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DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

DIY macrame bag and an attempt at avocado dyeing!

Macrame is one of those trends that pops back every summer. It seems to convey that effortless boho chic look that we all strive for as soon as the sun comes out!

I’ve done a bit of macrame before (I made this fab hanging mirror) and a few bits and bobs here and there. But when I saw the Lily macrame bag in the latest Fibre Mood magazine, I thought this would be a great time to try out another type of project!

I had some cord lying about from when I made some rope bags last summer. They were a bit thicker than recommended (5mm instead of the 3mm needed) but I figured the design itself would work though the overall proportions might be a bit different.

The design looks more complicated than it is to do. It essentially comprises of lots of square knots that make up the body of the bag which then go into double half hitch knots for the design on the flap. It’s a simple enough process but it’s a lot of rope to be handling at once! Once all the knotting is completed, you unravel the end cords for the fringing and use the loose ends of the starter cord to sew up the sides.

Mine ended up a fair bit bigger than the original design as expected. I ended up making 2 fewer rows of square knots to compensate. I also did a little braid instead of a large square knot as the centre decoration as I was running short!

I added a little Chinese knot to the side of the bag that hooks onto the flap (just about!) as a closure. I’m weird about needing bags that close!

As lovely as it was in the natural cotton cord, I thought I’d use this make as trial for some home avocado dyeing!

I’d seen lots of this on my Instagram feed where people got these lovely pink results from using old avocado pits and skins and dyeing fabric and yarns. I really wanted to give it a go!

I collected 3 avocado stones, popped them in a big saucepan of water and boiled away! Apparently because of the natural tannins in the avocado you don’t need to add any fixatives.

I put it on a low heat on the stove for 5 hours and then left it overnight.

This is what it looked like coming out of the pot!

I left it on the side to dry but with the thick cord it was taking FOREVER. In my haste, I decided to leave it outside. I then promptly forgot about it so it was drying in the sun for a day and a half!!

The upside was that it was dry. The downside was that the uppermost part which was exposed to the sun kind of got a bit bleached out leaving an uneven colour. Luckily it’s mostly the under flap and side of the bag so it’s not super noticeable (if I’m moving fast 😂). It’s annoying but I’m not so bothered I’m going to try to fix it…

It’s ended up a kid of dusky pink. I attached the leather strap that I got from Wool and the Gang to go with my raffia bag. I figured I wouldn’t be using the two bags at the same time!

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1 Comment

  1. Inspiring! I love the pink that avocado produces. Every time I try to save the stones, they mold/rot before I have enough.

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