Lady in Red Tote-ette

Cherie M. Thompson © 2007

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I wonder what you call a small tote – is it a TOTE-ETTE?

Well from now on that's the word added to my creative vocabulary! The idea for this tote-ette began from a silk print of a stunning, somewhat forlorn looking lady, who looked as if she was all dressed up with no place to go! I wanted to jazz her up and the idea of a red crepe faux crazy tote-ette emerged.

For me there's no need to be precious about crazy quilting. The technique for this gem consisted of a piece of crepe measuring 13 x 11 inches and with one reel of FIL D’OR DE LUXE Thread, 11% polyester and 89% spun rayon, red DMC thread, assorted red vintage buttons, broken pieces of antique diamante jewelry, velvet pansies, 5 lengths of gold, red and black narrow braids as well as rayon fringe and edging for the lower edge of the bag previously dyed with the fabulous, no nonsense, Ozecraft dyes.

Before stitching the silk print to the fabric, the figure was embellished with red silk Fargo roses at the hip of her dress plus red and gold ‘Delica’ seed beads were sewn on as an earring. She was attached to the crepe with a simple button - hole stitch around the edge of the motif. The crepe was then sectioned off with lengths of the selected braids and a plain piece of red crepe fabric became a faux crazy quilt block. The sections were then transformed with stitches ranging from colonial knots in DMC to beaded feather, herringbone, lazy daisy plus beaded running stitch till all areas were covered in gold beading and stitching.

The photo tells the rest of the story. The buttons and diamantes, the dyed motif, the red dyed fringing behind the red, gold and black dyed edging on the lower edge of the bag completed the lavish look. 
Two eighteen inch handles stiffened and machine sewn were attached along with a metal magnetic clasp. Inside was lined using the same red crepe fabric with a small pocket sewn in to carry a mobile phone for the woman of today! 

Finished, the lady in red tote–ette for the lady who adores all things red!

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