I met a lovely lady at the Textile Fair in Braintree who fell in love with this Sanderson Tree Poppy fabric and asked if I could make her a bag. So here it is: a Toots Totes “Rosa” (and matching hairband) commissioned to be large enough to hold papers for a conference and to include a pocket for a water bottle. That was certainly a first! She was very pleased with it and asked if I made dresses too as she needed a new one for the conference! Sadly not, my dress making days stopped when fabric became more expensive than ready-made clothing, and I am seriously out of practice. Unless she wanted a zip top dress with leather handles she was out of luck!
In preparation for a long awaited visit to family in France, I decided to make three little bags to take as gifts. Rather than making them one at a time I decided to do the production line thing, which I've found in the past works quite well and saves a bit of time. I chose two William Morris fabrics: 'Strawberry Thief' and 'Snakeshead' (named after the fritillery not the reptile!) and a 50's reprint of a classic mid-century modern design 'Mobiles'.
I cut out two "Poppy" cross body bags and a variant of that design that allows for the cross body strap to be clipped on the side along with a partner strap the other side, to convert it into a backpack. I sewed the zipped pockets onto each front and then tacked wadding on to each piece.
Next I sewed the side and bottom seams, attached some plastic mesh to strengthen the base, and turned them right side out. Eight fiddly loop holders were sewn and attached to the top sides of each bag with two extra at the bottom of the backpack.
Just the linings to do now with their inner pockets and a zip top closure!
Update: Now back from our french holiday I can now report the bags were well received!
I used to wonder how my Mum was so prolific with her cross-stitch creations! However I’ve found out that it’s strangely liberating to stitch without a design to follow, making it up as you go along...and although I haven’t perfected the art of random flower forms (mine are a bit odd!) it’s extremely compulsive...you just have to keep going! I’ve lined the resultant little purse (or maybe it’s a glasses case) with a sumptuous silk and it will be a gift for grandmere en France! Hope she approves!
Hello, I'm Ruth Overton. My nickname as a child was 'Ruthie Toots' which is how the name