Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Nappy Bag Sew Along/s

Hi lovelies,

I've something so exciting to share with you today!

There are two sew alongs starting for my pattern The Nappy Bag! They're both starting 1st May and the posts will be on my blog here. The two sew alongs are running in Facebook groups, and I'd love you to join us!

A sew along is a great way to make a bag that you're not sure whether you're able to tackle on your own, or one that you know you are able to make, but would appreciate some company...oh and you want to win some prizes!

One is running in the Bag makers question and answer forum Bobbin Girl's Sewing Bee, and the other is a group that's come from the facebook group Sewing tote bags and purses and is called The Nappy bag - Sew along with Mrs H.
Interior of Barbara's Travel bag, adapted from The Nappy Bag
There'll be two separate prize pots so two chances to win! You're very welcome to join either or both for some great ongoing chats, advice (usually all hours of the day due to the beauty of different time zones), and inspiration.

Bobbin Girl's Sewing Bee is a smaller group, still 330 members though, very encouraging and great for really getting to chat. I've laughed and chatted away in this group very comfortably!

Sewing tote bags and purses is a larger group, international of course, and excellent if you need lots of advice very quickly. With over 14,000 members it can get busy, but it's very good for the ego when you post a photo of a new bag and immediately get 20 likes!

Simone's bag
We'll be starting to gather our supplies over the next couple of weeks ready to start properly on 1st May. You can take your time, work at your own pace and not feel rushed.

There'll be posts each week of the next steps and I'll talk you through all sorts of tips and tricks, tools to make life easier, and how to customise the nappy bag to your own needs.
Liz's travel themed overnight bag
If you haven't already got a copy of The Nappy Bag Sewing pattern (aka the diaper bag, the travel bag, the junk carrier's handbag) then please feel free to purchase it to get ready. You can find it in my Etsy store, just use the discount code SEWALONG15 for your 15% discount. The code can be used on multiple patterns as long as you've got The Nappy Bag amongst your purchase, so if you wanted a bundle or a couple of patterns, you can use it for those too.

We'll have an end date of 15th June, which gives us plenty of time. Alison from Bobbin Girl reminded me there's two bank holidays in May! You don't need to have finished by that date, but if you have then you can be entered into the competition to win the prizes (TBA).

Check in later in the week for a list of supplies, where to find them and my unusual suggestion of a starting point! I'm looking forwards to sewing with you!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Q2 '15 FAL Goals

It's that time again for setting our quarterly goals. This is only my second quarter, but already I'm feeling the companionship of many others out there working towards finishing things off.

Maybe by the end of the year my WIP (works in progress) box will be empty, right? Wait, why are you laughing?

This quarter is mostly about clothing for me, I've got a lot of fabrics ready waiting to be made into clothes, here they are.

From top left, Chunky sweater knit for an Oslo Cardigan, grey sweatshirt fabric (and pink ribbing?!) for a sweater, dark grey t shirt fabric for a Lane raglan, Navy & red voile for a top for my beautiful friend Stacey, lilac Veronica voile for a summer top (with sleeves) for me (pattern undecided, any suggestions?) and then some aqua knit elephants for a t-shirt or two for Elvis.

I bought these two Christmas cushions in the sale (£10 reduced to £3) so I'd like to make removeable covers for them so that they can sit on our settee all year round, and just be Christmassy at Christmas. I can't be doing with storing cushions away, it seems silly!

Hopefully this light embroidered cotton will become a couple of little skirts for my nieces to wear over leggings. That's their favourite fashion combo at the moment so hopefully they'll be to their taste!

And finally some cushions for my sister-in-law from this Cath Kidston Provence Rose in blue. I'm fed up of this fabric I've had so much of it so I'm glad to make these for her and to get it out of my sewing room!

What are you working on this quarter?

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Meeting Daryl {Patchouli Moon Studios interview}

Hi lovelies, today I want to introduce you to a maker who's caught my eye, particularly recently. 
I'm sure many of you already know of her and follow her blog, today I'm interviewing Daryl from Patchouli Moon Studio. 

Daryl has been a customer of mine for a number of years and has extremely high standards that she looks for in the patterns she buys. She's the sort of customer I love because she finds all of my mistakes and emails me to correct them, rather than letting me make those mistakes!

Daryl says, "I make mostly quilted wall hangings, bags, small projects like pincushions, fabric bowls etc. and I knit too. I love to play with fabric by embellishing it with paint, pens, embroidery, stencils, textures, dyes, etc. I want to make more bags and quilts that are embellished using one or more of the embellished techniques. I just love fiber and playing".

This bag in particular caught my eye last month and I reached out to Daryl to share some more about her on my blog with all of you lovely readers.

Hyacinth bag - February for Bag of the Month Club '15
I featured Daryl's Hyacinth bag on my round-up of February bags for Sara at Sew Sweetness and commented that she'd used this panel really well. Then Daryl corrected me and told me that she'd created this panel herself. Uh...what?! Seriously?! That was it, I was amazed!

Daryl took some backing fabric (originally beige),  drew the African lady, painted the background, appliqu├ęd the border and then quilted it.

When I found out about this, I was in absolute awe at Daryl's creativity and skill.  It's incredible!

Daryl offers a free Craftsy tutorial Painting on Fabric with Crayon Pastels if you want to learn some of her skilled techniques yourself.

Painting on fabric with crayon pastels course by Patchouli Moon Studio
 Daryl has also made two Companion Carpet bags so far, here's the first, really bright and happy.

Companion Carpet Bag

The second she used a light floaty see through fabric, applied interfacing then quilted it to give it some structure. Here's a close up. It's Daryl's creative use of materials which really draws me to her.

Companion Carpet Bag 2

She doesn't stop there though, here she's made a plethora of zip bags from scraps.

Scrappy Zipper pouches

And my eye was immediately drawn to this Faith crosses quilt on her blog.
Faith crosses quilt
 I took the opportunity to ask her some questions and here are her answers.

How did you start sewing? 
I learned some from my mother and I also had Home Ec in high school, where we learned to sew for half the school year and learned to cook for the other half. My mom always sewed and made many dresses for my sister and me when we were young.

When do you sew? 
I sew almost everyday and whenever I am in the mood. Sometimes I will sew in the morning and sometimes the afternoons. I rarely sew at night because I tend to get sleepy and that's when mistakes can happen, lol!!!

What's one thing you struggle with when sewing? 
It would have to be when making clothes, which isn't often, I have a hard time if the pattern doesn't fit me right and I am not savvy enough to know how to fix the problem.
Another thing that can be frustrating to me is if I am following a pattern for making something (clothes, bags, etc.) and the directions are not clear. I had purchased some patterns and books in the past that were pretty bad. Then I discovered some wonderful online designers such as Christine Welsh of ChrisW Designs, Janelle from Emmaline Bags, Sara of Sew Sweetness and several others including of course Samantha of Mrs. H. What a joy to have well written patterns to follow.

What do you strive for when sewing?
I strive for perfectly straight stitches! Maria Vasquez of Mia Creations is my role model for stitching straight, lol!! I also strive for enjoying the process of sewing. Not everything I make comes out the way I want it to, but as long as I enjoy the process of creating and sewing then I am happy. We all have things that don't come out perfectly in the end, but sometimes as with quilting, it's a design opportunity moment to get creative and switch gears and finish it differently. Some of my best quilts are the ones that I made a goof on and had to think creatively to save it.

Tell us a random fact about yourself ;)
I think this might be the hardest question, lol! A random fact? Hmmm....okay I got one. My very first job I got was working in a needlework shop where they sold needlepoint, cross stitch, embroidery, crewel and bargello supplies and patterns. Then about about 5 years later my mom opened a quilt shop and I worked for her. The shop closed after a year. Everything back then was done by hand. If mom had only hung in there for a couple more years the rotary cutter and ruler and mat would have been invented and that might have helped to keep her shop in business. Who knows, I may have ended up with my own quilt shop handed down to me from my mom if that had worked out. But of course I probably wouldn't have met my husband and my life would have been completely different. I am happy with the life I have and so I am glad things happened the way they did.

Here's where Daryl works when she's crafting, it's packed full of makes and inspiration. I love that hot air balloon in the corner there!
The Patchouli Moon Studio

Thanks for letting us get to know you a little better Daryl, it's been a real pleasure!

Daryl lives in New Mexico, USA. She loves creating colorful handmade items such as quilts, purses, bags, totes, & knitted items. You can see more Patchouli Moon Studio makes on the her blog or Flickr  and see the rest of her patterns, many free on Craftsy.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Behind enemy lines!

Hey everyone!

Just recently I've been busy, busy, busy!

I've spent some time the last few weeks going behind enemy lines doing some guest posts.

Only joking, my fellow designers are some of the best friends a girl can have, and I love guest posting on their blogs

This is where I've been lately, click on the photos to go to the posts.

Firstly I stopped by at Janelle's blog Emmaline Bags and shared a super quick Poppet purses tutorial.

Next I swooped over to Sara's blog Sew Sweetness to share my round-up of February Bag of the Month Club bags.

And finally..... I paddled my way over to Chris' blog, Chris W designs where I shared a tutorial on how to turn your fabric scraps into yardage.

Phew, it must be time for me to take a chocolate break, right?

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter!

Please don't pin photos of Elvis :)

Elvis, Dusband and I would like to wish you all a Happy Easter!

May God bless you and your families, and may your Easter baskets be full!