Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Happy New Year

I don't know about anyone else but for me, two weeks away from the sewing machine and I was itching to sew something. Anything.

So it was off to a flying start with a new school bag for Daughter No.1 The one I made here did not last longer than the autumn term. By the end of it, it had the contents of an ink pen cartridge over the base and a banana that was squashed to oblivion by the amount of books rammed into it.

I needed to make something more durable and I hope I have come up with it.

I am really pleased with how it turned out and I have to say that although the instructions were spread over four pages, it really didn't take too long to make. I even managed to solve the problem of fusible fleece. There is none available on the Little Island so I just blasted the ozone layer with some temporary adhesive spray and that seemed to do the trick.
Daughter No.1 chose the fabrics herself: Amy Butler Love on the outside and Anna Marie Horner Innocent Crush on the inside - both home decor weight. If I had been making it for myself I'd have had AMH on the outside and AB inside but Daughter No.1 was having none of that.

And look at this please....A ZIP.

I soooo wanted to skip the zip part. Zips scare me to death. Zips make me feel inadequate.
But Daughter No.1 has a habit of losing things, so I figured a zip compartment could keep all coins, calculator, pens etc in one safe place.
So I've graduated from Zip School. I may not have achieved an 'A' grade but I am happy with my satisfactory pass.

I used the 'Messenger Bag' pattern from this book:

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It goes into just the right amount of detail on bag making. So not only can you make the bag patterns in the book but you can also use the different elements/style of a bag to make your own. If you don't want to buy the book but are interested in making a Messenger Bag, there is a very good, free tutorial for one here.

I see more bags in my future, especially as Father Christmas gave me this book the other week when he was passing by:
Pure eye candy as well as being very informative at the same time.

I bought the fabrics for the bag from Hawthorne Threads. I like them for two reasons.
  • Great selection of reasonably priced modern fabrics
  • but more importantly...
  • You can pay with Paypal.

Because twice a year I have a good clear out of my daughters' wardrobes. The 'seen better days stuff' goes to the recycling bank, the 'still got a lot of wear left in it' goes to my niece but the 'looks as if it has been hardly worn' I sell on Ebay. I have even been known to sell the Christmas presents that my mother-in-law gives me on Ebay but that's a whole other blog post ;-)

Anyway, in November I had one of these clear-outs, listed a whole bunch of stuff and seven days later I had £180 sitting in my Paypal account. I'm not a huge Ebay buyer but I do like to buy fabric. So suddenly, I can go shopping here and here because they both take Paypal and it doesn't then feel like I have spent money wantonly. It may be weird logic but it works well for me. It also disciplines me to wash, iron, photograph, list, answer questions (some inane), pack, post the clothes. Oh, and worry they have got to their end destination and positive feedback is left... because this all translates into 'free' fabric for me.

Which means this:

Technically, sort-of, in a roundabout way, is a FREE bag!


  1. This seems to be a really good start for the new year!
    Greetings from germany

  2. I love it!!! So pretty. And I love your chatter, you always make me smile. I've missed you :-)
    Also love your new header picture!

    (p.s. thanks for the link to my tute- very sweet)

  3. Beautiful bag! I hate zippers too. I rarely get them right the first time.

    I love the ebay idea. Too bad I have 4 girls. NOTHING is sell-able once it goes through all of them. :)

    Happy New Year!

  4. Gorgeous bag. I have the AB Book too and really want to try something from it this year. (love your new header too)

  5. Great bag - looks like you did a fantastic job! Like your thinking about 'free stuff'!


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