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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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?
Pegging a rug using a hessian backing and fabric scraps.
Bottle Gift Bags.
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.
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!
Addicted to sewing since the 70’s – Sewing Blogger since 2013 – Enjoying a #RTWFAST and Creator of #DESIGNINDECEMBER since 2015 – Designing Handbags and Accessories and PDF Sewing Patterns for bags and accessories at #LANYOSHANDMADE since 2018 – Lover of vegan, sustainable, repurposed and up-cycled projects – I want to try everything, learn everything and talk about it with you!