Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Superhero pouches

My mum recently made a superheroes quilt for my brother’s girlfriend, Grace. I used up some of the scraps to make these fun pouches.

It was difficult to match the blue of Superman's suit and Batman's cape and the yellow fabric I ended up using is actually floral, but I am hoping the boys won't notice!
Happy sewing

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kokka phone case

Despite having had the same phone for some time and never having had a case for it, yesterday I decided my iphone needed a little pouch to protect it.

I was glad to finally find a use for this cute Kokka birdy fabric, which is a fine linen weight and tends not to look right paired with quilting cottons. The flap is velcro and the button on the front is purely decorative.

After fussy cutting a piece for the front I was left with a scrap with one chirping little bird on it, so I stuck it to the back with a bit of bondaweb and secured it with blanket stitch.

Happy sewing

Tiny needle cases

I travel to work by train and more often than not I spend the commute tacking EPP hexagons or doing other bits of hand sewing. I have lost countless needles on the floor or inbetween the seats on the train and the other passengers tend not to appreciate me rummaging around trying to find them, so I always carry a couple of spares. This week I whipped up a tiny needle case to keep my spares in, using this long hoarded froggy picnic fabric from Heather Ross.

My friend Shah asked me to make her one too, this time for carrying spare pins for her headscarf.  I used pandas and pins fabric:

She has also commissioned me to make another for her niece. Here it is:

Happy sewing

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sherbert Pips tote bag

My mum has sewn ever since she was a little girl. Whilst I have dabbled and made the odd thing, I didn't really take it up as a hobby until a couple of years ago (I'm now 27).

It started with a trip to The Bramble Patch, during which I fell in love with Aneela Hoey's 'Sherbert Pips' line. I purchased a charm pack and a pattern for a simple tote bag and I made this lovely thing:

That puppy riding on the back of the scooter still makes me smile :-)

This bag is certainly well used (please ignore the dirt!) and is often complimented. So thanks Aneela for getting me into sewing (and costing me an absolute fortune...)!

Happy sewing

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pencil case

Every year at work we have a Christmas fair at which you can rent a table for £20 (which goes to our charity of the year) and sell whatever you like. This year my friend has talked me into taking a table. This means I need stock and plenty of it!

I tried to thing of things people might like to buy as gifts and came up with: ipad cases; kindle cases; business card holders; pencil cases; mug hugs; tote bags; cosmetics bags; passport holders.

This is my first attempt at a pencil case. I think it's saleable (just about) although I'm not completely happy with the zip. I suppose I might as well make everything a little bit wonky just to give it that "handmade" look...!

Happy sewing

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nice weather for ducks

I’m not sure what possessed me to purchase a white raincoat, but it doesn’t stay white for very long bundled up at the bottom of my bag. It needed a bag. A cute one.

My starting point was the umbrella fabric (part of Bonnie & Camille's April Showers collection) and I couldn’t resist using the frogs from Rae Hoekstra’s Lotus Pond collection. The rest were just picked to coordinate with the colours in the starting fabrics.

 I had a hard time finding the right shade of green. I had asked my mum to keep an eye out for “grass green” but she came back with two fat quarters of what I would call “lime green”. I said I needed “cutting mat green”, to which she replied “why didn’t you say that in the first place, then I’d have known exactly what you meant?!”. Ha! Crafters. (But seriously, why do they only make cutting mats in green?)

 I used the same tutorial mentioned in this post but scaled it up and ditched the inside pockets. I couldn’t resist adding the little duck label, in keeping with the theme of the bag.

I had originally planned one less column of patches but added an extra one at the last minute as I was worried it would end up too small. It ended up too big instead...the size I had originally planned would have been perfect. Never mind…room for an umbrella too J

One clean raincoat:

Happy sewing

Sewing for men: business card holders

It can be difficult to think of things to sew for the men in our lives, but these business card holders do the trick.

These were made using a great tutorial by Crafty CupboardI didn’t have fusible fleece so used standard batting, with a bit of quilting to hold it all in place and for added texture. I had to use elastic hair ties for the loops as coloured elastic is surprisingly difficult to come by (Frumble are currently out of stock).

Of course I had to make some girlier ones too...

As well as business cards. these are the perfect size for gift cards, bus/train passes or all those loyalty cards that seem to multiply in your purse when you’re not looking.

Happy sewing

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pink tiger coin purse

Like many other sewers, I am completely awed by the new Cotton + Steel collections. The tiger print is my absolute favourite and I had to have a piece in every colour way. But what to do with it?

I've been meaning to make myself a little coin purse for a while. Big enough to fit a couple of cards and some cash in, but much smaller than my normal purse when I don't want to lug it around. The pink tiger coin purse was born!

I quilted two small panels, pink tigers for the front and a coordinating pink print for the bag. The lining is from Aneela Hoey's 'Petal' collection. 

Quick to make and perfect for using up scraps, these would make great gifts.

Happy sewing

Monday, August 18, 2014

Foundation piecing a jungle

I have finally learnt the art of foundation paper piecing. Here are my first attempts, using patterns from the book 'A Quilter's Ark' by Margaret Rolfe.

It took me a while to overcome my reluctance to waste fabric by cutting the pieces bigger than I needed. Eventually I decided the wastage was less painful than the frustration of repositioning (and unpicking and resewing) the same piece several times to get it right!

I'm quite pleased with my efforts overall and have a few more jungle critters planned. I haven't quite decided what to do with them yet but might make them into a baby quilt with a bright border and  backing.

Happy sewing

Friday, August 15, 2014

Patchwork pouch obsession

More patchwork pouches. Really, it's becoming an addiction. This one is to keep all my icing nozzles in check:

And my brother requested one to keep the pieces of one of his card games in. The game is about building towns, which inspired the use of the Lucie Summers houses fabric.

I think I like them because I can bear to use 2 1/4" squares of pretty much any of my fabrics, even the precious hoarded ones.

Happy sewing

The sushi purse

Hi. I’m Tori. I’m 27, I live in a town called Solihull slap bang in the middle of England, I’m a solicitor and I love to sew. I have been sewing for about two years now, my mum finally having succeeded in persuading me to make the leap from papercrafts. I always preferred paper because it behaves better than fabric, but fabric is so much more versatile. I have made many pretty things with paper but they are purely for decorative use. With fabric I can make usable objects: bags, quilts, clothing. From my very first project, a tote bag made from a charm pack, I have progressed rapidly to the status of ‘Fabric Fiend’.

Blogs are one of my main sources of inspiration. I read them daily. When I’m out and about away from my sewing machine, I can still get a sewing fix catching up on the latest posts. I was finally inspired to create my own blog to record my forays into sewing and quilting after receiving a compliment on one of my latest projects. I was at The Festival of Quilts at the NEC last weekend and a lady on one of the stands was taken enough with my patchwork purse that she asked me to send her a picture so she could make something similar.

Here’s the purse that started it all off. I call it the Sushi Purse.

I was so pleased with it I immediately made a second one. This one was a gift for my mum.

The insides are pretty too :-)

Much credit is due to Pink Penguin who wrote the tutorial for this purse (you can find it here) and to Fabric Mutt whose delightful version inspired me to make my own. I have several more under construction and a large consignment of zips on order!

Happy sewing