The red barkcloth 'Beaujangle' bag sold very quickly so I've been asked to produce a limited edition. This is no. 2 of 5! (Images of 'Heads' fabric by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation)
Of the more recently acquired vintage fabrics, this cauldron effect flat cotton also sets off the stark design of the 'Heads' fabric very satisfactorily.
Thirdly the giant fingerprints of the David Whitehead fabric coupled with a matt black top results in quite a awesome threesome, wouldn't you say?
Offering a bespoke service to the Henry Moore Foundation means a visit to the Henry Moore Studios and Gardens at Perry Green, every so often for an exciting 'design by committee' session. I spend hours sourcing the fabrics and haberdashery, then take them along for the team to mix and match the options until they reach a consensus on what works well.
Contributors to the process come from all over the organisation: from marketing, the archive, finance, the CEO' spares his PA, and the Events Co-ordinator and Wedding and Events Manager among others. It seems that whoever has an interest and is free that morning is welcome to contribute their opinion. And it works very well! Fabric is folded and unfolded, wrapped and draped to ensure the Henry Moore designs are enhanced, handle colour is matched or contrasted and buttons added and subtracted, until everyone is satisfied!
A friend at work requested a CK copy (Ooh unthinkable) and I had to make a prototype, just to check it worked in fabric, as the original was in raffia. Out came one of my favourites: Corncockle in golden hues. She loved the prototype so much she had that instead of her original choice of dark grey!
She's keeping it as her weekend posh bag as its too good for work she says!
Next - everyone's favourite - Strawberry Thief. I coupled it with a dark denim and green leather handles and vintage button. It's currently on Etsy waiting for someone who also has a thing about Mr Morris to snap it up.
I met Jacqueline online when I spotted a David Whitehead fabric design in red and black she was selling. We began to correspond and I discovered that she has an amazing textile collection. She took the trouble to view my website, found the HMF project most interesting and offered to look through her collection to help me find some vintage abstract designs to marry up with the Henry Moore fabrics. Several emails later and I am now the excited owner of these lovely 1950s /1960s pieces. Not sure if any will be acceptable to the Team at the Henry Moore Foundation, it's going to be one of those Marmite moments, but it will make for an interesting design session and some unusual vintage style bags will definitely result either way! Looking back at my initial very safe fabric choices I'm amazed at how far I've come...
Images of 'Heads' and 'Safety Pins' reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation.
Remember how I had been trying to find some contemporaneous fabrics to complement the exclusive Moore designed fabrics I am fortunate to be currently sewing? I wanted to give more of a vintage vibe to the bags to appeal to those who enjoy vintage style. Well this is the result. As you can see I have used the red barkcloth which is a genuine vintage (but unused) piece dating from the 50's/60's. The lime green was sold to me as vintage but is more difficult to date, however the abstract design works really well with Moore's quirky household objects!
And yes, we settled on some safer checks too!
Each bag has a complementary cotton or silk lining with two open pockets and a zipped pocket with a beaded zip pull. The Bucket bags and Beaujangle bags have leather handles and the Clutch bags have detachable silver coloured cross-body chain handles.
Available from the Henry Moore Studios and Gardens shop now!
A new exhibition starts this weekend, called 'Becoming Henry Moore' and promises to be a fascinating insight into his early work and inspiration. Follow this link to find out more: https://www.henry-moore.org/whats-on/2017/04/14/becoming-henry-moore
Forgive the pun! Just wanting to show that I am also getting ready for some 'Moore' work! The exclusive textiles are quite difficult to find bedfellows for, if you get my drift, and at times I'm buying fabrics not knowing if the risk will pay off! I think I am developing quite an oblique way of looking at textile colour and design and certainly enjoying the search. I have now started to consider vintage (but unused) fabrics, some of which appear quite wacky in comparison to the modern safe stuff! And I'm hoping I this will give the bags a more authentic look - for those that like that sort of thing - we'll see!
Following a visit to a well known purveyor of floral bags (you know who!) my friend at work decided she'd prefer me to make a bespoke bag - most flattering to be chosen over you know who - so she could have exactly what she wanted! She had already seen the bag below and wanted me to use this beautiful Morris & Co fabric called Honeysuckle and Tulips in a russet colour-way.
We stole a few minutes at work to look at this website to choose the bag design and then to find a co-ordinating fabric to make the top band. On screen, I thought we'd nailed it, until I got back home and put the two together in the 'flesh'! Not a good match after all...
We stole a few more minutes at work which was just as well, as my friend chose the wine red corduroy (at the top) to complement the background and I had nearly run with the orangey red linen (second from bottom) to match the leaves!
So it's now full steam ahead...with the right sort of red! Come back soon to see the finished bag!
One of my best customers has ordered three black evening bags as Christmas presents. It's just as well I completed my William Morris order in good time!
A while ago I acquired (for 'acquired' read 'won on Ebay'!) a 'job lot' of lovely italian woven fabric samples - not sure what they were originally designed for...possibly clothing - but in shades of neutral colours and black. I can just squeeze a little bag out of the smaller pieces and with a little careful beading and silk linings, they look quite special.
The last fabric piece really needed a different treatment. They're all pretty busy fabrics but this one didn't look right with beading-it was all too much, so it became a simple clutch bag using the same design as the WM clutches I had made. Finished with just a vintage glass button it looks simply elegant and elegantly simple!
Let's hope the ladies they are destined for have some stylish LBD's to go with them!
I had a lovely jaunt across the countryside on a gorgeous sunny spring morning, past quaint villages and bright yellow fields to Tiptree to visit the best craft and fabric shop in these parts.
I chose a plain navy loose weave felted woollen fabric for its texture as well as colour and then as you see above I strayed from my brief and bought something more interesting! One appealed to my bohemian side and the other just looked sooo smart and was just the right green!
I knew I had to take the risk! Can't wait to see how it all comes together!
Beyond the brief but hopefully not beyond the pale...?
Fun to try different textures as well as colours: top to bottom-corduroy, velvet, hopsack, wool, linen. Leather handles and vintage buttons.
Hello, I'm Ruth Overton. My nickname as a child was 'Ruthie Toots' which is how the name