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!

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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!

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.

Heidi Hen

Hoping you all had a Happy Holiday, and here’s to a fab New Year. I have started my creative year by sewing a hen. Perhaps not the first thing to spring to mind when you are unable to get into the sewing mood or room because of all the festivities and bodies around?

But I was given this pattern from “Quilters Trading Post” web site and couldn’t resist!

I am thinking whether to make some more of various sizes with perhaps a nest or hen house with chicks, maybe in time for Easter .

Heidi Hen  a Quilters Trading Post pattern

 

Sewing and Knitting Tote

This country vintage style bag was such a pleasure to sew.  And so adaptable as well.  Pockets and size can easily be altered and as with any handmade treasure it is totally one on its own.

The tote is made from a length of very pretty Laura Ashley upholstery fabric that I was donated, I loved it so much I wanted to make it into something that would be flaunted. 

Look at all that space! Just ready for filling.  The red linen gingham just completes the country feel I believe.

Bags of hessian

Well I have sewn up two rolls of  this very tactile coarse material.  It has so many names it is confusing, hessian, jute, burlap or just plain sacking I guess it  matters not what you call it.

Its use is wide and wonderful, from the building trade keeping the frost off supplies, storing and transporting all types of goods,  to interior design used as wall covering or just a simple wall hanging.  My original rolls were bought for wedding breakfast table runners for  decoration to give a rustic quirky feel to the event.  It worked well, but what a waste for a one off trip!

Of course I rescued the 6 rolls and stashedthem away before any objections were raised and I have spent the last couple of  days satisfying myself that I can recycle the stuff for a Christmas Craft Fair.  What do you reckon?

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Pegging a rug using a hessian backing and fabric scraps.

Bottle Gift Bags.

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Christmas Gift Bags.

The only downside is the mess the fibres make everywhere, and the punishment to the hands, but all in a good recycle cause I say.

 

Sewn Up Christmas 2018

DSC_0347

Sewn Up Gifts Table Wreath

Sewn Up Gifts Table Runner

If like me you are already busy thinking about the Christmas Celebrations you may forgive that I have been even slacker than usual about looking after this blog site of mine.  But I have things made for a Country Park Christmas fair in November and I am still recovering from the excitement of our daughters wedding this year!

It was a really special and beautiful day and there was  a country theme going on.  The decor was quirky and fun and when I am allowed I will share a few photos.  But there was a definite hessian vibe and hessian was laid down the centre of each wedding breakfast table.

Of course I rescued 6 rolls of it the next day, and have been busy up cycling.  Hessian is quite rough on the hands and sewing machine, but I am so lucky to have a Sailrite, it munches on through the coarse fibres spitting out the loose bits every where!  It can also handle the thick thread and has a permanent walking foot, so all good.  My next posting will be all hessian!

 

McCall’s 7357

It has been an age since I have last been able to get down to some proper dressmaking, my first true craft love.  Below is the post I did for Pattern Review,

click here    McCall’s 7357

if you would like to see more!

 

 

 

Pattern Description: Loose fitting pullover tops have neckband, self lined yokes, applied tab, side front and side back seams, three piece sleeves shaped hemline and narrow hem

Pattern Sizing: 6-22  I cut size 12 UK

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes I made view C

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but there was a lot of hand sewing and the neck band was awkward.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The seaming gives the top a nice flowing shape and the sleeves hang well. I also like the lined yoke, it makes the top neat and tidy inside.

Fabric Used: A slippery synthetic I bought a few years ago now, and I cannot remember what it was. But it freyed quite badly so overlocking before I fiddled with the neckline was a must.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn’t alter the pattern, except to reduce the front opening by 3 inches. I did not see the point in a bigger neck opening, and I didn’t embellish the front as suggested. Neither did I sew the neck band as directed. As my fabric was so temperamental I fused the interfacing onto the fabric before I cut it out, thus I was able to stop it stretching out of shape
I interfaced both the band and the band lining to keep the whole thing stable, on my second attempt. I used a very sheer fusible interfacing, but it was enough to make the fabric easy to cut so it lay along the neck edge cleanly. I over locked the edge of the neck band lining to keep down the bulk, and stitched in the ditch on the machine. I hate hand stitching, though I did hand stitch the sleeve finishes.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I will keep the pattern and sew another in the future, probably in a pretty thin cotton. I recommend it too, but plan your sewing before you start.

Conclusion: A pattern that you can adapt, dress up or down.