Not quite Elizabethan
The second item I made as a gift for Margaret de Mey on the occasion of her elevation was an over the shoulder bag. I looked in my stash and found a very small remnant from the fabric which I used for another friend’s elevation (as a Laurel in his case). It was enough to make up the front, back and lid of a roughly binder-shaped carrying bag, but there was not enough to make a carrying strap. However, the fabric was a golden yellow tone, and Margaret’s arms are mostly red, so I thought I would match the Drachenwald colours, and make the strap black. Luckily I had a few scraps of black wool of approximately the same weight also in my stash to lend to the project.
With the bag sewn up with a green linen lining I turned my attention to decorating the lid with Margaret’s device. I had not much time, and since the design is quite simple I decided to find a red fabric to be the shield shape, and then embroider the water bougets white on to that. Minimal of work, to create a three dimensional effect, and also weigh down the lid a little.
The red wool was cut to an appropriate size, then I transferred the pattern by stitching through a piece of paper where I had drawn it up beforehand. The outlines were then filled in properly with chain stitch in white silk.
The red wool was quite sturdy, and so I felt I did not need to work this in a frame, but could do it freehand. I also chose to work the chain stitches in reverse. I’ve found that this way of working them, gives me much more control over the size of the stitches, and exactly where I can place them for maximum coverage and details in the design.
After all outlines were done, I proceeded to fill in the shapes of the water bougets with detached buttonhole stitch from the top down in the main body of the design, and from left to right for the crossbar. I hoped this slight change in texture might make the two parts a little more distinct, but I’m not so sure that’s really noticeable, as the thread I was using made the distance for the crossbar basically two stitches wide. If I had used a thinner thread the change in directionality would be more noticeable. I like this sort of stitch, because it uses a maximum of thread on the front of the work, and almost nothing is wasted on the reverse. It’s efficient and thread conservative, as you can see from the back of the finished piece.
To finish off the bag I attached the shield shape by appliqueing it to the lid with blanket stitch all around the outline in black. It also helped to highlight the edges a little, and bring in some more contrast.