Tag Archives: Sewing

My Handmade Wardrobe

Spring has begun to spring here in the UK and I have very much had spring cleaning fever (by that I mean clearing out all the junk that none of us needs). It started off as quite fun but I am now at the point where I have had enough and the house still does not quite look like I would like it to. Hey HO, I shall persevere.

With As part of my Spring clean I decided to tackle my clothes. To be honest I am a bit fed up with my clothes. I don’t know whether it is an age thing or I have not updated recently but I just don’t feel excited by many of my outfits now. Sorting through them I did notice that I have a lot of greeny/browny coloured clothes. I always thought that I was quite a colourful person but it seems not. This is something that I will have to consciously address over the next few months.

I did sort out quite a few things to get rid of (including some smelly running tops that my husband will be so pleased to see the back of). As May is rapidly approaching along with the challenge started by Zoe called me-made-May  where you pledge to wear your handmade and upcycled clothes as much as you  declare, I decided to take photos of the things that  I have made so that I can truly see what clothes I have ready for the May challenge. (Last year I thought that I would have made loads by now…..)


This was my first ever knitted item that I made when I was a teenager. It is incredibly warm and only worn when I want a bit of comfort.


This poncho was the first item I made on my return to knitting.


This Angel wings ‘Bolero’ is a favourite of mine. Nice and warm but not too bulky.


This falling leaves jumper looks amazing on.


This is a wrap dress that is the first item of clothing I made from cloth as an adult.


My first pair of trousers.


A jersey top.

I also have 2 pairs of socks, a scarf and three shawls. I wear the shawls the most.

At the end of last year I thought that I would manage to make 1 item of clothing a month. I have failed on this target so far although I have a cardigan that is nearly finished (buttons and ends) and another one well on its way. I also have the pieces cut out for another jersey top so if I get my skates on, I am not that far off my target after all……I have just not finished one a month.



Sewing running leggings

During my break from blogging I re-acquainted myself with sewing. I am aware that I have yet to share with you the wrap dress that I made but that will come, I promise. Following on from this I found a pattern for some workout clothes that I thought I would have a go at…..

I had hoped that I would get at least one item of clothing completed over the Christmas holidays, however we are talking about Christmas and well I just didn’t get time. I did make a start:

I found  Fehr Trade who has several patterns for work out gear. Great, a way to merge two of my hobbies. Luckily she explains what sorts of materials you need to make work out gear as well as a list of possible retailers.

Having ordered the material I downloaded the pattern and set about printing it out. Now printing patterns out means printing onto A4 paper, (obviously) and patterns need to occupy slightly larger bits of paper! This is not a difficult process but does involve a lot of tape. To start with I tried to do it piece by piece but soon realised that the way to go was to tape all the bits of paper together before  attempting to cut.

Cutting the pattern out.

Cutting the pattern out.

I enjoy tasks like this and spent a very happy evening sticking and cutting, although I did take over the whole of the floor!

I ended up with the required pieces without any tears!

I ended up with the required pieces without any tears!

I was now able to continue as if I had bought a paper pattern:



Laying the pieces out on the material.

Laying the pieces out on the material.

I am now waiting for the perfect time to cut them out…….

A surprisingly crafty week

It has been one of those weeks where I feared that I had no time for ‘proper’ crafting. I did rather a lot of sewing:

That is labels into school uniform.

That is sewing labels into school uniform.

This took a lot of my evenings up along with the planning and preparation at the computer  needed for the coming few weeks. I did feel that I needed a project that I could just pick up every now and again as complete relaxation so started on this:

Some crochet in lovely yarn.

Some crochet in lovely yarn.

I shall not reveal all yet – I like to keep you guessing.

Finally, this weekend has been a bit unusual as it has been about my husband and I. We have not been running around with our children here, there and everywhere, instead they have been coming to things with us. Yesterday my husband was playing at a local music festival which meant that I had some time to have a go at two more projects:

I did a bit more kumihimo to make a 'chain' for the turquoise chips I started on holiday. A step closer to being completed.

I did a bit more kumihimo to make a ‘chain’ for the turquoise chips I started on holiday. A step closer to being completed.

I also had a go at using my new larger and bigger french knitting loom.

I also had a go at using my new larger and bigger french knitting loom.

I really like the way that the beads are encased in the wire cage.

Yes I am one of those crazy people!

Yes I am one of those crazy people!

Today has been about me taking part in a Spartan race (a race with obstacles in) rather than crafting but I shall definitely be doing a bit more crochet as a way of relaxing this evening. That is once I have been over to handmade harbour and caught up with all the great makes over there (with a well-earned glass of wine of course).

Hope you all have a great week :).


Cloth Crocheted Panal Bag (bag tutorial included)

When looking for some projects to take away with me on holiday, I quite fancied making myself a crocheted bag. I have seen several that I like the look of, usually along the net market bag style. I went into my local shop and asked the knowledgeable owner what sort of yarn would she recommend in order to crochet a bag from. Her response was not what I wanted to hear: You will have to line it so the yarn doesn’t get stretched. Humph!


Having got used to this idea (and choosing some awesome yarn) I decided that I could go to town and do any design I fancied. I chose to adapt a design that I had used  before in wire:

My yarn version.

I came back from holiday with this and then did a second one. With a border around the edge I was ready to make the bag!

It is being blocked here – see the added border?

Out came the machine!

Warning:  I can get by with sewing but am no expert. I am sure that I made some silly mistakes but I thought it may give some people an idea. (If you do sew please skip over this next bit :).)

Step one:

Obviously to measure the size required and then to cut the material into pieces. As this was a large bag I decided that I would add 2 side panels and a bottom rather than simply stitching the two sides together:

The 5 pieces of hacked material. (Too late I realised my scissors were blunt!)

(I added on an extra 1.5cm along each edge for the seams.)

Step 2:

As I had made such a hash with the cutting out I decided to iron the edges so I could see where the hem allowances were to make it easier when sewing. (You could miss this bit out.)

Step 3:

(Not needed with all materials.)

To prevent fraying I sewed a mini hem along each of the edges.

Step 4:

With right sides together I lined up the ironed edges of the bag.

These are then pinned together (and because I am lazy I do nothing more but should tack!) before then sewing them together.

Step 5:

It makes a perfect sewing machine cover!

I then ironed all the seams flat so that they would lie down well when it is turned in the right way.

Step 6 Making the handles.

I again made a mini seam along each edge to prevent any future problems with fraying. I then simply put the right sides together and sewed along the long edge. My next challenge was to turn them out the right way. (Not as easy as it sounds!)

There is a definite knack to this!

My secret weapon! I used this to unpick a few stitches to try to make the process easier and then to push the material through.

In order to add a bit of substance to the handles I threaded a bit of rope into each handle before sewing it onto the bag.

Finishing off:

All that now remains is to sew the crochet panels onto the cloth bag. I did this by hand!

One side….

….and the other side.


If you look closely you will see that the yarn is a slightly different colour way. I have a bag that suits my mood, slightly subdued or brighter and bolder!! (Intentional of course!)

As always I am now heading over to Handmade Harbour (to see how it should have been done!) Do grab a glass of wine or a cuppa and follow me over there.

Thanks for being patient with me this week :).