cross stitch bag “Gypsy Lady” with #

work in process, trying out different ways to decorate

This is a circa 1960s-70s cross stitch of a painting by “Torino” – Little is known about Torino other than he was prevalent from around the 50s to the 70s and there are a few versions (poses) of this “Gypsy Lady” print.

Came across this cross stitch work at second hand store. There it was lying amongst other finished and half finished needle works just for 3€. I knew at once what I wanted to do from it certainly something that will not go unnoticed. First I was playing around with the idea to really make the gypsy lady fierce with tattoos and make-up but after a few try outs I skipped that idea. The cross stitch work is beautifully done and it would be a shame to hide it. I needed a piece of fabric to go with it and choose checkered black and white, to make the whole look more contemporary. When the two pieces were joined it felt like the bag needs a message. Something to do with gypsy way of life, for example fortune telling, freedom and spiritual things. So I came up with the hashtag sign. Under the # one can imagine these words.

Back part of the bag is done out of recycled leather and handles are from old thrifted bag. The leather pieces that hold the handles are parts from a belt and the black rings curtain parts. So again 100% recycled, remake and zero waste.

handles from old bag, leather parts to hold handle old belt

diy gypsy lady cross stitch bag with # decoration

diy gypsy lady cross stitch bag with # decoration

 

 

 

Kurume kasuri goku masu

Bought Susan Briscoes book Japanese quilt blocks to mix & match from a craft fair in Finland few years ago and the amount of inspiration it`s given me! This denim bag started from the idea to have just one big  quilt block instead of several small ones and the pattern is called Kurume kasuri goku masu- five squares.

 

Struggled a bit with the scale but finally got it right!

Super happy with the end result! All denim used are from old jeans, shoulder strap is old leather belt and the lining is made out of old skirt. So again 100% recycled!

"Kurume kasuri goku masu- five squares" patterned denim quilt bag with second hand belt

"Kurume kasuri goku masu- five squares" denim quilt bag on the fitting torso

grand Ibiza bag

 

The bag is made out of a cool vintage tanktop I found. Super easy recycling for old tanktops to turn them into handy and cool bags…just with one seam!

Pictures not taken at Ibiza :)…photoshoot took place in Finland springtime by the lake.

Big tote with medieval touch

Photoshoot for the bag took place in very mystical surroundings….

This project was started up by two pieces of fabric sofa samples that I found second hand…and one belt. Idea was to make a roomy bag, easy to sew and without any super fancy decorations.

But as the project went on I wanted to do something extra, to give that unique touch to this bag also rather than leaving it just black. I found from my cross stitch stock this “dragon”. It´s almost ten years ago I bought it and now was the right moment for it. By placing it in the middle of the bag it serves also as a pocket. Buttons are vintage too, red ones to boost up the red from the cross stitch.

Canvas belt found second hand had some nice studs on it and looks amazing as handles for the bag. By hand stitching some decor to one of the handles makes it look raw and crafty and the pattern just “created itself” while stitching.

Overall look of the bag is a little bit medieval- maybe thanks to the studs and the dragon. Location to shoot the bag was in this case easy to figure out- it is an old mill from 17th century in Röttle near Gränna Sweden. I think I felt some vibes from times passed by while taking pics there…

 

studs and squares

diy leather bag picture taken in Centre Pompidou Paris Susanna with her diy leather bag in Centre Pompidou Paris

Idea of this leather bag began when I found a pair of leather trousers second hand. I often buy worn and outdated but good quality leather clothes second hand…of course if the price is ok, under 10€ is still a bargain of a good leather.

In this case I cut out the front and the back pieces for the bag from the leg part of the trousers because leather on the legs were in good condition and I did not have to do any extra seams. I tryed out different motifs on the bag but finally I ended up playing with the swiss cross and by adding black leather squares the pattern looked deeper. Studs are there to “rock” the bag but the style is still versatile to combine with different looks and outfits: preppy, rebel, chic etc.

Because I wanted the bag to have “one piece look” so adding in handles was out of the question. Instead I cut out holes to the top part, folded the seam allowances from the cut out to the back and glued them with a flexible glue. Lining is done out of leather and denim, I repeated the same cut out hole and then I just glued the front and the back together. So more glue than seams on this leather project. Glue I used was BISON transparent, it was really easy to work with and now after carrying various loads in my bag for a week around Paris I can say that the glue hold the leather together super good.

Photoshoot is done in Musée des Arts et Métiers and Centre Pompidou in Paris. Thank you Paris!

striped clutch

diy striped leather and suede clutch made out of old trousers

diy striped leather and suede clutch made out of old trousers

Zero waste clutch bag; made out of old suede trousers and a white leather vest into my all time favourite clean and graphic pattern stripes. Pattern that looks good with almost any outfit you choose. Triangle decorations on the sides add interest and more body to the clutch. By adding the option that I can wear this bag also on my shoulder makes it more versatile, although the solid purpose is clutch in which only the necessary items fits in, such as lipstick, keys and my phone.

Tämä laukku sai alkunsa inventoidessani nahkavarastojani. Löysin palan hiekanväristä nahkaa ja mustaa mokkaa joista leikkasin samanlevyisiä, suorakaiteen muotoisia paloja. Ompelin palat yhteen värejä vuorotellen ja aikani valmista nahkapintaa katsellessani päätin tehdä siitä kädessä kannettavan laukun, clutchin. Laukun sivuihin ompelin tehokeinoksi “kolmio”nahkasomisteen, näin laukku sai myös yksilöllisen ilmeen. Lisäsin laukkuun olkahihnan joka näin muuntaa kädessä kannettavan myös olalla pidettäväksi. Olkahihnaa vaihtamalla laukun saa myös nopeasti päivitettyä asukokonaisuuteen sopivaksi. Irrotettava metallinen olkahihna löytyi kirpparilta mutta hihnaksi käy myös vaikka ohut vyö. Clutch ei ole tilaihme mutta mukaan mahtuu kätevästi kuitenkin kaikki tarpeellinen.

 

zig zag cross stitch bag

Cross stitching crazyness! Really how can people give/throw away these beautiful and extra nicely stitched piece of art works? I believe there will be a time when these vintage cross stitch handcrafts will be worth gold.

But until that, let`s do a bag out of one zig zag patterned, thrifted cross stitch. It was a pillow cover when I found it from second hand Erikshjälpen Jönköping. Mostly when I come across these old handicrafts they are pillow covers or wall decorations. The colors on this one are bold and I like how the lilac color pops up from the whole palette. I had a piece of brown leather from one earlier project and decided to go towards gold color in the metallic parts and decorations. For the lining I choose sturdy denim so the bag will stay in shape even when empty.

 

Again all parts fort this bag are recycled from second hand bags. My mission is to buy as little as possible straight from the craft stores but to do a bag with good and functional elements requires a lot of different metallic parts. Such as magnetic closures which I usually take apart from my second hand bags. Handles and straps are also quite tricky;  to do a long leather strap requires a lot of good leather and usually that is hard to achieve with leftover leather scraps, so again second hand bags to the rescue!

I am pleased how solid the outcome is, all colors match together and even the gold colored labels fit in with the look.

diy bag photoshoot by the waterside with hand lettered board

diy bag with recycled cross stitch and leather

diy vintage cross stitch bag photoshoot by waterside with thriftwood