Mum’s Twisted Roses Bag

In returning to this blog I’ve been trying to catch up with my omissions and I realized that I didn’t post any images of the Twisted Roses bag which I made for my Mum with the fabrics she chose at the Northern Needlecraft Exhibition we went to in Harrogate last September.

This is the only picture I took of this bag, which was part way through making it (and obviously Mum has the bag now) but it does give a clear view of the fabrics I used and the twisted roses on the front.

Click this link if you want to see the earlier version

Twisted rose tutorial


Finished another Japanese Shima (Stripe) Bag.

As promised earlier this is the finished bag, back and front views which show the different fabrics used for the stripes.  I love the way this bag makes up as it has two different looks depending on how the fabrics are placed.  In this one I tried to keep the lilac/pink fabrics on the front and the orange/creams on the back and I’m really pleased with the result.

I made this bag slightly shorter than the previous one,  just for a change to make them a bit different.  As a recap, for comparison, these are the two bags together.  I really love these Japanese fabrics!  A reminder of the stockists Euro Japan Links if you want any!

Taken over by the bag making bug

As a means to forget the cold bug I succumbed to my bag making compulsion and decided to make another Japanese Shima (Stripe) Bag.

This was a kit my Mum bought at the same time as me but never got round to making and (being the lovely Mum that she is) gave to me to add to the set.

The images show some different parts of the process, 1) is the drawstring pocket, and toggle/loop fastening which I have added to the basic pattern (I like a bag to fasten and to have somewhere to keep my purse).

2) and 3) show the binding to cover the side seams inside the bag.

4) shows how the base of the bag is formed by stitching across the corners, through all thicknesses and 5) how the bag stands up now that the bottom conrers have ben formed.

The final image shows how I’ve sewn the drawstring pocket into  the binding at the top of the bag.  The toggle and loop are sewn in the same way.

Another bag to add to the collection.

Photo of the finished item to follow – I will take this in daylight.

Twisted Rose Tutorial

Thought it was time to have a go at this.

For one twisted rose you will need a piece of fabric for the rose (shaded batiks look good for this project) and backing fabric, matching cotton thread, pins, a needle, scissors and ruler. I found that a thimble was necessary because when stitching the rose you will have to stitch through quite a few layers of fabric.  (I tried without but after doing a few of these I ended up with punctured finger ends!)

To start you will need to cut out one 7 inch square of the main fabric  and  one 4 inch square of backing fabric.  I would recommend that you use cotton fabrics for both the ‘rose’ and the backing as cotton is sufficiently fine for you to be able to stitch through multiple layers and rigid so that it won’t stretch when being twisted.

Pleat and pin the main fabric on to the backing as shown in the image below (I used 3 pleats of varying size along each side).

The following two images show the back and front of the pinned fabric square

Where the main fabric is bulked up by the pleats pinch the top with your finger and thumb then twist it fairly tightly and push it down so that it looks like a rose or rosebud.

You can lift the mound up and twist again until you are happy with the appearance of the rose, then all you need to do is stitch everything in place.  A part finished rose is shown below.

To stitch the layers down I used a combination of stitches starting with a  stab stitch in the centre to hold the bud (more or less) in place.  Then ladder stitch (invisible stitch) along the edges of each of the ‘petals’ and pleats; sewing  through all thicknesses of fabric to hold the rose and pleats in place.

Nine of these twisted rose squares were used to make the Twisted Roses Bag.
Twisted roses bag

Easier than it looks – I hope!

(Hope you find the instructions clear enough as I’ve never written a tutorial like this before but wanted to share!  Let me know if anything needs more explanation.)

Ive added a pdf version of the tutorial for download if you would like to have a printed version Twisted Roses

Twisted Roses Bag – Progress to Completion

Not quite a day or so but over the weekend I did make progress with and managed to complete the Twisted Roses Bag!

First of all the addition of strips of fabric across and down to cover and bind the raw edges of the individual rose squares (above).  I decided to machine stitch these because the numerous layers of fabric were so thick that I would have had to use a thimble for every stitch and I don’t really like having to use one – especially for that amount of work.  I decided to go with the uneven finish as I don’t think it detracts from this particular design.

Then turned inside out binding the side seams and bottom corners (above and below) using strips of lining fabric.

Almost there, this is the bag before the top has been bound and handles added.


The pattern called for plaited handles using a combination of the fabrics from the outside of the bag.  These were  machine sewn into place on to the outside of the bag and to hide the raw edges  of the handles each one was covered with two appliqué leaves which were stuffed with the same wadding as the bag (Hobbs) and stitched with stem and vein lines (pinned on to the bag above) then hand stitched in place.

ET VOILA!  The finished result – perfect for a summer wedding – I am so very happy 🙂

Twisted rose tutorial

Twisted Roses Bag

This pattern is really lovely, I saw it in a magazine over a year ago but didn’t buy the magazine (a definite case of ‘you stupid woman’) then saw the magazine again at one of last years shows and made up for my earlier mistake.

I am making this particular bag for a couple of events which are planned later this year.  First of all my elder son’s graduation ceremony which is in a few weeks time and then for a friend’s wedding in September.  I really hope that the unpredictable  English summer weather stays good for both!

The roses are made by pleating a large square of fabric (9”) on to a smaller square of backing fabric (6”) then twisting and stitching the resulting ‘hump’ into a rose and tacking the folds into place.  Using a graduated print such as batik gives a lovely shaded appearance.  I’ve chosen shades of fuchsia and purple (can you tell I like these colours?) to go with the outfit I plan to wear and am really happy with the results so far.

The image shows progress so far, with 9 hand stitched roses pinned on to the bag (which comprises outer, wadding & lining) I absolutely loved making the flowers for this, it was something really therapeutic to do in front of the TV so I will try to find time (after I’ve finished the bag!) to write a tutorial for them as it is something I just have to share! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Hope to be able to show you the finished bag in a day or so.

Japanese Shima (Stripe) Bag

long time no post again I’m afraid!!

For one reason and another I have been preoccupied with other concerns during the past few weeks,  I’ve still been trying to fit my creative ventures in between work and family priorities but haven’t achieved much until the last week or two.

Since bags are my favourite endeavour at the moment I had to get back into creative mode by starting on this lovely kit which my mum bought me as a Christmas present from one of the craft shows last year.

This bag kit was very inexpensive (only £8) and included the pattern and fabrics – I just had to add my own wadding (Hobbs fusible) and trimmings to fasten the bag.  I decided to keep the design simple and use a cord and toggle fastener

I think these fabrics are lovely and the pattern so simple that I had to go out shopping, to use my bag as soon as possible!

This is the finished bag, I’ve taken pictures of both sides as the fabrics differ giving each side a slightly different character:

Front of bag:

Back of bag:

Reminder of the stockists link 🙂