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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Doily Bag Ta-Dah! (at last)

This bag seems to have been a work-in-progress for so long I can't remember why I even wanted to make it now. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely happy with how it turned out and very pleased that I did make it, but this last week or so has felt like a chore and not a pleasure, especially with all that sewing in of ends, so many ends!
I had the main bag bit made and thought it wouldn't take long to sort the rest of it out, all it needed was some slight assembly: sewing in the ends of the yarn, a strap and lining... oh yes and a zip. The previous bag I made like this didn't have a zip, in fact the shape and assembly was altogether much simpler:
But this was going to be a bright and colourful bag that I wanted to be able to use as a handbag so a zip really was the only way to go.

So yes, they were made and tidied up nicely. The rest of the putting-together took some thinking about. Instead of the bag just being like a flat envelope it has a base, to give it a bit of shape. I therefore didn't want to just put the zip in at the top and join both sides together; I wanted it to have a bit more structure to match the bottom, so i made two flaps to attach the zip to.
This was my first attempt at ever putting a zip into anything (well properly anyway) and it worked! OK, not quite perfectly, one end was a bit uneven so I made a little square of crochet and sewed it over the top of the offending end (can you see in the picture above?). Sorted.
Choosing the lining was a very simple task, basically I have very little fabric so my choices were limited.
As they are all thin cotton fabrics the pattern is visible on the reverse, which is the bit you can see through the outside of the bag, between all the lacy gaps, the teal-ish unpatterned fabric it was then!
Looking good! The making of the lining was less straight forward; my sewing machine pedal had absolutely vanished. It took several hours, three rooms being torn apart, a couple of frustrated-stompy sulks and it miraculously appeared exactly where it was supposed to be. Weird how that happens :)
My bag linings can sometimes be a bit hit and miss. My usual philosophy with making things is that if something is worth making it is worth making as well as you can but I do tend to rush these bits of sewing and the results vary. I tried extra-double hard with this lining though, I measured twice and cut once and all that, I even did french seams! (ooh lala)
Oh the strap, I nearly forgot!
I thought it would add a bit more structure and be more usable if I gave this bag a solid, fairly stiff shoulder strap. This would give added structure to the sides of the bag and hopefully not get tatty through use. Stripes? Why not. A simple and (I think) effective strap. But oh all that sewing in :(

So that is the story of the finishing of my bag. Oh and Ta-Dah!

I love it, I just wished it had not taken quite so long to make, I am itching to finish other things and start even more!


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Happy Happy Holiday

Hello everyone, I'm back! We've been on a lovely holiday down to our usual haunt in Cornwall and it was just what we both needed, a relaxing break away from it all.
Oh that feeling when we finally get there! After such a long drive and before any unpacking of any sort we head down to the beach and just take in the big beauty of it all. Taking extra deep breaths of the fresh air coming in off the Atlantic, wonderful.
The week was a pleasent mixture of seeking out good beer, food and places to see, as well as heading back to the places that we know well and love. 

One of the things we do love is having a look around some of the amazing gardens in Cornwall. This time we went to Trengwainton, and it was aboslutely gorgeous, the sun beat down as we wandered down little paths and admired the stunning flowers.

I do love an old Vicotrian walled garden, the arched doorways showing a peek of what is  down the path are somehow really magical.

Sorry, got a bit trigger happy with taking pictures of flowers!

As you may have guessed I did take some crochet with me. The sheep blanket stayed at home as I just have mainly sewing to get on with now which I am much better doing at home where I can concetrate a bit more. I had made steady progress with it just before we went away and I am so pleased with how it is coming along.
So I left that at home and took my big ripple blanket with me to be going on with. I am very glad that I did as although the days were warm and sunny, the evenings were quite chilly and it was great to be able to pull it over my legs as I sat and beat Mr M at cards in the evening with a glass of wine or two.
Unfortunately I ran out of the one colour I needed. I have so much of this yarn, I bought a second lot as I was running out and the one colour I couldnt get was the one colour I needed. I could have pulled the whole colour repeat back and used a different colour but that would be 5 rows so I left it and have some on order ( I do hope it arrives soon!).
Today I am trying to keep that holiday buzz going by doing very little. I have been itching to get my lacy doily bag finished for ages now so I have been working a way on that. I've come to a fairly tricky bit where I need to make a flap for the zip - so far it is working but taking a lot of counting, guessing and trial and error. 

It will be so nice to get this finished! I will then have to get some lining fabric of some sort, the colour of which is going to be a tough decision. My instinct is telling me to stay away from black and white as you will see it through the lacy bits but a 'proper' colour might clash or be too much. Hmmm still need to work that one out.

I do hope you have had a good start to April. I am so close finishing off lots of things now that I really hope I can get on here more as I will actually have things to tell you about! I've also got another pattern all laid out in my head, I am going to try to get it jotted down and then made up so I can share it very soon but for my own sanity I really must get at least one of my WIPs finished before I start on anything else :)