Today’s Photoshoot

It’s been a while…I know, I really have had the most busy year so far and it is still feeling a lot busy

This week I am taking advantage of a ‘no appointment’ week and photographing everything that I have created for my shop

Today I photographed this little lot

yesterday I photographed even more than this but they need editing

If you’d like to see the fluff in individual bigger photos then you can see them in this album

Tomorrow I will photograph all my bags…I have so many and there will be some exciting bargains to be had as I need the space!! (so I can make more bags lol)

This one is proving popular

It’s a small cross body bag that is slim enough to wear under a jacket without making you look a funny shape haha

It has a handy card pocket inside

If you’d like me to make you one of these bags then do get in touch

It measures 8″ across the widest part and 10″ from the top to the bottom

I can also make it right or left handed!

PS If you want to make your own version of this bag then here’s a link to the pattern 

Back to the photos now x

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Today’s Photoshoot

It’s been a while…I know, I really have had the most busy year so far and it is still feeling a lot busy

This week I am taking advantage of a ‘no appointment’ week and photographing everything that I have created for my shop

Today I photographed this little lot

yesterday I photographed even more than this but they need editing

Tomorrow I will photograph all my bags…I have so many and there will be some exciting bargains to be had as I need the space!! (so I can make more bags lol)

This one is proving popular

It’s a small cross body bag that is slim enough to wear under a jacket without making you look a funny shape haha

It has a handy card pocket inside

If you’d like me to make you one of these bags then do get in touch

It measures 8" across the widest part and 10" from the top to the bottom

I can also make it right or left handed!

Back to the photos now x

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Spinning Singles from a Batt

I just came across this album of photos showing the sequence that I used to create some lovely singles yarn

The last photo tells you how I lightly full them to remove the springiness of the yarn

https://goo.gl/photos/KVBDjwHpbH9rAzsq7

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Shop Update

I feel like I’ve been promoting my shop update everywhere, so forgive me if I’m flooding your inbox

I have dyed up loads of luxurious fibre blends and had great fun in the process

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In between dyeing I’ve been sewing a few of these very cute Hexibags

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They’re all like a mini work of art. I loved choosing the fabrics. Many of the fabrics are remnants that I bought ages ago, it feels good to have used some of them up. I still have plenty more in my sewing room

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I designed the Hexibag to store everything you need to make some hexagon’s for The Beekeeper’s Quilt

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I soon realised that it was a fun and very useful project bag

Whilst I was dying the fibre above, storm Doris was blowing a hoolie outside. I felt so cross, the noise of a damaging wind gets me like that. Somehow though, I created this new colourway, I’ve called it Doris, does it look like a storm?

This is another new colourway, Crocus, very rich and vibrant

The pretty fibre above was dyed by a new method, I call it Pretty Graffiti. The aim was to surface dye the gorgeously soft fibre leaving plenty of the natural colour. I imagine this spun from finger width strips so that the colours are short and there’s plenty of white in between. I’ve saved myself some of this one to play with 🙂

Matt’s Peacock, named after viewing the lovely photo below taken by my brother Matt Dean16804481_280195852401611_8778891220599908067_o-1

If you subscribe to shop updates by email then you will have received a discount code to use on everything in my shop. The code can be used as many times as you like within the next fortnight

You can sign up here

All the delicious fibre and gorgeous Hexibags can be found here

You can see an album of all the products here

Today I shall mostly be wrapping parcels ready for posting

When I get a minute I am going to sew myself a dress as a reward for all my hard work.

It’s this lovely design by Collette, I’ll make the skirt a little longer but I’ve seen some gorgeous versions of it on the web

Right, time to get this day going…xx

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It is very quiet round here

It has been a very busy few days

Indi, my youngest granddaughter came to stay for 4 nights

Every moment with that delightful child is such a joy

On Thursday we went to the Christmas Lights ceremony at Somersham where Barry was playing in the band, supporting the junior members

Indi enjoyed herself, happily munching on a mince pie and then a large homemade shortbread biscuit! These tasty treats were handed out from large baskets by the local Brownies

After the ceremony Santa arrived and the children all piled in to see him…I had to lift Indi up so that she could see him as there were so many in front of us!
Then we went into the Church to see the many Christmas trees on display there. Indi did enjoy seeing them and needed to touch one or two of the dangling decorations. She was very careful 🙂

Then it was time for Barry to go to his band rehearsal. We were concerned that Indi might need to go home as it was nearing 8pm by then
but she found a stage on which to perform and when she wasn’t pretending to play a trumpet she was doing some impro dancing

https://youtu.be/L9CHjIVTvqg

We went to buy our Christmas tree on Friday…we were all feeling a bit jaded that day for some reason but it was a precious time none the less and Indi had a great time in the play area whilst Barry and I enjoyed a coffee

Saturday was spent indoors, I was asked if I could make a Snowflake jumper for Indi and she busied herself with the toy box as I knitted

She is so adorable. Barry has taken some wonderful photos of this little darling but hasn’t had a chance to edit them yet….

Did I tell you how quiet it was round here today?

Barry left for Scotland this morning, he won’t be back until Wednesday…I’m going to listen to a story on my Ipad as I sew up an order….

Hope you all had a good weekend

x

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Studio Donegal goes funky

After stitching 3 of those rather gorgeous multi pocketed tweed or quilted handbags I really wanted to sew a different handbag and so I went back to the designer , Napkitten on Craftsy or Etsy, and found this very interesting design. Those handles intrigued me, I just had to give them a go. They didn’t disappoint, truly, I wouldn’t have thought that they needed to be twisted in the way that the designer told me to, but they do, I did as I was told and it worked! I love learning new techniques 🙂

This gorgeous design worked amazingly well in the handwoven tweed from Donegal Studio

If you remember from a previous post, I watched some of this tweed being woven, it is a very precious cloth ❤

Adding to the funky nature of this handbag, I removed the zipper pull from the green zip and added two complimentary zipper pulls in it’s place. It now opens so easily, with either both pulls or just one 🙂

The fabric that I chose for the handles and lining, is from a collection by Cotton + Steel, I am happy with how they tone in with the tweed beautifully

There’s a zipped pocket inside, perfect for your important bits and bobs 😉

I love how a patch of the purple fabric encloses and strengthens the ends of the zips

This not to big handbag is slouchy, but not at all floppy. All fabrics have been fully interfaced

I’m just off now to put this in my shop, I have a funny feeling this one might sell quickly….

Marianne
x

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A Different Handbag

I felt at a loose end, don’t get me wrong, I still had a couple of orders to deal with but it was the day before my sewing group meeting and I needed a small project to work on. What on earth was I going to take with me??
I’d had this pattern for ages and kept coming across it when looking through my PDFs but knew it might be a fiddle to put together, so I just glanced at it and moved on. However, on this occasion I felt that it was time to tackle the beast. It’s not a beast at all haha

The design is by Napkitten and you can find the pattern here or here

The photo above is the work that I completed during my sewing group, I drew lines to follow for the quilting, my Singer Featherweight doesn’t have a quilting bar but this task would have been easier on one of my Janome machines. I wanted the girls at the group to meet my new baby though so drawing the lines wasn’t too much of an ordeal 😉

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This clever design is not little inside though, it is like one of those Doctor Who bags, you can get quite a lot of stuff in those roomy pockets

It is so easy to keep your contents organised and safe

each of the side pockets have a magnetic snap closure and the wide mouth of the middle pocket closes with a zip

This gorgeous bag was snapped up moments after I showed it on my Facebook Page even before I had thought about whether I wanted to keep it for myself or not

So I did what any compulsive bag sewer might do, I set about making another one just for me!

I don’t make things easy for myself, Harris Tweed, interfacing, quilting weight cotton in multi layers and a bulky firm stabiliser used on the base of the bag really made my little machine have a panic attack. I removed that from the machine and turned the work over and all was well again. I have to say here that one feature on my modern machines that I use a lot, is the extra lift you can do with the presser foot. I had to almost force these bulky layers under the foot of my vintage machine. She sewed it though!!

I love finding fabrics to coordinate with the main fabrics of a bag

I chose a funky teal coloured lining to match the tiny bit of teal in the Kaffe Fassett print

You can see the gorgeous colours of the herringbone tweed in this photo, I love pink and orange together

I’m going to love using my new handbag!

I’ll leave you with some thoughts on the pattern, This is not a beginners design, the instructions had me thinking at times. But if you do as you are told it all comes right in the end. You aren’t told to cut out all the pieces before you start sewing but to cut them out as you need them. I like this logical approach, you don’t end up querying whether you have the right piece. There is some hand sewing involved, just a little bit, it’s quite doable and I love the relaxation of a bit of hand sewing. It is like you have to take a breather from the machine sewing so just go with it and enjoy the moment.  Take your time, follow the instructions and you’ll be fine 🙂

Napkitten has blogged about my bags here

Wonder what I’ll be sewing next?

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Donegal Tweed Bag

I just love the Calla Convertible Backpack, I know, I only just posted another blog post about the last one I made 🙂

I’ve added an extra layer of heavyweight sew in interfacing to this one, I just felt the other one lacked a bit of body

It is just the right size for me, not too big in size but big enough to hold a small project and all my other paraphernalia

 

Do you remember earlier in the year when I went to see my lovely Mum on her 84th birthday? You can read about it here

It has taken me until now to cut into that wonderful fabric

I used some gorgeous Batik fabric for the contrast on the outside, I am really drawn to the colours and more often that not I want to make something in that shade of aqua

These funky oversized swivel clasps that I bought from the lovely Lisa at U-Handbag, are adorable!

I was a bit worried that they might have been too big to do the conversion from a shoulder bag to a backpack as they have to feed through the D ring at the top, but they performed beautifully, I might have to get some more of those 😉

I deliberately placed the pocket on the back of the bag, rather than the front, as the pattern suggests, I feel safer using it as a backpack with the pocket hidden against my back

The lining has been in my stash for ages and I could never quite find the right project for it. The mauve area travelled down the selvedge of the fabric but turned the other way, the print seems to turn into some high rise buildings, well it does in my mind. The lining makes me happy 🙂 The colours worked perfectly with the Tweed and the batik

I can’t tell you how long it took me to find the labels that I was given when I purchased the fabric, but eventually I found them and feel they add the finishing touch

PS This bag was totally sewn with my delightful vintage Singer Featherweight, she’s a marvel at sewing through a gazillion layers!!

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Calla Convertible Backpack

I’m off out to Kirsty Allsopp’s Handmade Fair soon and needed a new bag…well, a girl can’t have too many bags eh?

I have a new pair of lightweight trainers so that hopefully my legs won’t be aching before I’ve even got to the place! The venue is Hampton Court Palace and it quite a fiddle to get to. I get the train at Peterborough, travel to King’s Cross, then a tube and then another train. These train prices are so expensive, especially if you don’t want to be restricted by a set train. Took me ages to decide on which ticket to by but after hearing that my friend, Andrea, who is travelling to London from Southampton, was using a rail card, I thought I better look into it. So eventually, I bought myself a railcard, not any old railcard but a flippin’ Senior Railcard! I’m not taking to this being 60 very easily! Using that railcard, I managed to save a third off the price of my ticket price, which means that the railcard has paid for itself already 🙂

Back to the bag…I decided a backpack bag might be useful,so that the weight of everything is more balanced out and will save my knees…grrr at the 6o thing again!

I’d looked at the pattern for the Calla Convertible a few times and I loved the shape of it. I watched the little video about how it gets converted from a bag to a backpack and so I bought the pattern

Choosing fabrics was a bit more tricky, but I had in my stash some cute fabric covered in old fashioned women’s corsetry. I found some contrasting fabrics, the cream fabrics on the outside are from the Walkabout Range by Beth Studley

I cut out all the pieces at home and then started constructing the bag at the sewing group that another friend and I host together. It’s called the Sew & Sews and is a Wisbech U3A group. We had almost a full house yesterday which was lovely and the room was buzzing with chatter 🙂

I love that pleat behind the zip which stops the whole bag from falling wide open and the contents from spilling out

I think I’ll be buying more hardware to make another one or two of these bags for my shop

Now I just need to get a small knitting project sorted so that I can knit on the train journeys

Hope you’re all enjoying the late sunshine…I’m loving it! Long may it last 🙂

PS Hello Dorothy!

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Multi Tasking

I rather think it is about time I wrote another blog post…!

I have been spurred into action by the positively happy workshop that I ran today in Button Up & Stitch in Wisbech

I was meant to be running The Beth Studley Pod workshop today and next Wednesday, I was meant to be running The Outta Time Tote workshop. However, neither of the workshops were very well subscribed so I was asked whether I would be able to run both workshops at the same time! I know….I was worried that it might blow my mind!! I was assured that all the sewers had a suitable standard of sewing. I needed this reassurance as I had my doubts as to whether I was capable of such a task!

I needn’t have worried, all three sewers were brilliant, we all worked at a good pace, 2 students for the Pod workshop and 1 for the Outta Time Tote

Here are my lovely students with their Pods

They were so happy with the results, look at their faces, the smiles say it all!

This next photo is of my student with her Outta Time Tote

Doesn’t it look great?!?

I love how I feel after teaching others to sew. I do get in a bit of a state before the event for some silly reason but once I’m chatting and explaining the steps, there’s no stopping me 🙂

I have been asked if I will put together a workshop for Beth Studley’s newest bag, The Gondola Bag. I am looking forward to teaching that one as I totally enjoyed working on a test sew of the pattern

Before I do that though, I am going to put together a workshop for beginner sewers, a workshop that will introduce them to their sewing machines, discussing machine feet, different stitches, basic sewing, understanding seam allowances, maintenance etc…a simple project will also be worked on. A sort of learn as you sew experience. After attending this workshop, the student will feel more confident in progressing to something more taxing, such as the workshops mentioned above

All in all, I had a lovely day today, so thank you to Julie and Kim for giving me the opportunity to spread a bit more of the bag sewing love ❤

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