A New Side-Kick

As autumn rolls around suddenly I am itching to make a new bag. Last winters’ model was one of the first things I made and frankly, I can do better than that now! In July I made the side-kick tote – a pattern by Anna at Noodlehead. My summery one has been cleaned of sun cream and sea salt and retired for the winter.
Even with the kids back at school, I can’t get away from the fact that this bag is just so practical. It is extra-versatile in that it can both be a cross-body and shoulder bag. I now have a new side-kick in lovely muted colours.

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Sewing for a Cause

Lately my sewing has involved lots of charity related projects. Dress a Girl Around the World back in June, where we made lots of dresses which went off to Malawi. A couple of weeks ago I attended the Sewing Directory meet up in Exeter, where we appliqued bags for charity. Here’s my decorated bag.

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Last week I met up with my sewing buddies Susy, Mary and Emily and we set about making some quit tops for Project Linus. We are meeting up again in a few weeks to baste and quit them.

The final little project I’ve been involved with is Siblings Together. At the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London back in July I saw loads of beautiful quilts being handed over to this project. While I didn’t feel able to commit to a whole quilt; Mary told me that Sarah was organising a quilt block drive. I said I ‘d make 4 blocks and here they are

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Now, you will notice there are 5, that’s because the first one was about half an inch too small. After a hissy fit and vowing never to sew again (dramatic I know), I pulled myself together sorted out my seam allowances and made the rest. I went a bit off piste with my cutting on 3 of them and forgot the middles were supposed to be solid. I hope Sarah won’t be cursing me too much. It’s been great to be able to contribute in a small way to some of these wonderful charities. Not forgetting its also a good excuse to meet up and eat cake too!

A Gift for my Mum

A while ago I mentioned I was sewing together some of mums long-ago-made hexagons to make a birthday gift for her. Here’s what I made;

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It was made from my imagination so did involve a bit of experimentation. I appliquéd on the hexie flowers by top stitching around the flowers. It looked fine but next time I might use invisible thread so they look more integrated into the cushion top.

After a bit of input from my sewing friends on Instagram I decided to try some spiral quilting over the flowers. I used Kerry’s tutorial to get me started and found it really quite easy (not to mention therapeutic). Next time I will try a tighter spiral as I think this would look even better.

Then using various online tutorials I tackled piping and an invisible zip. Phew, that was all quite tricky. It turned out fine with some fiddling. I did end up binding all the inside seams to hide the carnage!

So here’s my mum at her birthday lunch with her cushion. Needless to say she loved it and could tell a story about each scrap of fabric in the hexie flowers.

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Snap Happy

My husband recently gave me a camera. He got it for work but decided it would get better use as a family camera. So I’ve been enjoying trying it out.  It’s a Samsung NX1100 smart camera, I really like it’s slightly retro styling and it seems easy to link to my phone to transfer photos – all the more It takes lovely pictures!

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I usually use my iPhone for photos, while this is great when you are out and about sometimes it’s nice to have something a bit more special.

Of course a new camera means I need something to carry it around in. I spent a while searching for the right thing to sew and eventually found a tutorial on Pinterest. It’s a bento lunch box bag and handily has a handle and drawstring, also lots of padding.

The tutorial wasn’t great. It looked great, clear photos, options for different sizes but some of the cutting info wasn’t correct and I had to do some improv when the instructions kind of dried up. I won’t name and shame, it’s probably a lot better than anything I could have written! But that’s sometimes what you get for using free tutorials online.

I put pockets inside for the flash and spare battery but because of the improv section, the pocket ended up being a long way down the lining and the lining rather baggy, so they don’t work all that well. Apart from that I’m really pleased with it.

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The final photo is taken with the camera. Next I think a nice fabric neck strap is in order!