Handmade textile products // Hortensia coloured plaid handbag

My last handbag had a lovely plaid design in blue and pink. When it was broken, I could not found a similar one. So, I decided to make a new one myself.

I love plaid

My last purse had a lovely plaid design in blue and pink. Besides the design I found this purse to be very functional. Not too small and not too big. Just the perfect size. I could put all my stuff in it and it had a extra long shoulder strap (yep, one of those awkward tall woman problems). I felt really sorry when I noticed it was broken. I started to look for a new one with the same functions. And with plaid. Because I love plaid. It is such a classic pattern that reminds me of cosiness and warmth.
I couldn’t find one. So I decided to make one myself.

Finished hand-made and hand-painted handbag with a plaid pattern.

Dyeing and painting textile

I used to work with Decorfin textile colours, but I find these colours far too expensive. I love to work with acrylic or poster paint but disliked the way it stiffened the fabric. At first I added water to make the paint more liquid, but when I applied the paint to the fabric, the colours started to bleed. Searching the web, I came across the textile medium of Creall. Diluting acrylic or poster paint with this medium (and a bit of water) is a great way to prevent the fabric to stiffen or the colours to bleed.

handpainted fabrics
Hand-painted fabrics.

Materials I used

  • Unbleached 100% cotton;
  • Creall Dacta Colour posterpaint 08 Cyclamen;
  • Creall Dacta Color posterpaint 02 Primair Yellow;
  • Creall Dacta Color posterpaint 10 Primair Blue;
  • Creall Tex Medium (textile medium).
Textile painting using poster paint and textile medium.

Fabric painting with Creall tex mix, and poster paint

When dyeing textiles I only use fabrics made up of natural fibers, such as 100% cotton. This time I turned unbleached cotton into a handbag with a plaid pattern.

Fabric tests
Tests with acrylic and poster paint.

Flower inspired design

Colour palette inspired by shades of summer flowers

The colours, I used for of the plaid pattern, were inspired by shades of the Hortensia growing in our garden. I love how these shrubs bloom with large heads of pink, purple or blue flowers in summer. It is said that the colour is affected by soil pH. I am not sure about that. Our plants vary widely in colour.

Hortensia hydrangea macrophylla
Colour palette was inspired by Hortensia (hydrangea macrophylla).

Working process // The making of a plaid handbag

Starting with an unbleached cotton.
Painting a plaid pattern
Painting a plaid pattern on the fabric for the outer bag.
stamping inner bag
Stamping stripes on the fabric for the inner bag
Choosing thread colours
Choosing thread colours for decorating the outer bag.
measurements of the bag
Creating a drawing with the width and height measurements of the bag.
Decorating with stitches
Decorating the fabric of the outer bag with colourful stitches in different colours to accentuate the plaid pattern.
Finishing the fabric edges using an overlocker to prevent fraying.
Finished bottom of outer back.
Installing the zipper
Installing the zipper in the handbag by hand.
swivel snaps and D-rings
Collecting the swivel snaps and D-rings for the hand and shoulder straps.
handmade and handpaintedbag
Finished hand-made and hand-painted handbag with a plaid pattern.