Friday, 2 April 2010

Altered Element April Upcycle pack

Each month Lynne at the Altered Element will be sending something found in a charity shop, and which I will need to recycle into something completely different!

This gorgeous William Morris fabric was in the April pack, along with several toning lace ribbons, ric rac and bias binding.

This Upcycle pack was clearly a sewing project. Only one problem - I don't really think of myself as a textile artist, or even somebody who sews!!!!

Oh, and our house is so upside down because of building work, that I can't get to a table to put the sewing machine on it.
Which is how I discovered that I can use a sewing machine on top of a kitchen worktop, standing on one leg, whilst pressing the sewing machine's pedal with the other...

After considering various options - a book cover, a cushion - I decided to make a shoulder bag. I have a book of bag designs, but they are all so SQUARE! Surely it wouldn't be any more work to make a bag with a different shape? And much more interesting...

I cut a shield shape from some scrap card and used it as a template to cut 8 pieces from the fabric. I cut the remaining long strip into two, and used that to make the straps.

I sewed the ribbons, ric rac and binding onto spare pieces of fabric paper, using embroidery stitches for the pale green ribbon. I made a 'flap' for the bag using more fabric paper and the rest of the ribbon.

I decided the ribbon panels and flap needed a bit of a lift so I covered them all with some sea green/blue organza, and sewed a few silk flowers here and there. I sewed the bag together with the panels, and added a magnetic closure under the flap. There are deep gussets at the sides of the bag, so it can hold quite a lot!

When I started making this, I thought it might make a gift for somebody else. By the time I'd finished, I'd changed my mind and decided to keep it for myself!!! Although I didn't think a patterned bag was my style, I do have a couple of pretty plain turquoise outfits, and this will be a nice bag to use when wearing those...

Thanks again to Lynne for lovely things to play with, and taking me in an unexpected direction!


  1. I,m impressed,I LOVE it,William Morris is one of my favorites,lucky you !this is amazing i love the shape you chose.

  2. Great Adrienne. Love the shape and the colours .


  3. Truly sumptious!

  4. It's gorgeous Adrienne, our fav colours as well

  5. gulp its gorgeous! You are braver than me, I go into a cold sweat evening thing about sewing!
    Dont blame you for keeping it all to yourelf!

  6. This is beautiful. I would wear it. Lovely use of the fabric,

    Lucy x

  7. That is so cool - I love it!
    I'll lend you my apron to wear with it ;)

  8. Gorgeous, now you can't say you're not a "sewer" as everything about it is fabulous.




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