|Detail from the Great Tapestry of Scotland|
For once, there is actually some justification for an entirely new project, other than my usual, "I just fancy doing it". I'm going to a fancy dinner in a couple of weeks - so fancy that the dress code is 'black tie'. Ooh er.
Reader, I do not inhabit that sort of world. This will be, at most, the second black tie event I have attended in my entire life. (I was a friend's 'plus one' at a formal dinner when we were students, but that was so long ago that I can't now remember just how formal said dinner was.) A quick google has revealed that for women, 'black tie' equates to 'long dress'. I don't possess any modern long dresses and, given that on current form I won't need one again for another 35 years, I don't intend to make one. So instead, I'm going to wear the one long dress I do have, my faux-Fortuny Delphos.
The one problem with this plan is that I don't have a suitable evening bag. My sunray bag is completely wrong and my wedding bag, while definitely a good match for the dress, is just too small - it dates, obviously, from a time when I could rely on Mr Tulip taking care of paraphenalia. So a new, appropriate, bag is needed.
Because I possess a brain which carefully stores useless information while gleefully discarding why-I-went-upstairs in the time it takes me to get upstairs, I remembered that as well as clothes and textiles, Mariano Fortuny also designed light fittings. This seemed like a good starting point for a possible bag design. If I had the time, I would love to make something based on this shape.
|Silk Fortuny lamps on sale in Venice|
But I don't, so instead I'm using these as my inspiration.
|More Fortuny lamps - painted silk and wooden frames|
As ever, I began by considering what I would have in the bag - glasses, phone, keys etc. I had this small carboard box to hand, and discovered that it was just the right size to hold everything.
|My starting point|
Using the dimensions of the diamond I'd drawn on the box, I tried to sketch out the overall design.
|Attempting the design in two dimensions (and failing)|
I realised however that this would simply replicate the box shape, which wasn't what I wanted. It was only when I drew the base onto the box that I could see what I needed to change.
|The corners need to be 'cut off'|
I really struggle to visualise size and capacity, so the only thing to do was make a mock-up, as I would with dressmaking. I rescued an old cereal packet from the recycling drawer, and set to work on my 'toile'.
|Showing the lower part of the structure from two different angles|
I added further large triangles at the top to complete the bag shape, and then smaller ones to make the 'lid'.
|The completed 'bag'|
The basic structure will be made from the same very sturdy pelmet interfacing as I used for the sunray bag. The next step is to cut out the pieces, and cover them with plain cotton. I can then start thinking about the outer layer.