added some of my own ideas, as you do. I must confess it was a challenge to decipher the instructions and diagrams but I got there! The dear little four year old who received it declared: 'This is the perfect bag for me', so I felt it was a job well done! :)
The seat cover made a lovely cross body bag-I had thought it would go onto Etsy to be sold but needless to say I can't part with it-it's part of my family history!!
UPDATE: (30/12/18) And I've since discovered that a cousin in New Zealand also made cushions in this design, following a trip to the UK many years ago, when one of mum's sisters gave her the materials and pattern to make them! So even more of a family piece than I had realised!
Some cute little purses (or pouches depending on your part of the world!)
Kitsch poodles and limos -what's not to like?
Or trad William Morris Corncockle fabric-which do you prefer?
Don't forget I also make bespoke items to order if you have something particular in mind.
Go to the Bespoke Contact page and let me know...
Designed by mum as an upright chair seat cover this cross-stitch is very typical of the 1970's. When 70's colours went out of vogue the seat was re-covered, this was washed and placed aside in the linen cupboard, where I found it again recently. The colours and design now appeal to a new generation and Mum's quite happy for me to repurpose it, so I'm going to attempt to make it into the back and flap of a clutch bag.
I have a lovely golden dupion silk to make the front and lining, so we'll see how that works out!
20% off selected items for just one week! Click on the pics below to go straight to my Etsy shop for more details.
It's been lovely to have such a great response to mum's cross stitch-thank you to you all! The random design is easy for her to complete and keeps her fingers busy without the difficulty of following a pattern. It's given her a purpose for her creations and I've sold them as fast as we can make them!
Adding a zip or a magnetic fastener, a vintage button and a funky lining makes for a pleasing result, providing you're not too particular about the cross-stitching being perfect!
And they're easy to post as a gift or keep as a special treat for yourself!
Hello, I'm Ruth Overton. My nickname as a child was 'Ruthie Toots' which is how the name 'TootsTotes'