It's finished - a little vintage Clutch Bag

So, just in the nick of time for my girl's graduation - I finished my little clutch bag...or should I say Anna Maria Horner's.  This project from her Needleworks Notebook is quite simply one of the most fun things I've ever made and it has turned out just beautifully.  I think the last time we chatted about it, I was just embarking on all those tiny little violet stitches and I confess that I wasn't at all sure.  It took a bit of time (moving etc. aside) because actually it's not easy stitching on black.  I love the effect of strong colours embroidered on black, but I always shy away from such projects because its so tough on the eyes.  However, it is completely worth it in the end and once I had finished I pinned it onto to my ironing board - stretching it into a reasonable shape as best as I could. 

Because of the way the pinwheel design works, each wheel is stacked one space up, so as the row goes along it is gradually moving up the aida and therefore it looks a bit on the skew when it's finished.  It is also worth to note that you shouldn't really press too much on the wool as it flattens and makes it look dull, so it's important to try and smooth it by hand and block it with pins and I decided to leave it overnight, pulled as tight as I could.

I used black velvet for the back of the bag and chose a matching violet lining from a fat quarter in my stash.    I also used a metal zip (as recommended by AMH) and I think it was the right choice because it gives it a more vintage look.  That was the easy bit - actually having the courage to start cutting and stitching...well that needed a few chocolate buttons to steady the nerves!!!

The aida and the velvet are quite thick fabrics so it's important to take your time, making sure your stitching lines are in the right place regarding the front of the bag.  It's better not to stitch over the purple stitches as this would put pressure on them in time, so I tried to keep a cool quarter inch around the edge.  I am not sure I drew breath when I put the zip in - but it seemed to be OK.


I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with this.  It is colourful and cheerful and very unusual and has that vintage twist which will accessorize any outfit beautifully.   It has all my favourite colours in, so should go with almost anything I might wear and I especially love it, because it looks fab with my Mum's coral beads.
Oh and I forgot to mention that this is the first project on my new sewing machine - a big sister for my old and much loved Janome.  I will be writing a bit more about her in my next post - but need to get a little better acquainted with her first.  See you soon, Ruby x