Sunday, 31 July 2011

how to make fabric bag handles...tutorial

Finally got the knack of these, so thought I'd create my first  tutorial
You can make handles from any non stretchy fabric, I recommend upholstery fabric which is strong.
You can obtain it cheaply as curtain shops often have remnants which will do just fine.
Charity shops often have upholstery fabrics too. For those of you new to the game; upholstery fabrics are thicker than dress fabrics. Canvas or cotton drill ideal.If you have IKEA in your country, they sell lovely upholstery ( home decor ) fabrics cheaply.However it is impossible to go to IKEA and just buy a small piece of fabric, you will come out loaded with candles, objets d'art and implements you didn't even know you needed.
The fabric I used here was an old curtain remnant. ( Scarlet O'Hara inspired me)

Cut your fabric strip. It needs to be 4 times the final diameter you want your strap to be
it needs to be several inches longer than you want the strap to be, to allow length to attach to the bag.
in this example , I cut a 5 " x 26 " piece to make a 21" handle thats  1 1/4 " wide
This is an excellent length for bag handles as you use over your shoulder as well as in your hand, it will not drag on ground unless you are a child/short/munchkin/pixie in which case just shorten them to your specific needs. ( Pixies will need proportions of bag changed too )
STEP 2 :
iron your fabric in half lengthways, then open out again

STEP 3: fold the bottom half up to the midline  and iron

 STEP 4: do the same for the top half, iron

STEP 5 :  fold in half lengthways and iron. Note: it is not dirt everywhere in my photo, its fabric fluff, really.

STEP 6 : now to sew the strap. Firstly sew quite near the open  edge , a straight line down the whole length of the strap. Use normal stitch setting.I have rotated the strap in second photo to show you what side to stitch.

STEP 7 : now stitch down the opposite side of the strap

STEP 8 : tidy up the raw ends, I used serrated scissors ( pinking shears ) here

STEP 9 : iron your  finished strap flat

STEP 10 : admire your strap
2 examples of where I have used these straps

thanks for looking , any ask.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

daughters funky chicken tote

R chose this material whilst mooching around a curtain shop today, and asked for a tote
she was very specific that the handles must NOT be attached on the outside, evidently this is  a no- no in  her peer group..........

mother's lined tote and summer purse

love the colours of the purse, that's the start of the christmas making  for this year!

made the tote from  furnishing fabric my mother had given me ages ago, and will give it to her tomorrow when visiting; I wonder if she'll recognise the fabric?

Friday, 29 July 2011

round handled bag

this one was a struggle as had to HAND SEW handles in.....tried to squash it all under the presser foot for quite a while, failed miserably.
note the dying flowers, just got back from hols to a  dried out balcony. Dear daughters pocket money chore was to water it back to life.Still doing the laundry, well actually I was bag making to  avoid that.

Monday, 18 July 2011

travel quilts

thought about buying nice sun longer covers for our holiday to Mallorca, but then had a idea...

made 2 sunloungery size thin quilts , polyester batting ,with batiks and a strap. Hey presto, can use them for keeping warm on flight home when the air con gets too harsh as well.
Try doing that with your average beach mat.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

two-tone felt bag

This was fun to do, first time working with felt, think I will be doing more.
Embroidered french knots on front panel
Plain taupe back
Handles from  tasmania.  TASMANIA! I told you leather handles are hard to find online........

this one used brown/cream combination

Friday, 15 July 2011

long pleated tote with leather handles

second go at u- handbags pleated tote
hand sewed leather tab handles to bag with matching black embroidery thread, but that black thread now looks a bit 'home made' on the lining. Hmmm. I am not admitting defeat. Off to shop  to find a darling little applique x 4 to cover  that up!

Monday, 11 July 2011

amy butler birdie sling

well, keeping busy so as not to miss daughter at camp
at last 5 yds of fusible fleece arrived today so can get on with 3 projects waiting for it!
So spent an indulgent evening... pinning, sewing,  white wine, pinning sewing, white wine, unpick dodgy topstitching, pin, sew again...think about dinner, can't quite  be bothered to cook......and now time for bed with threads all over flat.Must go to gym tomorrow  ..... must, must. The bag is hanging on a minimalist sparkly christmas tree in case you are wondering what the heck is that?

Sunday, 10 July 2011

robyn's purse

My daughter loved the khaki lining I was making for a bag, and asked me to make her a purse
she chose the  colours  and  studs...quite restrained for me! Finally getting the hang of not spreading glue everywhere, its taken 4 purses to get to this point. Used hotfix studs for the embellishment. I think I prefer the gunmetal frames to the silver ones.Daughter off for a week to camp tomorrow, will miss her lots.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

previous quilts....a few recovered images

My dear friend Mary managed to pass back images of past quilts I had sent to her
 ( I had lost all my images ).
the first one is made from lovely oriental fabrics purchased online from hawaii

 This went to good friend Andy who suggested a skills swap, he knitted  me a lovely silk jumper in return for the oriental quilt.Here it is. I had to laugh, I asked my 12 yo daughter to photograph the jumper, and thats exactly what she did!

Next one is a beach hut quilt which adorns my sitting room wall ( found a great quilt hanging system that does not require any drilling into walls , hurrah! )

This one was made for my sister emma's birthday last year. Bed quilts are a real problem as I live in tiny flat and have no laying out space. Had to go to local playground to lay this one out to pin it to batting and backing. Caused quite a commotion  amongst onlookers trying to work out what the hell was going on!

 This one was an early effort for a bit of free motion, I was quite pleased with the watery effect

First  harmonic convergence quilt ( ricky tims ) , LOVED the result, well done Ricky!

This was made for best friend's   friend Jane who  has since passed away.  We remember her for her sense of humour and her lovely art gallery in swansea.

VERY early efforts, made for little nephew Piran.
 Backing of Piran's quilt, made from  silver upholstery remnant. I am a sucker for sparkle, glitter, etc etc.

 First efforts at tumbling blocks. I don't think accurate piecing is my forte!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Saturday, 2 July 2011

love basket x 2

Used the recommended ultra firm fusible interfacing this time but it was DAMN hard to work with and some of it popped free just after I had sewed the lining closed. Hrumph.
Going back to fusible canvas next time. Dont seem to have much luck with my fusibles at the moment, maybe my old steam iron isn't hot enough? Do you like the lining colour?
Off to london now to 'feastival' to sample some good music and  food

Friday, 1 July 2011

pleated tote waiting for handles....where are they?

tote made with IKEA furnishing fabric, but can I get leather handles easily? Trawling the web for 2 nights now without much success. So tried to think of another use for it...makes a great mad hat worn upside down......