Over the bank holiday weekend I have been doing some simple bag sewing and making more quick projects for myself and for others. It has been great fun using firm cottons instead of jerseys and sheers. I have been indulging myself making some of the projects in my Cath Kidston Sewing Book that I was given for Mother's Day.
This all started because the Bible my son was given by his junior church group started to fall apart. It is a nice book but I think it was made as a gift for children rather than being made to be used by children. The binding was split and falling apart and it wasn't going to be long before all of the pages fell out completely.
The first task was to put the book back together with packing tape. A few strong lengths of tape later and the book was back in one piece, but it looked terrible!
Cath Kidston has instructions in her Sewing Book for a fabric book cover. Using an off-cut from some pirate curtains I cut out the rectangles according to her instructions. She gives all of the dimensions and seam allowances so that the cover will fit the book snugly. I particularly like the pocket inside the front cover for keeping useful notes and bits and pieces.
I use a length of ribbon to make a bookmark, which I stitched to the cover at the top of the spine. One of the features of Cath Kidston's book that I really like is that it has two ribbon bookmarks. I think that I might add a second bookmark to this cover, it is so useful to be able to keep track of two places in a book at the same time.
I have reinforced my cover with a strap around the middle of the book that closes with a button and buttonhole. I hope that this will stop the book from coming under the same strains in future. The strap holds the book together when it is not being used and also works well as a carrying handle.
The owner of this book was very pleased with his new cover.
My next project was a present for a friend. Pam gave me a lot of dress making patterns recently and I wanted a way to say thank you. I had seen her struggling the other day to carry bags, coats and toys belonging to her family and I thought she could do with a useful bag. Anyway can anyone ever have too many nice bags?
I bought this fabric from Dunelm when I went to buy material to make a peg apron here and have wanted to use it ever since.
When I bought the fabric I had the Tote Bag in Cath Kidston's book in mind. I also bought shocking pink polyester cotton to use as a lining in contrast to the pale blue of the bag.
The bag has an internal pocket, which will be useful for storing car keys or a mobile phone so that they don't get lost at the bottom.
This is a lovely bag pattern. It is the most complicated tote bag that I have ever made though. All of the vertical seams are top stitched to give the bag structure. In order to make sure that the lining didn't slip out of place I needed to tack down the seam lines and then tack the fold down before machining along the edge. This worked very well. The hardest part was actually removing the tacking stitches once the top stitching was completed.
I was pleased with the finished bag and may well use this pattern again.
By now I was on a roll!. I had one more piece of fabric that I had bought to make a bag because it reminded me of a bag in this book. This time it was something for me. I use a hand made shoulder bag every day and it needs a wash from time to time, which is a problem. I thought that if I made the rose handbag in Cath Kidston's book it would be a useful standby and I could put my trusty shoulder bag in the washing. This was a quick project and quite simple to make.
I think this is so pretty and I love the shape! I altered the design by adding an internal pocket just like the tote bag. I seem to spend so much time rummaging about in the bottom of my bags looking for small things, don't you?
There is very little top stitching in this bag so it is soft and doesn't have much structure. I have used it today as a trial and have found it a nuisance that I couldn't put the bag over my shoulder to leave my hands free. This handbag won't be taking over full time from my old shoulder bag but it was quick and easy to make and will be a useful extra bag. I have some small pieces of fabric left over in both prints and have plans to make a pencil case and some other accessories in these pretty colours.