In early June my former teacher gave me a box of free fabric.. and then followed up with ANOTHER box of fabrics as she tried to de-stash her collection. I didn’t even know what to do with most of the yardage, so when the next box came I was already feeling a bit overwhelmed (as is my sewing area). This second box though wasn’t yardage… but home -decorating samples… totally different. I took a few pieces, not entirely sure what I’d do with them, and passed the rest along to a crafty-artsy-sewing friend.
My fabric-fairy-godmother strikes again! This time I was given a filing box full of home decorating #fabric samples. Largest are placemat size, smallest are coaster size. Some paper-frame-backed, some not. Some appear cotton, some obviously synthetic. Others blends. Can any of my #crafty #DIY friends use this? I just don't think I can use this right now, since I'm focusing on garments, not crafts.
I figured that if I didn’t use up these samples super-fast, they were just going to sit in a bag and breed on the floor of my sewing room (which is looking far less organized right now than I’d like, with piles of wools and silks and cottons all over they place…. all of my organized storage is full…) SO… what to do with a whole bunch of sample-sized fabrics?
Largess is gifts given from the SCA populous to the Royals, who then distribute them out as gifts when people do awesome things. Of course, all of those little gifts need to go IN something, so I decided to make a series of little bags/pouches in various sizes from tiny to purse-sized to nearly tote-sized. Pouches and bags are also way more portable than baskets and boxes, and ideally the recipient can re-use the pouch too to hold bits and pieces. I use some of mine for jewelry (sorting by which era each piece is intended for), but also things like substituting in for a purse, etc. In addition to largess, I’ll probably also use some of them to give away prizes at A&S competitions during my term as champion.
The fiber content of most of these fabric samples is probably synthetic, though there are some likely cottons in there as well. I’ve opted to call them “linen-look” and “wook-look” since the fiber content is unknown.
- Seven hand-woven-cotton-look fabric bags one colour each side/ parti-coloured
- Five wool-look fold-over tie top bags
- Six wool-look parti-coloured drawstring bags
- 12 wool-look parti-coloured draw string bags
- one silk-look bag with brocade pockets also drawstring (this is my favourite!)
- Three silk-look parti-coloured drawstring bags (The blue/orange and blue/lime ones are my second-favourites…
- One bag half brocade half silk-look drawstring
- six velvet-like drawstring bags
- 7 4-colour linen-look drawstring bags
That is 48 bags that I put together in one day! The ribbons for drawstrings are all from the Grandmother’s fabric sale – I thought about doing lucet cord or something like that, but honestly I imagine most of these bags will go out and be forgotten about pretty quickly (apart from the super-pretty ones) so I didn’t want to spend a LOT of time on the cords.. if someone gets a bag they really love they can always swap out the ribbon for something nicer if they choose.
… taking the fabric for these 48 bags barely made a dent in the box of fabric that I was given too – here’s hoping my friend is able to do a few cool things with the fabric samples she got too!
More about Largess
Countess Sineidin ingheanuiBhiadtaigh has some information about what largess is, how it’s distributed, and some ideas for good largess. One thing she notes is keeping it portable (and somewhat generic, since you never know who will be given the piece…) (Scroll to page 4)
There are lots of cool ideas for projects that other people have done; when looking for ideas I find other bloggers really inspiring. Here are a few of my favourites (today!):
Bernadette de Costa Tempestad has a bunch of posts about largess and other projects on her blog. I really like the welcome-mat idea…. would love to do this as a group or as a group A&S project for sure!
Baroness Anastasia del Valente issued a Largess challenge in 2013 to her populous to make 10 items of largess a month, for 12 months. 120 items sure seems like a lot, but in a year that isn’t really so bad – depending on how detailed/costly each project is… and how much time/resources it takes. I love the glass beads!
Disai Birkilundi did waxed linen bowl/cup covers for largess which I think is a kind of neat craft project… though too often the fabric I end up with wouldn’t be right for this. Still a neat idea though.
Some of the largess projects I’ve done include:
- Youth sideless surcoats (also out of gifted fabric)
- Italian pocket-bags (done with a group)
- Jorvik hoods, plus more pouches and bags
- And lots more… just follow the “largess” tag.