Several years ago I took a class with Susan O'Connor of Country Bumpkin of Australia when she came to the US for a SAGA convention. This was for an Elizabethan Sweet Bag, her third design of this type of embroidery. It was one of the pre-day classes, that you have to pay extra for, but it was well worth it. Susan is an extremely talented designer and a perfectionist of a stitcher, just see any of her work in the Country Bumpkin magazines Inspirations and Australian Smocking and Embroidery (AS&E). I took the class in 2007, and last year, two years later, I finally finished it.
It consists of silk embroidery, all Au Ver a Soie, Soie d'Alger threads on silk broadcloth. I especially love the Red Rose of Lancaster near the center, on the left.
The outer border and the stems are chain stitches interlaced with gold metallic thread. The hearts are padded satin stitch outlined with gold metallic thread, which disguises the slight imperfections that I made in the shape of the heart. Here and there are sprinkled little spangles, to add more sparkle to the bag.
It is lined with a shimmery green silk dupioni, but I cheated a bit on the cord. The pattern called for making twisted cord out of the silk floss, something I really dislike doing. So I purchased the green beaded ribbon to use instead. I also made an silk-covered elastic band to keep the top partially closed, definitely a modern touch!
Believe it or not, I actually use this bag. When I travel, I put my ipod, earbuds and electrical cord in it to use in the hotel gym. I do wrap the bag in a sweater or blouse when packing, to help protect it. I am also making another sweet bag, from another of Susan's designs in Inspirations. And if I ever finish it, I'll show it to you.