Sunday, 31 March 2019


I have so many wips at the moment! I do try and finish things before I satart on something new, but ideas do keep on popping into my head begging to be made! It's an occupational hazard I guess. I do use a sketchbook for jotting down ideas, but my fingers are always itching to get into the actual making!

In June last year I bought some early 19th-century silk. It isn't soemthignthat I would normally buy as antique fabrics can be really expensive, but the three pieces I bought are quite thin and fragile making them unsuitable for large pieces if work. However, as most of the things I make are small, it was an ideal opportunity for me to have something that was nearly 200 years old!

19th-century silk in purple, red and green (though it looks grey in this photo).

I'm using some of the purple to make a small bag, which began life as the small sketch below:

Though the only thing I kept from the sketch is the shape of the bag as I wasn't sure one how well the silk would hold up if I trued to patchwork pieces together. I also swapped the running stitch fir chain stitch. First of all I tacked the silk onto a piece of cotton fabric (recycled from one of my Dad's old shirts) to help stabilise and support the silk. I'm now in the process of stitching lines of chain stitch, both to attach the two pieces of fabric together and as decoration, as I'm altering both the direction of the line and of the stitching.

The back showing the cotton backing.
Once this side is completed, I'll start on the other, though I've not quite decided what I'm going to do with it yet.

I'm also using some of the purple silk to make some buttons, one of which may appear on the finished bag. The first one (on the right in the photo below) is a mixture of my favourite french knots and little 'stems' of beads edged in chain stitch.

For the second button (in the images below), I've secured five little beads inside a piece of silk that I've mounted onto the base fabric and I'm adding french knots into the fabric folds.

If you pop over to my Instagram account (@louise_at_elsiemayandbertha) you can see images of my progress on both the bag and buttons, and whatever else I'm working on.


*Wips - works in progress

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