This is the beginning of my new project, the ‘Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag’ from Inspirations magazine issue 51- I’m transferring the design to the fabric. With quite a detailed design like this, I use a light box. I’ve chosen Damask fabric rather than a plain surface fabric, for interest, but that does rather make the pictures hard to see here, sorry!
I’ve got barely enough of the Damask fabric to make this, so I have stitched strips of cotton sheeting up the sides to make the whole piece wider, so that it can be placed in my 12 inch hoop for stitching.
I traced the design from the Inspirations Issue 51 pattern sheet, then taped that to my light box, and placed the fabric on top.
I used a mechanical pencil to trace over the lines onto the fabric. I can get a very accurate design outline that way. Here’s the tracing, and the fabric.
The design instructions say to ‘design an initial for the reverse of the bag, using elements from the sweet bag front’. Well, to be honest, that’s a bit of a cop-out on the part of the magazine! It’s not a problem for me – I’m an embroidery designer by profession – but I think many readers of the magazine would struggle with this part! A basic alphabet is provided on the pullout sheet, but it’s up to you how you place the design elements. Anyway, I designed my ‘J’ to look like this!
I then transferred the design onto the fabric using the light box, as before. It goes quite a long way down on the fabric, rather than being placed centrally, to allow for the drawstring section at the top of the bag later.
Itching to get started on the stitching, now!
I’ve decided on my next major project now, and this week I’ve been kitting up ready to get started on it. It’s called ‘Flowers for Elizabeth: an embroidered sweet bag’.
For anyone who’s followed my blog for a while, you might remember that I’ve talked before about an embroidered sweet bag that I made from a design in Inspirations magazine Issue 36 – it’s this one (this is an image from the magazine):
It was lovely to make, but the reason I don’t have an image of the one that I made is that it got stolen from my car (along with my luggage and just about anything else ‘removable’ from the car!) while I was at a wedding reception in 2001. It really affected me, and for a long time I thought I’d have another go at stitching it, but I could never bring myself to attempt it, due to the negative memories.
But Inspirations magazine featured a few other sweet bags over the years, and this one particularly caught my eye. It’s from Issue 51 (about 2006, I think). It uses paler colours, but the overall look is the same:
So, as you can see from the skeins alongside the magazine, this is the one I’ve decided to stitch! I’m going to stitch mine on a piece of damask tablecloth fabric that I bought in an antique shop years ago. I’ve got all the called-for threads, and I’ve even found some tiny 3mm gold sequins to attach around the embroidery itself.
This is another wonderful design by Susan O’Connor, who has been designing for Inspirations magazine for years. I love her designs, and have done several of them in the past. This one should be great fun!
If you’d like to stitch it, although the magazine is no longer available as a back issue, the pattern for the sweet bag itself is available to buy as a digital download from here: https://www.inspirationsstudios.com/product/flowers-for-elizabeth/