Monday, September 3, 2012

Designers Craft Connection Blog Hop - September

Welcome to the Designers Craft Connection Blog Hop for September. "Vintage Showcase" is the theme this month with the idea to create something that celebrates all things vintage. Normally I would select something vintage and create something from it or repurpose it into something else. But I thought I would do something totally different this time.
I created a purse {above} that was inspired by an old radiator water bag I found at a garage sale. Below is the inspiration piece.

I was going to try and use the original bag but I decided that I wanted to keep the bag intact for now. Plus I wasn't sure if the stains were going to wash out.

I starter this project using remnants of the painter's dropcloth that I used for these other projects.

To transfer the image I used some old drawing techniques that I learned in art school. First I scanned and printed the radiator bag image. Because I was recreating the image I decided to customize the hotel, city and state listed on the bag in the top right corner. It was my joke to put such a high-class, local hotel as the souvenir location.

Originally I painted the image before I cut the canvas but I suggest you cut the canvas first.

I cut the canvas to the same width as the original bag adding a 1/4" seam allowance on both sides {15 1/4" wide} and doubled the height, adding a 2 1/2" gusset {25 1/2"}.  After it is cut, fold it so that 11 1/4" of the length is laying flat to beging tracing the art.
Other pieces you will need are the two gussets; 3" x 11 3/4", Two Handle strips; 5" x 11 1/2".
For the lining I cut all of the same pieces except for the Handle stips out of cotton fabric. I sewed the lining first to make sure everything fit. I left one side seam partially open to turn the bag later before setting it aside.

Next, on the BACK of the printed IMAGE that you want to copy, rub a thick coat of soft, 6B drawing graphite behind areas that need to be traced. 6B graphite {very soft drawing pencil} can be purchased at any craft/hobby store. Try not to cover more than the are you want to trace but rub a lot of graphite where you will trace. Hold the paper up to the light to see if all areas are covered.

Lay the image {graphite side down} in the center of the canvas being careful not to press down on the image. Tape the corners so it doesn't move.

Using a blunt pointed object {I used a burnisher or an empty ball point pen} begin tracing the edges of the image. Another art school trick is to use a ruler to support your wrist so that it isn't rubbing on the paper below and creating smudges. One end of the ruler rests on the surface to the right while the other end is held by your left hand {do the opposite if you are left-handed}. Rest your right wrist on the ruler instead of the paper surface as you draw.
After you complete tracing the outline you can lift the printout and you should see something like this.
I used acrylic paint and noticed that the graphite drawing tended to make the acrylic paint color a little darker so I suggest using paint that is a little brighter to begin with.
I found an image of a radiator bag with the state of California on the back and copied that using the same process. Once everything was dry I started sewing the pieces together beginning with the bottom of the gussets.
Next, sew the front and back to the sides of the gussets.
With the right side of the canvas bag facing in, insert the sewn lining piece with the right side facing towards the canvas piece. Next, place the Handle Strips through the wooden handles {I bought mine from Joanns} and pin them in place with the handle upside down so that it is between the canvas and lining with the canvas Handle Strip ends sticking up between the seam allowance. Sew the seam along the top of the canvas bag, lining and Handle Strip.

You should now have the wrong side of the canvas bag facing out, the wrong side of the lining facing in and the handles upside down and inbetween the canvas and lining. Using the opening you left in the side of the lining, start working the handles through the opening until the entire bag is turned right-side-out.

As I was painting the image, I started thinking that there are probably a lot of easier or different ways I could have transfered the image. But what I finally decided was that I liked using the old, art school techniques plus there is a certain satisfaction one gets from applying paint to canvas. And now I can look at this purse and know that I used my art school training for the painting, my mother's training for the sewing and my creative imagination for the original idea. Now THAT is truly satisfying.

Please be sure and use the Designers Craft Connection button on the right to continue forward or backwards through the Blog Hop. Enjoy all of the wonderful and creative ideas of these very talented designers.

This is linked to:
504 Main, A Little Knick KnackBeyond the Picket Fence, Brambleberry CottageCherished Treasures, Chic on a ShoestringElizabeth & Co.Homemaker on a DimeJust Something I Whipped UpKeeping It Simple, Live, Love, Laugh, Lovely Crafty Home,  Marvelously Messy, Mod Vintage Life, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern Style, Sew Much Ado, Simply DesigningSkip to My Lou,  Sugar Bee CraftsSumo's Sweet Stuff, Tatertots and Jello, The Shabby NestTrue Value DIY, Vintage Wanna Bee and


  1. This is such a great project and I like that you were able to reproduce the image.

  2. I LOVE this project idea, and you did a fabulous job painting!

  3. this is amazing! totally worth the work! I would LOVE to carry this around:)

  4. Wow! Great idea for a tote! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Really great idea, i wanna tell this every new creation fully depends on artist or crafty person's unique thoughts and good creativity, only they can do something new creation who have both skills, and you have both, as a result of your creativity we can see this great idea.

    home wall art decor

  6. Wow! Great job :) I'm totally impressed!!

  7. This is amazing. I couldn't believe this wasn't the original bag! Tremendous job and I love all the great finds you've shared - it makes me want to get out there and start thrifting more. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

  8. Really great. You are absolutely welcome. And thank you for coming by! I really appreciate it.
    Marketing communication strategy | Advertising as profession in Estonia | Advertising professional in Estonia


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