Sunday, 30 August 2015

Another zipped pocket bag

You can find the tutorial for this here.
I made three of these initially, but am intending to make more - I think they will sell quite rapidly.  I chose more pockets from the garage earlier today - I have a tub of pockets, cut out in various sizes and ready to use.  As soon as I have finished the 15 elephants and 10 giraffes I already have underway, I hope to get round to them!


Saturday, 29 August 2015

Recycling fleeces

Along with the wonderful donations of jeans (seized by Trading Standards as designer imitations), Lance Haggith recently passed on a number of hoodies and other fleece lined items, also seized as "designer rip-offs".
The idea with this was to use them to line bibs, using the inside of the garments.  Some of the seized jeans were used for the front of the bibs, with various embroidery designs used.  I will put these up as individual items in later posts.  The hoodies etc were cut up for the linings.
The batch of items pictured produced about 20 bib linings.
The linings were then sewn, with the logos hidden inside the bibs and the fleecy lining used as the bib backing.
Lots of learning points from this:
There are only a few parts of the hoodies suitable for cutting up - the sleeves are great, as is the back, but the pouch on the front makes part of it unusable. 
Trousers produced very little usable fleece.The images on the front of the bibs are often very hard to sew over - they seem to stick to the presser foot and stop the fabric from moving.
The fleece is of much better quality than the cheap blankets I was using - and it comes to me free!

Thanks Lance!


Friday, 28 August 2015

Bookmarks restocked

My embroidery machine has been running almost non-stop recently, as I restocked various items.  The latest restock was of bookmarks, and these have already proved popular at recent sales.
 These owl bookmark designs came as a set.  They sew up very well, although getting the colours right can be a challenge.

 These animal bookmarks are from a set of small animal images and I added a bookmark border.  They work well, I think.
The final bookmarks are again from a purchased set of bookmarks, and are attractive and colourful.
I have a considerable number of additional images which I have used in the past, but did not have time to make them this time - too much other restocking to do!

Shared at

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Latest members of the herd



I'm now making these guys in batches of at least ten, and it is not unknown for me to sell that many at one event.  Keeping up with sales is a bit of a challenge - and I am even more grateful for the help in cutting these at my recent sewing day at Tudor Rose Patchwork!

Chared at


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Utange Baptist Primary receive their lamps

The pupils and staff chosen to receive this first batch of solar lamps were given them at the final assembly of the term. I loved seeing the photos. Unfortunately two pupils chosena s recipients were absent, but they will be given the lamps on their return.

I sent labels to be stuck on all of the lamps:

 The teachers were presented with their lamps by Mr Nathaniel.  Their pleasure is clear.




 Then it was the turn of the pupils.

All of the recipients.


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Zipped pocket bag (with mini tutorial)

With these bags I seem to have found a relatively easy way of attaching a zip - something I am frequently asked for.
The solution came to me - as is often the case - in the middle of the night.  Unusually I remembered it the next morning!

How to imitate this:
Make a pocket bag as per my earlier tutorial, but only make the front and back panels for the bag.

Add a 3" strip of denim to the top of each panel, fastening the bag straps between the panel and the strip.  I usually place them half way along each pocket square, and stitch over the strap end three times.

Now cut the lining to match the panels.

Using a zipper foot, sew one panel to the zip.
Put the lining so right sides of the lining and bag panel face each other, and the zip is sandwiched between the two fabrics.  Stitch again, to fasten the zip securely.
Turn the fabric the right way and then top stitch the zip.  Stitch as close as possible to the edge of the fabric.

Repeat with the other bag panel.

Now open the zip and then open out the bag and lining so that the bag panels are right sides together, and so are the linings.  It should make one large rectangle. Sew all the way round the rectangle, leaving the bottom edge of the lining open.

Turn the bag the right way in, and sew the bottom of the llining up.  You can hand sew this for a neat finish, but I usually turn the edges in and top stitch with the machine!

Push the lining inside your bag and it is finished!

Shared at
Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Hippo mark - I don't know - but yet another hippo!

This is from a Funky Friends Factory pattern.  I do love their patterns, and I am happy with the way this turned out, but for the first time ever I had problems!  I think I lost out by not following the layout diagram for cutting, which would have shown me that two of the pattern pieces needed to be fastened together before cutting. This wasn't indicated on the pattern pieces - as it is on all the other Funky Friends patterns I have used. As I was using a variety of fabrics rather than one piece I didn't bother looking at it.  I have to say that even if I had stuck the pieces together, I'm not sure the gusset was long enough - but then, I probably would have made it be long enough!


Despite the problems, the hippo turned out well.  It is a measure of my confidence with these patterns that I went straight for cutting out and sewing up ten hippos without doing a test version.  I had to do a little adjustment, but this didn's spoil the overall effect.  I'm still not sure which version I prefer - maybe I will design my own, combining elements from both of my favourites!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Appreciation and encouragement.

These postcards carry a variety of messages - I have had more fun with the slogans!
"Do what you love, love what you do."
"The simplest things in life are often the things most precious."
"Always follow your heart".
"Relax".
"You rock".
"Good morning sunshine."
"Laugh".

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Pocket purses

These are a good seller, and fun to make.  I enjoyed selecting some interesting pockets and turning them into these little bags.
It also made a lovely change to do these rather than animals!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Harry Potter phone cases

More larger size cases, this time with the Hogwarts school emblem. Harry Potter doesn't seem to go out of fashion, I'm glad to say.