Friday, 31 July 2015

A sweet makeup case for teacher, what we did on our holidays and win win wins!!!

Unfortunately I'm not getting much done at the moment. 

Its the school holidays, which of course means I'm either at work, or looking after mine, and possibly other peoples children. I cannot do ANYTHING with children in the house, as I'm either cleaning up their mess, cooking their food, pumping up paddling pools or similar, or responding to 'muuuuuuum' or 'Lyynnnnnnn' followed by 'can I have this/Joeys hitting me/its my turn on the tablet/can you help me with this' and so on...

Anyway. I did get a superquick makeup bag made for Joeys teacher who has been great with him this year. These are so quick and easy and look much more professional if you box the corners. 

My mum sent me the external fabric which has a linen feel. The lining came from Japan (I had an etsy spree). The 'handmade' zip pull is from Emmaline Bags (also available from Bobbin Girl in the UK)

In other news, we've done our best with the british weather. Some days were good - like when the Huntingdon churches laid on this beach in the town centre, as well as free entertainment and food. It was very windy, but the sun came out.

We have of course, been to the woods. Hinchingbrooke Park is always a good option for kids.

They have cheap inflatables and fun stuff outside the garden centre too. 5 quid for endless bouncy castles, trampolines, and boating? ok then.

There was of course our camping holiday last weekend in Norfolk, which we cut short, because it rained endlessly.
Made more bearable because of a) the outdoor pool right next to our tent which the kids loved even though it wasn't that warm and b) being able to meet up with my lovely friends Anna and Nic and their spouses and children - I still have no plans to attempt camping again any time soon. 
Give me a hotel room any day :)

vintage tea room in Swaffham

Dressing like an Egyptian in Swaffham museum


In the tent. 

Little Egyptians

Oh and I nearly forgot - I've been winning some prizes lately too!!
I sadly didn't get to go to the British Belles picnic in the park, but I did win this lovely combo in their raffle:

The Bag of the Month prize winners have been selected.
Sadly I didn't win any of the prizes over the 6 months - although my vinyl companion bag was a finalist for the January prize - see…/2015-finalists-bag-o….

However, I did randomly win a prize for my small companion…/1630776…/in/pool-bagofthemonthclub/  which was a $50 gift certificate for (guess what they sell?!!) - which is a huge yey (as long as the delivery, customs and handling fees aren't larger than that LOL)

Well done to all the winners. Go have a look in the album at everyones entries:

Finally, I  won a bundle of beautiful fabric from the Sewing Directory!!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Bagmaking: The Seneca Creek Mint Glitter Flamingo bag!

There's a lovely little independent shop in Huntingdon called the Parsley Pot, which sadly I don't think its going to be open much longer. The back of the shop is now empty and they are selling off display goods.

Amongst the shelving and jewellery bits was a large roll of mint green glittery fabric. I don't know exactly what it is - its not like vinyl as its textured, and thinner (more deco weight) but I think its made of glitter thread as its like its woven in. 

I didn't buy it the first time. I went home. And I mulled on it. And a couple of weeks later I went back in.

It was still there, and it was marked at twenty quid for 3 metres, so I bought it.  I have all sorts of plans for it!

This is the first incarnation. I've had my eye on this 100% cotton flamingo fabric for a while, and I thought it would go lovely with the mint, so I printed out the May Bag of the Month Pattern

This is a sweet little convertible bag which can be worn over the shoulder, or around the waist if preferred.

It has an inner zipped pocket and and outer pocket with a magnetic snap.

The buckle is just for show!

I really like this combination, and I really love that glitter and I already have its next incarnation planned!

Sadly my Pfaff has broken again though, so I'm using the backup machine. Its quite hard work when you're used to precision and quiet, but beggars can't be choosers :)

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Bagmaking: The Manhattan Mamma

This is a bag of the month pattern, due for general release tomorrow from Emmaline Bags.

As soon as I saw it, I knew the fabric I wanted to use. This harbour scene from Makower.

Teamed with this Essex Yarn in nautical, and a busy bit of chevron for the inside.

This is such a lovely pattern.  There is something very aesthetically pleasing about the curve of the flap and the sides from the curved dart. I love the contrast panel at the front with its pocket, and the big zip pocket at the back. (There is piping on the panel, but you can't really see it here)

Mostly I love the fact that the flap opens to reveal another stash space!
You can make a zipper case or eyeglasses case to velcro in here, but I chose not to. (ok, I ran out of fabric - these things happen when you have the fabric before the pattern)

There is a slot pocket on the inside as well, and plenty of room inside the lightly padded body.

Overall, top marks for this pattern which is comprehensive and easy to follow. If I didn't have a massive list of 'to-do's then I'd make another immediately!

Monday, 29 June 2015

Bagmaking - The Motherload Tote (Cozy Nest Designs)

I was asked by Janelle of Cozy Nest designs, to pattern test her as yet unnamed sports tote (it has since been named!!)

When I saw the design, I absolutely said yes. 

I joined a gym a month ago and have been using an entirely impractical Cath Kidston tote, which is too small and only has one little pocket.

This baby has an outer zipped pocket, an inner zipped pocket. It has dual sections for your trainers/kit or you cossie/towels etc etc. It has a drinks bottle sling, and there is also the option to add straps to sling your yoga mat /towel underneath ( I didn't add these)

You can add a triangle clip to hang your car keys/sunnies from if you wish, and you can add anything else you want (I added this tiny pocket on the front for my gym card which I'm always losing - and it also fits my padlock)

I wanted something bright and cheery, so I went for this hello tokyo fabric on the outside, and a pre-laminated cotton on the inside because I wanted water resistant.

I used Lamifix on the outer cotton, which is an iron on laminate. It works, but it looks horribly creased all the time. I think I'd only use this on small projects in the future. The pre-laminated stuff is vastly superior looks-wise. 

However as this bag is for my personal use, I'm not too fussed! Its so flipping useful. I made the bottle sling slightly larger to accommodate my own bottle.

Sarahs instructions are always clear. I was slightly confused due to using directional fabric, however she has since added extra orientation details to her pattern to make this part easier to understand. This is not a beginners bag, but an intermediate sewer should tackle it easily. 

I also didn't make my top zip recessed. This is due to the bulk of having laminates on both in interior as well as exterior as well as interfacing. Also my seam allowances top and bottom were slightly larger than they should have been as the width of lamifix didn't quite reach (another reason not to use it on larger bags)

See more and purchase via CozyNestDesign here 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Bagmaking - Ramona bag

A couple of weeks back I made a bag for the eldest daughter of a friend of mine as it was her 8th birthday (see bottom photo)

Well its her little sisters birthday coming up, so she's also getting one.  

This time its mermaids and whales and fishes.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Bagmaking: Little zipped pouches and Bunting

I am furiously sewing at the moment to try and get all requests and orders done.

Below is a set of three zipped pouches that I did after someone saw my Ramona bag and asked for something in that fabric. I had just enough to make these. The first is pencil case sized and the other two are crayon/makeup and coin sized.

The fabric is wee wander from Michael Miller

I also agreed to make some bunting for the school fair. Thank goodness someone pre-cut these or I'd be even more grumpy about it than I already am. It was sooo tedious, and impossible to get neat points because the fabric is quite chunky. Bleugh. Done though.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Bagmaking: The Companion Carpet Bag - Vinyl & Cats!

Ta da!!

I have finally finished this commission. It was a real labour of love. Emma, who I made it for, provided me with this amazing cat fabric. You can get this on ebay. It frays like a b*gger so I had to use a LOT of fray stop.

She wanted a doctors style bag and she wanted vinyl. I said I had some turquoise vinyl which would probably go well, and we went from there.

The sewing pattern I used was the companion carpet bag by Mrs H (not yet available unless you're in the bag of the month club).
You can see other examples of this bag here  I've made it twice before in Cath Kidston fabric, but this one is the larger size.

A LOT of work went into this. I machine quilted the vinyl, and I also hand quilted parts of the cats on the front and side so they would 'pop'. I made the handles (the rivets aren't quite straight - lets gloss over that) and you can't see the cute little nickel bag feet on the bottom here.

There is an inner zip pocket and some slip pockets too. 

The stripey tabs are to make opening it easier, as it has a large snap frame in there. 

I cut the heart out of the vinyl before sewing the cat in there and using the polka binding. I used soft and stable foam to keep it a bit more rigid.

I'm really pleased with the way this turned out. Its a unique bag thats for sure!