With the howling gales and sleeting rain outside it’s hard to remember the calm, mild days of autumn but try and cast your mind back to the glorious leaf colours. It was as the leaves were turning that I became inspired to make a leaf shaped handbag with touches of autumn colour. Obviously it took a couple of weeks or so to find the time and then for one reason or another this is my first opportunity to show what I made.
Laid out, wet and set and ready to come off the resist.
The leaf veins are pinned ready for stitching, let felting commence.
I love, love, love the mini wedge washboard from Heartfelt Silks. The small size and the point allow me to get into small places and in this instance you can see I’m working two pleats at once. Please forgive the ugly gloves but I had a touch of contact dermititus at the time.
Now I’m working the areas between the pleats I’ve changed to using the edge palm washboard (Heartfelt Silks). I love, love, love this tool. These small tools are ideal for this kind of high relief work. The full range of Heartfelt Silks palm washboards are available from Adelaide Walker.
See how it’s holding that shape beautifully. When I’m in the fulling stage I often like to work on the draining board by the sink. I can heat the felt up as I work and any excess water just drains away.
The bag interior was laid out in Light Olive and the exterior is a carded blend of Light Olive and Dark Leaf with a touch of Forest Green. For the tip of the leaf and the leaf sheaped flap I used a mix of Chocolate, Spice and Red Orange overlaid with copper coloured tussah silk. All wool colours available from Adelaide Walker. And now for the ta-dah moment. Inside out,
From the back.
The central pleat runs all the way from the tip of the flap down and round to the front in one continuous line. The side pleats run from the front section of the central pleat to the back like ribs.
I am so very pleased with this bag, it’s turned out just as I envisioned it in my head. That’s where I do most of my designing, in my head, in the early hours of the morning before the chatter and hustle of the day invades.
To fasten the flap I was considering a leaf shaped button but friends advised against it and they were right, it doesn’t need anything else. This bag has been with me to the last couple of pleated bag workshops that I ran and I’m so pleased that it’s inspired others to make their own unique versions. This workshop will run again on Saturday 12th March in Otley, West Yorkshire, further details and booking here.
To work this way and create something that is scupltural, beautiful and practical has got me musing on further shapes and ways to develop this technique so I’m really looking forward to some spare time over Christmas to have a play.