Friday, 24 May 2013

I'm having a bit of a crisis at the moment.  I had a crappy week at work, being told things are going to change in a way that I really don't want it to, so I decided to try and improve my lot by making stuff.  I have a chance to sell some bags at a pop up shop in my local town in July, and also a friend on a forum has offered to sell a few in her teashop.  The trouble is, I don't have anything to sell.  So I decided to make some, and not wanting to be a copywrite sneak, I bought a brilliant pattern from Sara at Sew Sweetness, a great blogger I've been following recently on twitter.  

It's the first time I've ever bought a pattern and followed through with making it - I have a couple of other patterns but so far not made those ones yet!

I got a bit frustrated though, because Sara is American, and mentioned a few different types of wadding  materials that I hadn't heard of.  I decided to use what I had, which was a heavy cotton bed covering that I had left over from a baby floor quilt.  It probably wasn't the best idea.  I ended up cutting it smaller than the pieces that were in the pattern, so that when the fabrics were sewn together the wadding didn't make it ridiculously thick.  That meant I had to quilt it onto the fabric so it stayed put, which I did with black thread on black fabric.  I can't help thinking I should have done that in a lilac or something that would have stood out.  
I also had a bit of trouble with the curve sewing, but that's my problem, not the pattern's - I hate curves!!!!!

Anyway, here is the finished item.  It took me a grand total of 12 hours to make, what with all the faffing around deciding on fabric, then unpicking etc.  

I like the pattern though, and I'm going to try and make a few more during half term - see how much quicker I get with practice, and also to try out a different type of wadding that I've thought of.  I'll let you know how it goes!

And just for fun, here's a picture of my lovely dog Zac, haring through the bluebells in the local wood with a small piece of wood.  I say small - he prefers them bigger than that....

Friday, 3 May 2013

Kaffe handbag and a vintage bequest...

I have done it!  The handbag that I wanted to make with the Kaffe Fasssett fabric that I fell in love with is finished!  
I had great fun quilting around the pattern, using 3 different styles for the 3 different circular designs.

 (my phone does ridiculous things with colour, but it's closer to the central image than the outside ones)

I found a lovely looking pattern for free after a quick search, which you can find here... 

I used the Kaffe fabric for one  part of the bag and used some contrasting/matching (not really sure which it is...?) to make the second part.  And here is the final bag...!!!

 I decided to do a different quilting pattern on each side to give it a bit of interest, along with the different colours.

I LOVE the mottled green binding that I found, which just makes the whole bag pop (the photo doesn't do it justice I'm afraid.).

I didn't follow the pattern to the letter, as I wanted a thicker and longer handle, but I think it worked very well - I'm now using it as my every day normal handbag and it works brilliantly.

The other bit of news is that my mother went to my Gran's house to clear some items out after she died a few years ago.  The house has been used by my cousins for university lodgings for a while and now it's empty again she wanted to see what was there.  And she came back with the most amazing thing.  
A bag full of scraps!  
But not just any old scraps, it's scraps of silk tie samples from my great grandfather's job where he designed ties for (amongst other people) the royal family.  I haven't had much of a chance to look at them yet, but they are in the most amazing condition considering that they are a minimum of 60 years old.  There are scraps of paper in amongst them, one with a date in the 1880s, and another piece of paper that is falling apart, at closer look is actually a photo of a man in very important military style garb.  

It's not a great photo, but just look at all the different types of patterns and colours of all of these!!!!!

I would estimate there are thousands of samples  and I have yet to quite work out what I'm going to do with them - definitely make a quilt, but size, pattern etc...  I'll take my time over those - it'll be a family heirloom quilt like no other!