I didn't have my act together for a giveaway this time around, and I will spare you my rambling reflections on the awesomeness that is the online sewing community. However, I do have a project that I knew I could use for this very occasion. Only tricky part is that I couldn't post about it until the very last minute for Sew Grateful Week, as the project is a gift that I mean to keep a surprise until this evening.
As I stated in the sloth post, I have a gift exchange I'm attending that requires that the gifts be handmade. And as I (non-committedly) promised, here's a here's a couple pics of my sloth handbag that I received at one of these gift exchanges a few years ago:
|little button eyes|
As for my project for this year, I actually did something similar: an animal inspired purse!
Based on this tutorial I found via Cut Out & Keep, I decided to make a clutch for my charge because I knew she didn't have one she could use for fancy occasions. She loves octopuses too, so I thought I'd try to make something with an octopus accent if I could.
I'm really happy with the octopus, in terms of embroidery technique. I used this book that I won in a giveaway over at Diana & Me. I wrote a little about my experience with the book, and Amy does a good review of the book too. It's not my favorite primer, but it serves as a great refresher for me on stitch options for these kinds of projects.
I also lined the purse with another fabric I won from Monkey Magic last year (I mean, it was 25 fat quarters' worth of fabric, and she gave me some great prints!), but I refrained from taking pictures of it for some reason. I think I've been getting a little deadline disoriented...
Couple other details in terms of this piece:
I really don't like clutches. You have to, well, clutch them all the time. So I added little D-rings in a couple places so the bag can be carried over the shoulder or by the wrist (the wristlet doesn't work out that well, but could work if you were to tie the clutch shut with a ribbon). The straps were cannibalized from thrifted bags, as was the zipper, which I got off a duvet I bought for dress fabric. The bag can be slung either folded or open.
I also tried to make a point to use from my stash as much as possible, including the embroidery floss. I feel like this approach is in line with the idea of being Sew Grateful. Not only am I thankful for all the online community has offered me, but I'm also thankful for all that I already have. I don't even have to leave home to have all the resources I need to make a good project. (Admittedly, the D-rings are new, and the straps and zipper were thrifted.)
I must confess, though, that I am growing ambivalent about my fabric choice. I really felt it was the way to go, as it reminded me of that cool linen look that Eighth Century Agrarian had with her version. But the embroidery gets a little lost in there, and I can't decide if that's a good thing or bad thing. It seems very octopodian, to blend that well. Like this. But, Buddy has stated he's sick and tired of the fabric, and I think it because it competes just a little too much with the octopus. And, it's well... a little frumpy the more I look at it.
But the piece is flexible, and wears comfortably, and has plenty of space in there. Add in the fact that I'm also giving a light gold handbag with drawn stars on it as a consolation gift (and to almost match the recipient's dress shoes: silver converse), I feel like it'll make do.