Monday, January 9, 2012

Presents IV

Last year my two nieces asked for evening handbags (via their mother - my sister) for Christmas.   Well, one thing and another and the handbags didn't get made at that time.  This year I still had that guilt thing hanging over my head, so I got an earlier start.  Originally I had planned on making 6 bags.  Half a dozen in assorted colours seemed like a doable thing.  By mid-December I questioned the sanity of making 6 bags, and decided to stop at 4.
This one was a "let's see what we can do with bitty strips of silk" sort of project.  The design was copied from a Nancy Zieman book.  (Don't ask which one.)  I did have to make the tassel, because that was faster than trying to locate one of a suitable colour.
This one was started ages ago from a Kwik Sew free download.  I omitted the gusset that came with the pattern, and taking lazy way out, I simply satin stitched all around the edges - twice.  Sure beats having to turns things inside out and right side out and all that sort of thing.
Now here's where things started getting out of control.  I started routing through boxes of trims and beads and things and getting "ideas".  The design is, I suppose, my own.  I quilted the silk (on the cranky machine, and that was no fun).  Bits and pieces were strewn about all surfaces of the sewing room.  The only thing used out of all that mess was the small piece of braid (which, of course, just "happened to be the right length", and little pearl beads in some of the loops of the braid.  Not that you can really see the pearls, but they're there.  Lastly, the most labour intensive of the lot...
Why I decided to sew long lines of crystal beads (yup, they go right around the other side to the top) when time was getting rather short, I will never know.  Next year, someone please remind me, that presents started after the beginning of December need to be quick and not requiring hours of handsewing and embroidery.  So that's the lot for now.  Hopefully the two girls will not require the same colour handbag for the same event, and will peacefully share them.  May-be I will continue this gift project later.  Churning out evening bags for presents for two young ladies is a lot easier than racking my brain for other presents.  Perhaps I could start on not-so-neutral colours now.
My sewing room has not yet recovered from the whirlwind of gift-making.  Given that we celebrate Christmas on January 7 (by the Julian calendar), the last push to get things ready comes after the New Year, which really puts me out of whack.  I'm used to it - been doing this all my life, but somehow it does take a while to get back into the normal stream of things.
Next up - (once I screw my head back in place) I have samples to make for my next lot of classes.  Deadline is the end of January, and if I'm not mistaken that's some 7 or 8 pieces.  Ouch!  In the meantime, I will ponder whether I really want to look back at what I managed to do in 2011, or whether I should just plunge into the list for 2012.  One thing for sure - I'm never out of ideas of what to sew!


  1. All of those bags are so lovely! The dark grey would be my "go to" night bag. Or perhaps the little beige bag...I can't decide.

    Can I ask why you celebrate on Jan 7? I'm just curious as we don't celebrate at all. (It is a difficult holiday for childless couples)

  2. All of them look so luxurious. I love how you used a different design for each one.

  3. The last bag with the crystal beads is my favourite! Your nieces are very lucky.
    Are you celebrating Epiphany?

  4. Wow, those are all pretty bags. I love little bags like those because you can experiment with a lot of techniques that maybe aren't suitable for garments.

  5. Ohhh, such gorgeous bags! I love the last one the best too... and I'm so impressed that you thought of a completely different design for each one.

  6. Oh What lovely bags one and all! Aren't bags fun to make?