Monday, January 10, 2011

Hey Harris, you're Scotch!

I finished the second Harris Tweed purse..tote bag. finally. stupid holidays!

Now that all the frivolity is out of the way...I'm back to sewing and general trouble making. The normal.

A fine collaboration combining  funkomavintage and thatyountville girl...........
This is another of my commitment to living the Vintage Life. To re-use and recycle. To spread the gospel of Heritage, of Quality, of more natural fibers, and to honor small industry like The Harris Tweed industry.

I can't decide if the lacy side or the pocket side is the front. Oh well. I'll leave that up to the owners...the lucky giftees, and the lucky buyer.  I love the lace and the tweed together....Very Miss Marple, no?

I had to add fabric to make it measure 16" across....that way it is roomy enough to hold an iPad or Kindle, whatever they are.

Look! the pocket is a pocket.

Inside, the lining is a strong cotton upholstery fabric in an old-fashioned floral. It buttons closed with a little flap...Oh did I mention that the button is one of the 2 original buttons that used to close the Jacket? well, yes.

I really agonized over "What to do about including a Harris Tweed label?"
Well, I have a printing I just duplicated the original label and sewed a copy on the bag.
I was Mortified! when I first cut the jackets crosswise across the middles. aarrgggh!

I learned a lot while designing them and making them, and the next ones will be only slightly different. 

Clicky here to go see it at  thatyountvillegirl on etsy.

A short history of Harris Tweed......

from good ol' wikipedia....
Harris Tweed (Clò Mór or Clò na Hearadh in Gaelic) is a luxury cloth that has been handwoven by the islanders on the Isles of Harris, Lewis, Uist and Barra in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, using local wool.

Traditional Harris Tweed was characterized by subtle flecks of colour achieved through the use of vegetable dyes, including the lichen dyes called "crottle" (Parmelia saxatilis and Parmelia omphalodes which give deep red- or purple-brown and rusty orange respectively). These lichens are the origin of the distinctive scent of older Harris Tweed.

About 1830, a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm about some tweels. The London merchant misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders textile area. Subsequently the goods were advertised as Tweed, and the name has remained ever since.

With the industrial revolution the Scottish mainland turned to mechanisation, but the Outer Hebrides retained their traditional processes of manufacturing cloth. Until the middle of the 19th century the cloth was only produced for personal use within the local market. It was not until between 1903 and 1906 that the tweed-making industry in Lewis significantly expanded. Production increased until the peak figure of 7.6 million yards was reached in 1966. However the Harris Tweed industry declined along with textile industries in the rest of Europe. Harris Tweed has survived because of its distinctive quality and the fact that it is protected by an act of Parliament limiting the use of the Sovereign's Orb trademark to tweeds made in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

Here's the one I made the MIL......

Oh yes, there will be many many more to come...from vintage jackets. I've got designs drawn for making a smaller purse or tiny tote, and another style of jacket from the left overs.
I adore this fabric...and I can't let any go to waste. even the scraps will become flowers and leaves.

Click here for a gorgeous Harris Tweed site...lots more info....and a pop-up map that takes you from outer space and slowly pans down to the tiny little islands of wooly paradise.
I  Love It!!