Thursday, 24 May 2012

A secret commission - revealed

Many years ago , well at least 10, I bought my mother a bolt of pink silk from Thailand. Just her colours. 

Well it's taken her a while to make anything from it as she was waiting for a really special occasion. That occasion will occur later this year , when my youngest daughter will be the first of her grandchildren , to get married. So long before any of the rest of us, even the bride, had even though about what we might wear she started to design and make an outfit from the pink silk, and she asked me to make her a bag to go with it.

She sent me some of the silk I had given her and some of the deeper coloured silk she had bought for lining. What was she looking for I asked. "I leave that up to the designer" she said. OK there's a challenge. So I played around with samples of back merino and silk fibres and I ordered some Fushsia fibres. I eventually developed a kind of styled flower incorporating the lining silk and the fuschia fibres- see top left below.

What about the handles , always tricky for me when I make a bag . 

Then I had a kind of revelation. What about the bamboo handles that my mother  gave me . Vintage I decided, recycled from a 1950s bag,  although I could not ask as it would give away the plan.  They where not I now know. They were some kind of left over from a store room unwanted and unloved in 1979.  Any way a  starting point for a design.  And in this year of the jubilee,   a queenly, HRH Elizabeth II style. WAS it possible?  

So I made a mock up with fabric and a paper pattern, and I measured and I calculated the shrinkage with my calculator.  So much  planning I can't believe it.

Yes it could work. With great trepidation I started.  The whole extended planning process had made me nervous.  Crazy.   It is not even as though there Is any hurry as the wedding is not until October .

I think it worked. Here is the finished bag. Fit for a queen? 

The reaction of my mother , who is you must realize is the number 1 secret fan of this blog , is  ".... ."


  1. Oh, Jane, it is absolutely lovely!!!

  2. Great Jane ! Love that vintage handle on it !
    (yes handles : always tricky .... though there are a lot of possibilities ...)

  3. It is of course perfect..... and I have seen the outfit it has to match as well. She will look like The Perfect Grandmother of the Bride.