When I was looking for some braid for a skirt recently, my daughter put me on to Fabricana's Etsy shop.The braid wasn't quite what I was after, but I was sucked in badly by her 'sari scraps' - fat quarters of antique sari fabric in silk and brocade. I ordered a selection which arrived from India within days - a treasure trove of beautiful, inspiring fabric, each piece inviting a story about it's embroiderer and wearers.
I couldn't bear to put the treasure away in my stash, so laundered each piece, got out my bag of taffeta and silk linings and cut 24 bags from the 25 pieces of fabric I bought. I let each piece dictate the shape of the bag and whether it needed lining or not. I have two pieces left uncut.
Over the last few days I have stitched up and finished the first seven bags, lining some of them and using ribbon and cord from my stash, finished off with buttons, beads or old earring pieces to stop the cord from disappearing into the casing.
The bag to the left is from a simple piece of brocade while the one below is checked silk appliqued with embroidered medallions and edged with cut work.
I imagine someone commissioning and wearing it for a special celebration.
This piece is patterned silk with the occasional flower in the pattern embroidered and beaded. I used shells from earrings to finish the ties and lined this one in a piece of blue Vietnamese silk.
I used a small glass chilli from a Chinese decoration to finish the ties on the maroon silk bag below, from a satin-stitched and scalloped border piece.
Embroidery on the body of the fabric is in a pale gold thread, while the border is stitched with deeply coloured thread.
There is certainly much pleasure in the making.