The style tribe du jour have been overcome with wicker wonderment, gone bonkers for baskets and sappy for straw this summer. They are not all at a crafting and weaving convention, but rather adding a pastoral touch to their everyday garb. There isn't an Insta scroll that goes by without some straw basket/bag/tote/case adorning the arms of the most fashionable. I for one, am smitten too.
Where can we get ourselves a ticket to this village fashion fete, I hear you cry? Well, you can buy them almost anywhere but first you need to decide what type you want. The choice is quite overwhelming. Do you want a circular plain handle basket? Small over the shoulder number? Personalised shopping tote or highly decorated basket? What's your vibe? Click through below to see how some of the established blogging community are carrying their wares this season.
You can pay anything between 9 and 3000 pounds for a bucket of hay. And though I am a fan, I do question its longevity. Handwoven, straw, palm leaf and reed makes a delicate bag that may not be looking so great after a summer of beach towels, sandals, well-worn books, sand and sun cream. Then there is a consideration of trend - will we still adore it next year when the style tribe have moved to mesh, and pom-poms are over? With this in mind, I have been scouring the high-street for a piece to excite the arm while the purse remains intact. Scroll below for options at various price points... At entry price is a £9 Primark tote that even has a tassel. I haven't seen this in the flesh so I don't feel at liberty to comment on its quality (let alone it's ethical standing) but could be worth a try for a cheap fix??? I like the J Crew tote (£49.50) and also the baskets at Bohemia Design (I really could not decide on a style). Let's say the Dolce & Gabbana bag is NOT my investment piece of the season (if it is yours, you'll be pleased to know it's on sale £1350.00 matches.com). I do however, love the look with the colourful mirrors and pom-poms etc. My favourites are the Muzungu sisters (£330) and Jade Tribe (151.12) also with trims. If you are looking to add embellishment, the cost can mount and in all honesty, I don't wish to pay more than £50 in total AND want something unique. So this is where the local haberdashery comes in handy.
My happy place is often found by having a good rummage through trimmings. Fortunately, my grandmother was a great hoarder with dressmaking relatives, so I have plenty of old ribbons and button tins at home. Even the smell of the old tins and the dust that is left on your fingertips makes me smile. Nothing is more pleasing than foraging for decorations in the anticipation of finding exactly what you need/want. Sadly, I didn't have the necessary trims for this project so I took to my local haberdashery. There is no better, in London, than VV Rouleaux. I could get lost there for hours if allowed. A real treasure trove of trims. Tons of colourful pompoms and ideas in the window to help you create your basket's adornment.
My perfect woven vessel for came from the most unlikely of places. Whilst on a recent road trip, I stumbled upon a straw bag in W H Smiths at a service station! And the best bit; it was 10 squid! Ticked my boxes in terms of size, price, and a little unusual. Fine, as it was, it definitely needed a little Ooh La, La in my opinion.
Playing with possibilities is the most fun. The bright multi coloured pompom trims are most enticing, but you would need a lot to make impact and they are £15m. They sell individual pompoms which are pricey, £2-5 depending on size. Pompoms are not difficult to make; if you have some wool spare and a little time, this would look amazing for next to nothing. I have a link here should you wish to try. Remember to take your bag with you to ensure you buy the correct quantities. Spend some time deciding on what works for you, laying it out on your bag or table. In the end, I opted for fringing and tassels. They give great movement, colour and easy application. Tassels can also be made but as you know, I'm a lazy crafter. It is the end result I enjoy and not the process.
Begin by laying the fringed trim and pinning it down to ensure its level. Hand tack onto the bag. Then simply arrange, pin and stitch the tassels into place. Voila, you are ready to party like a piñata!
From serious straw to a basket bonanza; from grey to COLOUR!.... the bag was £10 and trims cost £20, Bargain basket!!! Please let me know if you try this out and send pics 😊