Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Pockets on a string

I introduced this line this year, producing a number of variations. They have sold extremely well, and I seem to be remaking them on a very regular basis.


 This set all have button closures.  I make the straps of varying lengths (though, of course, I never seem to have the exact length and style required!)  They are great to hold just a phone and a bit of money, and all have at least one back pocket as part of the purse.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Penguins strike again

These have been a popular line.  It is fun playing with the different eyes, and I love using fleece for their tummies.
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Monday, 29 December 2014

Drawstring pocket backpacks

This has proved to be one of my most popular designs.
It makes me smile to see these sold, and I always show customers the photo I treasure of four of the Casuarina House children with theirs.  I made 24 for them for their Christmas presents in 2012.  I have it on good authority that they are still using them on a daily basis as their school bags.

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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Crossbody backpack




Although quite a challenging bag, this has also been enjoyable to make, for a variety of reasons.
It is a large bag, so has been made from what I call "found fabric".  This is fabric remade from scraps cut for other projects.  A common source is the ends of strips - used for zip facings, flower bags, bindings etc.  I now keep the ends cut from pieces which are too long and piece these to make long strips, then join the edges of these to make fabric,  This technique was used for the first three bags in these pictures.  The final bag was made from a "rail fence" arrangement of these pieces.  I also have some bags made from crazy patched scraps.
Inside, the bags have a selection of pockets.  This does make them more time-consuming to create, but is worthwhile.  There is a long zip round one side and the base of the bag, and an adjustable strap.  The lining and strap are generally from my stock of Kenyan fabrics.
These have sold well, and I am currently restocking.
Shared at


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Peg / stall holder aprons

Having had several comments on the apron I made for myself for shows, I decided to have another go at making them to sell.  Those I made before Christmas sold incredibly quickly, so they are on my list for remaking.
I used the backs of two pairs of jeans for these, and so each apron has 6 pockets (there is a centre seam).  I find this a really useful arrangement; I used one side for my "personal" stuff (my money for drinks etc, my phone and keys) and the other for stall stuff - my business cards, takings and change, my list for remakes, a pen, etc).  I keep one internal pocket for notes, which is very secure (though not always easy to find the note I want in case of change!)
These are a little time consuming to make, due to the need to hand sew the binding, but they are quite fun to do in front of the TV.
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Friday, 26 December 2014

Multipatch bag - chickens

I really must do a tutorial for these bags. I won't make it into a New Year's resolution though - it's a sure fire way to ensure something does not happen, in my book!
This has proved to be a very popular style of bag.  I plan, in the new year, to look at making it with a zip on as well, since zipped bags have been a frequent request.  I can do zips, but I prefer not to!  However, I am keen to maximise sales, so I really will make an effort.
The bags are quick to sew up, though the embroidery can take a while.  Thanks to Hobbycraft, I have a stock of co-ordinated fat quarters which lend themselves to this style of bag.  The rooster applique was popular, so I intend to remake it in other colourways.
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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Flower bags



These were made a long time ago now, and have long since sold.  I do have a new stock which I am in the process of making, however, as this has proved to be such a popular design.  I am making it in a variety of lengths - and one of the extremely long ones has proved to be ideal for me to carry my rails in!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Embroidered panel bags: Wine!

No, not a wine bag.  Chocolate may be one of the recurring themes of my bags, but wine is another one.
I saw this slogan fairly recently and loved it.  Having sold out of most of my "wine" themed bags at Stony Stratford (thanks largely to a single customer who bought three as presents!) I have been restocking.

"Any time is the right time for a glass of wine".
So (nearly) true!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Money / tool apron

I have one of these which I use for my money at events, and find it indispensable.  It is made from two jean backs and so has two sets of jean pockets, one inside the other, with two further pockets formed by the central seam.  I use one side for money and one side for my possessions (phone, keys etc).   The outer pockets hold my pens and notepads and business cards.  I feel this keeps the cash I take very secure, and it doesn't get in my way.
I have had a few comments and queries at recent events and so decided to make some more in case other stall holders would like to buy them.  It strikes me they would also make good tool aprons or even gardening aprons.

I took this and one other apron with me this weekend; both sold!  Another remake needed!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

New drawstring bag

This pattern has been adapted from one I found in a magazine.
I took the shape from the pattern, but the dimensions were determined by the curtain samples I had to hand and wanted to use.  In the pattern the fabric came from jelly rolls.  I cut my strips to 2 1/2" as in the pattern, and used the full width of the curtain samples.  I ended up with 7 strips so cut 7 strips of denim to match and then pieced, keeping the curtain samples in the same orientation throughout.  I am pleased with the effect and they are quite different to any other bags I have made.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Penguin phone cases - massive remake!

I sold out of these so did a huge remake.  This time I have made various sizes; phones seem to be getting bigger rather than smaller and I have tried to accommodate this.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Bletchley Market

This seems like it was a very long time ago now.  It was a wonderful event, and a very profitable one too.  On the back of it I have booked a stall at their Christmas Lights market.
 The event took place on a warm September Saturday down the main street in Bletchley.  Although I was told I was not in one of the prime positions, to my mind it was ideal as it was not too far from the (free) car parking, and close to the children's attractions.  I was outside a cafe which provided fab bacon butties and great cups of tea.  Stallholders and public alike were friendly and, judging by the footfall, the event had been very well advertised.  It has made me consider attending more market events.
Particular thanks to the lady from the British Heart Foundation who brought me a bag of jeans!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Piggy bag mark 2

The first version of this bag sold rapidly, so it went on the list for a remake.  I'll be interested to see if this one sells as quickly.  To my mind, it is an ideal Christmas present.  It makes me smile whenever I see it. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Embroidered panel bags: A reminder

The simplest things in life are often the things most precious.

Very true, as many of the residents of Utange, Kenya, show in their every day lives.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Embroidered panel bags: Keep calm

The "Keep calm" theme seems to continue, and I have been collecting a variety of embroidered slogans on this theme.  This is one of the newer ones:
"
"Keep calm and eat ice cream."
Indeed!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Applique bag - cupcakes

This, like the dogs, uses the vibrant spots fat quarter pack.  I teamed each fabric with a scrap piece of plain material, and chose white for the applique thread rather than my usual black.  The effect is quite striking.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Embroidered panel bags: Cats

I used to think people who liked pets were either "cat people" or "dog people".  I now believe you can be both at the same time.
I love the slogan on this bag, and it does ring true.
"Cats don't have owners - they have servants."


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Applique bag - pink hearts

A return to another applique design I have used previously for these bags, but this time I used the Hobbycraft design pack fabrics.
It gives quite a different feeling.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Mini-Belinda version 3

This, like the first of my mini Belinda bags, is lined with fabric from Mombasa. 
The stripes are used as Helen's original design in this version, creating a strong pattern. 


Friday, 3 October 2014

Embroidered panel bags: Sound advice

I love this slogan:
"Always follow your heart".
So true.
It seems to have particular appeal when bought as a gift.


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Applique bag - playful cats

This was a variation on the applique style.  In this case the embroidery came from a pack of 12 different cartoon cat poses.  Rather than complicating it too much with lots of different fabrics, I settled on two.  In the shop, neither of them were especially "catty" - one was flowers and the other a batik style pattern - but somehow they appealed for this project.  I was so pleased with the resulting bags!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Embroidered panel bags: a warning

Yes, another warning!
This is another very popular bag.  I have to say, it does make me smile.

Two different colour ways and two bag styles.
"I can only please one person each day.
Today is not your day and tomorrow doesn't look good either."