Tote bags

These were two tote bags I made last year for the Red Cross but they didn’t sell so we put them in a cupboard for a while and last month I added the floral applique. They sold within days of being on display!


Still here

Way back in January, I suddenly wasn’t sure if I wanted to carry on blogging so I gave myself a break. I was chatting about it with a friend this morning and as a result, have decided to come back to it. As in the past, most posts will be about my endeavours in embroidery and sewing, the latter being mainly things I’ve made from materials which have been upcycled or donated to my local British Red Cross clothing shop and then put out for sale. The occasional dog related post will be thrown in for good measure.

If you search on Facebook for @BRCCheltenham, you’ll find posts with images showing things the craft group has made. These posts are a fairly recent thing for the craft group so there isn’t too much there yet but do have a look and please share the page with your friends. It’s all in a good cause.

I’ll ease you in gently with just a couple of items today. The first one is big enough for small toys but would equally suit a household with a couple of hundred clothes pegs. Fully lined with appliqued hearts because I was fed up looking at just stripes.

Three decent sized lined pouches for those little things that you can never find at the bottom of your handbag like:- plasters; a tape measure; the kit with a screwdriver inside to tighten the screw that holds the leg of your specs securely; lip balm; that special offer voucher you forgot to use. You get the idea.

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.