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Friday, 29 June 2012

Never Forgotten

Chocoholic Cake
My friend Caroline used to make nice bags. Each one stylish and unique - some for friends, and some to sell on her monthly stall at the local handmade market.

I have just been given the honour of inheriting her sewing stash. This included some fabrics, wonderful vintage buttons and trims she had collected, along with her precious design folder. What a privilege, huh?

Having these things has been a lovely thing - and I spent an emotional afternoon going through them all. I came across some little bundles of fabrics and trims, with tiny sketches pinned to them, detailing her plans for specific bags she was going to make. On her making desk was an evening bag. A beauty of a bag - stiff structure with crisp angles, a shiny clasp and and lush velvety fabric, and waiting to be finished. For me, this was another horribly sad reminder that she is gone.

Caroline had built up quite a collection - and I am not sure what I will do with it all yet. And there is no rush, either.

In amongst the stash was a fat quarter of purple dupion silk. I have no idea what Caroline had planned for this piece of beautiful fabric, but I loved it instantly. And I decided I would make myself something with it. 

Earlier this week, I had an evening all to myself. Being limited by the size of the piece of silk, I went to my firm familiar favourite of a gathered clutch. But I decided that this one was going to be one that I would really take my time over and lavish with some hand stitched attention to detail.

I have a tendency to try and be speedy in my sewing, challenging myself to see how far I can get in an evening. Silly, I know (not least when this ends in unpicking woes or shoddy looking work). It was really nice to do the opposite of this. To make something just to enjoy making something - not paying attention to time or getting to the finish before bedtime. Sewing this little bag slowly was really  satisfying - and a nice way to spend the evening thinking about the person it will always remind me of.

Gathered Clutch made using this tutorial
Tonight, we are having a celebration of her life. Caroline was a fun loving, vibrant person, who somehow managed to stay positive throughout her battle with cancer. It was her wish that her friends all got together to honour her life with a party. So we are going to have a big party, with some of the things she would have loved.


  1. Absolutely love the cake & the bag is so gorgeous, another beautiful item made by a very talented lady! X

  2. This post really touched me - Caroline sounded like an amazing lady, and what a wonderful way to celebrate her life. The bag is absolutely stunning & I'm sure she would have loved it! XXXX

  3. Ah, thank you. It was a night she would have loved - in fact, we found ourselves questioning why we hadn't just had a big party of friends like that before. But anyway... we are going to make it an annual event, I think.
    And in the meantime, sewing can be good therapy when you are missing your friend who also liked to sew.