Corded and Stippled Evening Bag


  • 60cm of turquoise Antung silk for the outer fabric and lining
  • 60cm of lawn to back the quilting it wont be seen inside the bag
  • One hank of Italian quilting wool
  • Perlé No.8 or similar thickness thread to match your silk
  • 2m of dressing gown cord for the handle (this is softer than piping cord)
  • 1m of piping cord for flap edges
  • One 3cm button to cover
  • 80 x 25cm wadding

Finished Size

10in (26cm) plus 16in (40cm) handle

Skill Level


The bag would look equally as stunning in a black silk with bright stitching. The design of the bag is based on some contour lines from a map. If you live in a hilly area have a look at your local maps and perhaps trace off some lines to use for your own design.

Figure 1: The layout of the bag showing folds
Figure 1: The layout of the bag showing folds


Work a sample of both the cording and the hand stipple stitch then adjust your machine or the threads as necessary. Mary sewed the edges of the corded rows by machine as she found it easier to keep even. However you could use a backstitch if you prefer to work by hand.

  1. Enlarge the design given and cut out a piece of lawn and a piece of silk about 2in larger all round to allow for shrinkage after quilting. Note the curved front flap of the bag shown in Figure 1.
  2. Trace the design onto the piece of lawn using a sharp pencil or water erasable pen. You should be able to see the design through the lawn, if you are having problems tape the design to a window and the extra light should help. Layer the lawn with the silk WS together and tack.
  3. Wind the perlé thread onto your bobbin and stitch along the lines using a cotton thread on the top. You can use a 1⁄4in foot to keep the stitching lines equal distance apart. You are sewing with the lawn on top and the bobbin thread is therefore showing on the silk.
  4. Thread some quilting wool into a large needle. Working from the back thread through the channels created by your stitching. Take a small loop of wool out of the lawn to help go smoothly round the curves. Pulling too tight will create puckers on the front.
  5. Layer a second piece of lawn with wadding and add the corded silk on the top RS up, then tack together just outside the corded areas.
  6. Stitch seed or stipple quilting using the perlé thread in the areas indicated on the pattern. Seed or stipple quilting is worked by taking short stitches in random directions. It should look approximately the same on the back and the front. This quilting contrasts nicely with the smooth lines of the corded quilting adding interest and texture to the bag.
Figure 2: Bag showing overlapping flap
Figure 2: Bag showing overlapping flap

Button and Bound Buttonhole

  1. Cut a piece of silk 2 x 2 1⁄2in on the straight grain. Crease through the centre. Place RS together on the bag and tack the crease along the line of the buttonhole. Stitch 1⁄8in away from each side and the ends.
  2. On the back carefully slash through the tacking to within 1⁄4in of the ends. Clip diagonally into corners. Turn the fabric through to the inside and press seams away from the opening.
  3. Press an inverted pleat with the folded edges meeting at the centre line of the buttonhole. Place RS up under the machine and fold the material back and stitch as shown in Figure 3. You are stitching the extra fabric not the actual bag.
Figure 3: Sewing the bound buttonhole
Figure 3: Sewing the bound buttonhole,
Top: View from the RS, Bottom: View from the WS
  1. Cut a circle of fabric larger than the required measurement for your covered button. Layer with a small amount of wadding and sew stipple or seed stitches all over the fabric. Assemble following the instructions given with your kit. If you cant find a button kit then draw up the edges of the circle with a small running stitch and sew over a flat button of the required size. Add a loop for stitching in place this will not be as strong as a button kit with a metal shank.

Making Up The Bag

  1. Cut a piece of silk 32 x 8 1⁄2in. This is longer than the bag to allow for an internal pleated pocket.
  2. Cut two pieces of piping cord long enough to go around the flap and across the straight end. Cut a 1in wide strip of fabric on the cross (45 degree angle) the same length of each piece. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and enclose the cord. Pin, tack and then stitch to the bag top on the RS along the curved edge and the straight end (not the sides).
  3. Matching the curved edges, sew the lining and main fabric RS together. Only sew the curved flap edge not the side seams or the end. Clip the curves before turning to the right way out.
  4. Create the pocket by folding the lining as shown in Figure 4 and stitching a decorative stitch along the seam to create the top edge of the pocket. Fold as shown and, with the front lifted up, sew the side seams then fold back down and press.
  5. Fold the main bag pieces on the fold lines taking care that the edge of the lid flap matches the pattern on the bag when the lid is folded over. Keeping separate from the lining stitch the side seams. Sew a curve in the bottom corner if wished.
  6. Sew the side seams of the lining RS together in the same way, matching the curve as appropriate.
  1. Make four nine patch blocks, remembering to use 1⁄2in seam allowances. Stitch small squares WS together into rows; then join the rows. Press the seams open.
  2. Take one of the remaining 7in squares WS up and place a nine patch block on top, pin all round, stitch 1⁄2in from the edge on all sides. Stitch in the ditch using a very narrow zigzag stitch that just catches the fabric on each side of the seam. Make four.
  3. Lay the blocks out as shown in Figure 3 and, placing WS together, stitch using a 1⁄2in seam. Sew the seams twice and then press seams open.
  4. Turn the bag and lining to the RS, tuck the lining inside the bag and sew along the remaining top edge by hand.
  5. Cut a piece of silk 1 1⁄4 x 57in, fold lengthwise RS together and sew along the edge to create a tube. Stitch the length of handle cord to one end and pull the cord so it is inside the tube.
  6. Stitch the cord together and join the two ends of the tube as well folding the edges neatly.
  7. Sew in place on the edge of the bag having the join at the top edge of the bag where it will show least.
Figure 4: Creating the inner pocket
Figure 4: Creating the inner pocket

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 13 Number 8 - August 2003