A workbag of my own

I'm not sure about the experience of my fellow crafties out there, but more often than not I find that I when I make practical items like book bags, needle cases and workbags for sewing, I give them away. As a consequence, my own sewing bits and bobs tend to be kept in assorted shoe boxes and plastic tubs tucked away from view in my sewing table drawers.

Here's An embroidered linen workbag I made for Mum in 2013 
from Rosemary McLeod's book With Bold Needle and Thread

Watching the gorgeous BBC comedy Mapp and Lucia recently, which is set in the 1920s, you can't help but be captivated by the exquisite costumes. Among the sumptuous fringed coats and drop-waisted evening dresses, I was particularly drawn to the embroidered workbag that the delightfully effeminate character Georgie used to keep his embroidery in. That gave me the idea to make a workbag of my own.

During a trip to Melbourne a couple of years ago I fell in love with the work of Australian artist Margaret Preston (1875-1963), and looking through a catalogue of Preston's work last week, I decided to convert her hand-coloured woodblock print Gum Blossoms (1928) into a felt applique for my workbag.

Here's the mock-up on cardboard.

I like the woodcut effect generated by embroidering 
the black disc and leaf shapes but leaving a black border on each piece.

Starting the process of sewing the elements onto a silk kimono panel.

Now that the design is all sewn into place I just need to decide on the shape of my workbag. There's a great range of workbag styles in Rosemary McLeod's earlier book From Thrift to Fantasy.

I'll give it some thought and get back to you when I've completed the bag.


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