I’ve been sewing again! It’s been amazing to get back to it. While I don’t yet have pictures of my two new skirts, pair of jeans, and blouse, I did snap some photos of the bag I just finished for a friend’s birthday present.
The photos may not make it clear, but those star/flower shapes made from the darker fabric are actually dimensional. The technique is from the book A Fresh Twist on Fabric Folding by Rebecca Wat. I’ve used it before, but never finished that project…batiks are not fun to hand-sew, and this technique requires hand-sewing once the shapes are made and seamed together with the alternate plain blocks. You sort of pop out the petal/star points and tack them down to the surrounding fabric. The book makes that much clearer than I just did, as it has photos of the process.
For the handles, I used some navy-blue, cotton webbing I had on hand. For the lining, a quilting cotton with a cream background. I am pretty excited about how this turned out, actually, and I’d love to make more with these shapes. Depending on the colors you choose, this could result in so many fun looks. The book suggests slipping in squares of contrasting fabric beneath the petals before seaming (again, the book photos make this so much clearer than my words do) but honestly I forgot that step until it was too late.
One of the things I love about making clothing is that you turn this flat, one-dimensional textile into something 3-D, an actual structure. My Vogue Sewing book calls seamstresses sculptors for this reason. Now, a bag is technically structural as well, but with a simple tote like this, you generally don’t get the thrill that you would, say, creating a jacket. That’s why I love fabric origami–it adds texture and shape and instantly makes something simple much more interesting.
What do you think? Have you tried fabric folding before? If you have other techniques, I’d love to know more.