Lookin’ Fly Clutch


All kinds of odd things end up in my stash of art and craft materials. A while back I got playing with a scrap of plastic fly screen. The folds that had been pressed into the mesh while in storage suggested a simple clutch bag shape, and reminded me of the cross-stitch iPhone cover I stitched last year. A bit of a trim and sewing in some side panels with waxed linen thread was all it took to make the clutch. Then I had to come up with a cross-stitch design.

So I measured the proportions of the grid and created a graph in Illustrator, which I exported to Photoshop. Then I modified a cross stitch pattern to a shape and colour I liked and put it on a layer behind the grid so I could colour the spaces in the fly screen graph with the fill tool.


Then it was just a matter of cross-stitching the design onto the bag. I used sewing cotton to mark out every fifth row and column of rectangles so I could keep oriented to the pattern. Stranded cotton turned out to be unsuited to the job, as the individual strands would eventually separate and misalign, so I turned to the flower threads I’d bought at the mini tapestry weaving and on ebay. There were a few gaps in the colour range, so I had to order in some more thread, but I was able to get started while I waited for them to arrive.

It was a good tv craft project, taking me about a month of half-hour to hour stitching sessions. I’m very happy with the result.

5 thoughts on “Lookin’ Fly Clutch

    • That’s adorable! Fantastic idea. I almost wish I had some holes in my flyscreens!

  1. It looks great, but you went to a lot of trouble generating the design. There are free cross-stitch pattern generators available – either online, or fully downloadable. You just load in your photo/illo or text, give it a size, and they do it all, including specifying the appropriate DMC (or some other brand) colours. One that will do it for you online is Coricamo: http://www.en.coricamo.com – a bit cumbersome, but it works. A more sophisticated program that you can download is KG Chart LE.

      • If you mean grids that are rectangular rather than square you could try squashing the original image along the appropriate axis.

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