After drafting out my design on paper into the correct shape for the bag, adjusting the design slightly to fit the shape and enlarging it to the correct size I made a mock up in plain fabric. this gave me a clear idea of how it would look in 3D .
I decided to mirror the front and back of the bag. This gave an interesting effect at the sides off the bag adding interest all the way round. I almost like the sides more than the front and back! I decided to make use of the shape of the base of the bag to show a single flower motif.
Once I was happy with the overall effect I started to make the felt for the appliqué sections. I decided to use the embellished machine to start the felt and then popped it into the washing machine in a drying program to felt and shrink it further . I ended up with lovely soft, well felted fabric to use in exactly the colour I was looking for. I had added some silk fibres to add a slight sheen and extra colour interest to the basic felt as well which made it slightly more interesting.
My next step was to apply the felt to the background that I had pre-printed using the embellisher machine. This eliminated the need for any unnecessary stitching on the felted shapes which would have detracted from the clean lines and strong shapes I was trying to create.
Once all the felt shapes were applied I could commence stitching. I wanted to craete a painterly effect shown in my drawings so chose a number of varigated threads to achieve this. I had completely underestimated how long it would take to cut and add all the felted shapes. It seemed to take forever. I also had not really realised how long the stitching would take especially as the thread I had initialy chosen was constantly fraying and snapping. I had to source some replacement thread but ended up with some beautiful variegated rayon threads from Sulky which were so easy to use and gave me the marbled look I wanted to achieve.
Showing the front and reverse of the base of the bag.
Closeup of stitching showing th epainterly effect I was trying to achieve.
The finished embroidered panels
My final design choice was the colour of the lining. I decided that the purple satin worked the best. It worked in harmony with the colours and style of the bag.
The final bag. I am really pleased with the end result, I acheived my aim of keeping the strong colour, line and shape of the original source and also the striking colour changes. If I were to make it again I don’t think there is anything I would change.