bag revamp

I used this bag pattern twice for the Red Cross Craft Group but this one was very plain and unsurprisingly, no-one is interested in buying it so I brought it home to give it a little embellishment in the hope that it might help it sell.

plain multi-pocket craft bag before embellishing

I made a faux yarn ball and knitting needles, then added a diagonal yarn trim.

bag front after embellishment

I carried the yarn over to the back and lassoed an appliqued heart with it for a touch of whimsy.

bag back with embellishment

Was it worth the effort? Only time will tell.

more advent calendar toys

Three more toys made from the Advent Calendar book.

Advent calendar toys
Advent calendar toys

upcycled #13

A peg bag. Or a toy bag for very small toys. Or a bag for smalls.

36cm wide and 16cm deep from the lower edge of the opening.

more mug rugs

I bought a length of black heavyweight fusible interfacing earlier in the year but I haven’t had much success with it fusing to anything. It’s also not what I would call heavyweight. I didn’t get any instructions with it (should have asked, I know), so it’s been trial and error each time I’ve used it. Sometimes steam works, sometimes not. Sometimes the iron needs to be hot, sometimes not. Sometimes I need to keep the iron in one place for a while, sometimes not. Sometimes it bonds to the fabric but mostly it just WON’T BOND AT ALL. You get the picture.

Yesterday I was in the mood to make mug rugs and thought the aforementioned interfacing would be ideal as a padding even if it didn’t bond to the felt I was using but this time it did, using steam. Perhaps it only likes to be associated with felt? Whatever.

4″ square of interfacing bonded to a 5″ square of felt on front and back but only free-machine embellished one side.

Advent calendar anyone?

I like easy-to-make Christmas decorations and Sachiyo Ishii’s book Sew Your Own Felt Advent Calendar (by Search Press) seemed to fit the bill. The two pocket toys I’ve made so far were easy enough to make but my oh my, were they fiddly to cut, sew, and stuff, even after I’d increased the pattern pieces by 25%! Personally, I prefer the type of advent calendar where the chocolate er, item for each day, is a hidden surprise but in this calendar it looks as though the toys are intended to be visible right from day one so this particular calendar doesn’t work for me as a countdown to Christmas. However, as I said, I bought the book mainly for the toy patterns but if I did make the calendar itself, I’d increase the overall size of the calendar and pockets and give those a closure of some sort to add the surprise element.

My santa and elf are 4.5 inches tall, 1 inch taller than the book pattern size.

upcycled #12

A member of our Red Cross upcycling group brought in a few fabric sample books this week. In the past I’ve found it impossible to cleanly separate the fabric from the paper glued to the back of the samples thus reducing the amount of usable fabric available. One of the sample books this week only had a paper border on one side so I left them lying on my workbench and as the fabric/paper was flexible, what came to mind was to make rolled beads. They’re not fabulous I admit, and I think they need a shiny finish of some kind, but they’re not too bad for a first go and good old YouTube has given me additional ideas to try on the remaining strips.

On Friday I made another bag. The pattern was actually for an origami-style tote bag but I’ll label it as a toy bag since the fabric is printed with a combination of toy images and flowers.

upcycled #11

I forgot to post about these three cushion covers I made last week as part of our Red Cross upcycling efforts. Easy to make and obviously popular as they sold within the week!