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! :)
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...
A lovely vintage french cotton fabric I picked up from Etsy has made a super little clutch bag. I love those vintage shades of green and the abstract design. Another for the Secret Vintage Fair of course!
A cute cross body bag with leather strap made in genuine 1970's Grace Sullivan 'Desdemona' fabric designed for Moygashel. Available at the Secret Vintage World, The Minories, Colchester on 26th May. Tickets available HERE or pay on the day.
A clutch bag presented on a plate is a bit weird , I know, but the colours were so good together it had to be done.These plates have got to date from the 50s so a perfect backdrop for a reprint of a Sanderson fabric called 'Festival' produced for the Festival of Britain in 1951, which gave British design and manufacturing a boost after the war.
A couple more pics without the plates just for good measure! The clutch has a removable handle and a dupion silk lining, complete with open and zipped pockets. The flap fastens with a magnet and shows off that great mid-century abstract design.
Come and find it and me at the Secret Vintage Fair on 26th May!
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet... 'Bum-bags'. Remember them? But I ask you: 'bum-bag'? Not a name that conjures up a pleasant sight... and the American version 'Fanny Pack' is even more dreadful! I've been looking at the Spring-Summer catwalk trends and whatever they're called, it seems like they're making a come-back, so I thought I'd have a go at making one. I want it to be versatile, so it can be used as a clutch, a cross body or shoulder bag too, so strap attachment will be a challenge. Colours are ice cream shades, and pink is a definite. I've a lovely piece of Liberty stylised flowers fabric and a matching dupion silk that will do the job nicely! I'll have to purchase some coordinating webbing for the strap.
A little bit of beading and embroidery to enhance the front. Then to master the rivet tool to make a belt! The tricky part is finding the right fittings to make the hole and then fix the rivet in place. I'm quite pleased with the result! Not so sure that's the right buckle tho': I might source another!
I've made some loops for the back to thread the belt through. I think for this first attempt I'm not going to puzzle over making it transferable to a cross body bag-that's a challenge for next time. It can be removed from the belt to be used as clutch bag, so has some versatility.
Well here it is complete. It's essentially a messenger bag in miniature, which made the construction far too fiddly. I'll try a different way of doing it next time without the gusset.
And the name? Well 'hip-purse' is my choice, and 'belt-bag' is equally descriptive! Take your pick.
It's sad to say good-bye and in this case a dear colleague is retiring, so I have asked her to choose a fabric and a design so that I can make her a bag as a retirement gift! She chose this design and this sort of fabric...
So I found this lovely thick cotton stripe for the outer and a pretty floral for the lining.
And I decided on leather handles and floral beaded zip pulls to make it extra special!
She loved the result!
One of those lovely silks I bought in Sudbury at Vanners Silk Shop is now a pretty evening purse, set onto a metal frame and enhanced with beading along the top, The oversized purple snaps on top give it a contemporary kitsch look. There are two open pockets and one zipped pocket with beaded zip pull, and a vibrant dupion silk lining . A little chain handle completes the look.
You know what they say - don't count your flamingos before they've flown...? I am trying to make samples to present to Gainsborough's House, but then someone fell in love with this one and I sold it as soon as it was done! Maybe I need to put all my eggs in one basket or something? (puzzled face!)
And by the way: the keen ones amongst you might have noticed that I sewed the frame on back to front, so the chain was attached at the front instead of the back! And YES I did painstakingly unpick it and re-sew it the right way round!! Now I know why they call it pins and needles 'cos that's what you get from too much hand sewing.
Sunny days are reflected in this lovely 1970's Pat Albeck fabric, called 'Spot and Friends'. My previous tote bag in this fabric had been pieced together from a small remnant, patchwork style, so I was really excited to obtain such a large piece from MrsRocksBackRoom on Etsy.
A curtain in its former life, this genuine vintage textile is in excellent condition and it's taken a while to decide what to make! I found this yellow ric-rac fabric at Swedish Fabric Designs, which gives it a modern but retro feel and I must say I am quite pleased with the finished result.
Now available on Etsy for Pat Albeck fans or dog or cat lovers maybe? It has a choice of strap colour: yellow, brown or white.
Update: SOLD! in a flash!
Hello, I'm Ruth Overton. My nickname as a child was 'Ruthie Toots' which is how the name 'TootsTotes'