Saturday, 8 January 2011

best bag in the world!

I have just made the best ... bag ... EVER!  I love it.  It did cause me some anguish en route but I got there and love the finishewd article.  It's an activity tote from Sew Hip issue 24.  They describe it as "perfect for on-the-go mums ... with everything you need to keep nlittle ones occupied, wherever you are!"

well, I have no little ones, but I am a volunteer trainer with Girlguiding UK and when I'm traipsing around the south of England to deliver training sessions I need all manner of pens, paper, cards, scissors, notepads, magazines, string and .... well, whatever other random items I might need, so I thought this bag looked ideal for me.

I found some beautiful half-price Liberty fabric at John Lewis and just had to have it. My poor hubby looked so bored as I wandered around the haberdashery department in awe, looking for matching threads and zips!

It was, on the whole, a relatively easy make.  My only real issue was the zips.  The instructions asked for a 40cm zip for the pocket, but the width of the panel is 30cm ... Now maybe I'm still too much of a novice to understand the complexity of how to use a zip that is longer than your fabric, but I ended up just trimming it ...  I also kept knobbing up my sewing with wonky lines and as the sewing is visible I think I had to rip that pu[ppy off about 3 times before I was vaguely happy.  It's still not entirely right but it's a wrongness I can live with.

Then the external zip, a 70 cm open-ended zip.  Again, I feel it is a little long, but didn't dare trim this one, so the bag does have a little bit of a tail ...  Anyway, I got it all pinned on, sewed round it - it was perfect!  Except it was inside out ...  I hadn't properly thought through my zip and the pull ended up on the inside of the bag and with the bottom corner there was no way it was going to close.  So out came my trusty seam ripper and I got it on there the correct way round.

I am delighted with the finished product. I'm tempted to make more ... And I wouldn't be surprised if I were to get some bag envy and requests to make some.

Right, must get my sister's curtains done next ...

Monday, 3 January 2011


second teddy bear done:
This one went a bit easier being my second time around.  Equally as cute and equally as satisfying.
So the first one (red spotty feet) went to our friends' two-year-old daughter for Xmas, and the second (yellow feet) went to my friends' new-born for xmas.

I've just got as far as I can with a new softie from Sew Hip magazine. This cute panda is looking a little soggy as I need to buy some more stuffing to finish him off, as well as a couple of buttons for his eyes.

I had a few hiccups along the way with legs and arms sewn to the wrong bits of bodies ... but I think he's turned out ok in the end ...

Happy New Year!

Christmas is over, my jeans are too tight, and I'm please to say that I did get a few sewing related presents.
My first one is from my work Secret Santa.  This year, to help each other out, we each submitted two words to indicate what we might like to receive.  I said "Fat Quarter" and was amazed to actually get 3 beautiful fat quarters, all nicely presented in a ribbon with 3 cute buttons.  Apparently they came all the way from France!

From my brother-in-law I got a free-motion foot for my sewing machine.  There's been lots of wonderful designs in Sew Hip magazine with machine embroidery and I want to give it a go ...
And then my wonderful husband.  He bought me some more bobbins in a bobbin case, which is great as I needed some more.
He also bought me a racing wheek and some dressmakers tracing paper - which is very exciting.  I have to admit that I didn't know what it did when I first got it but have had a little play and it is quite cool.

So overall I think I am a very lucky girl.  The various hand made sewing-based presents also seemed to go down generally well, so best get started on birthday gifts!