Rag Rug Leopard Print Clutch Bag in Mollie Makes

Mollie Makes Magazine:

Mollie Makes Magazine is a lifestyle magazine bringing contemporary craft to today’s makers. It has beautifully styled photography and gorgeous, modern makes, ranging in size and complexity. If you’ve been following Ragged Life for a while now, you will know that I am a big fan. In fact, I’ve now appeared in the magazine a few times… In Issue 103 with my DIY Berber Rag Rug and in Issue 109 when I won the Best Established Business Award at the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2019, for example.

Issue 117 – The Fashion Revolution Issue:

I was particularly excited to get this month’s copy of Mollie Makes posted through the letterbox, as it features my DIY Leopard Print Clutch Bag pattern. In fact, the bag was even showcased in a little window on the front cover… ooh!

Mollie Makes Magazine Issue 117 Front Cover
Cover of Issue 117 of Mollie Makes Magazine.

117 is the “Fashion Revolution” issue, which is all about shopping sustainably, and reducing, reusing and recycling your wardrobe with craft hacks, like visible mending, upycled denim and much more. Over the past few years, I’ve been making a real, conscious effort to live more sustainably (in fact, 2019 was my Eco Challenge Year), so I’m extremely proud to be flying the flag for sustainability in craft. We’ve got a long way to go, but us crafters are a thrifty bunch.

The Inspiration behind the clutch bag:

Here at Ragged Life, we like to push what can be achieved in rag rug. We’re always looking for ways to modernise the craft and make it feel more contemporary. Well, for me, leopard print is an ‘oldie but a goodie’. It’s a bold pattern and has been an icon of the fashion world for decades. Some people (my friend Kate, for example) even consider it a neutral (the jury is out on that one though). Despite fading into the background a little in the noughties, leopard print has definitely come back with vengeance in recent years and I thought it would be a fun pattern to try. No pressure!

Achieving the Leopard Print Design:

To create such a crisp design, the only rag rug technique for the job is the loopy technique. This technique ensures that lines remain sharp and defined, which would be essential to the success of the piece. Designs tend to become a bit blurred in the shaggy and short shaggy techniques.

Although leopard print is a classic design, nowadays it comes in a whole range of different colours and patterns. You wouldn’t believe some of the options out there! I was keen to keep the print itself very classic in simple black and white, but decided on a bold yellow for the background. I wanted to create a piece with ooomph!

Once the colour scheme was locked, I chose my fabrics. I wanted a matt black and white, so chose jersey fabrics for both those colours. Plus, jersey is very easy to loopy rag rug with. However, most designs look much better with a variety of textures, so I steered clear of jersey for the yellow background and opted for a recycled sari silk ribbon, which had a lovely bit of sheen to it. Below is an example of a rug we made a couple of years ago using lots of different shades of sari silk offcuts. We love how rich it looks.

With the technique and fabrics settled on, I moved onto the actual making. Below are a few work in progress photos of the clutch bag, but if you’d like to see the full pattern, and maybe even have a go, then get your hands on Issue 117 of Mollie Makes.

The final leopard print clutch bag:

To make the clutch bag, I first constructed the bag itself, before covering it in rag rugging. I find that this is the best way to get close to seams and edging, for a clean look.

Mollie Makes Magazine Rag Rug Leopard Print Clutch Bag Feature
Our Rag Rug Leopard print clutch Bag in Mollie Makes Magazine.

Thanks for reading all about our rag rug leopard print clutch bag in Issue 117 of Mollie Makes Magazine. I hope you felt inspired! 🙂

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As always, happy rag rugging!

Elspeth x

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