Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Origami bag

I have had the good fortune recently to be invited to another part of the beautiful country I live in and spend the weekend with a couple of very good friends. They moved to their new old cottage a few years back and as it is a good 4 hour drive to visit them and my pregnancy with twins got in the way of my last planned visit I had not spend more than just a few hours with one of them in the last years. I decided to take one of my sons with me and I was very happy when he got along splendidly with my friends daughters.
We drove down on a Friday evening and on Saturday morning we went to a lovely market in a neighbouring town. There was plenty of organic good food, antique jewelry, semi precious gemstones and lots of other goodies to be bought there, my local towns do not usually sport such an interesting array of stalls (my local towns market has 2 stalls).
In one of the sralls a little carved wood figurine caught my eye, it was a small sculpture of two baby elephants. My youngest son is very big into elephants so naturally I spot them everywhere. And this one was particularly special since the sculpture has twin elephants and I happen to have twins as well. I bought it and when I went home I spotted 2 small holes underneath it in the base. I remembered a few months back a friend over on had shared something about a type of japanese carved button (?) and I spend about half an hour going through all the relevant threads this post might have been in, I think I finally found it in a post from March of this year. 
This type of "button" is called a "Netsuke", and back when Kimonos without pockets were a common garment in Japan the Netsuke was tucked behind the belt to secure a small box called an Inró. Both the Netsuke and the Inró could be carved and decorated in the most elaborate and skillfull ways.ō

Now, I am not claiming to own an antique or very valuable Netsuke, but to me it holds a special value because I had heard of them on my online trading site, admiring the craftsmanship then, and then to discover by coincidence that mine has clearly found me.
I had to make something with it, and what better thing to make than something to put it to its intended use? An Inró would be way out of my league, but a small drawstring bag? I had seen tutorials for origami drawstring bags on Pinterest in the past and here is the tutorial I ended up following.

It is in russian but the pictures are an excellent guide.

These are the two contrasting fabrics I chose to use. I cut them to 10" square size.

I then marked my seam allowance on the reverse of the lighter fabric and pinned all around. For some reason I already forgot I decided to be lazy and not take out my sewing machine for this but to sew it by hand. Now I wonder how this decision ever made sense, but hey...

I will spare you all the different steps in between, if you checked out the tutorial you have seen them. So instead here is the finished little drawstring bag, with decorative buttons and the little Netsuke on the left.

Side view...

And this is what it looks like when it is opened. I am not sure yet when and how to use it but it was a bery satisfying process making it anyway ;-)