sometimes when i’m in between planned projects, i like to experiment with odds and ends i have on hand and see where it takes me.  still brainstorming holiday gifts, i decided to try out a couple of purse-type projects.  i am by no means a pattern tester, in fact, i’ve made more than one gift on fabric i picked exclusively for that purpose only to work it up full of mistakes.  we hear about making muslins for garments, but inexperienced seamstresses like myself should really do the same for all sewing projects.

since i had bought enough mustard linen to make something for myself, i had quite a bit left over after making bean’s dress.  given how i just can’t resist the color (even though i’m not sure it really looks good on me anyway…), i wanted to do a little silkscreening on it inspired by these clutches on the purl bee website, which is full of useful information and great projects.

i loved the simple look and design of the clutches, but when i looked up the suggested fabric, i found a) it’s long since out of stock and b) retails for $32 a yard.  for linen.  i get it, it’s hand painted in india, blablabla.  but given that i can buy linen, paint, and stencils for a third that cost, i resolved to do it myself.


i used white tulip brand fabric paint, a sponge applicator, and leaf stencils from that clever martha stewart, all purchased from michaels.  the mustard linen is from joann’s.  the process went relatively well, but given it’s my first attempt at silk screening, i have learned the paramount importance of not letting the paint dry on the stencil.  i read this on the instructions, but halfway through stamping my ginko leaves, the stencil got clogged and gummy, and then i destroyed it trying to preserve it (of course).  i was far more meticulous with my oak leaves, and washed them in between every few stamps, and they fared much better.

the ginko bag is made using rae’s free buttercup bag tutorial.  as you can see below, i got some magnetic purse snaps and learned how to use them with this tutorial.  SO EASY.  and so polished looking.  far better than the sewn-in version i used for the clutch, which you can also see below, unfortunately.  i will use the press on metal snaps at every opportunity from now on.

i definitely foresee these patterns making future appearances on the holiday roster–i am so appreciative of all the free tutorials out there! i’m also pretty excited about having non-blurry iphone photos to post–great suggestion from venus on the pic monkey editing software, which is also free.  as you can see, i can’t resist a bargain!  how is your holiday crafting coming along?


4 Comments on adventures in silk screening

  1. Oh my goodness, Ash. I LOVE these!!!! Seriously. Yes, I’m a sucker for mustard too. I’m so impressed! And yes, I know that fabric you’re referring to – it’s gorgeous isn’t it. Well, I think yours is stunning too.

  2. the white on mustard turned out way better than my other effort, which will now become linings for things turned inside out. buttercup bag pattern is awesome. the free version is quite small (uses just a fat quarter), but so fast to sew. i’m going to make them for all my cousins visiting over xmas.

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