Saturday, 1 November 2014

Birthday sewing

October is not my husband's favourite month. It's birthday overload for him. His brother's is first, followed by his dad's (on the same day as mine!) and then his mum's. And it's also his parents' wedding anniversary! A busy month present wise.

As well as dressmaking, I'll generally have a go at most things sewing-wise and find non-clothes based sewing can be particularly satisfying after you've been knee deep in dress patterns (no fitting, woo!). I was feeling inspired this year so decided to sew presents for my in-laws. I'd spotted Thread Theory's wash bag tutorial on their blog and thought this would fit the bill for the boys.

I made the bags out of canvas cotton as suggested, lining them with the same fabric. I only had some dodgy old and very stiff interfacing on hand, so I only applied this to the lining fabric which seams to have provided the structure needed.

I debated the ethics of what fabric to use for the strap, but in the end went with real leather as there's a guy at the market who sells tonnes of offcuts. You basically just search through the pile and find a bit you like, hold it up and then he shouts a price at you. I tried to haggle with him, but he was either pretending not to understand my Dutch or genuinely didn't know what I was saying (the latter is probably more realistic!). 

Naked, strapless bag

Anyway I couldn't find the Chicago Screws the tutorial calls for and debated for a long time what to use instead as I wanted the handle to be able to move around. My solution actually happened by accident as I eventually gave up and bought what I thought were large rivets, only to get them home and discover they were press studs! These worked well as the strap is still able to move around, with the added bonus that it can be popped off so the bag can be thrown in the wash. It's the first time I've used any kind of 'hammer on' hardware so I'm slightly anxious that they may fall off at some point. I do really like the professional look that they give though.

The innards

I added a tab to one end of the bag to help close the zip, which was just a small piece of leather. I also finished the insides with some bias binding that I had left over from another project. 

The second bag was pretty much the same, except in a red canvas for a Charlton Athletic FC fan (the first was for a Leeds United fan). I also added a tab to the other end of the zip, so the bag is easy to open and close.

Insides were also finished with bias binding...

I really love how these bags turned out. They're a really good size and the construction was very straightforward. A great tutorial.

The next presents I made were for Jon's mum. She's a very talented crocheter (made 120 crochet heart coasters for our wedding, fyi) so I thought she'd like a kit for her hooks and projects.

I promise it doesn't look this wrinkly in real life!

First up I made a roll for her to store her hooks in, with a flap at the top so the hooks don't fall out when it's rolled up.

I didn't use a tutorial for this, but just made up a pattern based on the size of an average hook. I varied the size of the channels for different size hooks.

I also hand embroidered a little tag for the front and added some tree ribbon to tie it shut.

Finally, I made a fabric basket/bag for her works in progress. 

I made this following the Village Haberdashery's basket tutorial, which is pretty fitting as that's where the grey fabric came from! I had no idea what 'fusible fleece' would be in Dutch, and couldn't find anything on the market that looked like it, so I just used a layer of wadding which I glued (yep) to the outer layer. My basket is quite a bit floppier than those in the tutorial, so I kind of wish I'd used two layers of wadding. You live and learn!

I used the same lining fabric as on the hook roll and also added a tag to the front of the bag (it's always just one more row).  I also left off the pockets from the design to keep the look simple.

Such a sweet couple ;)

1 comment:

  1. They are all very cute! Square wash bags are the way forward, and I love the basket idea


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