Monday, November 4, 2013

Embroidered Silk Evening Bag

This past weekend our local SAGA guild had Susan O'Connor from Country Bumpkin in Australia over to teach us how to embroider this stunning bag, named Caprice. This first appeared in issue 44 of Inspirations, published nine years ago. Susan was on her way home after having taught in New York and at the SAGA Convention. This was perfect for us who didn't make it to the Convention, as we got a beautiful project from an extremely talented teacher and no travel expenses. The photo above is from the magazine.

The photo is a bit wonky as I placed the fabric on the lawn to get the best light. The lawn really needed cutting, so the fabric isn't too flat. Since this design is embroidered on black silk, marking it is a challenge. Susan gave us some Saral white transfer paper for tracing the design on the silk. It comes in several colors and you can buy it at Dick Blick art supply. I first ran the design through the copier onto a sheet of vellum craft paper, then taped the design and transfer paper to the silk and traced away. It really works beautifully, but does tend to wear off. To revive the design, I bought this mechanical pencil, available at Joann's, after the Saturday class. After marking the design, I fused the fabric to a length of interfacing to help stabilize the stitching.

Since we had the actual bag in the class, I had to take a photo, so you can see how nice it looks in real life. Susan had also stitched another variation but had not made it into a bag, but with my poor photographic skills I don't have a good photo of it. I hope some of the other ladies got a good photo.

All the embroidery is worked in Au Ver a Soie, Soie d'Alger, a wonderful silk floss that is a delight to use. There's just nothing quite like a beautifully design stitched in silk on silk fabric. One of the nice things about taking a class as opposed to working the project from a magazine is all of the extra little tips and information you get. Susan gave us quite a few tips on working the various aspects of the bag which I'll share with you as I progress in this.

This is as far as I got in two days of classes, not much, is it? I plan on concentrating on it while I'm waiting for my threads from Australia to arrive.

Lately while I've been embroidering I've been watching TV on my laptop. I just finished binging on Downton Abbey Season 3, and also have been watching the British TV series Merlin. This is a family oriented version which is so goofy I can't even begin to describe it. However, it's been fun except for the last two episodes (after all, we do know what happens).  Now to find a new series to watch while working.

Since I really don't care for the name of this project (look up the definition of Caprice and you'll know why), I plan on calling this by the very unimaginative name of Embroidered Silk Evening Bag.  Using this name you'll be able to follow along with the project, if you care to.


  1. I think you've made a very good start. So often the real benefit of these courses isn't the stitching time, but the advice you get, and hints and tips that are demonstrated, and actually seeing in real life what you are aiming for!

  2. OOH it promises to be gorgeous. I can't wait to see it finished.

  3. I love, love, love this project! I was so tempted by the kit when it came out, but I just couldn't justify it. It will be fun to watch you stitch yours, and I am looking forward to those extra tips!

    I enjoyed Merlin too -- there were lots of wonderful costumes to admire as well. Happy stitching!

  4. Wow what super wonderful stitching.. Incredibly beautiful. Hugs Judy

  5. What a gorgeous bag! It will provide you with many hours of satisfying stitching, working with those luxurious silks. I'm looking forward to progress reports.

  6. E' un lavoro molto impegnativo ma di grande soddisfazione, spero di vederla presto completata. Baci

  7. Well done, I'm not that good with embroidery but somehow I still can make some of course with a pattern, back with your work I love how it is being made, the color mixture, details and the fashion you've exert.


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