Wednesday, March 9, 2016

From canvas to clutch



"Really...?" The cashier of the thrift shop said hesitantly. "We also sell really nice bags over here. And they are quite cheap" and she pulled a black, pleather clutch with rhinestones in sight. 

She had seen me wandering around in their thrift shop, buying strange items every time, so when she asked me about it, we came to talk about my projects of transforming thrift finds into something new. And now I had asked her if she had a canvas painting somewhere that I could transform into a clutch. She clearly thought that I was out of my mind. Resizing a skirt or a dress was one thing, but making a clutch out of a painting, that was plainly berserk. 

But as I kept insisting ( also in an attempt to escape the horrendous clutch that she was trying to set me up with) she eventually complied, and I went home with a canvas artwork that she had sold to me for 50 cents.

and of course -crazy or not- I made a clutch from it! Here's what I did. 




It all started with this tacky canvas photo. I do feel a little bad about naming the poor thing tacky, because in my student-days at least half of my friends had a canvas or poster like this, usually depicting either a forest or a beach. I can understand the sentiment behind it: since most of us didn't have a garden, this was their small, maintenance-free substitute. So please excuse me if have just offended your artwork; there's nothing wrong with a little tacky in your life, and I'm probably queen of tacky anyway (I own crocheted barbapapa's, what's more to say?)

I began my taking the canvas from its wooden frame. This sounds much, much easier than it acutally was. The indestructibility of the nails that held the painting together was only outmatched by cockroaches and Australian money, which are -as you know- completely and utterly impossible to destroy. But after some bruises and scratches, I eventually got the hang of it, and freed the painting from its frame.

Now, the great thing about working with canvas it that you can write and draw on it. So, I simply drew my pattern on the back of the canvas. I'm not sure if my pattern is clear enough, but in I simply drew my standard bag pattern that you've already seen here ( a simple tote with boxed corners) with the addition of a flap. During the process I also decided to taper the side seams a little bit in order to math the flap.



Then I started sewing the thing together, which was a breeze since I could simply follow the lines.  

making corners...

tapered side-seams

I duplicated my pattern of the bag (minus the flap) for a lining. In my case, clutches really need a zipper, as I only use them in two occasions:
  • To hold my valuables when I'm using a big bag that doesn't have enough pockets ( POCKETS, bag-manufacterers, we need more of them!!!!)
  • On the rare occasion that I'm going out, and need a bag to keep my possessions together while I'm making my sweet, octopus-like dancing moves.
In both cases, the clutch will most probably end up upside-down at some point, so a zipper is truly needed. Thus I added one.



Before sewing both layers together, I glued a little magnet between in layers in the flap, and and piece of metal (from a tealight) in the bag, to act as a clasp. I also added a little strap to hold it with. 

This is what it looks like finished!






What do you think of it? Do you like it? Should I try sewing with paintings and canvasses again?  I'm looking forward to your responses! 

17 comments:

  1. Hi Marije!
    First comment here, I came across your blog while reading Jillian post from ReFashionista and omg I love what you do! Please do continue sewing with paintings and canvasses! Giving a second life to unloved objects is a real gift (and if I was this canvas I would definitely prefer my second life as being a cool clutch).

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    1. I have to agree with Marie! I too found your blog from the ReFashionista and am in love with your work! Keep inspiring us :)

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  2. I had serious doubts you'd be able to pull off a canvas purse when reading your other post about the tapestry bag. This is super neat! Does it feel weird when you're holding it (like paint is going to chip off or it is super rough)? Also agreed on the zippers, my bags without them never get used because stuff FALLS OUT. I love it and look forward to seeing more.

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    1. Hey Maggie, thanks! I'm glad you like it!
      I was quite surprised with how well it painting was attached! It feels a bit plastic-y though ( which is the only thing I don't really like about it, I prefer natural-feeling materials I guess ;) ) But I thinks it depends on the sort of painting you actually use. this was one of those photographed things. I am going to try it with real paint as well if I can find one. And I am considering making a wallet with it, since my current wallet is really. Do you think that would be a good idea? I'm not sure yet!

      cheers!

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  3. Ik vind hem geweldig!! Veel beter dan panter met bling ;-)
    Wat een idee, vooral mee doorgaan. Kan niet wachten om te zien wat je er nog meer mee zou doen.

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    1. hai, Dankjewel! en inderdaad, ik ben er stukken blijer mee dan de modellen die de kringloop verkocht! Blij om te horen dat je het leuk vindt, en ik zal snel nog meer goeie projecten verzinnen!

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  4. Genius! Keep up your creative, crafty work!!

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  5. I LOVE this!!! Very clever and stylish too!

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    1. Aww thanks! And I'm happy you think it's stylish. I was a bit afraid that other might find the print somewhat tacky, but I'm glad you think it isn't!

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  6. I'm so glad I found your blog! The things you create are awesome. Thank you for expanding my knowledge in looking to give items a second life.

    The clutch turned out fab!

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  7. Love your ideas and your blog! PLease keep posting! I am an avid thrifter and I often find some of these very things and wonder what can be made with them.... thank you for the inspiration!
    Adorable little clutch! - Regards, Marina

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  8. I love this print and I love clutches of this size. If you sold these on Etsy, I would buy one in a flash!

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    1. Thanks! I've I had a little more time at hand, Etsy would be a great idea!
      Maybe I should give it a little more thought..

      But if you ever see something on my blog you would really like to have, you can always send me a message and we can work things out ;) I own more handmade items than I need anyway! ;)

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  9. Well done, Marjie! Keep up the inspiring work!

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