Monday, March 22, 2010

A bag of sunshine

The glorious weather of the last week had me thinking about Spring rather than Autumn... I felt like getting all Northern-Hemispherical, frolicking in fields of daisies with a gathering basket on my arm, skipping around in swishy romantic clothing, and sitting down to a picnic high-tea. None of which I did, obviously, except for fleetingly, in my head, during a particularly dire episode of Postman Pat.

So instead, I riffled through my fabric cupboard and spied some very Spring-y vintage pillowcases and sheeting, which I proceeded to butcher thusly:


Of course, I started butchering well prior to knowing what I wanted to make with it. I just knew that I wanted to do some patchwork, because, well, it's becoming an obsession, and surely it is the favoured indoors pursuit of breezy, romantic Spring girls?

OK, it's true, I have been gazing far too frequently at THIS picture:

(front cover of Daily Patchwork Goods, a Japanese crafting book I obtained from here)

Now I realised after cutting out and sewing back together a bunch of 4-inch squares that I should have been working in hexagons, because what I really really wanted to make myself was that very basket, the one on the cover, the frolicking-in-fields, dressed-in-flouncy-frock, flower-gathering-basket (perhaps not the actual title, but who knows? It's Japanese, and I wouldn't put it past them!)

So I went ahead anyway, and here's my interpretation:


The instructions for making the bag were all in Japanese, but were fairly easy to interpret visually. Given that I'm usually rather too impatient with patterns anyway, it is my cup of tea to just 'catch the drift' and see what happens. And it happened, and apart from a mostly-salvaged handle diasaster, I'm pretty chuffed with the outcome.

Serendipitously, when I was looking for something sturdy to line the bag with, I came across a denim skirt in my refashioning/mending pile. It had been cast there by my neighbour a year ago, for the unforgiveable sins of being both a daggy length and impossibly small at the waist. But Lo, when I inverted the skirt, the waistband matched the circumference of the bag base perfectly, and then flared out at the same width as the outer bag. So all I had to do was turn the skirt upside-down, lop it off at the appropriate height, add a base, and voila, I had a bag lining! I even left the side-zipper in and turned the bag back through it to right-side-out once I'd finished sewing it together. Ahhhh... slack short-cutting disguised as refashioning. Perfect.



Now I'm using my lovely bag of sunshine to go a-gathering... picking up the scraps of fabric in my house which seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate. Oh well, I guess it's breeding season right, being Spring and all?

24 comments:

  1. ooh, I likey lots! I have all the fabric to do this, but not the time....

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  2. I'm in baggy love!! so good.
    Love those japanese pattern books too...yep,I borrowed one once from a Japanese friend of mine & I pawed over the pages for a long time but became very frustrated when I tried to follow the patterns..I'm with you on that one.

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  3. What a perfect bit of recycling. There's a blue floral sheet in there that matches one in my stash! I really love the one with the green background too.

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  4. It turned out so lovely and sunshiny :) I have a bag of scraps begging to be made into something similar :)

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  5. Love it all - the idea, the book, the "lost in translation", the fabric, the shape. Makes me want to make one too! Nic

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  6. You're right Gina, it is perfect!

    Love that skirt-lining bit...you see there is a reason we keep all those bits & pieces around!

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  7. those fabrics are beautiful, and so is the bag! perfect for frolicking in the meadow I'd say. very clever refashion, don't you love when that sort of thing happens?

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  8. Ah. What a lovely "happy ever after" tale. Nice.

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  9. Ah, you are but a talent and you crack me up. Nothing else.

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  10. What a sweet bag!!! Just lovely. You are so clever. Patch-work really is your niche. Delightful. ...makes me think of the ol' Flake commercials.
    As for breeding - don't talk to me about it. Both my bubs were conceived at around this time of year which is turning out to be rather a passion killer ;)

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  11. Your cleverness never ceases to amaze me. A beautiful selection of fabrics and a fab result. Enjoy those meadows.

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  12. Gorgeous bag Gina... a job well done x

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  13. ooh looks divine! I have a collection of vintage sheets which will one day be turned into a patchwork quilt (not sure when that day will be, so big kudos to you for actually doing something with yours!)

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  14. Oh I LOVE it Gina it is so gorgeous and worked out brilliantly. PLLLLEEEAAASSSEEE don't wish spring back upon us I am hanging out for some Aumtumny weather, I really need it

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  15. It's so lovely. I love the shape, and the patchwork and the Spring beauty. I will look out for you frolicking out in the world.

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  16. such a nice bag, i love it. i think you could use it for fresh herbs to frgrance your hair as you wash it in a mountain stream and little birds come and place flowers in it and bunnies dry it with their tails.....because that's what i reckon that flouncy girl's gonna do....?

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  17. That bag is wonderful! So bright and cheery and fit for a mum with lots of room to chuck things in! xo m.

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  18. The bag turned out really good, I love the fabric!
    I have inbuilt radar when I visit op shops set to bleep when I see that sort of gear!
    Even though I too am too impatient with patterns, I am inspired to get to work on my own bag.

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  19. Gorgeous! That is the only word I need I think

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  20. Oooh, pretty! Springtime with handles! I'm always on the prowl for flowery sheeting, but seldom find it. Beautifully done...

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  21. Hi Gina,
    I just discovered your blog checking out fellow nothern craft bonanza people (putting faces to blogs basically!) and I can't believe I've not discovered you sooner! Your blog is great and I love that you're trying to live more sustainably. I've been thinking about blogging about my battle with sustainablity too- you've inspired me to actually do it!
    Ren x

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  22. Oooh Gina, it's gorgeous! I'm such a sucker for greens and blues! : )

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“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
~Albert Einstein