I love making bags. Now that I've made a few I know the general techniques and feel confident putting one together. The part I don't like is preparing the fabric and working out the measurements. Give me money to work with and I can add, subtract, work out percentages etc. no worries, but anything else with numbers and my brain seizes up. Anyway, I sat down yesterday afternoon with paper and pen and worked out the measurements for a basic tote bag without interfacing, pockets or fastenings, using two coordinating fabrics for the outer and handle(s) and a single colour for the lining. I then made a pattern from freezer paper so that I can simply iron it on to the fabric and cut it out, without having to count the squares on my cutting mat while using my rotary cutter, and taking the chance of miscounting, cutting incorrectly and wasting fabric (which we all know is horrendously expensive these days). Yesterday afternoon I made this bag with that pattern using 2 fat quarters for the outside and the handle (I joined lengths together to get the one long handle) and a 50p pillowcase from the Age UK shop for the lining. The rosette was made from leftover fabric and the button came from The Works at 3 packs of 8 fabric covered buttons for £2. Unfortunately the pictures make it look much more wrinkled than it actually is, as I did press everything really well.
Earlier in the week, before I worked out my pattern, I made this little bag from just 2 fat quarters. The button was a freebie from Mollie Makes magazine.
And this one finally came together after a lot of measuring and chopping bits off and re-measuring and chopping more bits off and so on and so on (which was why I decided on making me a pattern), again from 2 fat quarters and a 50p pillowcase.
And what has brought on this spate of bag making you may ask? Well, I am hoping to get together enough stock to sell through my much-neglected Etsy shop, and I also have the possibility of a market in the US for the occasional bag. I have an email penfriend out there who I made a bag for about a year ago and who says she's had lots of people admire it. If I like, she's willing to promote my bags to friends and aquaintances and also at the restaurant where she works. My only reservation with that is the high cost of mailing them out to the States.
Now that DH has a full time job, I've decided to forget about my less-than-successful job hunting and concentrate on trying to make a little money from what I do well, which is crafting. My strengths are knitting, card making and simple sewing projects, so I'm going to try and put together enough bits and pieces for my shop and also maybe have a stall at a Christmas Fayre. Pricing is an issue. Fabric can be so expensive and bags take about a metre or more, but as long as I can source cheap lining fabrics then I can afford to use small quantities of more expensive fabrics for the outside of the bag. Mind you, the fat quarters I've used for these bags cost just £3.50 for a pack of 4 from Fabric Land (or was that Fabric World) in Southampton when we were in that neck of the woods last summer visiting our daughter, so each of these bags has only cost me about £2 to make. It would be more, though, if I used interfacing or iron-on fleece to give them more body.
Anyway, that and bank appointments, slimming club (lost 1 lb this week), volunteering etc. have filled in the gaps between sewing sessions. I have also kept up with my crocheting and I'm still working on those big granny squares to have enough to make into a lap blanket for DH's mum for either her birthday or Christmas (her birthday is Xmas eve).
Tonight we're out at the town hall to watch DD3 and BF perform numbers from Jesus Christ Superstar and other songs at a music from the musicals night. We only found out this morning that's it's a sort of cabaret event with posh tables etc. so we've both had to scrabble round for something a bit posher to wear than our usual jeans and trainers. Luckily DD2 treated me to a lovely new dress the other day and I've been hoping for an occasion to wear it.
Tomorrow should be a quiet day and bank holiday Monday we're off to Deal for a Brocante (open air antiques/collectables fair) on Walmer Green. Last year's event was lovely and we had a great day sitting in the sunshine on the seafront, so I'm hoping for fine weather yet again.
That's all for now. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend and holiday Monday. Hugs, Helen x