Bags & Accessories

Mother’s day make #1

I saw a new panel of drawn animals and bought it thinking I would add them to a quilt I am currently making for my daughter. However, I also fancied having a go at the reverse applique technique and decided to use one of the panels to make a bag for my mother-in-law – she loves foxes and squirrels.

The main bag is made from a soft denim and I used a product called Odicoat to waterproof the panel and to help protect it from stains.

I added a zipped pocket and lobster clasp for keys inside. I’m pleased with how it turned out and as there are more animals on the panel I might make a few more bags.

My mother-in-law loved the bag.


Flamingo Tote Bag

A tote bag I made without using a specific design template. I am particularly proud of this one and how it turned out. I used Irish linen to line the bag and included an internal zip pocket and a d ring to hook keys on to.

I struggled to find webbing that suited the fabric but eventually chose the cerise pink. I think I should have gone for a light blue perhaps as I think the pink dominates it a bit too much. 

Previously listed for sale on Etsy but I decided to give it to a friend and colleague as her leaving present as I wanted someone I knew to enjoy it. I hope she does, along with her new job.

I took photos with the intention of creating a tutorial to publish, hopefully I will get around to this one day. 



I heard about Beth Clarke‘s idea via Twitter for people to send her hearts to give out to people following the Manchester bomb attack.  I just had to do my bit.  I hope that no one else will have to experience anything like this.

So from the Midlands I am sending 22 hearts, which my husband and mum helped to make, with thoughts and love for those victims. It’s lovely to feel a part of the healing process and to feel connected in some small way. 

Life is so precious. Don’t waste it. 

Home furnishings

Quick cushion

For my mum for mother’s day I literally threw together this cushion cover. She recently moved house and chucked out a lot of stuff in the process including her old Singer Sewing Machine (see my first blog) and some material she had had stuffed in a black bag for what smelled like 30 years.  I procured both of these items. 

The fabric had to be washed, dried, cut and stitched in the morning of mother’s day.  I actually can’t think of a better way to spend it. I also had to find out how to make piping. No zip or envelope back (not enough fabric) so I had to hand stitch to finish it. 

It’s lovely fabric though so I’m glad I rescued it. 

Home furnishings, Quilts

The quilt that never was

So this is the quilt I was going to make for my nanna’s Christmas present. This is as far as I have got and I might now give up. 

The reason for my disinterest is that I have downsized this quilt top from an accuquilt pattern and I miscalculated the size of the parallelogram  (dark pink). They are too big and it makes a lot of unpicking and starting again with it. 

I think I will shelve this one for a while 😕

Clothes, Home furnishings, Toys


My daughter spotted some fabric hanging over the bannister and said it was her “favourite”!   I asked her if she would like me to make her something, she said yes – an apron.  

As we all know, two year olds can be pretty fickle when it comes to “favourites” but she has been mentioning aprons for some time because she wants to help bake cakes (not something I do so frequently any more but I’ll indulge her).  She has helped me twice before with cakes and each time I just pegged a tea towel around her neck…

I set about making a template for the apron and kind of made it up as I went along.  I ordered some herringbone webbing in different colours so that my daughter could choose which one she wanted on the apron.  I bought red, light blue and beige.  When I showed them to her and asked her what colour she wanted, she said PINK!  Oh…

I opted for red because I thought it would look great.  I finished the apron and presented daughter with it.  She said “Not pink.  No like it”.  Mum is slightly disappointed here kiddo…

Anyway she wore it happily (see photo).  I then realised I’d made it a bit too short and I also had to put velcro in the neck strap because otherwise the front would have been quite low in order for it to fit over her head.

Oh, we were potty training as well…
Bags & Accessories

Laptop Bag

Yes!  Another bag…

I think I’m getting addicted to making bags…

This was another Lisa Lam creation and I just HAD to make it.  I did, however, decide to do this the day before going on [another] holiday and it took me a full day to do it, when I should have been packing…  I did take it with me on holiday but it stayed in a carrier bag because I was worried it might get dirty.  Not exactly what you want from a bag…

I loved making this bag and I would like to make another.  I love how you make all the different elements – the internal pockets and zips and the front flap and then sew it all together.  The only issue I had this time was the internal zip – I find it a struggle to sew this with the fusible interlining on the back of the lining fabric.  The zip just doesn’t seem to want to stay in the right place.  I also added a Velcro strap inside the bag to hold a charger cable because I was taking the laptop away with me.  This didn’t work out quite so well because it was a bit too long.  It does hold though.  I think it needed a little more thought before execution though.


Bags & Accessories

Another Oilcloth Bag

Having made one, I wasn’t put off making another. 

A friend and colleague had got another job so I decided to make her a weekend bag as a leaving present. I had seen the pattern for this in The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam (a great book – it really is a bible for bag making!) and really wanted to make it.  She had made it in oilcloth too so I thought I would give it a go. 

I used a faux leather for the corners but my sewing machine didn’t like this at all so when it came to making the strap loops it gave up. It just couldn’t go through the required 8 layers of fabric even with a leather needle!  I couldn’t leave the shoulder strap off so I had to improvise the strap loops. 

There should also have been a front pocket but it looked so creased that I left that off too. And I forgot to put the bag feet on. And sewing the leather handles on was a nightmare! I did tell my friend that I didn’t think they would come off, even though they look like they might…

All in all, it looks nice.  I hope it stands up to a few holidays for her. 

Bags & Accessories

Oilcloth Bag

No, I’m not giving up on the bags…!

Prior to a forthcoming holiday I decided I wanted to make a swimming bag big enough to hold everything we needed – 3 towels and swimming costumes, arm bands, swim nappies, etc…

I’d always fancied using oilcloth because the range of prints you can get is just lovely and it’s such a tactile material. This bag was an amalgamation of two bags in Debbie Shore’s Sew Beautiful Bags.

Some how yet again I overestimated how big the bag needed to be and I ended up cutting 4 inches off the length. I also cut the zip a bit too short so had to stitch it together by hand. 

I wish I’d put more pockets inside too. I have one for locker coins etc but more compartments are always handy.

Home furnishings



After Christmas my (mega quilt) friend came round to have a go at sewing. I didn’t really know what to give her to sew  (she was convinced she would sew her fingers together) but I did want to make a doorstop so we set about doing that. 

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to finish it (after a lot of faffing about and me not being very prepared) so I had to finish it off. 

Not the most inspiring but it’s done!