Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Work in progress: A scrappy sorry

It's been many moons since I last posted a "work in progress" Wednesday report, but since I've had a little stitching break, I need a list and I hope this might get me back in the swing of things.. here's what's going on at the sewing machine.

Completed projects

Hmm. Nothing new that I haven't blogged about before.  That's worrying!

Work in progress

1) A bag by me!
Having been inspired by the talented Judith from Rags to Bags and The Bag Making Bible, I've decided to have a crack at designing my own bag.  Here is progress so far on what is turning into a rather large satchel/tote/baby bag.  Hopefully you can see what I'm trying to do here...

I've made and constructed the exterior pieces from furnishing fabric with quilting cotton decoration, including two end sections with lined and gathered pockets. The main body and ends have an ultra heavy weight interfacing on them so they are quite stiff (man, getting those curves through the machine was a fight!). I'm planning on adding a little strap with a snap fastener on it and I've pleated the ends so they sit nicely....but here's where my problem arises:

I was going to do a single wide messenger bag strap from end to end, but now I've pleated those ends, I don't know how to attach it.  I might have to go with two looped straps, one on either side, but then it's not really a messenger or a baby bag...and I know from experience that one strap to loop over the buggy handles is the way to go with baby bags!    So any advice would be much appreciated!  Should I go with the double handle (like a shopper) or do you know any way of neatly attaching a single handle to those ends without losing the pleats...?  At the moment, I'm sticking my head in the sand and making the lining!

2) A scrappy sorry
Ok, here's the tale.  My lovely Mum picked me up some fabric in a charity shop recently.  Here it is, she paid all of a pound for it. 

This Jones family are known for speaking their minds, so I'm afraid to say I was a little sniffy about it. "Oh, thanks."  "Erm....Not sure I'll use it, not my sort of thing" "It's a bit twee" "Was it curtains?" etc etc.

With hindsight, that was a bit mean.  Mum had found me some fabric that she thought I might be able to fussy cut little bits out of, especially the little birds in the borders. which is a good idea.

So today I'm trying to prove myself wrong and apologise to Mum in one go.  I'm making her a mat for the centre of her kitchen table. 

Here is the top, made with linen and other scraps from my scrap drawer, and of course fussy cut birds from the aforementioned fabric!  Since this picture, this has been quilted with two layers of cotton wadding (for heat protection) and a matching mid-blue linen backing. I'm hoping to bind it tonight and get it in the post to her....sorry Mum (she says sheepishly) xxxx

3) Sliced Coins quilt and Bee Europa flower quilt - on hold.

Not started yet (in no particular order, this list is worrying!)
  • Present for Izzy - 1st birthday party this weekend!
  • Skirt for Olive
  • Dining room chair cushions for my brother
  • Bag for Nikki, using grey denim and a fab fish print that she's chosen
  • Trousers for Matthew, next size up
  • A whole heap of stock for a craft fair in November
  • Plus top-ups for the shops and Claire's Christmas market
  • Laura's Star Bee Blocks for September (Brit Bee)
  • Johanna's tree block for September (Bee Europa)
  • Bench cushion for Sian
  • Cushions for Holly
  • More makes for Felix, she's my best advertisement!
I think I could go on, but I'm scaring myself :)

I'm linking up with Lee, visit her linky party for more huge lists and lots of inspiring projects.



  1. I'm really liking how your bag is looking, can't wait to see that done! And your mat for your mum will be fab when you're finished. (I think I might have had the same reaction, lol! But you've made great use of it!) Hope she likes it :-)

  2. The bag is coming on well and that's a lovely mat for your mum :)

  3. Eek! That's a very long list! I seem to have signed up for a lot of stuff lately too, I find myself having to get up early cos my head is buzzing with all that I need to do.

  4. Aw, I totally get saying something sort of snappy to my mom and then regretting it. Your apology table mat is really cute!

    The only thing that came to mind was making Y-shaped straps on the ends and then joining them with a single strap across. I've never done that on a bag, though, so have no idea if it would look silly. :}

  5. Stumped on the handles - I had a Skip Hop that attached to the buggy with clips if you want to go this route.

    You are a bad daughter with great taste!

  6. I like to view fabric that's not to my taste as a challenge. I think you've risen to that challenge very well!

  7. Crikey that's a list and a half!
    Don't forget to add a bag of maltezers
    and a large glass of chardonnay to
    the bottom

  8. Love your bag. Would the single long strap ends fit inside the pleats? Also how about the additional option of 2 short handles? Then a yummy mummy could use it on the pram as well as a stylish handbag! So glad you found your recycling creativity and came up with a lovely way to use your mum's donation! Working with recycled materials forces you to give those creative muscles much more of a workout! Jxo

  9. Afraid I had the same reaction to the fabric your mum bought, but love the apology table mat!

  10. Yay!!! A list that makes mine look tolerable!!!
    Well done on the fussy cutting fabric from your mum, do some more of the animals as centre panels for kids cuchion covers or something. Keep it up anyway.
    Re bag - 2 options I can think of. Option 1 Do the two handles, but with a sturdy wide velcro'd wrap bit on one to join them into two. Option 2 Accessorise with a little silverware... ie attach two 3" thin tabs to each end, with metal clips sewn onto ends, which would then attach to the abruptly tapered ends of your wide single strap that now has a D ring on each end... You could follow the theme by adding a metal clip on a tab inside the bag (for hooking purse or key finder) etc etc....
    Whaddya reckon, any use?

  11. Sometimes I scare myself too, making lists like that. Don't worry, soon you'll be done with all those things and making a new list! Haha. The bag is gorgeous! I would do two handles, though I don't know enough about bags to be sure that is the right decision :)

  12. The bag looks great Ceri! Love that pearl necklace print, and it goes so well with the greens. Love that colour scheme, very autumnal!

  13. I would make a pinafore dress for Felix out of that lovely blue curtain fabric. Then you can put tops and jumpers underneath for warmth, I used a lot of curtain fabric for my girls clothes, as the designs were more fun!
    I can just see the bodice in the lighter turquoise blue and the bottom of the skirt in the dark. Gorgeous!

  14. I love the imagination you've got to make the mat, I'm sure it'll go down well, maybe with a bottle of wine??

  15. Wow, you made the twee fabric sing! Total rebirth!

  16. Wow, you made the twee fabric sing! Total rebirth!