Another Design Inspired By Clarice Cliff

Cotton Bag with Aida panel, beginning the Design

Cotton Bag with Aida panel, beginning the Design

Here is something else I have found in a heap of things to finish…

This cotton tote bag with an aida panel across the front was a free gift with a magazine, several years ago. It must have been about the time I was designing the series “Inspired by Clarice Cliff“, and it probably seemed a good idea to cover all the aida, rather than having threads stretching across the back of the stitching.

It’s a real trial to stitch, though. I’m not at all surprised it ended up at the bottom of the workbasket. If the handles don’t get in the way, the rest of the bag does. Since it is made without a seam at the bottom, I can’t even release the seam to make life easier, although I admit that doing so might not help as much as you’d hope.

Another Clarice Cliff Inspired Design

Another Clarice Cliff Inspired Design

Here is a close-up of the design as far as it is stitched. I’ve used Anchor Stranded Cotton, and the variegated thread is one of Anchor’s standard variegated threads. I’ve stitched the primary section in that thread in two phases of half-cross stitch, to spread out and change the colour effect a little.

This is going to be my “travelling project” until it is finished, as when I sort out the threads it should be quite compact, and it’s not such fine and delicate stitching as most of my other current projects. As I don’t travel regularly, it will be a while before you see it again.


  1. Penny says:

    Hi Rachel; Thanks for visiting Tanglewoodthreads and so glad you like my holey water.
    Good luck with stitching the aida cloth within the confines of your bag! I have just had some fun exploring your beautiful embroideries. I must say I have a soft spot for Jacobean.

  2. Action Ma'am says:

    I understand the predicament. I found myself drowning in fabric recently when I apliqued a panel onto some upholstery velvet. I didn’t want to cut off enough for the cushion cover from a larger piece of fabric so my friend with the sewing machine would have plenty to work with in making up the cushion. Perhaps opening the left hand seam would at least let you get your left hand in a bit closer.

    The up side is that since it’s a bag you can store all its bits inside it!

  3. karen says:

    testing, testing…

  4. karen says:

    oh, it worked!!! Lovely bag….eventually!! and you must finish it!!

  5. Lady Fi says:

    Lovely design!

  6. I agree with opening the side seam to give yourself more room to stitch. The design is so nice I think it is worth finishing.

  7. Susan says:

    Funny. Until I read your post, I didn’t realize it was unfinished. It looks a bit like a coloring book drawing where parts of the design are colored in…It makes me want to extend the design beyond the rectangle and free sew to complete the story.

    I know what you mean about it being difficult to sew though. I think I would make a new seam anyway on the bottom and open it up just to avoid the hours of frustration. I’m just thinking of your sanity Rachel. An extra seam seems cheaper than paying the therapist….

  8. Janice says:

    I have the same bag from the same magazine! But I have never even strated stitching it (and so it is not included in my tally of UnFinished Objects!) Speaking as the woman who has just emerged after several months inside a duvet cover I can sympathise with the dilemma here. I was able to roll up the fabric to reach the area I was working on, but this canvas is much stiffer. I do like the Clarice Cliff style design.