Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Companion Carpet Bag in silk brocade

I can hardly believe I made this bag--I'm just so in love with it!  As my most recent Britex project, I've been thinking about this bag for a while--I picked out the fabric and pattern months ago, and sat down just this week to sew it.  It turned out exactly like I imagined!

First off, let's talk about this fabric.  Guys, that is silk brocade.  It's a wonderful rough-ish-textured, vintage-inspired medium-heavy weight fabric that just screams handbag to me.  For the bag lining, I went a little unconventional and used a comic-inspired print of extolling the virtues of home sewing. I couldn't help myself.
The pattern is by Samantha from the blog At Home with Mrs. H.  I tested the 12" bag pattern for her months ago, and the pattern is part of the Bag of the Month Club (so not available outside the club quite yet). This is the 8" frame pattern, which features outside and inside slip pockets and an inside zip pocket.

The tubular snap-close frame is so much fun, and creates this gaping bass mouth look, that makes you just want to toss the kitchen sink into your handbag.  It's not quite big enough to stash a floor lamp, like Mary Poppins, but close enough.  You can only imagine how much I can hold in the 12" bag (which I made and will eventually post about :)

Unfortunately, the tubular frame must be ordered from Hong Kong, but it is so worth the wait!  I also purchased the faux-leather handles from the same Etsy store.  
The best part is how well this bag keeps its shape!  I used Soft n' Stable for all the outer pieces and a medium weight interfacing on all the lining pieces.  I wish I had used some kind of spray adhesive to keep the outer fabric and Soft n' Stable together, but it still looks pretty nice regardless.
To keep the bag from sagging at the bottom (look--no sag!  And I have all my stuff in there!), I cut a small flexible cutting board to fit (these exact ones), and drilled holes to attach the brass bag feet (not shown in any photos, somehow!).  It worked like a charm.  
I wrote a tutorial for the custom piping along the front pocket and I'll get that up here shortly.  If you're in a hurry, it's over at Britex right now (and while you're there, you can enter to win a subscription to the Bag of the Month Club!).  

Many thanks to Samantha for providing both sizes of the Companion Carpet Bag pattern and Britex for yet again letting me work with their amazing fabrics!


  1. That {gown} HANDBAG is stunning! Seriously! Beautifully made, and a lovely use of fabrics!

  2. Wowwww. I'm normally not keen on bag making but I loved yours. Where did you get the hardwear?

  3. Wow! That's an awesome bag. It looks perfect, not the teeniest bit homemade. the hardware and the fabric are just brilliant. Well done!

  4. I just LOVE your handbag! I recently sewed my first bag, and I'm eager to sew more. Thank you for the link to the Etsy shop where you purchased your hardware!

  5. Very cute and interesting the tubular frame came from Hong Kong as I ordered one similar from Ghees in LA.

  6. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Love it! Can one ever have too many bags?!?! Love the shoes too! ;) -Hassanah

  7. That came out great, Nicole! It looks so professional!

  8. Where is the pattern? I really want to make one!

    1. Here's the pattern: http://handmadebymrsh.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-companion-carpet-bag-sewing-pattern.html. Have fun!