Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Anthropologie Inspired Fringe Bag

Anthropologie is one of my favorite stores.  I always feel inspired after shopping there, and usually come away with thoughts of how I could recreate on my own something I saw in the store.  And also usually a new cup or plate or bowl.  

Much as I love their clothes and accessories though, they are a bit out of my price range.  A few months ago I got their catalog and instantly fell in love with this tote bag:

Until I saw the price tag:

Yeah, it’s real leather and all that, but jeez, I could buy a lot of fabric and yarn for $300 dollars!  (This is actually on sale on their site right now for $100 off, still too much for me)  But I really liked the look of the ombre fringe on this bag, and I knew that I could figure out a way to recreate it.  Put my creative hat on and voila:

This actually turned out pretty awesome.  I love when that happens!  Yeah, the fringe isn’t a perfect ombre, but close enough for me!

I used suede for the outer fabric to give it a pseudo-leather look.  (Or should I say a suedeo-leather look, ha ha.) I bought the fringe at Joann’s; I don’t know what kind of fabric it is.  It is almost a little paper-ish.  I dyed it to get the colors I wanted. 

Cotton lining complete with some handy pockets.

I really like how this turned out.  The fringe is bouncy and fun, and I love the colors of it.  It’s perfect for summer.

Want to make your own?  Of course you do.  But, I may have been a bit lazy this time and didn’t write up a full tutorial on how to construct the bag itself, just some tips on how to do the fringe.  I just made a simple tote bag and sewed the fringe on to the front panel.  You could even just add some fringe to an existing boring bag to jazz it up!

To get the ombre look on the fringe I dyed it using Rit Dye.  The fringe itself was a little brown, so first I soaked it in some Rit Color Remover.  This step was crucial to getting a good color.  My first dyeing session I didn’t bleach it first and the color came out more green.  Bleaching first let the true color set it.

What a difference!  The bottom fringe is the unbleached one, and bleh, what a gross color.  To get the ombre look I used two different color dyes (Aquamarine and Navy Blue) and soaked the different strips for ½ hour to get the lighter color and 1 hour for the darker color. 

The color gradation isn’t as obvious as I had hoped for, but still fine.  After soaking these, make sure they are laying completely flat to dry.  If the fringe dries tangled up it stays that way and looks all wonky.

The dying part was long and annoying, but once that was done I quickly sewed the bag together and was on my way with my new awesome bag!

Just chillin’ at the river.  And yes I did match my pants to my bag. 

Cause I’m cool like that!

Thanks Anthropologie for the inspiration!

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