Friday 27 February 2015

Russian Doll Bag and Mirror

For my friend's birthday I decided to make her an Amy Butler Origami bag. For me this is where it all started after my Easter turtles in 2011, as I received Style Stitches by Amy Butler as a gift. I loved this book instantly, it was bright and stylised and inviting with pattern pieces in a pouch at the back and lots of pictures and illustrations. The bags are rated from easy to challenging and I was inspired to make as many as I could find recipients for. This boosted my love of bags and sewing at the same time. The beauty of a bag is that you can be bright and bold in your fabric choice. You can also make them personal, and adjust the dimensions to suit the recipient.

Among the clutches and shopping bags were a set of 6 origami bags. I believe they are called origami bags because of the way the side is folded but that is speculation on my behalf. I have made a few of these and they are fantastic as you get the pattern for all 6 sizes. I made all six for my big sister last year as she is the one person I know that needs six differently sized co-ordinating bags!

I made just a single one this year for my friend. It was a perfect size for a make up bag or a pencil case and I made it with some pretty pink Russian doll fabric. They are lovely to put together with clear instructions. The main bit that takes skill is getting the zip in but the zip itself is exposed so becomes a feature. I made a point of using different zips when I made my set of 6. There is also a great blog that had a Style Stitches "stitch-along" and gives fantastic hits and tips if you feel you need a little extra help.

Russian doll origami bag - Amy Butler design.

I then made a mirror case with the fabric and an embroidered Russian doll on it. The cover was yet another pattern to the ones made earlier in the year. This time I pieced together a long strip of fabric with the embroidered doll placed at the top, upside-down. I then sewed the bottom third to the middle third folding over the top third to make a flap. This was effective but took some care when doing the top stitching. Like the others this was attached to the card with a peg. It was fastened with a small popper.

Russian doll embroidery on mirror.

Saturday 21 February 2015

Back to Blog, Back to Reality

It has been over a year since I started my blog and far too long since I wrote an entry but this has given me some time to ponder how the first year has gone and where I need to go now. It is fair to say that I have learned a lot from my first year. Firstly I was concerned that I would not have enough to write about with one subject - I WAS WRONG. I tried to write about film, books, craft, food and exercise oh and Shetland. I discovered two things very quickly. If I had the time to write about everything then I didn't have a lot to say, and if I was busy and had a lot to say then I had no time to write. I also made lots of notes that never quite made it to the blog.

I also discovered the bit I enjoyed writing about most was crafting and from here on in that is what I intend to do. I contemplated deleting the old non-craft posts but decided to leave them. I do not regret my old posts and I am happy for them to exist online but unless I have something non-craft to rave about I will not be writing more of them.

I have learned that I need to write more as I go even if I cannot post them until after the gift has been received. I now intend to write and save and not leave it as long. I now believe, if only for my own organisation, that I need to submit more frequent posts and at more regular intervals.

I am relieved that not many people read my blog at the moment as it has given me chance to find my feet but I do need to promote my blog more and I have plans for that. I have also decided that 2015 will be the year that I try and sell some items at local craft fairs on a very small scale and so I hope to share my experience with that daunting project.

I mostly learned that people love nothing more than a denim whale...

With all this in mind I have a much clearer vision about what I need to be doing and how I am  going to do it. I have also decided that I need to post twice a week and be consistent with this.