Saturday, 1 September 2012

Stationery/Sewing Bag of Love

So I'm a teacher, as you might already know.  I have to lug lots of stuff around different classrooms - my pens, pens for students to use, scissors, board markers, board eraser, diary, glue, rulers, photocopied handouts, books, blank paper ... and so on.  My colleagues often use toolboxes for all this equipment; I've been using a tote bag, where everything floats around in the bottom so I can't find it!

For ages I've been on the lookout for a bag with different sections, with no luck, so for my final project on the oilcloth course, I decided I'd make one ...

I've mentioned Norfolk Textiles before and as I was pouring through their many pages of oilcloth, struggle to make a decision, I spotted this toile de jouy and instantly knew it would be an 18th century inspired, grey on grey fabric combination.  I played with the directions of the stripes, pieced the bottom of the bag (very 18th c!) and, as patchworkers would say, 'fussy cut' the side pockets to have the main toile motifs at the centre.

I also wanted a pop of colour to avoid getting stuck in 'Greysville', so I went for the dusky rose polka dot lining (yes, another colourway of the tote bag fabric), which I tied in with a grey inside pocket:

I was really lucky to find matching grey grossgrain ribbon to reinforce the top of the bag and side pockets at the local market.  This stuff looks gorgeous in real life - it has a lovely silvery sheen.  (Plus, it helped avoid the oilcloth sticking too much!  Though the stripe and toile are matt oilcloth, so that is less sticky.)

I also made sure it was big enough to fit A4 folders in the main body, as I have those for each of my classes.  (Unfortunately, the bag doesn't photograph so well as a whole - it's a bit floppy!)

The end pockets aren't quite so pretty, but I only had half a metre of the toile fabric.

I'm really pleased with how this came out - it's really pretty and everyone who's seen it has loved it and asked where I bought it!  Even better, it's practical and fits all my stationery bits inside, yay!

Usually there's something about one of my makes that I'm not 100% in love with, but I think this is probably my most successful make so far - love it!


  1. Love it, especially the toile de jouy section, how perfect! x

    1. Thanks, Jane! I think toile de jouy must make everything even better!

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