I knew I wanted to make more this year but I really struggled to source some of the materials. I just cannot find more of the appliqued spiders I originally used (there are other options, which I intend to look into next year) and the heavy silk I used for the Victorian purses has been nearly impossible to find.
In the end, I bought some heavy twill silk from Beckfords and hand dyed it. The silk was eye-wateringly expensive, but then I do only need a small amount for each purse. I did, however, totally avoid dyeing it until the last possible moment. I initially hand dyed it using Dylon black, but it came out with a very blue tinge, not at all as I’d hoped, so I dyed it again to get a better tone, same dye only in the washing machine. It worked and it’s almost identical to the silk that I originally used, which incidentally was given to me by a lady running a period millinery course I did years ago at the London College of Fashion.
I couldn’t find the same beaded applique panels either, so these have changed. I bought plain ones then beaded them myself, which I prefer as I had to re-stitch on all the originals anyway as I was so paranoid they would fall off.
I really LOVE making these purses, they pretty much sum up my work and my taste. I love the beading, the old feel and what’s not to like about silk and velvet. Velvet is really rocking my boat at the moment.
I don’t love glueing on the frames, I tend to put that off as well, but I’ve become a pro, I’m like the ninja purse frame gluing champion and hardly any acetone was needed in the making of these purses, which is good as I was already quite giddy on the smell of fabric glue.
I’ve changed the name to ‘Vampire’ purses this year, simply as it is what I’ve always called them when I’m talking to myself. It’s those red linings against the black.
I’ve already promised some of them to friends, but the remainder are here in the shop.
My shop generally needs updating. I started a re-brand a while ago, but the craziness that is finding the right secondary school for F, blind making and trying to get the house decorated is taking its toll, there just isn’t time to do everything, so for now I’ve opted for a quick change of the front page and trying to get my stock levels back up.
For Christmas, I’d like a time machine please 🙂