From sticky beginnings…

London_purse2Oh what a frustrating old day…

I know that making purses using frames should be a breeze but I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time picking glue off me, fabric, the purse frame, the kitchen table… you get the picture.

While they look deceptively simple, these little fortune cookie purses are actually made from 12 different pieces of fabric, interlining and wadding.  Since cutting out is my least favourite occupation I had to will myself to cut conservatively from the fabric rather than in multiples which would have saved me an awful lot of time.  They were pretty easy to sew together and then the fun started.

No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t seem to get the first side of each purse fitted into the slot on the frame without the glue going all over my hands and the frame.  Having conquered this particular hurdle I then discovered the second side wouldn’t fit without rearranging the first side again and required me holding everything in place until the glue held securely.  By this time I was just a gunky mess, and there were three more purses to finish.

Much muttering, grumbling and hissing later I have completed four purses and am wondering whether to repeat the exercise.  I thought that they would make great little travelling sewing kits (complete with some goodies inside) what do you think?

Cat x

The great haberdashery hunt

HaberdasheryAre you a lover of stationery?  Do you find yourself struggling not to buy yet another memo block? Is your drawer groaning under the weight of Moleskines?  Then you will probably understand my love of haberdashery.

All of those lovely buttons and ribbons, threads and beads, the possibilities are endless.  I love felt string and grosgrain ribbon even if sometimes I have to invent projects to use them.  Actually I try really hard not to use them because then there is a possibility that someone might buy them and where would that leave me!

The problem is that it is very difficult to source haberdashery items that are out of the ordinary.  I’m still hunting for the perfect cord for one of my projects and despite trawling through Etsy etc. and having samples shipped from across the world I am no closer to my goal and the box of spares keeps on growing!

So imagine my delight when this gorgeous zip popped into my mailbox this morning.  I’ve got absolutely no idea what I am going to use it for but I couldn’t resist slipping it into my shopping basket when buying purse string on Tuesday.  For once I wasn’t disappointed and I might just have to go and get some more in different colours just in case.

Now where did I put those purse frames…?

Cat x

Hello spring!

Fabric_flowerHere’s the conversation I had with KC when I collected him from school yesterday:

KC:  There’s a letter in my bag.
Cat: Yes?
KC: It’s about a flower.
Cat: A flower?
KC: A 3D flower.
Cat: For anything in particular?
KC: To hang in the corridor.  We’ve got to make one.
Cat: When for?
KC: Friday.
Cat: Is there anything in particular you want to make?
KC: It has to be made of fabric.  And I want it to be a rose.  It’s got to be red in the middle and green at the bottom and you’ve got to be able to hang it up.
Cat: Anything else?
KC: No.  I’m sure you’ll manage.  With your capabilities I reckon you’ll be able to come up with something.
Cat: ….!!

I’m taking it as a complement that my eight year old thinks I am ‘capable’ and given the grin I got this morning I think I did good!  It was very easy to make using the contents of my scrap bin with a little help from my Accuquilt Go! Baby.

Cat x


Lilac_blouseIn the end Kitty and I watched all four episodes of the Great British Sewing Bee (her Dad very kindly recorded it for us so that he wouldn’t be forced to watch it himself!).

We were decidedly uninspired by the first episode… why include two men and then make all of the challenges to do with making or altering women’s clothing.  It was so unimaginative and I can’t pretend that we weren’t just a little bit disappointed.

However, by Episode 3 we were getting into it, rooting away for our two favourites Lauren and Ann.  There was something magnificent about the latter’s command of all things needlework, but we were rather fond of Lauren’s more modern execution of most of the tasks.  In the end the best woman won and let’s hope that I can still wield a needle with such precision in my eighties.

One positive aspect of watching the programme was that I was inspired to make a blouse for myself, something I haven’t done in years.  Every since a certain young man made a comment about my homemade clothing!  I used to make about 60% of my own clothes well into my twenties.  This is probably what contributes to my dislike of clothes shopping – nothing is more infuriating than spending hours trying to find something to wear which fits correctly, is well made and which doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

I chose a fairly simple pattern to get myself started, but have experimented with the fabric.  This is an organic cotton/bamboo mix which I bought from Raystitch – one of my favourite online shops.  It had it’s first outing today and I even got a couple of compliments.  Maybe I might just snitch that green fabric I bought to make Kitty a skirt…

Cat x