Formulating a plan to make my LazyGirl Claire Handbag

The  just released Claire Handbag pattern from Lazy Girl Designs arrived earlier this week.

I am SEW excited to make my new girl, but I was facing the ‘what fabrics should I use’ dilemma.  Oh I have plenty of wonderful fabrics in my stash, just not enough of the right ones that want to play nice together AND–more importantly–ones that suit my fancy today.

What’s a crazy fiber art and fabric loving girl to do? Well, I could buy more fabric but then I’d just have to wait longer to get started.  I’ve scheduled some “creativity for me” time for tomorrow and I can’t put that to waste.  SO, I selected the one fabric that spoke loudest to me–great.  NOW what.  Well, I’ll just make my own coordinating fabrics, of course.  How am I going to do that?  I don’t have any fabric dying supplies.  Hmmmm….think, think, think. Oh I have just the ticket: Tsukineko Inks.

Butterfly fabric and Tsukineko Inked coordinates
Butterfly fabric and Tsukineko Inked coordinates

Several weeks ago I purchased several pieces of flour sack cloth.  I didn’t know what I was going to do with it at the time, I just knew I needed to buy it.  I’m glad I did.  This seems like the perfect opportunity to play with inks and things to develop my own special fabric. I selected inks that closely coordinated with colors in the butterflies.

I poured approximately 1/2 of each bottle into its own gallon size freezer bag.  I lightly but thoroughly dampened the flour sack cloth (which had already been pre-washed and dried). I carefully placed one piece of flour sack cloth in each freezer bag.  I carefully let out all the excess air from the bag and sealed the top then proceeded to work the ink through the cloth.  I am allowing the cloth and inks to sit in the bags for a full 24 hours.  I periodically squish, squash and turn the cloth.  Tomorrow I will air dry outside then heat set with pressing cloth and hot iron.  To be sure the color is set, I will do a thorough rinse until the water is clear.

I already know I’ll want to add some textural design on the inked fabrics once they’ve dried and the color has been set.  Tomorrow I am planning to apply some Shiva Paintstik using rubbing plates.

Yes, that sounds pretty good… and then maybe I’ll add some _________.

Stay tuned to see my Claire progress.

6 thoughts on “Formulating a plan to make my LazyGirl Claire Handbag”

  1. Beckie, I have not finished that Claire project yet. I hit a mental block with one of the fabric choices pieces and as life would have it, other priorities called my attention away. I will get back to it one day. I am working on a different paintstik project at this time: .

    If your concerns with the process are related to Paintstik success in general, I recommend Shelly Stokes’ books, Paintstiks on Fabric and Design Magic or Laura Murray’s DVD Paintstik Inspirations.

    You might also check out the Cedar Canyon Textiles resources page: for a ton of great FREE info!

    If you are concerned with the success of the Claire Bag, please don’t. SOOOOO many people have finished that bag successfully and with gorgeous results. If you’ve hit a particular snag, you might check out the posts on the Lazy Girl Designs Blog that are related to Claire:

    Hope that helps. 🙂

  2. Tracy, I missed the finish of your Lazy Girl Claire Bag…with Shiva paintstiks, maybe?
    I have lots of UFPs in my collection, but this one may happen if you had luck with the process..
    Love your website, your products, your warm greetings….BeckieT.

  3. “Hi” Tracy, “Thank You” for sharing your creative ideas of dying fabrics with us. I’m still in the “finding the right fabric coordinates” phase. My fabric stash is gradually growing, so I am finally finding enough color & designs in my fabric-palette to play with…just like I used to do with crayons & a color book. 😉 Hmmm…imagine what could happen to my collection of fabulous fabrics if I could learn to make my own. 🙂 I’m looking forward to your pictures to see how your fabrics turned out. And then to see how your lovely fabrics dress up our beautiful Lazy Girl, “Miss Claire”. I hope you’ll post a visual tutoria. I’m one of those “VISUAL” gals who can understand what I’m reading, if I can “see” how it’s done. HUGS!!! Patricia Hogge in Bremerton, WA

  4. Tracy, what a great way to “make” fabric. I have some ink. I have some fabric. I think I hear them calling. I need a new bag!! Thanks!

  5. Hi Dianne, you have very nice looking aprons on your website. I hope you are enjoying the handbag making process. I’m glad you like the looks of the Claire Handbag pattern. She is very smart looking if I say so myself. I must caution you, however, about using any Lazy Girl patterns to make finished items for sale. Joan Hawley’s copyright–for this and other LazyGirl items–does not permit finished items to be made for sale from it. Her patterns are strictly for personal use (to make finished items for yourself and/or gifts for friends & family). That’s perfectly fine with me, because I have lots of people on my gift-making list who would love to receive a LazyGirl gift item! Joan writes excellent and very easy to follow instructions. Her patterns are worth every penny and more, in my opinion. Happy sewing!

  6. Enjoyed your article on how you handled your “down” day. I also like to walk or ride my stationary bike to get my creative juices flowing again. Or maybe the grandchildren will stop by. My website is new and I have been creating aprons for some time now. However, I have starting making a few purses/bags and this Claire bag pattern caught my eye. Sounds like you are having fun with it.
    Check out my website and feel free to email me back with comments.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.