The Scarlet Woman bag

Oooh I love a bit of scarlet. Note: I am very fussy indeed about my red descriptors, and have often been heard ranting about why something can’t just be “red” … it could quite possibly be tomato or crimson, perhaps even vermillion, cardinal, flame, watermelon, brick or amaranth … never just plain old red. This was scarlet, my personal favourite.


The fabric was something of an unlikely choice – folded into the bottom of the John Lewis remnant pile it was far too bright for most sane people and frayed energetically, as if running away from the scissors every time you put a blade anywhere close. Taking heed of neither of these failings, I bought it. (My nan was right, I obviously will never learn. Ha!) Then I found some lovely quilting cotton for the lining (I think it might be a Nel Whatmore print), a giant red button and I was all set.

The pattern (called Lindsay) was something of a revelation … I found it meandering through Pinterest one evening. It’s a downloadable pdf from the indie pattern designer Ithinksew. What’s great about this pattern is that it really does have a designer look to it, as the construction is so unusual. Basically, the handle is cut in one piece along with the top panel and then once sewn folds down to attach to the bag at the other end with a large decorative button sew on as a finishing touch. That’s a rubbish explanation, and happily the pattern does a much better job of explaining the process than I do. I managed to cut this out and sew it (with lining) in just a couple of hours. Brilliant.

The embellishment (the beautifully beaded felt heart) is my lovely mum’s handiwork (she is a whizz with the beads) and it’s secured to a pin that fastens under the strap, so it can be removed for a less full on look. Of course, with my dress style that never happens!

This bag has ellicited more comments than any other bag I have ever made – it really is fabulous. Its only tiny shortcoming is its size. I need a phone, a purse, lippy, tissues and keys in even the most low key situations (I guess I am just not a minimalist kind of gal!), and in this bag that’s a bit tight. I think next time I make it (and there will definitely be a next time) I will add a couple of inches to the depth.

Here’s another look at the scarlet beauty.


Published by t@uandmii

Colour mad designer rampages gleefully through the world of plus size sewing! Oh, and there may be shoes … and cats.

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