Creative Embroidery

I have been active in my studio….honestly I have. I have been reluctant to post here on this blog (and my primary website blog) because I continually run into situations and stories about people copying, stealing images and more. This is rampant and the risk is high. ANY images that are on the internet are “fair game”. This is distressing!



I love to mix things up! I like to work with various fabrics, paper and paint. This blog is dedicated to HAND STITCHING so this post will focus on EMBROIDERY. You can read about more art that I make on my primary BLOG .

Denim Bags

I have been making bags for about two years now; they are so much fun to make and use. I have made various styles and used various types of fabrics. I have not settled on favorite styles yet because I keep thinking up new combinations and functions. Some of the bags have zippers, pockets and embroidery.

My favorite fabric to use is DENIM; both black and blue (indigo) denim. I like to use it as a solid and with color removed.

Discharging color with household bleach produces VERY interesting results on any color of denim. I ALWAYS use a product called: Bleach Stop to do just that. (Available here)It halts the bleaching process; otherwise, the bleach will remain active and eventually destroy the fabric. In the beginning I would take steps to clamp and pinch areas to block some parts. I eventually realized (by accident) that the effects I like the most are softer and can develop without those steps. I merely lay the dampened fabric into a large plastic bin and scrunch it up just a bit to create hills and valleys and pour the bleach on. I use the thick type of (concentrated) bleach full strength. You can watch the color start to change immediately. Depending on what colors were used to make the black dye the results will vary. I have come across some blue denim that will not discharge at all. I think this maybe be because of high poly/lycra type fibers; but I am not certain.

Some denim will loose too much color. These are good candidates for over dying. My favorite color to dye denim with is turquoise. Some of these pieces will take on the dye in various levels; some look very faded and fabulous while some are brilliant.

I like to stitch skinny pleats into the fabric prior to sewing with it; I like the effects. I use 30 weight thread that contrasts, usually variegated , gold, denim and black. The gold is similar to blue-jeans gold with various shades of gold. This looks good on both black and blue denim. The variegated denim thread has several shades of indigo and looks very nice on the black denim. The variegated black thread has several shades of black, grey and white.

I like to combine black and blue denim together.

This bag is designed to hold an IPAD and has a divider. I also made a phone case and credit card holder. The phone will on the other side of the divider. I made this bag to use while traveling; I prefer to not carry a bulky wallet.

Thus the credit card holder will hold cash, cards and IDs. It has a hook to secure it onto a ring that is stitched to the inside of the bag; keys can be clipped to the same hook.


Embroidery Accents

I want the bags to look handmade but NOT homemade. I like the bags to look interesting, well functioning and artistic. I like denim A LOT!

The closures are usually black velcro; some have a magnet closure. I have started to add hardware too.

I struggle with selecting the lining fabric…I don’t know why. I have purchased several kinds but invariably I become undecided. Usually I end up using hand dyed silk or polyester prints. My favorite print is leopard.

I always put interfacing on both fabrics. This makes the bag have body and some even “stand up”.



The front

The top section has solid black denim with machine stitched skinny pleats.

The bottom section has discharged black denim with free motion machine stitching.

The back

The back

The back has one piece of discharged black denim with free motion machine stitching.

Close up of the flap.

Close up of the flap.

The flap is barely wide enough just to close the bag as I wanted to show off the front. The flap is covered with hand embroidery in gold embroidery floss (3 strands).The interior is lined with a poly/cotton leopard print.



The interior has a divider to separate the IPAD from other things.

Eventually I plan to make bags to sell on my ETSY shop.

I love to read comments! Let me know what you think. Do you like bags?




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