Monday, 27 May 2013

Bank Holiday Special

Hello lovely readers, so nice of you to drop by today and lovely to see you as always.  Those of you in Great Britain will have been enjoying a Bank Holiday today - hopefully you will have had some warmth and sun.  Unfortunately for us here in the North West no such luck - it has been quite chilly and been raining since late morning.  So what to do today??? 

After yesterday's post you will know that I am trying to work through all the unfinished projects and ones which I haven't got around to even starting.  Last year sometime I did buy a couple of kits from a really nice company called Hamble and Jemima who sell a lot of interesting kits including one which I had a go at today. It is called the Teacups Handbag kit but if you have a look at the site you will see that mine doesn't look much like it is supposed to!  The fabric is good quality and everything comes with the kit ready to get you going.  So this morning, after deliberating about the weather, we decided to stay in and I thought - aha!  time to get moving with my sewing.

The kit was very easy to follow but  I fell down a big hole almost immediately as I cut out the fabric from the pattern.

You can see that the fabric is so pretty and I was at odds on which one to have as the main part of the bag.  However the teacups won over and I set about cutting the pieces out, making sure that both front and back were the correct way up.  

However,  I had forgotten to cut out the long straps in one piece which were needed for the bag..............but undeterred I carried on.  I really wanted to have another go at the embroidery hoop and had the notion in my mind that I would add a few beads here and there on the fabric to lighten it up a little.  I chose the two cups and saucers on the front and the back of each piece of fabric.  

I did forget one really important piece of advice given to me by the lovely Vicky from the apron course in Birmingham.  I can hear her words now - remember to look at your fabric and work out the pattern so that you have an even balance on each side.  If I had thought of this advice I would have cut it out more carefully around the pattern.  It is a learning curve for me and in the past I would have put the whole lot away and cursed myself all day.  I am not going to do that any more and will try and live/learn from my mistakes.

I had picked out some pretty beads, some from Bibelot in Leek and I hunted out some others I have used for knitting. I didn't really have a plan in my head for this but just wanted to experiment and see what developed.

On reflection I know that next time I will think about it more carefully and plan it in my new journal as this will guide me much more about what I am doing. I loved sewing with the hoop, it was so relaxing and enjoyable.  I put all my beads into an egg cup and away I went, happily watching an old black and white film on the television - for all your lovely readers not in Great Britain, watching old films is a standard Bank Holiday activity when it is raining! 

I wasn't sure if the beads were in fact large enough to do the pattern justice - what do you think?

I thought the beads looked quite pretty and didn't really take that much time, considering that I sewed on the front and back of the bag.  On reflection, looking at the finished bag, it might have been better to have sewn the beads on every image on the fabric.  However, on this one, I had just decided to go with a few, thinking it might look over the top if I added beads to every single image on the fabric.  I would be very interested in your views lovely readers.

Below is the back part of the bag to which I also added beads.  I didn't really want a carbon copy of the front so just decided to be a little different.  Sorry the picture quality is not that good - my computer has been playing up today so I am not too happy with the images.

I found stitching together the bag was mostly ok but decided, rather than make the straps, that I would use some of my own handles which I thought might look a little more professional.  I must admit that I struggled ;utting in the bag handles so that they sat well.  I did a little hand stitching here as I was afraid that I might break the sewing machine needle as the fabric was quite bulky in places.  I find that hand stitching gives me a little more sense of control as I am not that good on the machine.

When sewn up the bag looks quite nice but I can already see what Vicky meant when she talked about making sure that the pattern was balanced before cutting out.  I realise now that I should have put the pattern in the centre of the fabric to give it more balance - one to remember for the future lovely readers.

It did all come together in the end and I do hope that you like it.  It is a sweet little bag and hopefully someone will take a liking to it.  I always find it quite tricky giving things away, I have mentioned it before in my other posts.  People I am sure would find it difficult to say that they didn't like something homemade - I am thinking back to all those 'Christmas sweaters' knitted by grannies over the years and those poor souls who had to wear them all Christmas Day!  It would be nice to hear what you think.

Well would you like to see it all finished?  Here goes - this is the front

And below is the back of the bag.....

Finally, before I go everyone I have found a few interesting blogs, some or all you might already follow.  The first one is  Karen started her blog in 2010 and is interested in sewing, knitting and some crochet.  She has just started on The Guardian Fashion Bloggers' Network which I intend to follow.  Another blog which Karen suggests which I have been reading myself is, a really interesting site so have a look if you don't visit them already.

Well lovely readers I do hope you have all had a wonderful day, it was so so nice to see you all again.  I hope you will call back soon and have a chat - do leave some comments if you can.  Have lots of fun, Dorothy :-) xxxx


  1. Hi Dorothy,
    I love your blog! You have some awesome projects.
    Thank you for your kind note on "5 Daughters", I have listed you as a blog favourite also.
    You are a talented lady :)

  2. Alyssa thank you so much you are the talented one, I love your work and have told so many people about you. You have a lovely week and speak soon.
    Lots of love
    :-) xxxxx