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drawstring bags & embroidery

I'm keen to improve my embroidery and general sewing skills, perhaps because, like the crochet artwork, I like the idea of having a 'blank canvas' and affixing an image or scenery on it. The motifs are endless and easily found online and in books, especially items like flowers, leaves, snowflakes, hearts,animals, even fruit and vegetables.

I ended up making a very rough drawstring bag out of plain cotton that I've used as the underlining to some of the purses. I looked at how a drawstring bag I have (it came as a freebie with some hand cream inside it) was made and copied it. I also made a drawstring bag in school (albeit using a sewing machine) and remember my textiles teacher showing us to thread the actual string through by using a safety pin. Honestly, if it weren't for that stellar tip I wouldn't ever have figured it out, I kid you not! Here it is:

The stitching of the bag itself is, as you can see, very basic and obvious - I wanted to see where the seams would be and how it all fit together. Then I was able to draw my tree! I used a photo taken by the lovely Sandra (Hallo!) from her Instagram to see what the trunk and branches looked like. In theory I could've used any photo of a tree but I liked Sandra's photo so much I used hers. NB - The leaves on this little bag look nothing like the photo that inspired me, but the branches do (sort of, you have to use your imagination).

The trunk and branches use backstitch. The leaves - this was my (often failed) attempt at a stitch called French knots. I decided to repeat the whole process (don't ask me why, as for the time being I'm not thinking of making these to sell, handstitching the actual bag is pointless, a machine would be much quicker and neater and the seams at the top needn't be invisible) using nicer cotton fabric:

I made loads of friendship bracelets over the years and that's what I've used as the drawstring. A close-up of the beads and embroidery (I wanted to practise):

I think I'm getting the hang of French knots, in large thanks to Beauxman, an Instagram friend who sent me the link of a YouTube tutorial. It was an excellent tutorial - very difficult to find on YT without spending inordinate time on it, so thank you Beauxman for the shortcut 😎

Current WIP below:

I'm hoping to add 5 more purses on Friday. They'll be made from the new yarns and lining I bought recently, and I think I'll keep the design on the font plain (for once!).

And I nearly forgot, here's me and the facemask I covered with white cotton lining and embellished with crochet branches, leaves and flowers:

Thank you so much for reading, until next Sunday,


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