Sunday, April 4, 2010

Back at it again.

Wow, it's been a while! I've been dealing with a serious illness over the past year but am now feeling better and am excited to be posting again. It's good to be back.

I'm planning on expanding my blogging to include more than knitting to include a wider range of my creative endeavors of all sorts; mostly, but not exclusively, focusing on textiles. So my first post is about a project that is combines crochet and sewing, old and new, past and present.

My great-Aunt Jessie was an avid crocheter and churned out acres of lace tablecloths, ruffled doilies, kleenex covers, and what have you in her long life. I treasure the crochet pattern book, published in 1942, which she left to me and that included her beloved pineapple-patterned round lace tablecloth.

My mother and I both have a number of pieces of her beautiful lace crochet, and mom recently gave me this cotton crochet tote bag that Jessie had made to see if I would use it. It had been lined it with some beige twill cotton, and was stiffened in the bottom with a piece of Masonite. The thing weighed a ton and was a bit on the dull side, but the crochet was in excellent condition and had plenty of potential to be made into something more chic.

So I rummaged through my stash of fabrics and notions and found some black wood oval purse handles and some solid black cotton. Hmm, here's a good start. What if I backed the crochet with the black cotton to really set off the lace and replaced the crochted handles with the black wooden ones? A good start.

But a black lined bag is impossible to find things in, especially once they fall to the bottom of the bag, so back to the stash I went and found an ivory and black cotton print that had the right blend of contemporary chic and old-fashioned charm. Now we're talking!

So using the old beige lining as a pattern, I made a whole new tote bag of solid black on the outside, the print of the inside, along with a handy zippered pocket. I stiffened the whole thing with some scraps of primed artist's canvas that where lying around the studio, using a double layer in the botton to keep it flat and sturdy. Loops of the solid black attached the handles.

Once everything was constructed I slipped the crochet over the outside of the bag and stitched it around the top. Voila! A beautiful new bag that both honors my aunt's skills and suits my own sense of style.


Karen said...

Welcome back, Misty! That bag is beautiful!

Lions, Tigers and Fashion OH MY! said...

Hello, I just found your blog when I searched zig zag pillows. I love the zig zag pillow cases you made. Do you ever custom make anything and sell it? I would be willing to purchase some. Please email me at:

Thank you!