Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ruby Cord Tote Bag

I hate the way society today is all about consumerism and throwing things away before the end of their useful life. One of my goals with crafting items is to re purpose unwanted goods. This is a goal I put into action recently when I received some of my Grandfathers old shirts.

After my Granddad passed away my Gran tried to give away his best shirts to male family members and friends. But people are a little funny about wearing passed along clothes I guess and so she had no takers. Rather than just sending them to a charity shop I took the shirts with the intention of breathing some newlife into them.

I made my Gran a remembrance cushion, my daughter a tooth fairy cushion, a collection of chenilled hearts to fill with lavender and hang, and then I came to the ruby cord shirt. It was in the best tradition of a night at the line dancing with all the trimmings and I loved the thought of turning a blokey thing into an oh so girly item.

And so the Ruby Cord Tote Bag was born. I used some of the cord shirt for the tote back and half of the front, and the straps. I lined the tote with red homespun and for the other half of the front I had an idea of some redwork style stitchery. There was a gorgeous stitchery ( in blue on a cushion) from Country Patchwork and Craft Vol 4 No 4 by Helen Stubbings featuring a smiling fairy. I just knew it would be at home on the bag front. I completed the front panel with an inserted strip of red felt and some buttons I got in a bottle from a second hand store. I added a frill on the bag top in the red homespun. I was almost finished but I felt the bag front was still a little naked. Question: so what does every really girly bag need? Answer: A giant fake flower, naturally! This I created out of some petals cut from the beloved shirt, and joined back and front with a yoyo, and then the cherry on top ... another button.

I hope you like the result as much as I do, especially when I know I have got something of my Grandfather with me when I go out, and I haven't added to landfill!

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