With the embroidery finished I had to decide how to display it. I could have had the work framed (would have meant to and put it into a box) but while I was sewing the idea of a bag kept sneaking into my head.
This is not how a bag should be made, this bag kind of evolved around my embroidery - so there are flaws! The pattern was just a piece of A4 paper with the corners rounded and I cut the handles using a wide ruler as a guide.
Pieces cut out and ready to go.
Handles cut and pinned ready to sew up.
The back of the bag with the pleats pinned. By this time I have a good idea of how I want the back to look. So this picture shows where the handles will go and the clasp I am going to use to fasten the bag.
Pleats sewn into place front and back and the lining has been attached. It was because I didn't want to damage the goldwork that I lined the work before attaching it to the clasp. I did this with glue, unfortunately it was only after gluing the back into place I realised I had not inserted the handles so I had to take it apart and do it again.
I had made the coin purse that was the cover gift on a recent MOLLIE MAKES magazine - very clear instructions - so I did my handbag in a similar way.
First I sewed some blue paper string so the top of the bag would fit tightly into the clasp.
Then I glued the bag into position. I then let the bag dry thinking I could sew the bag to the clasp later (there are times when I am a belt and braces kind of person) this was a mistake because when the glue was dry it was impossible to get a needle through the glue.
I stitched the bag together twice. First sewing the linings together and then the blue linen fabric I had used for the outside of the bag. I did it this way to make my seems as strong as possible.
I know a lot of people will read this and be screaming 'THAT'S NOT HOW YOU MAKE A BAG' and I quite agree it isn't, but as the bag evoloved around the embroidery this was the only way. Next time I start a project like this I will try and have a better idea of it's purpose and how to achieve it.