Saturday, February 19, 2011
The pea pod linen purse
It was my mother in law's birthday recently and I made her a bag. I am feeling very virtuous about this, and I have a little fantasy that she may say proudly to her friends, "oh you like it? my daughter in law made it for me, so sweet. Does your daughter make anything for you? No? Never mind, I'm sure she's a lovely person anyway" (my own mother at this point may be saying, 'hey then where's MY bag).
Like most fantasies it is probably far removed from reality, probably about as far from reality as the deep darkest depths of the wardrobe where this little bag will end up.
At least it was fun to make. I used this free pattern from Ottobre and lined it with fabric given to me by my mother in law (which was the inspiration for this piece.)
And would you believe it, but I actually purchased the proper interfacing and bought proper linen for the outer. For once I didn't swap out for something cheaper, so the whole thing came in around $40 (US $30).
There are 2 myths about homemade bags that I immediately wish to dispel: that they are cheap to make (see above) and that they are quick to whip up. This bag, with its 4 pockets and padding and bias tape finish took as long to make as a pair of jeans. What's more it was even harder as the base is very hard to manipulate through the machine.
Surprising isn't it? Homemade bags just look like they should be cheap'n'easy.
This blog post wouldn't be complete without the compulsory scowl shot, but actually I want to show you the proportions against a human body because although it's called a purse, it must be one designed for Imelda Marcos and several pairs of shoes.
Let me now talk a little about fabric graffiti as several of you expressed interest in this idea. It is not my idea at all, I got it from a book I am reading called "Alchemy arts" - here on the front cover you can see her taking to her petticoat with a felt tip. (She's putting BIRDS on it pa ha ha aaaaaahhh).
I had to google around to find the setting instructions. The general consensus is to heat treat the pen first (good dry press on the hottest temperature your fabric will tolerate) then soak in a solution 1 litre of water to 1/2 cup salt. Some recipes also include 1 cup of white vinegar.
After the first wash, it looks pretty good. There is some bleeding in some places, minor only, so my guess is that the heat setting part of the process is crucial to the overall 'take' of the pen.
And now I am going to confess something to you, this skirt is going to the deepest darkest depths of my wardrobe, because I don't like it.
Strange isn't it? Things that should work, don't, things that shouldn't work, do. A pencil skirt should work, sausage dogs having fun are my favourite motif. It should all work, but it doesn't. I don't regret for a second giving it a go though, that's the only way to know for sure. What's more you never know where this experiment might lead.
Posted by Mary Nanna at 1:42 PM