I am so pleased to share the Menagerie Bag with you! I loved designing several versions of this project, each with its own unique character based on the material choices. As always, regardless of the material types, my Janome made sewing each of them a breeze. I developed the idea for the bag as I was reminiscing on an old, woven bucket bag that I had as a teenager. It had such a casual feel to it, that I always felt like I was on vacation when I used it. With that inspiration, I thought that doing something a little slouchy and not too big would be the perfect day to day bag as we anticipate Spring and Summer.
To emulate a bucket feel, the bag is constructed from a circular base. Don't be scared of curves! The shirred panel that attaches to the base is designed to hide any tiny inconsistencies if this is your first go at sewing with a circle! Not to mention, the shirring ups the charm factor! You can see that even the version that bears no embroidered details or trims is just as cute as the others.
But let's talk details. The embroidered version of this bag was that first that I designed, and the one that inspired the name Menagerie. The wool embroidery was first hand stitched with tapestry wool using my Fields Aflutter embroidery pattern on to solid linen. When the stitching was complete, I just made sure that I carefully centered the design as I cut out the top panel piece. The ribbon, lower panel, strap and lining fabrics were all chosen to coordinate with the stitching. Be sure to watch our highlights video for tips on attaching trims when constructing this bag!
Happy Sewing, xo, Anna Maria
(click to enlarge)