Friday, 27 September 2013

Martha and Vivien.

Martha and Vivien
Having decided to join in with the Fall Essential Sew Along I "built" a sizeable wall of woolley fabrics down one side of The Table dumped my pattern stash in the remaining space and,not having a plan as such, got into a dither as to what to make first.I  knew that I wanted to make as much as possible from what I already have in relation to fabric and patterns and that was about it.I actually ended up making a skirt but as I am undecided about whether or not to make a jacket to go with it I am leaving that for a while before writing about it.
So,as I have been on a bag/accessory roll lately I thought I might as well carry on and make some more.I am sure that this falls well within the remit of the sew along as firstly it does say "craft yourself cosy" on the button blurb and secondly I know that  on a gloomy day these two little bags will make me feel all cosy when I use them.
Teggy testing  fabric plushness
Both the patterns are taken from "Making Vintage Bags" by Emma Brennan yet another book that I have had sitting on my shelf being leafed through regularly yet never getting down to making anything.There are 20 designs in total with style inspiration from the 20's through to the 50's most of which are variations of a few basic patterns and they are very easy to sew.Both of these I made in a couple of hours for each one.

The Martha bag was made from some brown wool fabric that was originally a dress I had made extremely badly and it has lain unworn for the past four years.I recently dug it out from under the bed during my last clothes sort out and decided that it looked too awful to attempt a resuscitation so cut it up instead.The frill and dog are from a brown cotton velour stretchy top I found in a charity shop and seems to work quite well in the absence of any velvet in my stash.

The dog is supposed to be some sort of sausage dog type thing and it has got a touch of the Dachshund about it.I didn't think it was going to work out but I'm pleased with the end result despite its wild eyes!

The gimlet eyed pooch
The second bag,Vivien,is made with a plush sort of velour type fabric  that might be verging more on the upholstery scale of things.It is so plush and so soft and all you want to do is stroke it with your fingers.

The handle and bow centre are trimmed with a vintage braid gleaned quite by chance from the nice lady on the market. I think it went really well with the bag fabric.....
another lovely bow!!
.....and the lining is an old piece of curtain fabric.Both bags are quite small Vivien being more of an evening bag.The only thing I didn't do was to top stitch the bag opening because my machine has not got the oomph for all of those layers.I tried and it looked so awful I unpicked it. I did not bother either with the bottom reinforcement.....I got so carried away I just forgot to put it in.Frankly I don't think that they really need it as I tend to not carry too much junk around with me.

Vivien's innards complete with magnetic clasp
So these two are my first official contribution to FESA and I am also going to add them to Selfish Sewing Week which happens to coincide with this week.I only found out about it the other day and I shouldn't really take part because all of my sewing is selfish not just the stuff I have made this week.Anyway,it is being hosted by imagine gnats and runs until the 29th so you still have about 48 hours at the time of writing to post a piccy of something you have made this week in the Flickr group if you should wish to do so.


That's it for now and thanks for reading!


  1. I love the bags in that book. I don't own a copy but I have taken it out of the library many times - I recognised these bags straight away! That vintage trim is beautiful - I love starting to make something and remembering that I have something lurking in the house that is perfect to use - only problem I have then is finding it again!!!!

    1. yes I seem to spend most of my time looking for "stuff"...or rather not finding it but at the same time finding "stuff" that when I last looked I couldn't find either.Eventually things turn up you just have to be quick and grab them when they do emerge!

  2. Good stash busting! I especially love the Vivian with its gorgeous ribbon!!

    1. Thank you.I must admit that I have got a soft spot for Vivien myself!!

  3. Catherine, they're beautiful! I've got that book, have made one of the bags, but think the designs are lovely. I don't think I'd ever get close to replicating them however, but you have! I recognised the pictures straight away, and I think you've got the fabrics just right, and even the lil doggie looks brilliant. Enjoy them!

    1. Thank you! I am quite amazed that the dog turned out so well actually!!

  4. At first I thought you had named your bags. Now I think they were the names of the bags in the book (am I right - I have never seen the book!). Anyway they are charming. Again I like the fabric choices you have made, they would be lovely for dinner or theatre :)

    1. no the names are in the book ...I presume after Hollywood actresses.Thank you!