lavender bags

What I've been making lately - bumper catch-up!

Goodness, I've just realised that it's been a month since I last blogged - where has the time gone?!! We've been away to Cornwall for a week (photos coming soon - why oh why do I take so many.....) and I've been busy making things - quite a lot of things actually. I hadn't realised quite how much until I started putting this post together. I've definitely caught the sewing bug - making things yourself is just so satisfying! It's also the perfect way for me to indulge my love of fabric and vintage prints without feeling quite so guilty about stockpiling them ;)

So, what have I been making?

Well, lots of purses, glasses cases and pencil cases. I adapted my cosmetic bag pattern to make all of these. The glasses case and pencil case have some soft wadding inbetween the fabric to protect their contents. I love how light the glasses case is - perfect for carrying around without even noticing :)

There have also been some tote bags. I absolutely love this pattern - it's such a great way to use and display vintage fabric. And it's the perfect size for carrying around Blythes! I've actually used my tote bags quite a bit - in fact, I'm itching to make more! I think I might try adding a contrasting pocket to the front (and maybe the inside) next time.

I also made this little set for my mother-in-law in a gorgeous contemporary Amy Butler fabric for mother's day - it seemed perfect for spring! I absolutely love choosing a complementary fabric for the lining too - these little green eggs felt like a perfect match.

I wanted to use up some of the smaller bits and pieces of fabric I had, and some pretty scraps, so decided to make a batch of lavender bags. I'd taken some away with me when we went on holiday as our travel bags smelt musty from being in the attic and I popped them in our drawers. They gave me so much pleasure, I resolved to make a batch for our drawers when I got home. I love how they look altogether :)

And last, but by no means least, is a little collection I made from an absolutely stunning Echino fabric by Etsuko Furuya. I'm a huge fan of Echino fabric, and completely fell in love with this stag fabric. It took a fair bit of hunting down on the internet to find a supplier - this lot came from

modes4u.com

in Hong Kong. I made the little black and white collection as a birthday present for my husband (the most manly fabric I had!!).

And I just adore the combination of the pink polka dots with the aqua (another Echino fabric) - the cushion covers were the first thing I made. The fabric is a linen and cotton blend and is pretty heavyweight - perfect for cushions and cases :) Although I have to say the black one is now completely covered in grey cat hair - Poppy is particularly fond of it!

So there you go - I'll try not to leave it so long next time!!!

What I've been making lately...

During my career break I was determined to sew and make as much as possible - something I never had time for before. I absolutely love creating things - sooo satisfying.

I've really been enjoying joining in with Allison Sadler's #makeitsewcial on a Monday - it's great to have a reminder and a gentle prod to get crafting. For those of you who don't know about it, Allison basically encourages everyone to get crafting on a Monday and to upload pictures of what they've made to Instagram tagged with #makeitsewcial. It's a really lovely way to connect with others who enjoy crafting and is very inspirational too - I love browsing the #makeitsewcial gallery on a Monday evening to see what everyone has made. Allison usually posts a tutorial for an easy make every Monday too on the People Shop blog and later in the week picks a crafter of the week and shares a selection of things people have made. Lots of fun!

I was absolutely delighted to win crafter of the week a little while ago with this pyschedelic tote bag I made. It's very hard to do the colours justice in a photograph - the pink really is luminous. I used some polka dot fabric for the lining - I didn't have enough to line the whole bag in the same fabric (I just had a fat quarter of each) so decided to use some contrasting colours on each side - rather pleased with how that turned out. It's the perfect size to carry your magazines around with you :)

Another week I made some more lavender bags in the same psychedelic fabric, plus a couple of kitsch kitties from my gorgeous Michael Miller fabric (you may remember the cosmetic bags I made in the same fabric for Christmas):

Back in February I made a little Blythe bedding set from scraps of fabric left over from making my cushions. More pics of this can be found in my In need of a colour fix post.

I've also become a little bit obsessed with pom poms! They're just so happy and cheery and such a lovely pop of colour - just what we need during the darker months. I first made a pom pom garland to drape over the mirror in my dining room. I think I made the pom poms a bit on the big side, but it's really grown on me and I love the colour so it's definitely staying :)

I then decided we needed another one and when we put the fairy lights away, the empty space under our fireplace was just crying out for a pom pom garland! I use the Clover pom pom makers and they are super easy to make - very satisfying indeed :)

And finally, we have my kitty felt collage. A bit of a departure from the usual sewing, but when I saw this pattern by Alice Apple pop-up on the Kitschy Digitals website, I fell in love! I ad-libbed a bit as I didn't have all the colours the pattern required and I made it bigger than it was supposed to be. I then decided to make use of an existing frame which was bigger still, so I extended the hessian backing by sewing on a length of my favourite pyschedelic floral fabric (it honestly was the best co-ordinating bit of fabric I have!!). The colours are VERY bright. It's such a happy piece and is now hanging in our bedroom where it makes me smile everytime I see it. It's a really easy make - lots of cutting and sticking and a little bit of embroidery - definitely channelling my inner child with this one :)

A handmade Christmas

This year it's been a rather handmade Christmas. With me not working at the moment we are rather counting the pennies, so handmade made sense financially. But I have to say it's been an absolute joy to have the time to be able to make presents. And having recently completed my beginner's sewing course, what better opportunity to practice?!

I absolutely loved making these presents - from choosing the fabric to cutting to sewing and stuffing - it's been so much fun. And now the presents have been opened, I can safely share some pictures with you :)

First up is a cosmetic bag I learnt to make on my sewing course - I really loved the pattern and thought it made a lovely and very useful gift. I chose the gorgeous kitsch kitties fabric by Michael Miller for this one, as I knew the recipient had a soft spot for this print. And I must confess I loved it so much I had to make one for myself too - but with a different coloured zip for a bit of variety. I chose an aqua polka dot fabric for the lining, as I thought it complemented the colour scheme well. And I had lots of fun making some custom gift tags for the (vaguely) professional touch!

The cosmetic bag seemed like such a good idea, I made more in different fabrics. I knew my sister loved the Tammis Dogs fabric made by Michael Miller (a Tammis Keefe tribute fabric) and I stayed with the same lining fabric I used in my course, as I knew this partnered well. I also fancied making some lavender bags, as I think these are great to pop in your sock drawer or wardrobe - or just to have hanging around looking pretty. So I made a very simple template and got cutting and stitching!

Then, more of the same, but in some different fabrics that I thought the recipients would like. I was very pleased with this pairing of a black and white floral print and polka dots - and the pop of colour provided by a hot pink zip.

I was also very pleased to find a pack of ribbon I had bought from Paperchase a while ago knowing it would come in useful someday. It was perfect for the hanging loops - and I had a lovely choice of colours.

They are definitely not perfect, but I was pleased with them all the same - and I think the recipients were too, which is what matters. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are enjoying some R&R. TTFN, Z xx