Trying to do free motion sewing…

I made this bag at the weekend. The main fabric, the cream, is a cotton/linen blend and is just lush; the lining is a pure thick cotton red gingham. The strap and cuff, the cherry spots with text and leaves on, was a remnant from some curtains I made for somebody a while ago. Again, 100% thick cotton. The design is my own but those with an eye that can easily deconstruct a design will be able to work out from the picture how it was assembled. I added an ‘I love hand made’ tag  into the cuff edge to finish off the main construction.

The flowers are obviously cut from the same fabrics. I dropped the dogfeeds, loaded up the embroidery foot and free motion appliqued them on! So, it was a tentative go at it but fun. I may get a little more experimental when my confidence grows a bit. Not quite the crack cocaine of sewing (as Kirsty Allsopp describes it) but definitely fun. I just need to let go a bit more and be a bit more free rein.

The strap had a length of interfacing in to stiffen and reinforce it. It would carry a bunch of library books without bustin’ out! It’s a sturdy, but feminine little number and am very pleased with it.

I was going to make some for a craft fair I’ve put my name down for later this month but don’t think I could charge enough to make them worth my while in these cash strapped times, sadly.

Sew what now?

Practising my sewing skills. Had a go at free motion sewing but am torn between ‘controlling’ it and letting go and giving myself free rein to go beserk and ‘scribble’ . I used fusible paper – not sure what’s it’s called as I lost the packaging ages go – but  it lets you iron the fabric onto it. You then trace or draw the elements to be cut and then, when you peel the backing paper off, iron onto your main fabric.

Doesn’t  r-e-a-l-l-y need stitching down. Except that it does.

It will start to curl at the edges and catch after a few washes. But it IS excellent for keeping the applique elements in place to be stitched down. It was all going well except the small wheel was just too small to get the points of my scissors in and cut away from the spokes. So I thought ‘Sod that for a game of soldiers’ and cut the spokes away altogether and thought, in my cleverness, I could stitch in some spokes instead.  Wrong! Looks pretty naff. Still, it was a good learning exercise and I did enjoy hooping up the fabric and having a go.

There was a Home Made with Kirsty Allsop on Telly a while ago – think I’ll check out 4OD and see if I can find a download. She followed a technique of drawing on tracing paper and then sewing the tracings onto fabric. Much wilder and freer. Sounds like much more fun.

Then I quickly made this little set of hearts. A friend gave me a bag of dried lavender and I have been dying to use it! It smells fabulous and always carries me back to the days when I was pregnant with my first. I went mad for the smell of lavender. Soap, talc, body spray, bath bubbles, air freshener, you name it. If it was lavender, I wanted it. A few days after he was born, the obsession with lavender went right away but the memory of a very happy pregnancy and those beautiful early days with my baby is indelibly linked with lavender. It’s still a ‘favourite’ smell but only the real thing these days. I still like to crush a small spike of lavender as I pass it in the garden and have a sniff. They smell lovely and will hang up in my wardrobe.

Talking of sniffing, though… I bought some hemp twine from a garden centre. Much cheaper than the twine you buy in craft shops. It was on a spool and ‘sealed’ in shrink plastic stuff. I opened it to make the hanging loop but OMG… it stinks!  Like a freshly fertilised field! On a warm day! Now I know why it was cheaper. It will do for the garden though.

Had another go at applique. The canvas bag was just €1 in a sale at Dunnes. I bought two. One keeps my Clover pom-pom makers in and this one is for crochet hooks so it didn’t matter if they turned out less than stellar. I like the ‘love’ but not sure the butterfly works. The colour of the wings doesn’t quite go but it does the job I want it for. The bag is light weight and smallish and can hang up without taking too much space.

Think I’ll applique something for the other bag this coming week end. Will have a think what to do next!

Bye for now

Hel

 

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