Finished Object: Round the World Clutch

Oh sweet pattern matching:

I centered each piece over the pagoda vertically, and I matched them horizontally based on the placement of the magnetic button.  I think it worked well.

I’m not much of a stasher.  I bought this fabric years ago with the idea to make a corset.  I carted it around with me to England, back to the U.S., and here to Oz.  This and my tapestry work were the only textiles I immigrated with.  All that time I assumed it was a poly, I didn’t care because the colors and pattern clutched at me.   When confronted with the fabric choices while making my PR, I decided to burn some of the fabric.  Smell of burning hair, crumbling ash?  Great snakes, we have silk!

Every time I took out the little piece of fabric over the years, I would smile and laugh about such a pretty piece of fabric covered with dogs, pheasants and insects the same size as pheasants.  It has a sort of understated whimsy.  What are those men in the pagoda up to?  Talk?  Meditation?  Teaching?  Rocking the ganj?  It’s really up for interpretation.

This motif- so pleasant.  Why the bells on the gate?  Where did the picnickers go?  What kind of tree is that, and where can I get one?

I used some gold poly taffeta, the same as the flowers in my fascinator.  I’m also using it to line my red brocade cincher belt, but after that never again will I work with such disgusting fabric, I don’t care how well it coordinates.

I’m experimenting with purse engineering as a side project.  I decided I don’t like stiff fusibles- they tend to crease unless I fuse them to a piece of canvas and use the whole thing as an interlining which is as time-consuming as it is bulky.

This Alter-Madison bag already uses lightweight boning where the flap attaches to the purse.  I decided to bone all around the bottom edge, and each seam on the side as well.  This would have been easier had I decided to put the boning in flat.  I used Rigilene because it’s cheap and I can sew through it, eliminating boning channels.

Additionally, I used a non-fusible low-loft batting.  It is thin and dense, rather likes to stand up on its own.  Once I had my “bag-cutting” hat on at 9pm Saturday night, I discovered I had rather less of this batting than I thought.  I made the bag shorter to accommodate my batting.

I fused a little bit of fusible non-woven to the flap lining, and an additional square of heavy interfacing which I stitched down.  Too bad my aim was a little off:

My inner Apollonian artisan really, really wants the button centered in my interfacing square.

I used black piping on the flap to frame the pagoda and keep the troublesome gold taffeta from rolling over.  After everything it put me through, I wasn’t about to trust it.

Hand-stitched the lining in, took about 15 minutes and gave such a pretty finish.  It’s not like I could stitch through the brocade without looking ick.

Great bag, I feel like a lady.  I haven’t had a “nice” bag since highschool, and I finally used (some) of that brocade I’ve loved longer than I knew my husband.  I have the idea to make a hat with the leftovers, but it can rest for now.

This, the fascinator, cincher belt, shopping bag, hemp sun hat.  I can’t decide which to finish next!  No pics with the dress until they’re all finished and my dress is blacker.  I’m on day 2 of stewing, will probably give it another night.


  1. Very cute! There is some reason for the bells on the gate – I remember learning about it in Asian art, but can't recall right off hand.And they had those trees growing at the bayad-in Buddhist temple in Hawaii. I'll have to ask my Mum what they are.

  2. It is beautiful fabric. I've always admired the brocades in the fabric store but never had the nerve to buy any. I like the shape of your bag, too.

  3. Oh dear me, I have enough outfits to go with it. Have I mentioned my black dress collection? The important thing is to find a time to use it! So far, the soonest I can see is the company Christmas party (in which the staff dresses to the nines, drinks gallons of champagne, and then runs an auction for the amusement of the rest of the party. Great fun.)

Is it kind, useful or interesting? Great!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s