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?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

DSC02109

Add binding strip to top edge

DSC02111

Turn over and press.

DSC02110

Add tabs to zip ends.

DSC02112

Stitch zip to binding

DSC02113

Add any straps etc before sewing together

DSC02114

Sew together

DSC02116

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

McCalls 6658 My Monday Make!

McCall's M6658

McCall’s M6658

I seem to be having a few pink moments lately, glad its not blue ones!  Am chuffed with my Monday make, just 4 pieces to cut and 5 seams plus hems, what could be easier.  Fleece is so forgiving, I cut the sleeves out separately and forgot to turn over the second, so I had 2 right sleeves, oops!  But I managed to fudge it as my sewing   mentor used to say!

Anyhow this top is right on cue as its rained all day and I waited in for a ” consignment” as I was promised, but of course zilch! So this success cheered me up and will warm me up tomorrow!

Happy sewing everyone

Lindy

Vogue 7055 Sandra Betzina Dress Pattern

V 7055 Dress V 7055 Neck V 7055 sideV 7055 Pattern CoverI am going to meet up with my sisters soon, in London, and I am getting so excited as we don’t often get the chance to get together with our other halves too!  Felt a new frock was called for and just because it will be October and probably freezing cold, I wanted something bright!  Well frocks in the shops (oh that rhymes!) are so dull in colour, or for the young things so I went scurrying through my wadges of dress patterns and found this vintage little number.  I made my first version in the naughties for work and now I am free I have this version!  

Sandra says to use a moderate stretch knit for this “easy” category dress.  But as ever, I can never find the exact requirements.  So I ordered this lovely VERY stretchy jersey knit from Croft Fabrics UK who have some lovely dress materials to order on line. I recommend them!

Anyhow I decided to self line the front top and use stay tape around the neck edge and along the shoulder seam.  This will prevent the whole affair sagging down to my ankles, and give more substance to the dress.  It also gets around the very stretchiness of the jersey.  At least that is the thought.  The instructions also advise to just turn over the neck edge to finish, I don’t think this looks as nice or “finished” as using self fabric to bias bind the neck edge and then top stitch through. Just me perhaps, but if you have time its worth the extra effort.

I also used a stretchy interfacing on the placket to prevent it sticking out from the line of the dress.  I am so pleased with the result and it is so easy to wear!  No zip to worry about and minimal crease, so I can just throw it in my case and not worry!

I must add, though, that without the overlocker and  coverstitch sewing machines, the whole thing would have been much more complicated.  As it was, the sleeves are inserted flat and there are only 3 pattern pieces, even the front and back are cut out in a single layer so no trying to get the fold of the fabric exactly on line.

Now whats the next thing in my dressmaking list of makes, I have loads of fabric burning holes in me!

The weekend flew “past” !

I was all set for a busy weekend at the sewing machine, but no, the sun came out instead.  The garden, or rather undergrowth, was calling me and my t’other half to come out and cut it back before winter.  Not a small task, hacking through two years growth and thinking I wish I was doing something more creative than destructive!  Anyhow on the last of 3 three runs to the recycle centre with the 7th huge builders sack of debris there was a rumble in the jungle.  Over our heads flew 5 Spitfires and a Hurricane giving us a huge “Well done” for our efforts.  They were obviously going home after a very busy weekend celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  What a sight they were and they brought a lump of emotion to my throat.

All about Spitfires

Back to the sewing machine then.  I went to one of my sewing groups on Friday to see how to ” Whack and Stack”.  Well it was not what I thought, probably a relief all round,  but a random way of cutting and piecing patchwork.  I am not sure I am now a fan of the method but perhaps it was just the choice of cottons I used?  I put the sashing and border on this morning and think it may suit a summer beach house or the garden shed, neither of which I have!

I also made a piggy handbag for a little girl, and I have put it in my shop on Etsy.  I made one for my great niece for her birthday in August and it seems it was a hit, so I hope others like it too.  Was fun to make and the pattern shows other animals to sew up so perhaps I will make those too.

Pictures say more than words so here you go!

Stack and Whack lap quilt top

Stack and Whack Lap quilt top

DSC01260

Little Miss Piggy Bag

Cuthbert the WI Rabbit – Part 2

Hi again

I have finished Cuthbert Rabbit on time for September 16th the WI Centenary Celebration, as I explained in my earlier post.      Cuthbert

Original Cuthbert

The Original Cuthbert

 

I hope you like my version of Cuthbert, he has plastic coated wire in his legs and body, so that he can bend, with help!  He is a craft item and not suitable for children though.  I think things were a lot more relaxed in 1917 with regards to toys and safety issues!

I am going to add him to the raffle prizes and hope he attracts lots of attention!

See you soon and thanks for reading!

DSC01240 DSC01239 DSC01242