Monday, 30 April 2018

Reversible dog bandanas

Along with the baby bandanas shown in an earlier post, a new item at this year's sales will be dog bandanas.  These are, like the baby bandanas, lined with fun cottons and are reversible.  Unlike the baby bandanas they have no fastening - instead they cleverly slip over a dog's collar.  I have made them in four different sizes.  Here is Duke modelling the medium size.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Kennedy bag

This new design is my own adaptation of the Kennedy bag which can be downloaded for free from Sew Sweetness.
I had to adapt the pattern because few pairs of jeans provide enough fabric for the sides of the bag.  Instead of cutting it in one piece I therefore pieced it from four rectangles - which also allowed me to use pockets.  I omitted the straps - having cut them out, they just didn't look right - but loved the little corner features.  This is a sizeable messenger-style bag which I hope will sell well.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Munyazi's motorbike business

Another business which I was able to fund through the generous donation from Ickwell Fair visitors was for Munyazi and her family.
Munyazi and her husband Chonga have three children: Simon , Jacob and Furaha.  Chonga makes and sells baskets and mats to earn a small amount of money, while Munyazi works as a casual labourer when she can find work.

Susan asked me to consider helping Muyazi and her family to set up a boda boda business, as this had been so successful for the Bembaji family.  At the end of our Easter holidays I received these photos showing the motorcycle being handed over:

I love the change which is so evident in these ladies when they receive the tools to support their families.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Reversible baby bandanas

These baby bandanas (dribble bibs) are practical and smart.  I have previously lined them with fleece, but, having been given a wonderful selection of fat quarters, decided to make this latest set reversible with fun cotton backing.  I also made great use of a new tool I bought - a press and set of plastic poppers.  It made the process of adding fastenings so much easier - I wish I had bought one years ago"

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Swimming bag

The drawstring pocketed backpacks I make (the pattern is on my tutorials page) have been a longstanding favourite at sales.

This version is designed as a swimming bag as it is lined with plastic.  Wouldn't all those pockets be useful for hairbrushes, hair bands, goggles etc?

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Bucket tote

This is another new bag design.

The pattern can be found here. I have made several versions of this and was delighted at how easily it came together.

Monday, 23 April 2018

A business for Naomi

I received a very generous and unexpected donation through a family I had met at Ickwell May Day, which I was finally able to transfer out to Kenya during the Easter holidays.  Part of this money will be used to fund a business for Naomi.

 As you can see, Naomi and her family currently live in very basic conditions.  Naomi's husband works as a casual labourer when he can get work and they have four children.

At the end of the holidays I received photos of Naomi and her children being handed the goods to start her off with her new business.  She is going to set up a roadside kiosk selling household goods.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Ombre bags

A new line for me from my sewing over the Easter holiday.

This is a tote bag of my own design which I have named the ombre bag because of the way the stripes shade from light to dark.  I will add a tutorial for this in due course - it really is very simple.  It had an added benefit of using up quite a lot of jeans - my garage is grateful for this!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Pretty little pouches

 Another addition to my restock was an old favourite - these pocket pouches.  The pattern can be found via my tutorials page.  I chose these two (among many!) to photograph because they featured such pretty pockets.  I suspect they will be among the first to sell.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Nappy bag

One of my new projects during the Easter holidays was a nappy bag.  This was a purchased pattern from Tudor Rose Patchwork
The pattern is very clear, but fairly time consuming to make so this will be one of my more expensive bags (£20). There are four external pockets (one on each end for bottles / nappies, a slip pocket on one side and a pocket with a flap on the other side) and various internal pockets.  The bag also has short and long (adjustable) handles. 
I have made 8 and am pleased with the results.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Boda boda update

At the start of the year I sent money out to Kenya to help a lady there to set up a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) business.  At the end of February I received an update on how her new business is going:
Susan told me:
After paying the rider and subtracting the cost of fuel the income per week is ksh. 2,000 (about £14).
From the two thousand shillings she uses ksh.600 (about £4) for household use i.e to buy food stuff and provide other needs at home. From the ksh. 600 per week she also buys vegetables and sells these to people in the neighborhood. She has started constructing a makeshift kiosk where she wants to set up a grocery .The remaining ksh.1,400 (about £10) that the business earns per week is deposited in her bank savings account. Her account balance as at 20th February 2018 was ksh.8,400 (nearly £60).
This came as a miracle to her because she had given up on life and she did not know that one day a good Samaritan  would put a smile on her face by giving her capital to start a business to support her family. Sidi can now provide basic needs to her family. Unlike in the past her family can now afford to take two meals per day.
From this
To this
 And that is why I do this.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

What I did on my holidays!

I have had such a lovely Easter break from school - and a fabulous time sewing as well!  Here is an overview of the items I made over the course of two weeks!
Err... yes, I did do quite a lot, didn't I?

You may be relieved to know that I did other things as well - lots of lovely walks among other things.