Whew….this was a close one friends… when I set up this blog I made the commitment to make at least one post per week. Unfortunately, this has been one of those weeks where nothing has gone right.
Electrical issues meant our dining room light install got delayed. My sewing machine went on the fritz and spent a couple days in the repair shop. Work deadlines kept me tied to my computer into the evening hours and to top it all off, my husband was battling a bout of food poisoning/flu. We all know how men are when they get sick….I believe he might have used the phrase “near death experience” more times than I can count.
All distractions and near death experiences aside, here I am Sunday night and happy to report I did find time to finish a fun project that I had started a few months ago, but never completed.
Back in September I bought this kilim inspired rug and the vintage blush wool blanket at a flea market for $40. The canvas backing and sewn on fringe were instant giveaways the rug was not handmade, but the color and texture were still so beautiful I knew I could make use of it somewhere.
After carrying the rug through every room in the house, I decided I wanted to use the fabric as my anchor point to build our master bedroom decor around. *Disclaimer* The master bedroom is no where near complete, but I know these pillows will look awesome when we finally get there….
All 3 pillows are backed with the blush wool fabric. The cream fabric on the longer lumbar pillow is the canvas rug backer. Because these pillows will not get a lot of wear and tear, I skipped on putting in zippers. It was time and money that was not going to get me much return.
The pillows were a quick 2 hour project and once I finished, I realized I still had plenty of fabric for another project or two. As I brainstormed about how to use the fabric, I started playing with the scraps and decided they would make a very unique and attractive handbag… and that fringe was so great it was begging to be used somewhere!
After settling on the bag idea I decided to buy a commercial pattern to start with. While I prefer to draft my own patterns, sometimes it is easier and more time efficient to work from a pre-made pattern and alter it as needed. I had been looking to purchase a canvas tote bag for awhile, so I was thrilled when I came across this pattern from Green Pepper. I had never sewn with their patterns before, but I would highly recommend them! Super easy to use, and very clear directions.
I chose not to give a full tutorial here as I made a lot of changes to the original pattern as I sewed the bag. I drifted from my original design, but for me that is the beauty of sewing for yourself. You can improvise and alter as you want! While I had hoped to use only materials from the rug, I wanted something beefy for the straps. I came across the faux ostrich leather and just loved the look of it. I used it for the straps, the top binding, and for the bag bottom. My machine did NOT like sewing the faux leather! If I tackle a project like this again I would look at using an industrial machine so that my leather stitching looks a little cleaner.
After finishing the bag I STILL had rug scraps left…at this point it was becoming a challenge to see just how many projects I could make from it! My smaller items always get lost in tote style bags, so a matching zipper pouch seemed like the logical next project. This little pouch will hold an iPhone, some lip gloss, and some cash or debit card. I added the D ring and plan to attach a small leather strap so that this could go in the tote, or on it’s own as a small clutch.
Below is a look at everything I was able to make and still have a few usable scraps leftover. I’ve invested around $75 total between the $40 flea market finds, extra supplies and the faux ostrich leather. I would say that is a pretty good bargain for 3 pillows, a one of a kind tote, and matching zippered accessory pouch!
I am excited to hear your feedback– what do you think of the bag?? Any suggestions for how to use the rest of my fabric scraps??
Here’s to getting back on track next week and hopefully up and running on a few more projects to share!