Monday, March 22, 2010

Making a Fiber Study Pocket

I've been combining two of my passions; clay and fiber; for several years now. Lately I've been adding fiber study pockets to my stoneware purses. Today I took a few photos as I created a pocket.

Below you can see the holes I cut into the purse during construction. This is where I will stitch my pocket in place. To create a pattern for my pocket I use some of the paper that comes with interfacing sold by the yard. (I no longer feel like the odd one trying to save a tree!) I cut a rough size just bigger than the pocket and with a pen poke holes in the paper where the clay holes are. 
I estimate about 1/2" extra from the holes to determine my pocket pattern size. This allows for a seam allowance as I will line my pocket.
Flat pattern drafting from high school and university days comes in handy in adding a little fullness to my pocket. I want the top to be a little fuller so I can tuck a few dried flowers or cinnamon sticks in if I wish. I cut and spread the paper to create my pattern.
I don't bother tracing a new pattern. Just pin and cut. I've cut the facing and main fabric above.
Then the trial and error and decision making takes 'forever'. I sprinkle and spread several different combos of seeds, petals, leaves, spices, paper, yarns, etc until I have what I think I'll go with. I have a box filled with fiber studies that started out just perfect but after they were made I mounted them on their clay and they weren't quite right. Above I decided on some dried petals, bits of yarn and a stamp. Some netting on top and free-motion stitching and everything is attached. One of the petals kept trying to scoot in front of the stamp so I decided to blanket stitch around the stamp. I liked the addition much better.
With 'right sides together' (aren't those the famous words heard over and over from a Home Ec teacher!) I stitched the pocket to it's facing; turned it right side out and slipped stitched the opening closed. Another lengthy decision is always what yarn to attach the pocket with. I started with an eyelash rust yarn but pulled it out. Then I thought dark brown but that was boring. Finally I decided this was the perfect time to use the hand dyed yarn the my friend Jackie had given me. I love variegated threads. The only color I didn't like with this piece was the blue so when I got to the blue section I simply went to the back of the pocket stitched a few hiding stitches until the blue was gone, then continued with my stitching.

Note this time I stitched the pocket first; just decoratively, and then I stitched it to the purse with clear thread. I wanted the smaller stitches that the decorative stitches could offer.
Finally the matching clay buttons are tied in place and my purse is complete. I added a few bits of dried flowers but not sure they are needed, but the pocket can accommodate them if wanted.


  1. So cool, thanks for showing your process!!

  2. What a beautiful vessel!

    I just found your Etsy shop while looking for drinking glasses when I saw your Tall Drinking Glass, then I fell in love with the nesting bowls you make and ended up following you over to your blog. :)

    I love your work.


I enjoy hearing from you! If you've made your email address available I'll send an email reply. Thanks for visiting!