The Faces of Kerala

I have just returned from another amazing visit to Kerala India, and thought to share with you some of the fascinating faces seen in the Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum Thevara, Ernakulam.  This museum has been created on three levels each depicting different architectural styles of Kerala,  Malabar, Cochin and Travancore.  The building and its artifacts have all been rescued and it has taken 25 years to complete the project, so very worth it. Here is just a very small taste of the artifacts with a link to the Museum site at the end.  Enjoy!

 

 

Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum

Holiday fun!

It’s kind of quiet from me at the moment, no stitching getting done or words posted on the Internet! My little world is all upside down, in fact we are enjoying the delights of Kerala, India again. Such a wondrous place, but just to show you I have not completely switched off, I spotted this very smiley chap busy running up a few garments. He was very happy to give me a lovely bright smile and it made my  day!  There are just a few things I have found to stash away, will show you later!

 

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Zip and Clip Bag

Since making the rather large Long Week End bag, and I am away soon on my hols, I set to with this small zip and clip bag from a pattern by ” Around the Bobbin” .  I have had it ready for about 18 months, but I like a deadline so made it in a day.   The instructions are so clear and precise I felt that if you go wrong it is your own fault!  I needed a pretty bag to use in the evening, yet one that could hold all the bits you need when over seas.

I am happy with the result, and my only wish is that the Eiffel Tower was the right way up on the front, it is one of those fabrics that goes in all directions, so I shall live with it!

Pattern

Around the Bobbin zip and clip bag

front & side

Quite a deep bag

Front

zip and mobile pocket

inside

Passport and card slots behind a zip for safety

Elephant Bag finished!

I last posted a photo of all the pieces needed to make up the Long Week End Bag designed by Touch My Heart Designs.  I am very please with the way finished bag my version has turned out, but I thought I should add a note of warning. I found it impossible to one, match the top seams so as to make the zip opening central, and two, once the opening was made make the seam neat enough to sew smoothly.

original zip instruction

inside zip showing bulk problem

There was no way this would lie flat!

inside zip

bulky zip

Close up of messy corners!

applying bias to zip edge

Strip of 4 inch wide fabric to finish zip opening edge

To get a better outcome and make it easy with no corners to sew, I resorted to binding the zip edge, and  sewing the tabs on each end of the zip as instructed in the the pattern.  But then instead of them lying inside I made them the zip extension and treated the tabs like the zip.

fold over bias

stitch in the ditch

Stitch in the ditch from the right side

applying tabs to zip

finish the Zip ends with tabs as instructed originally

attach zip

Make the tab ends part of the zip top.

sew zip almost to the end

One side in!

The only thing to remember is that the outside and the lining of this bag are made separately, so do not sew the zip or the  strip right to the end.  When you come to join the end panels to the lining and outer you will have to fiddle a bit to make sure you can sew each end panel in individually. It was impossible to photograph this clearly I am afraid, but you should be able to follow if you think it through.  You want the outer and lining only to be joined by the zip as described in the original instructions.zip sewn in

I found it easiest to start sewing the side panels from the top and down each side.

attaching bag sides

bag zip and sides join

Sew the sides in from the zip top down .

My only other amendment was to make the shoulder tabs from the webbing off cuts, if you have any of course.  It just saved time making up fabric ones and is just as strong and professional looking.

I enjoyed this sewing experience, but it was one of those that you HAD to finish quickly or you could get disheartened, now I just want to use my new bag.  I hope my solution has helped others!

strap tabs

I used webbing for the strap tags.

Long Weekend Bag Or Elephant Bag.

I have spent a most enjoyable Sunday with a small group of  new sewing pals, on this project, a Long Weekend Bag by ” Touch My Heart Designs “.  My first attempt at a real complex bag, having only made tote and beach bags before, it certainly is a steep learning curve!  It took me from 10.00 to 16.00 to cut out and treat each piece with either interfacing or foam stabiliser to give it shape.

Just wondering whether all these 22 pieces, some of which still have to be cut out, will fit together into the very useful and attractive travelling bag shown in the photo on the pattern, hmmmmm?

It was very interesting to note that one of us totally ignored the instructions and left the session with a complete bag!  Mind you there were no pockets or pocket zips, as it was pointed out that with no pockets you cannot lose things in them.   Think that may be a very good point.  I am returning tomorrow evening for two more hours of concentrated effort, perhaps it will look more like a bag then!

 

My Elephant Bag under construction!

Long Weekend Bag by Touch My Heart Designs

New Easter Bunny

I want to introduce you to my new little rabbit, finished today.  I have great fun making these soft creatures, and they are so easy to look after, I can even leave them home alone while I go on long holidays.   I need two more animals  and think I may try a Mr Fox, but will he and the rabbit be good companions in my little crafty bolt hole, hmm.

 

Spectacle Cases R and D for SUGs!

For the past two weeks I have been sweating in my little garret room designing and sewing spec cases!  Oh my goodness I hear you groan, poor thing she needs a life!  Well I am a bit picky and get so enthused in my own little world that little things like this take over.  That’s the beauty of retirement, you can work on what ever you like as long as you get satisfaction.

I am at the satisfaction stage right now and my little Etsy shop may have some new goodies soon if I can get the finished articles done now.

Here are some pics showing the morph from original to (nearly) finished spectacle case.  Now do you call them glasses cases, spectacle cases or reading glass cases?

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Happy with the basics, now to choose fabrics and practice writing with a sewing machine!

I have been guided by my “business manager” that modern men don’t use such fripperies as these, so I am going to offer them only to us fairer sex and personalise them with name or initials if it is desired.

Back to the garret then and see you soon. Happy sewing everyone.

 

 

A New Year “Fit Bit” bag!

Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t joined the new year flight to the local gym, the only exercise for me is my foot on the sewing machine pedal! But my fitter other half was very lucky to have been given a Fit Bit to spur him on to even greater lengths. Each time he disappears to the gym, on his bike most times, I grab the chance to get to my machine. This morning though, he was gathering his strength with a lie in and I remembered him saying he could do with a little bag to put his Fit Bit in. Once I had worked out to what he was referring I reckoned it was just the job for Sewn Up Gifts. Rushed down stairs for a cup of tea and set to!

Here is the result, made in an hour just in time for the next gym trip!

I made this from a sturdy cotton moleskin. As it is thick fabric I didn’t line it and it does not fray but still my trusty old Bernina only just made it through the layers.  You can make this from scrap fabric and any size depending on your zip collection.  You can always cut nylon zips down to size remember.

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Add binding strip to top edge

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Turn over and press.

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Add tabs to zip ends.

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Stitch zip to binding

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Add any straps etc before sewing together

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Sew together

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Good to go!

I can report this little project a great success, I would have liked to have added an outside pocket for any other bits and pieces but I did not want to risk an expensive repair bill at the sewing machine shop!
Happy New Year everyone!

My Australian Adventure

My feet have just touched ground after a long anticipated journey to Australia, a country that I have always heard so much about through out my life.  My father grew up there and returned to England in his twenties. I believe he always wanted to return but never had the opportunity, even for a holiday.

As an anniversary and birthday celebration my long suffering husband and I embarked on this voyage of discovery!  I had always intended to see where my father had lived and went to school in Melbourne, and I was welcomed to his old school, Trinity Grammar, Kew,  Melbourne, and taken on a tour of the old building just before the original assembly hall and class rooms were replaced by more user friendly new ones.  Timely or what?!

Earlier in the year I posted about my Grandmothers art work in Melbourne Victoria  Read here.   and I asked if anyone in Australia had a painting of hers, well I was in luck!

Lo and behold I was contacted on my way out, by a very kind art lover who said his family had bought a water colour by Bess Golding in the 1920’s and it had hung on the family home wall until the 70’s and still remains in the family.  It was lovely news, especially as it is hanging on the wall next to one of  her contemporaries Australian water colour artist,  Harold Herbert, who she much admired.

Everyone was so kind and helpful through out this personal expedition, and had time to spend helping me find a bit of my past.  I have fallen in love with Australia, but whether I will ever return is doubtful,  even with modern travel the journey is long but worth it!IMG_1143