Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Sleeve Bag

I had such a good time demonstrating at the original Big Stitch Day in 2012 that I didn’t hesitate to sign up for this year’s Big Stitch at the Ashmolean Museum.

I’m told that in terms of numbers through the door it was even more successful this time around and I certainly enjoyed it every bit as much as last time. I gave two demonstrations this year, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, which gave me time to attend one of the study groups and grab a quick bite to eat. Because The Eye of the Needle exhibition was still running, I thought the Feller Swete Bag would be a good piece to take to demonstrate. When I said that it was a reproduction of a piece in the exhibition most people were interested to know more about it and I had several long conversations about the difference between basket weave needlepoint, tent stitch and half cross stitch.

Branch members who were demonstrating, or helping out in some other way, were asked to make a sleeve bag so that we could be identified as 'helpers'. I looked in charity shops for an old denim jacket from which to make my sleeve bag but every one I found I felt was in too good a condition to cut up. In the end I used the second sleeve from a dress shirt that someone had already cut up to make their bag. They had used all of the pin tucks and the button band to jazz up their bag so all remained was a plain white, double cuff sleeve.

Back in 2011 I had made a crochet rope handle for my Poppy Pouch. I put the handle away somewhere safe until I was ready to make up the bag … and promptly forgot where that safe place was. Eventually I made a second handle for the Poppy Pouch so I could finish the bag and the original remained in its ‘safe place’ until I stumbled upon it a few weeks ago. I decided to use that original crochet rope as the handle for my sleeve bag and to use the left over beads, stored in the same ‘safe place’, to embellish it.

© Carol-Anne Conway

First, I embroidered a few simple flowers on the placket.

© Carol-Anne Conway

I then beaded a double zig-zag border onto the tuck on the cuff and made a fringe to hang down from the folded back cuff.

© Carol-Anne Conway

It only took a few evenings to make and embellish the bag but stitching through the cuff with a beading needle was though and I repeated pierced the middle finger on my right hand, making it rather sore!

© Carol-Anne Conway

There was a wonderful variety of sleeve bags on display at the Big Stitch and I think some of the visitors had started a new craze of 'sleeve bag spotting' because I was asked a few times "may I see your bag, please". As before, I really enjoyed the Big Stitch day and look forward to the next one.

Happy Stitching.


Mary Corbet said...

Oooooh! I think your bag looks terrific! I really like what you did with the cuff. Your safe places and my safe places must be similar places - very safe. Very secure. Very hard to find again! Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

Wendy said...

Your sleeve bag is fab! I love that beaded handle.

I just read another post you'd written and deleted (it still shows up in a feed reader when you delete it) and was interested, so I looked up the viewing figures. Match of the Day and Sewing Bee both had about 2.7 million viewers. I think that helps support your theory...

Rachel said...

It looks gorgeous - just goes to show what the right simple materials can be combined to make..

Mosaic Magpie said...

Who would have thought from a lowly sleeve such beauty could arrive!
Love it!