“Made sewers of us all.”

Have you noticed that since nearly all of us have been confined at home and perhaps garden, there has been an upsurge in all things crafty? Its amazing really. I used to cook, but now a definite no no to that. Perhaps a catering training was too much! I cannot draw well enough to show off my efforts and anything involving too much IT leaves me cold.

No, its gardening or sewing for me! Never done so much continuous gardening for ages and it shows thank goodness. Grass edges trimmed and seeds growing, just about, too.

But sewing is my real love. Its been mostly face coverings and scrubs lately of course, but they are needed so much. And now I can look forward to some dress making, all those lengths in a drawer which make me guilty every time I see them.

I have finished my last scrubs set I am going to clear that stash!

Valentine Day Book Covers

With St Valentines day looming I turned once more to my sewing machine to create something a bit different for someone’s sweet heart or book lover. Recycled vintage denim A5 book covers all ready for a love story novel or journal. One has a heart the other is coy but both would be loved by someone I am sure.

facebook.com/sewnupgifts/(opens in a new tab)

I have also sewn some desk top tidy bins only three, I don’t know what has happened to the fourth jeans leg?

I shall be adding these to my Etsy shop Sewn Up Gifts soon.

https://www.facebook.com/sewnupgifts/
Clutter Catchers!

Luna Lapin, is it a hare or rabbit?

Shes called a rabbit but has the ears and long legs of a hare, I am confused but I am going to call her a habbit, with no connection to Hobbits!

A very kind friend gave me the book by Sarah Peel ” Making Luna Lapin” as she knows I have a liking for making rabbits! My others were made from a ’40s pattern by Edith Moody. Now I am all up to date!

Many of you will already be acquainted with this felt and cotton bunny, she has a capsule wardrobe and a comfy armchair and pouffe to lounge those long legs on. I also gave her a tote bag and necklace to complete the look.

I hope you like her as much as I enjoyed making her. x

Oh I’ve had a hard day!
Do you like my bag?
And my arm chair?

Royal Botanical Gardens Kew

A long overdue visit to this amazing UNESCO World heritage site did not disappoint yesterday. I am not going to try and tell you its history do not worry. There is loads of information on line if you want to learn.

Of course it was raining but it didn’t matter, we went prepared and enjoyed the fragrances from the flowers all the more.

From now until October Dale Chilhuly is holding an exhibition of his innovative architectural glass masterpieces, which are dotted around these wonderful gardens. You suddenly see one through a space and are amazed.

The Hive is also not to be missed. Designed by Wolfgang Buttress it is a multi-sensory experience revealing the secret world of the honey bee. Fascinating!

Busy Bee Bags

A non sewing pal asked me to make her a ” bee bag”.  After a small hesitation I realised she wanted a bag with bees printed on it, so I was happy!  I can do that I thought.

After quite a wait the first one was done and two more followed soon after, as I had plenty of bee fabric! They were all different as I do not ever sew two things the same. Why do you want something exactly the same as someone else might have?

Follow the Busy Bee link below if you want more details, all this talk of bees makes me long for summer.  Not long now.

Busy Bee Bag

 

Sewing for self.

Before I disappeared for 10 days holiday I got into some selfish sewing. I sewed up a blouse from some very easy to use 100% quilters cotton which printed in Japan. I was very pleased with it as it was firm and so very easy to use. I had spotted it at one of Doughtys road shows recently. See the link below.

https://www.doughtysonline.co.uk/

Why should patch workers and quilters have all the fun stuff I say? I have been noticing more and more in my part of the world, England, that the fabric shops that there are, cater usually for patch workers and quilters rather than dressmakers. I do both types of sewing so that I don’t get stuck in a rut and I have always got something on the go. I do use the internet as a resource, but you cannot beat an actual feel and rummage in a “proper” shop environment don’t you agree?

Now rant over I will show you this blouse! I used McCall’s 6035 from 2010 I have just seen! I do not know if it is still in print, you may have to research if you fancy having a shot at it. There are easy fitting princess seams and sleeves with a small dart at the elbow. There are 4 different views, I chose the 3/4 sleeve version gathered into a cuff.

Envelope M6035

I do hope you find a copy if you feel inspired, I often reuse my patterns over and over and do not realise how old they are! Especially if there are several different versions like this one. At the time of writing there were some available on Amazon and Etsy. Good luck.

Travel Bag

This is a zippy little bag to put the travel bits in.  I know not many of us are able to plan any travel just now but get those travel docs and money ready, just in case!

Available in my Etsy Shop Sewn Up Gifts

Sewn Up Gifts Etsy

Leather Craft Work Shop

Yesterday I went with my crafty daughter to this amazing Leather Craft Workshop and came back home tired and finger sore but very happy!

A messenger bag hand stitched and finished in a day. Wow we were so impressed with our day here at http://www.leathercraftworkshopdays.co.uk

There were just the two of us booked onto the day and so we were able to learn so much about this ancient craft from Richard who was so patient and meticulous with his instruction. I do hope he has a well deserved rest today!

We are both now planning our first creative journey into leather, I will now have to make my own version of the messenger bag as I have given mine to my long suffering husband. It is a replacement for a knitted scarf I promised him 50 years ago, and yes it still gets mentioned!

Pack Up Bags

Continuing my bag creation phase, I have sewn up some fold up shopping bags.  Folded they are approximately 4 x 8 inches, unfolded 18 x 19.5 inches.  Just right to pop in the car, bike pannier or handbag.  Always be ready for the shop stop and be  environmentally friendly too.

Etsy Shop

 

 

 

 

The Lahti Flight Bag

Hi Bag Makers

I have just finished sewing the intermediate skill level Flight Bag from the pattern in Nicole Mallalieu’s great book  ” The Better Bag Maker”, and I wanted to share with you my experience of putting it all together so it fits and works as well as looking fabulous.

This is the third of Nicole’s patterns that I have used and they have all been successful.

You do have to follow the guidance notes carefully, as the projects can force you to switch pages and sections quite a bit, but its worth it!

I spent a lot of time altering the template pattern in this project and ended up with the necessary rectangles, I did wonder however,  why I could not have just drawn the shapes and added the points? But it was good practice in pattern drawing I guess.

Nicole also suggests using pins clamps and fabric glue to hold the layers together, I found it easier and more exact to tack or baste the parts together, especially at the 8 corners where the bulk occurs.  Also next time I will cut all the inter facings and supporting fabrics that 1/2 inch smaller to cut out the bulk.  I would have found it impossible to sew on a domestic machine partly because I was using linen type fabrics and fusible foam with stiff upholstery interfacing.

From drafting the pattern to the final press this bag took me almost 3 days, but take your time it is worth it I hope you agree.

I am going to make myself one now, this one may already have a flight to go on!