It’s very busy this September. Had my birthday, visited Tiggywinkles’ hedgehog sanctuary (awww!) and now we’ve moved all our stuff to the new Birmingham house (to be updated with photos in due course).
I’m now sitting in our Oxford flat, the entire furniture of this room consisting of a set of 3 drawers, 2 round bowl chairs in faux leather and an inbuilt fire place. The kitchen is looking slightly healthier, as all it’s really lost are two chairs and a set of shelves, and the bedroom is okayish, but the bathroom is also pretty naked with almost all our supplies vanished up north.
I’m going to have a look at my novel shortly, but first I thought I’d write about the little bag I made on Friday (my birthday) before we moved. It’s for the wedding, and I’d basically been oohing and ahhing over this number:
I’m unsure about the pearls (never liked them) but really like the shape (not the seashellness, the fact that it’s rigid and narrower at the top than base) and decorations on the side. But this is £16, and let’s face it, I am not a handbag girl. I don’t want to spend £16 on something I’m not sure if I’ll use again and will probably have my best man carrying for half the wedding day anyway.
So I had a quick raid of the house, and made myself a bag essentially for free, i.e. using supplies I already had:
– one H Samuel’s paper/cardboard bag approx 10cm across the bottom, perhaps 15cm tall.
– two sheets of A4 paper
– some PVA glue
– ivory satin
– a pencil
– some double sided sticky tape
– 3 white organza roses with wire stems
– about 16 small clear or pearl beads
– a short piece of 3mm royal blue ribbon
So this is what I did:
– First, I untied the knots holding the little shoelace straps on the H Samuel bag so that I could cover it.
– Then I took the sheets of A4 paper and drew round the bag, turning it over the paper to create a net, with two bottom pieces sticking off the short sides, and two “envelope flap” pieces sticking off the long sides, so that I could fold it over to make a secure bottom and also have that nice flap effect. I had to use more than one sheet of paper because the net was a little bigger than one, and I added extra flaps so that I could glue the two pieces of paper together (using PVA glue), making a whole net with slight overlap.
I had good reason to do this: H Samuel bags are burgundy and I wanted my bag to be ivory. Having covered my guest book in ivory satin and found I had to do two layers to prevent pale mint colour from showing through, I knew I would have to do multiple layers to hide a dark red! A4 plain paper was a good idea too because it would reinforce the sttructure of the bag in a way the satin wouldn’t.
– Next, I needed to fold the net and glue it onto the surface of the bag, but before I did this, I drew round it twice on the back of my ivory satin, using a soft pencil so that I had two new fabric nets I could cut out. Beware, satin can snag and unravel easily, so it’s a good idea to add an extra bit of fabric on the outside when you cut it out, which you can either trim off when you stick it down, or fold underneath to create a rounded edge. Fabric scissors or a new pair of ordinary scissors will also make a difference if you have some.
– The first fabric net I glued on over the paper, although some of the PVA came though, making the surface look blotchy. The second net, however, I wanted to look looser, not as though it were rigidly attached to the bag surface. For this I used my double sided sticky tape – which I had also employed to cover the guest book. I used two height-length strips per side, placing them somewhere between the edges and the centre of each face. I folded over a flap at the top and secured that just on the inside of the bag to create smooth corners.
– Next, I used a little extra satin rolled up so the edges which might fray were at the back and wrapped it round the bag once, securing with double sided sticky tape – like a sash.
– I took 3 of my little white organza roses (which I am sure you could easily make yourself with a little organza and wire) and entwined them together. I cut the stems short so there were two shortish tendrils (about 3cm long) and pointed these tendrils out. I then tied a little bit of satin round the base of the flowers like fabric leaves and secured with double sided sticky tape.
– I cut some clear beads off a dress I don’t like and threaded them onto the wire stems, bending the ends to fray them a little so that the beads would not fall off.
– I also took my piece of blue ribbon, tied it round the stem of the flowers and left two ends protruding, which I cut to about 4cm either side (the piece of ribbon was originally just long enough to tie around my wrist, and I used a little over half of it). I then double sided sticky taped this to the sash of the bag.
I also added handles using a length of ribbon and ordinary sellotape to secure it just inside the bag!
The bag still needs:
A clasp – I shall either use a popper and superglue or if I can find two piece of magnet (the kind you can cut with scissors) I will use these instead.