Making a silk purse out of a placemat?

Just when I think I am not going to be able to come up with another blog, something crosses my computer screen and I get excited all over again. 

I saw an embroidered purse and I just could not resist giving it a try.  In addition, I wanted it to be really colorful and WOW, I found Robison-Anton on SALE! I love a sale and at 30% off, it is one of the best deals around.  It brings the cost per spool to $3.50!  

My blog on colors of thread talks about how to decide on what to select when you buy thread.  After all, there must be a zillion (or close) colors of thread that are usable for embroidery.  When on sale, I always take advantage of sets of threads for a good reason.  They are normally put together by artists or someone with working knowledge of how to put together colors.  After all, I don't know about hues, saturations, contrast and lightness.  I need someone who understands how to use color and put them together. 

I selected the Color Medley Collection-Spring Flowers which is one beautiful array of colors. Additionally, Robison-Anton has taken the time to include the Pantone(R) Numbers with these thread collections. 

What does that mean to you?  A LOT!  It means that if you wanted to do a project for a friend anywhere in the world, they could say "I want a red."  Well, how many red colors can you think of?  You can ask the friend to check on Pantone colors (they are universal and meant to be that way), and say that I want #193 which is a lovely scarlet. 




Getting back to the purse, it is created just like an applique with the addition of a stitch on for a sew on place for the lining.  I am using a faux leather placemat that was already lined.  I removed the lining and placed it back on when it was time.  This pattern called for tearaway stabilizer (my favorite is AnnTheGran) but I ended up using cut away because of the multiple times of stitching around the edge eventually broke down the tearaway stabilizer.


Using the colors from the package, I matched them to the colors of the original pattern. 


I created a back, front and front flap.  Each piece had its own lining and assembly was easy.  I just sewed the flap to the back and then the front to the back. 

It took less than an hour.

I think it was a great hour and love the outcome!



The only change I would make would be to trim closer to the original stitching before doing the satis stitch.  I was a little too far away from the stitches for fear of triming the stitches.  I also think I might have wanted to place some kind of trim around the edge if I wanted something more interesting.


Comments (1) -

Hello, just a bit of FYI for those of us who do in the hoop projects. I love using tear away stabilizers and have two weights, the problems I find with cutaway is that I cannot get the entire stabilizer away from the stitches.

HOW TO GET Great results with tear ways in the hoop.

Try this it works; when u are prompted to do the satin stitches, sometimes there are other elements that still need to be stitched. Do them all first, then go back to the satin stitches. In the part that does the satin stitches you will go around the fabric once or in some cases twice before the actual satin stitches will start, I do the around the piece of fabric then remove the hoop and do my trimming. Those two side by side stitches are the exact width of the satin stitch to follow. Now when your design is finishing it doesn't matter that the tear away is pulled from the fabric. Try this on your silk bag it is a small enough project to practice on. Don’t do all the embroidery for a test drive, but write down the stitch # at the point before satin starts. Hope I have explained this well enough. Carylanne

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