Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shaggy Chic Chenille Clutch

Every year I tend to get involved with some sort of monthly project series.  Usually they have been associated with specific retail establishments like last year's failed Fat Quarter Club at The Quilt Room.  The club didn't failed but I dropped out after unsuccessfully trying to balance it with the monthly Knitting in Kingwood meetings.

This year I am returning to an online, monthly sewing challenge.  Africankelli (aka Kelli Donely (probably spelled incorrectly)) chose Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders for the challenges.  I had previously participated in a similar challenge from the original One-Yard Wonders book by the same authors (Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins) and, although the projects were quite interesting, the use of basic cotton fabric limited the scope of the projects.   This new book seeks to explore different fabrics and pairing the fabrics with appropriate projects.  Like oil cloth for an umbrella, and fleece for truly cuddly stuffed animals.  Surprisingly linen is not included although cotton, voile, fleece , flannel and othersl are all included.

I got my copy of the book from Amazon and eagerly sat down to work on the first project, the Shabby Chic Chenille Clutch.  The chenille is created using flannel and I just happened to have some high quality flannel hanging around the house waiting for some quilt inspiration.  Here is what I came up with by following most of the instructions in the book:

 As you can see, the final project does not look like the original fabric at all but you still get the red, white and blue theme.  

I did not follow the well written instructions completely....what a surprise!  First of all the pattern called for nine layers of flannel for the chenille fabric.  The flannel I used was so thick that I could not imagine my heavy duty sewing machine making it through eighteen layers of it for the final seaming.  Nine layers would have exactly used up one yard of the fabric but I used only six as I was under no constraints to follow the instructions precisely.

Other changes include the final size.  The pattern assumed that the washed fabric would shrink slightly from a twelve inch square to one about half an inch smaller.  My chenille shrunk unevenly and I needed to square it up before the final construction.  My clutch ended up based on a ten and a half inch square.  The only other change was the handle (off to the upper right in the photo).  The pattern called for contrasting  ribbon while I used a bit of ragged self fabric.

I do have one beef with this project.  The final product did not mirror the written instructions.  Essentially chenille is created by sewing parallel lines through all the layers of fabric then cutting through all the layers of fabric but the bottom two.  The instructions called for cutting though the fabric between each of the sewn lines but the picture definitely showed cutting though every other section.  I know its a small thing but one that should have been mentioned in the instructions.

This book is well written and gives some great information on how to handle each type of fabric.  I wonder what the next project will be?

Oh!  Just in case you are wondering about my New Year's resolution to no longer create useless little projects, I intend to use this clutch for lunch out with friends so that I carry the essentials without taking up table space with cell phone, keys and wallet.  This clutch holds just these three items and sits safely in my lap.  All the non-essential junk can stay in the car untilI might possible need it.

1 comment:

Sue at nobaddays said...

Alice, you answered my question as to why mine looks so different from the picture in the book -- I cut along each row! Thanks! Sue