Friday, 27 February 2015

Russian Doll Bag and Mirror

For my friend's birthday I decided to make her an Amy Butler Origami bag. For me this is where it all started after my Easter turtles in 2011, as I received Style Stitches by Amy Butler as a gift. I loved this book instantly, it was bright and stylised and inviting with pattern pieces in a pouch at the back and lots of pictures and illustrations. The bags are rated from easy to challenging and I was inspired to make as many as I could find recipients for. This boosted my love of bags and sewing at the same time. The beauty of a bag is that you can be bright and bold in your fabric choice. You can also make them personal, and adjust the dimensions to suit the recipient.

Among the clutches and shopping bags were a set of 6 origami bags. I believe they are called origami bags because of the way the side is folded but that is speculation on my behalf. I have made a few of these and they are fantastic as you get the pattern for all 6 sizes. I made all six for my big sister last year as she is the one person I know that needs six differently sized co-ordinating bags!

I made just a single one this year for my friend. It was a perfect size for a make up bag or a pencil case and I made it with some pretty pink Russian doll fabric. They are lovely to put together with clear instructions. The main bit that takes skill is getting the zip in but the zip itself is exposed so becomes a feature. I made a point of using different zips when I made my set of 6. There is also a great blog that had a Style Stitches "stitch-along" and gives fantastic hits and tips if you feel you need a little extra help.

Russian doll origami bag - Amy Butler design.

I then made a mirror case with the fabric and an embroidered Russian doll on it. The cover was yet another pattern to the ones made earlier in the year. This time I pieced together a long strip of fabric with the embroidered doll placed at the top, upside-down. I then sewed the bottom third to the middle third folding over the top third to make a flap. This was effective but took some care when doing the top stitching. Like the others this was attached to the card with a peg. It was fastened with a small popper.

Russian doll embroidery on mirror.

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