Create your own visitor map
I like to keep a hand-sewing or embroidery project going at all times, because pretty much no matter how bad I feel I can sit on the couch and stitch. I might work slower, but it always feels good to make progress on something. The local SCA Arts & Science meetings last month were for making bags and pouches. I only made it to the last week because of my trip to California, but I threw together an easy project to take with me.
I decided to make a pilgrim bag. It’s a long rectangular scrap of material with a satin/pile diamond pattern, and the shoulder strap is the card woven band I made a couple months ago. The weaving turned out pretty and even, but it’s very tight, too tight to be suitable for a garment. Thus, I had been planning to use it as the shoulder strap for a pilgrim bag, something most historical in nature that is large enough to hold purse stuff plus a couple books or a portable sewing project. I hemmed all the edges of the fabric first, and then stitched it to the card woven band, making the band the sides of the bag. It is entirely hand sewn.
There are a number of other hand sewing projects (like a cloak) that are on my soon-to-do list, but they all require some figgling around with the iron and/or measuring and cutting pieces of fabric, and I really haven’t felt like doing that. Thus, after I finished embroidering the scalloped veil I was left only with the pilgrim bag project. Even hand sewing, this was a very small, quick project, and it didn’t take long for me to get it sewn together. Originally I had not planned to line or decorate it, but when I got that far and was not feeling up to doing the setup work for any of the other projects, Diana suggested that I embroider the center of each of the crosses, that doing that small thing would help dress it up so it didn’t look quite so much like a hippie bag. I dotted the centers of a couple rows of diamonds with brick stitch (a medieval period stitch that was appropriate to the woven design of the fabric), and that grew until I had dotted all the crosses on the front flap. After that I thought it would pop more if I also did brick stitch over the satin areas around each cross, inside the diamonds. So, what started at out as a super-simple, super-quick project has evolved into quite an embroidery project. After I finish with the satin areas, I’m seriously contemplating doing gold thread plaited braid stitch down the trellis lines. I want to practice that stitch in preparation for another project anyway…
BTW, it would have been much easier to embroider had I done that before I sewed the back together. Plus, now that I will definitely need to line it, that will also be slightly more complicated to do. At least it’s not as much added complication hand sewn as it would be machine sewn.
Additional photos of this piece (including detail of the embroidery) may be found on my web site at
|I am an artist, seamstress, and craftswoman, specializing in realistic artwork, minimalist animals, Celtic knotwork, and bespoke corsetry and costuming. I am mostly self-taught, having developed my skills over years of passionate practice. I love sharing knowledge, and to that end I maintain an informative blog, periodically publish free tutorials, and teach workshops.|