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Monday, August 19, 2013

I can sew!

A lot of crafty people are multi-talented but I've always been insisting I'm not. I can knit, crochet and spin but I CANNOT sew! I learnt to sew at school. We made an apron for our cooking lessons. I hated it. Hated the cooking lessons too, by the way. When I got pregnant with Vanessa I decided to take a sewing evening class. Turned out I was still rubbish. I made a skirt and was so relieved it didn't fit me (due to the pregnancy) when I was finished. I did try to make the odd very, very basic costume for school stuff over the years but mainly used my old sewing machine for repairs. I eventually got rid of it. It was too heavy for me. I could barely lift it from the floor to the table.

But recently my friend, Jo, has been making lots of fabulous bags after taking some sewing classes. I love bags as much as i love yarn and knitting. I have a bag stash! I especialy love oil cloth bags and with so many pretty fabrics around I decided I wanted to try to learn to sew again. 

So last week I booked a 'Make a beach bag' class at Social Fabric (I teach knitting there too, do check out all their sewing classes and kids craft classes). Our lovely teacher was patient and went through everything with me step by step and look what I made:
It's a huge beach bag. Very basic with no fasteners. It does have a front pocket but I photographed the wrong side of the bag. I'm really pleased, and very surprised, with the results. The bag looks good. And I've got tons of fabric left.

Isn't the lining pretty too?
I don't have a sewing machine, apart from my antique manual Singer (which belonged to Simon's great aunt). I've no idea if it still works. Jo is going on holiday for 2 weeks so I was a bit cheeky and asked if I could borrow her sewing machine. She said yes and this morning she came down to give me a lesson in how to use the machine and how to put a zipper in. We used some of my left over spotty bag lining and made a small zipped bag.
Jo brought an old zip she had which is brown. It's okay with the pink fabric. So now I can make a zipped bag. I'm very happy with the bag. It's roughly the same size as most of my small knitting bags.
So it turns out I can sew after all. I don't think I'll be making clothes soon but I do have plans for some bags. I want to make an oilcloth bag with several pockets to use for teaching this autumn. I nearly bought a Cath Kidston Business Bag which is fab but very expensive. So I want to make something similar but not exactly the same. I've done some sketches and I've also ordered two bag making books which should be here any day now. 

Today is my first day back to work after my holiday so I've got tons of stuff to do and I must not get distracted by the sewing machine on my dining room table. Fortunately i don't have the car today or tomorrow so I can't rush down to Trago Mills (a big shop that sells everything including cheap fabric near us) to stock up on fabric. I'm planning a trip down there this week though.

Yesterday I went cycling again. We went up to Sibleyback Lake where Simon and Emily go sailing. The lake has a foot/cycling path around it. The path is about 3 miles long and very flat. Vanessa and I cycled around it once. Then we had a break. Afterwards I cycled around the lake twice on my own. The last 500m is on the road so I turned around at that point and cycled back again. So I reckon I did about 8 miles in total. I'm not as sore today as I thought I'd be. I may cycle in to town later to go to the post office. Love my new bike.


Sarah said...

It's always about the right motivation I think - love that bag! Also hadn't thought to check out Trago for fabric, will have to try that next time I'm home :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sarah. Trago near Liskeard has a big fabric department and friends who know more about fabric than me say it's very cheap.