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Fuchsia Bag

Although this was my final piece and supposedly the culmination of two years work, time was running short. Although I had lots of grand ideas for accessories, in the end, I decided to keep it simple and make a bag.

As the inspiration was to be historical, I started looking at the chatelaines and reticules of the 18th and 19th century. However, it was a modern piece that was one of my main inspirations - a 'horse chestnut bag', by Emily Jo Gibbs, that I had seen at the V&A.

At the same time as I was researching these bags, I happened to look at one of the Flower Fairy Alphabet books by Cicely Mary Barker and the little fuchsia picture reminded me of the wired reticules popular in the 1800's.

Workbook Page

A workbook page that includes a leaf from the Flower Fairy Alphabet by Cicely Mary Baker (c. 1925).

Fuchsia is a dancer.
Dancing on her toes,
clad in red and purple,
By a cottage wall.
Sometimes in greenhouse
In frilly white and rose,
Dressed in her best for the
fairies evening ball.

Sketchbook Cover

The round purple bag that represents the flower bell was relatively simple to construct. It was made from a round piece of velvet dyed a pale mauve at the top and graduating to a deep purple at the bottom and stitched with pink and purple space dyed silks.

The top 'petals' proved more difficult as wire was not rigid enough to hold the shape. I finally used shapes of metal foil (from tomato puree tubes!) covered with silk organdie, which had been dyed, and shadow quilted. This approach was quite successful as the metal showed through and gave the top a bit more interest.

The cord was made from strips of dyed silk with silk and Fimo beads, and the 'stamen' tassels were smaller cords attached to twists of metal foil. The bag is opened by raising the top section around the cord.

Instead of a book to hold my backup work, I decided to make an accordion file, I was having withdrawal from not using the computer for any of the design work and so the cover was made from a Paint Shop Pro design using fuchsia colours and printed onto tissue before being stitched and beaded.

Top Detail
Top Detail
Tassel Detail
Tassel Detail
Workbook Page
Workbook Page
File Cover
File Cover

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