Thursday, 11 August 2016

Victorian Carpet or traveler bag

Oh, how I miss sewing! Although it is very rewarding to see our house looking better and better, the garden is my favorite spot, as I like making things beautiful. I really do miss sewing, crafting and costuming most of all.
A while ago I started working on a victorian carpet bag. Which I didn't share with you because we are having some trouble with the hinges and it is still not finished. As that might take a while, my husband is still working very hard on our house, I decided to share it with you anyway!
I had been wanting to make a carpet bag for years but so I was very happy when I found the Mommy Poppins Bag pattern by With some modifications it makes a wonderful victorian era carpet bag but unmodified it makes very nice bag as well.

Enough with the talk. Here are some pictures:

The linen lining flat-out.
Hard to make out from the picture but the 
fabric for the pockets is already in place.

The outer fabric with the leather bottom

the leather handles are sewn on.

The casing sewn on

The lining has been sewn in.

The metal bag frame is in place.

A look inside.

I used a 14,96 inch (38 cm) internal dulles frame, the largest size I could find at the time. Sold by Vacheta on Etsy. These resemble the original frames better that the tubular frame described in the pattern.

Drawing of an original frame

Original frame and bag pattern.

My frame

Somehow  we have a problem with the frame it will not close properly. This is probably due to the thick and stiff fabric I used for the casing. At this moment I am unwilling to rip the whole bag apart again to replace the casing. I just might have to though. If we don't come up with a solution.

The fabric used is not a carpet but a gobelin to match the look of the originals made with panels in embroidery (berlin work). 

From a German Ladies Magazine.

I do not have the patience to embroider my own panels and I couldn't find a affordable carpet that I liked. So this was a good solution. I choose a fabric that reminded me of the Carpet bag in Mary Poppins, the inspiration for this project.

the original movie prop from Mary Poppins

Instead of using plastic to stiffen up the bottom of the bag. We used a thin sheet of wood and added brass colored spots ("feet"). Also bought at Vacheta. Feet like these are often found on the bottom of original bags.

Because just looking at a bag it's feet is no
fun, here is the front. 

Thinks I would do differently if I was to make a bag with this pattern again. I would go for a larger size frame. Since I have finished the bag I found some bigger sizes available online. Most of the authentic era bags are larger, often around 20 inch wide. Which makes the bag better suited for it's purpose. I would add a lock, the bag I made now is to small to fit one and I would stiffen the fabric of the bag less or make a casing of thinner fabric, or use a different type of frame. I am quite fed up with having a nearly finished bag in the house!

Here is some eye candy to end this blog with.

18 inch carpet bag, 1860-70

22 inch wide by 16 inc tall 19th century carpet bag.

19 5/16 x 14 3/16 inch carpet bag, ca.1865
Source: The Met 

And for those of you with a little more patience.
Design for traveling bag, 
1864 La Mode illustrĂ©e: journal de la famille