Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Sew and Sew

My Mum taught me to sew on an old Singer hand machine that was her Grandmother's (which makes it over 100 years old) and I still have the machine too! She taught me how to lay out a pattern so that it was economical with the fabric - much to annoyance of my needlecraft teacher, who made me unpin it all and follow the instructions. At school I spent a year making an apron but at home I made patchwork cushions, tea cosies and needle cases.

When my children were small I started making patchwork quilts in earnest and, tutored by my American neighbour Eileen, learned to piece on the sewng machine and hand quilt. We made a lot of quilts and we even had an exhibition of quilts old and new at the Dales Countryside Museum. It was so much fun - we travelled around North Yorkshire borrowing old quilts from local farms and houses to show alongside our "modern" quilts. There was one quilt that still had the backing papers inside, cut from old milk bills and a beautiful example of an applique chintz quilt. It was an exciting exhibition with Eileen, Jane and myself sitting there publicly quilting.
So I have the sewing bug again and have dusted off my old Frister Rossman electric sewing machine and dragged the basket of fabric pieces out of the attic cupboard. I'm making bags and have created prototypes for three designs - a tote/shopping bag, an evening bag and a messenger bag. I have so much scrap material that I had forgotten I had including chintz, brocade, cotton and silk. Enough to go into bag production!
Prototype evening bag showing chocolate silk lining.
Too unstructured, more like a bag for a bridesmaid.
Prototype Evening bags #2
They need a gusset to make them more 3 dimensional and a magnetic clasp. They have a small pocket inside.
Protoype Messenger bag.
The binding is too thick and bulky.
Prototype Messenger bag #2.
Has a wooden toggle and an inside pocket.
Prototype tote bag.
Fully lined. Needs an inside pocket.


  1. Glad you've got the bug again, these are gorgeous! Love the trim on the first one, they all look great, are you going to list them?
    Sarah x

  2. Not all of them - as they are prototypes. I'm still making changes to them.


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