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!


Around the Bobbin zip and clip bag

front & side

Quite a deep bag


zip and mobile pocket


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 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.

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.


Add binding strip to top edge


Turn over and press.


Add tabs to zip ends.


Stitch zip to binding


Add any straps etc before sewing together


Sew together


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

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


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

WI Rabbit



A couple of years after The Women’s Institute was formed in Britain in 1915, the Sussex federation started making a toy rabbit and they named him Cuthbert.  He was exhibited at The National Welfare and Economy Exhibition in London, and the tradition of craft work had begun for the WI.  Another reason Cuthbert was born was because there were no imports from Germany during WW1, one of the greatest toy making countries at that time, and our children had no Steiff toys!

September 16th marks the Women’s Institutes Centenary and I am going to try my utmost to reproduce this bunny! I think he has a bit of a glint in his eye and a rather odd expression but I will post my result here, do wish me luck!

( Information taken from WI Life Sept 2015)

See you soon!

Dog Days of Summer

We are getting near the end of the glorious summer hols and a different family day out to Hatfield House Hertfordshire was on the agenda.  Perfect for me my hubby, daughter granddaughter and beagle dog, all kept busy on a long walk round the parks of this wonderful old palace.

A brief history of the house then! Still lived in by the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury, it has been in their family for 400 years.  The house is a superb example of Jacobean craftsmanship and was completed in 1611 in Elizabeth 1 reign. Although we did not go in, having a dog with us and a seven year old who would not have appreciated such things(!) the exterior of the house is built in that wonderful red brick and the details in the decorative brickwork and carvings is beautiful.

Entrance to Hatfield House from the rear

DSC00938 A few Chimneys to clean.


Hatfield from the back

A visit inside the house will have to wait till the oldies are by themselves!

The walk around the park is long enough to tire everyone out and the open parkland gives you a pleasant breathing space to enjoy.  We had a lovely picnic by the lake and sat on a carved out log for a bench with this inscription.

Bench Inscription.

Bench Inscription.

Lakeside Picnic View

Lakeside Picnic View

Louis the beagle, always likes a bit of a cool off during these moments and tried his paws at carp fishing, but no joy luckily, we would probably have been turned out if he had landed a catch.

drying off

Drying Off

It is said that the then Princess Elizabeth I heard of her accession to the throne from her father Henry VIII, whilst standing on this spot under the tree pictured below, although the original tree has now been replaced by this upstart!  Hatfield was often visited by Henry and his family.

Elizabeth I oak tree

Elizabeth I oak tree

Oak Tree Inscription

The park has an ancient collection of trees and there are several oaks that seem to survive, even though most of the trunk and branches are in decay.  Thought I would end this short item about this lovely place with these three pics. It about sums it all up!

Stone Face on a gate pillar.

Stone Face on a gate pillar.

Oak Tree face

Oak Tree face


Hatfield viewed from the Avenue and showing the latest art installation for 2015 a water rill.

Australian Miniature Artist, Bessie Golding

self miniature

DSC00866 Bess Golding


miniatures1 (1) The two miniatures on the left of the top photo were painted towards the end of Bess Goldings’ life.  My father is painted as a young boy in the bottom right miniature of the group of three.














This post is something different for me and perhaps I should have added it to the “Travel” Category as I shall be visiting Australia this year and I’m so excited about the whole event! But there is a reason why I am blogging a travel story before I travel.

One reason for our visit is that my paternal grandmother Bessie Golding lived and worked as a miniature artist in Melbourne Victoria.  I would love to find out if anyone knows of her work or even has an example hanging about somewhere! I know its a very long shot!

Bess Golding left England in 1914 with her two small children to follow her husband who had travelled ahead.  Sadly her husband died soon after she and the children arrived, and she was left to bring up her family alone. The small family lived in the Kew area of Melbourne, Victoria between the years 1914 to 1936, and moved to various addresses in Kew and Yarra whilst there.  My father attended the local Trinity School Kew.

She had many miniature commissions, and  in 1925 one from the Countess of Stradbroke in  Melbourne.  Bess also held several exhibitions of her work, one in the Oriental Hotel Collins Street alongside another artist Margaret F. McLean, and taught art at the Margaret College.

Bess Golding  made her living painting miniatures of children but was also was a good water colour artist.  Unfortunately I do not  have any of her water colours.  I know a few pieces of her work have gone through Australian sales rooms so I am really hoping I shall have some luck with this ” shot in the dark” as it were!

Since writing the above I have had a bit more information given to me by my youngest sister who has inherited my Grandmother’s artistic genes and knows far more about the subject than me!  Apparently Bess Golding was a contemporary of these three in who’s work she was especially interested: – MJ MacNally, Harold Herbert and Rowland Hilder.

I have also found this news clipping where Bessie is mentioned in paragraph 5.


Thank you


If there is anyone out there who can help, it would be amazing.