Pleated bags workshop

I was teaching over at Yealand Conyers yesterday. Much to my surprise it was a lovely sunny morning as I set off, we’d been promised bad weather. Arriving on time happened only by the skin of my teeth thanks mainly to roadworks, tractors, caravans and lorries but I was made exceedingly welcome by the whole group.

Our subject was pleated handbags, a workshop I’m growing to love ever more and indeed have extra ideas to develop it as soon as I have a little more free time. The options were to make a sheet of prefelt and stitch the seams as well as the pleats or to work on a resist. All but one decided to work on a resist.


I love turquoise blues and this bag for me is a perfect size, anything larger and I fill it with rubbish until I can’t find anything!


The original intention here was to pleat the vertical coloured lines down the front of the bag but this was rethought and a real strong feature made of the flap instead.In my opinion Janet, it’s very successful


Sue had to leave us early and so although her stitching was complete she didn’t have time to finish felting.


The picture makes this bag look green when actually it’s lovely shades of yellow gold on brown. Again, the flap became the feature and I think the three small pleats work very well with the shape of the flap. The handle will be stitched onto the outside pretty much as you see it creating even more interest.


My phone has made this look blue when it’s actually a vibrant purple. This is a large bag and so it was no surprise that Liz didn’t manage to felt it on the day, so much pleating to do.


Beautiful colours here, really showing off the space dyed fibres. Although not quite complete it was well on the way to being felted.


One of two circular bags and here I must apologise for missing photos. There was a cute round purple bag with a flap which was finished and for which I have no photo even though I could have sworn I’d taken one. However, when I cam to load these I realised that I haven’t got pictures of two more! Sorry. Happily you can see this one where the spiral pleating emphasises the circular shape of the bag.


Last but not least is another beautiful leaf shape with much care going into the stitching. Liz had just finished as I took this shot and I have to admire the zen like calm she maintained throughout the day as I know I never manage that as a participant. The larger the bag and the more pleating then the less chance of finishing at the workshop but I know they won’t regret taking them home to complete as they’re all going to look amazing.

Thank you for a pleasant day ladies and a very tasty lunch.


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