Shibori Bag

the finished bag from my spoonflower shibori fabric
shibori-bag-pin

 

the finished bag from my spoonflower shibori fabric
Bag made out of shibori fabric

I finally used this piece of my shibori fabric!

You might remember I had a yard of this design printed on Spoonflower Eco Canvas fabric about a year ago.  Since then, I’ve been looking at it and wondering what would be best to make with it.

This is the original fabric piece

 

If you’ve been following me on social media, you may have guessed that I finally cut into it and made a bag.  I used a pdf pattern by Blue Calla Sewing Patterns called the Dahlia Drawstring Bag.  I wanted the patterned squares to be the focus so I had to plan the cutting carefully so that all the seams and lines would line up and not look out of place on the finished bag.  It used a surprising amount of fabric by the time the pieces were selected (and quite a lot of brain power in the process!).

spoonflower shibori fabric cut up ready to make bag
All cut up and ready to put together!

 

It is a bucket bag with side pockets.  Here is the exterior piece all stitched together.

side of shibori bag with end pockets
It has side pockets which I wanted to line up with the side panels

 

And a front view – the pattern suggested vinyl for the base and top front but I couldn’t find any that I liked so I cut up a Boden raincoat that I no longer wear. I like the fabric and want to refashion the top part of the coat into a kind of waistcoat so I thought I’d use the rest in my bag.

shibori bag
this is the front view

 

For the lining I used some pinky-red hand printed and discharged fabric that I had in my cupboard.  I think it would make a nice lampshade cover with the light shining through it!

pink discharged printed lining
The lining of the bag

 

Here it is all stitched together – the top has a drawstring closure which meant putting grommets in. That was a challenge all of its own.  Suffice to say that I’m not too good with a hammer.  Unfortunately they were too large for the Crop-a-dile which is what I usually use for smaller eyelets.

nearly completed indigo shibori bag
Those grommets were the bane of my life!!

 

And here it is all finished.

completed indigo shibori bag
All completed!

Can you use an old Singer sewing machine?

Okay, this is a different sort of post than usual, but still textile related!!  My husband is involved with a local charity called Health Help International which sends various supplies/support to Zambia and India.  One of their projects is a sewing studio in Zambia and they regularly send out old manual sewing machines – manual because the electricity supply there is unreliable.

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These machines have been given to me because they don’t work (or in some cases might be because they have one of the older type transverse bobbins which are difficult to get hold of, I’m not sure).  But I’m tripping over them in my workroom and wondered if anyone locally (South Wales) would like one for a small donation to HHI (since they were donated originally I don’t think I should just give them away outright)?

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These are photos of the ones I have and I thought that if you sold at vintage fairs etc you might be able to use one as a display.   I’ve seen people using them for hanging necklaces and pendants on or as decoration in shop windows.  These old machines are very ornamental, aren’t they?

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UPDATE:  I’ve now taken all these (and some more) to Tools for Self Reliance Cymru who repair them and send them to Tanzania.

 

 

 

Great British Sewing Bee and some upcycling fun!

I hinted in earlier posts that I’d been doing more dressmaking and upcycling than quilting and dyeing recently, so I thought I’d tell you what I have been up to.

I bought a secondhand Harris Tweed men’s jacket on Ebay very cheaply and altered it. 

harris tweed jacket 

I can’t find any ‘before’ photos but this is it when I had just started and was auditioning that orange silk fabric with it.   First of all I unpicked the lining from the main jacket from about halfway up the front and along most of the bottom edge apart from the back vents where it was too firmly stitched on!   Then I took out the shoulder pads and restitched the top of the shoulders to make them a bit narrower, more rounded and less military-looking.   I then stitched more darts to shape the waistline. 

altered harris tweed jacket  

Here it is just pinned.  I had to be a bit careful not to pull the pocket flap out of shape.  I also made the bottom of the armhole a bit smaller and stitched more tucks in the upper back to take out some nasty puckers that had developed.  Once I was happy with the fit, I restitched the lining and then added a few embellishments.

detail of pocket trim   

This is some of my printed fabric which I stitched on to the top pocket.  I also stitched some narrow burgundy ribbon along the piped top of the bottom pockets and replaced all the buttons with dusky pink ones to make it clear that this was now a woman’s jacket!  I thought I took a photo at this stage but the only one I can find is the one below.  The buttons on the sleeve are pink too.

upcycled polo neck 

The Great British Sewing Bee started last week and inspired me to do a bit of my own!   This pinky mauve top started life as a Landsend polo neck top and after a while I decided I didn’t like to wear polo necks anymore but I still liked the top and didn’t just want to chuck it.  So I took the neckline off and stitched that burgundy satin bias binding around the raw edges.  I also wanted it longer so I thought I’d put a flounce on the bottom.  I wasn’t sure about mixing stretchy knitted fabric and woven cotton, but I thought my hand printed fabric which I made with the wisteria screen shown at the bottom of this page of my blog matched the colour well so decided to give it a go.  I found a webpage on How to make a pixie skirt and it was incredibly easy – this piece is just a square piece of fabric with a circular hole cut in the middle.   A couple of lines of topstitching with a triple straight stitch finished it off and I’m wearing it as I type!

top with jacket 

Here it is with the finished jacket.

  another view of top

Not sure whether to sew this flower on or not…

Happy New Year – and Bloggers Meet!

Happy New Year to you all!  I don’t know where the last week went, I seem to have been sleeping a lot; we went up to Stoke to see my parents and on Monday,  I had a lovely day because two people who I have known online for several years now came to visit me. 

Sara Lechner from Austria, who blogs at The Fabric of Meditation, was visiting her daughter in North Wales, and she had a three hour train journey to see me!  Wales may be a small place, but it takes a long time to travel from north to south… And Sue Krekorian of The Magic Armchair Traveller came to join us.  We had a lovely time chatting, visiting a local cafe for lunch and wandering round Newport’s shops, chatting again… and having the obligatory photo in my studio!   DS2 kindly obliged and took this photo of the three of us:

bloggers meet up!

While I was trying to upload that photo, Live Writer decided it wanted to upload another one and it’s such a nice one that I decided to let it stay…. This is one of the leaves of my avocado plant.  I thought the veins with the browning edges makes for a very interesting photo:

brown edged avocado leaf

While we were in Stoke we saw this ferris wheel which is in the grounds of Trentham Gardens factory shopping village (I think it’s called something else but since it was Trentham Gardens when I grew up, that is what it will forever be in my mind).  I had my first summer job there, working as a cashier in the open air swimming pool.  Sadly, the said swimming pool was demolished some time ago…

ferris wheel in Trentham Gardens

I thought the centre of it would make a good Gocco screen…. (without Stoke City football club’s sponsorship medallion … or maybe even with it)

centre of ferris wheel in Stoke

I wonder what 2009 will bring?  DH is going to India again later this month so I’m planning to do some gelatine plate monoprinting and some more screenprinting while he’s away.  So look out for lots of fabric photos.    I meant to do a blog post about 2008 and what had happened in it but time somehow flew away from me.    I think I will remember it for the Gocco and for getting involved in Etsy.  And for my two magazine articles in CTDG.    And for those of you who subscribe to Fibre and Stitch, look out for the January issue because I’ve got an article in there too!  Here’s a bit of a teaser…

teaser