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Boutis Pouch: Butterflies and Shamrox

This is the latest of my little boutis pouches. Every piece that I create is an experiment with design, materials and stitches. This little pouch was made using traditional materials and techniques: boutis cotton batiste (front and back),  cotton cording specifically for boutis (purchased in France) and white cotton hand quilting thread. The stitches that I used are the 3 most common stitches found in boutis: running stitch, back stitch and outline stitch.

The pouch is tri-fold, with 3 different design elements; a butterfly on the front flap, a shamrock on the front of the pocket (underneath the flap), and the "point de Vauvert" pattern on the back. Because "point de Vauvert" is quite heavily corded, it gives the pouch more structure and stability.

The finished pouch has been washed and is tacked to a sheet of foam core to square it up as it dries.

The piece has been primarily stitched with the running stitch,  the most commonly used stitch in boutis.  On the butterfly below, you can see that I have stitched the antennae with an outline stitch to add emphasis. The antennae would be completely lost if I had used the running stitch here. To highlight them further I also used white embroidery floss. This is the only place in the pouch that I used the outline stitch.

The only other stitch used in this piece is the back stitch, in the "point de vauvert" pattern, on the back of the pouch (below). "Point de vauvert" is a pattern of short lines (3-5 tiny back-stitches each), separated by equal distances from each other. Each row is off-set alternately to the one above it. It is then corded in 4 directions. This gives it more structure and stability.

To my utter horror, as I was cording and clipping cord ends, a moment of carelessness led to a clip in the fabric. Argh!!!! No way to selvedge that one! Until that happened, this was to be a gift for a special friend in France. Ah well.... . Next!

Not to let my disappointment get the better of me, I finished the cording and moved on to assembling the finished pouch. For the lining I used "Radiance", a silk/cotton blend manufactured by Kaufman.

With right sides together, I hand stitched the front flap piece to the lining piece and trimmed the edge.

Next, the pockets are made. The top of the piece, the section with the shamrock, is stitched to the middle section, which becomes the back of the pouch. The same 2 sections of the lining are stitched right sides together.

Once the front flap has been turned inside out, and the pocket lining has been inserted into the finished boutis pocket, the pouch is set to go. Well, pretty much set to go, except for the closure.

Because I wanted something light and delicate, I decided on a little tear drop bead for the button with a crocheted button loop. (See above and below).

The back of the pouch.

The finished pouch.

Having been relegated to the "sample" shelf of my stitching life, it's on to the next pouch for my friend. (Thank goodness it's not meant to be for any particular occasion, so the time-line is not crucial). There will likely be changes! (And..., hopefully a little more TLC!)


  1. It's lovely! How did you mend the little clip?

    1. Ah Cynthia, there's the problem. There is no way that I can think of to successfully mend the clip. I have tried in the past on another item and it only made it worse. Because the nick is on the right side, any fix that I have tried only attracts more attention to it. Recommendations and suggestions would be very welcome.

  2. Oh nooo! But you know, Cynthia's comment shows how small the flaw is. But yes, I saw it. I greatly admire your ability to finish it after that! I'm not sure I could.

    And, the finish and the design are both really beautiful. It is such an elegant piece. And, certainly the next one will be too!

    1. Thanks Monica. I suppose I have just made myself another little notions pouch, or something. I'm not so sure that I want a daily reminder though. But, on the other hand , if I keep it with my boutis supplies, it may serve as a prophylactic and prevent further lapses of focus. And, as I just said to Cynthia, recommendations and suggestions on possible repair methods would be welcome.

    2. My experience is that like attracts like, so maybe it will be better to keep it somewhere else!

    3. Hmmm.... . Worth considering, although will it jinx another project if I keep it there? Maybe it should be relegated to a life of labour instead, like a tissue holder. Could anything go wrong with a pocket full of kleenex in a blemished boutis pouch?

  3. E' un gioiello stupendo, è venuto benissimo, io non vedo difetti. Qualche anno fa ho fatto una farfalla a boutis, è un lavoro molto impegnativo. Complimenti!!!!!!!!!

  4. Where can you buy the cording that you talk about?

  5. Hi Donna. This boutis cord can be purchased on-line at: It's called "cotton wick", no. 8. My experience with this store has been very positive and quite fast.


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