Sunday, 20 September 2009

Tray Cloth Clutch Bag

I bought a vintage, hand embroidered tray cloth recently with a view to making a batch of lavender bags from it. It measured 58cm x 43cm which did limit the possibilities slightly but I got it at a good price, so it was worth taking a chance.

However, when the tray cloth arrived, there wasn't really enough plain fabric for the backs of the lavender bags. Not only that, the large areas on embroidery at the corners were also too big for a lavender bag. I didn't really want to cut in to the gorgeous embroidery either as it seemed a bit of a waste.

After quite a bit of thought, it suddenly struck me that the tray cloth would make a really good handbag. As I had a spare frame, a clutch bag seemed to be the perfect solution.

As I was using a curved handbag frame, the best shape to cut out was a triangular shape with a curved top. This perfectly incorporated one large piece of corner embroidery, as well as two smaller pieces either side. I could then use the same pieces from the diagonal corner for the other side of the handbag. Having cut both sides of the handbag out, I had just enough of the tray cloth left over to make a couple of rose petal scent bags as well.

The bag is lined in a pale lilac cotton which came from a gentleman's shirt. The colour of the lining perfectly compliments the embroidery and makes a good contrast to the cream of the linen. I think it also adds a good element of surprise when you open the handbag. The soft gold of the frame also works really well with the cream linen.

I was a bit concerned glueing the handbag into the frame, as I always find it really fiddly to do. Having taken my time, it seemed to work out quite well for once! The two rose petal scent bags also make a good bonus to the whole project.

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