We didn’t spend a lot of time on the beach on our most recent trip to Spain and we didn’t ride our bikes down to the sea as often as usual either, but I did carry everything I needed to the beach in Aguadulce in the bag that I made in Mel’s class in Capel Bangor.
Back in Capel Bangor in pale and watery March it looked almost too shockingly bright but on a sunny Spanish beach it wasn’t a bit out of place.
Well, the connection is not about cycling at all but the lovely Moda ‘Pedal Pushers’ fabric designed by the mother and daughters Jung that caught my eye in the days before we started making Mel’s brilliantly designed, multi-pocketed bag.
Here’s the whole 1950’s inspired ‘Pedal Pushers’ range:It was, of course, the red and aqua end of the range that caught my attention. A combination that always draws my eye.
The mini-patch, quilted back pocket shows all of my selection with raspberry ‘Wicker’ and sky ‘Floral Crest’ as my main fabrics.
I had a real sense of satisfaction putting the bag together, putting a range of skills to use, getting the inner and outer pockets in place and finding that everything fitted perfectly – thanks to Mel’s clear instructions and direction of course. Left to my own devices it probably would have been assembled and reassembled numerous times!
And as always our group worked happily and supportively; having lots of fun and, on occasion, really getting down to some serious work!
And when it came to going down to the beach in sunny Almeria with all the necessary paraphernalia my bag was light and easy to carry and not just a brightly coloured beach bag but a practical, organised super-bag. Oh! And the soft padding meant it also served as a soft place to lay my head!
I think my beach dress just serves to prove a point about my current colour preferences!
Exactly a year ago last week, February half term, me and my sister and our sisters-in-law met up for a girls day out in the lovely little seaside town of Aberdovey.
We drank coffee and talked; we
walked along the sea front and talked; we ate lunch in one of the pubs along the sea front …
and talked and browsed every one of the little shops and talked!
In one shop we talked about peg bags, well the conversation had to have a few mmmm….. exciting topics, didn’t it? There were some pretty ones there and my sister-in-law commented that she needed a new peg bag. Well you can probably imagine the outcome. I, of course, said ‘Don’t buy one, I’ll make one’. Sister-in-law 2 says ‘I’d like one too.’ Not a problem. Well, such an easy thing to make! I knew I’d be making at least 3. And thinking about it I needed one as well. Make that two, our caravan peg bag has seen better days.
I love the vintage shoulder bag one from Marmalade Rose blogspot; the washing line appliqué from ‘Aiming for swan like’ really appealed to me and the button hanging idea from ‘Love me sew’ got me thinking about alternatives to coat hangers.The Cath Kidston bird house was one of the commercial ones I thought was fun.
I was very dedicated to the idea of making them; I sourced the right sized hangers but never quite got around to ordering them; I became extraordinarily interested in examining them whenever I saw one in a shop and I contemplated how I wanted them to hang.
Well I’m pleased to say that the planning was worth it and at last I have a design that I really like and that is easy to make and that has a hanging system that I’m really pleased with. The trigger hook means that the bag doesn’t come off the washing line no matter how hard the wind blows, and it can blow here on the West Wales coast!
I bought two different types of hooks, the round ended ones are the best.
The Prototype:Making the front. The opening is just the right size and in just the right place.
Making the front.
I bought a broom handle and found trigger hooks in the farmers stores, there were no eyelets there so I turned to trusty Charlie’s Stores. I did get Jeff to cut the broom handle into sections for ease and speed and when the sewing was done to help screw the eyelets in. The compressed wooden broom handles are extraordinarily tough!
Here is the first finished peg bag.
The only adjustment to the design was to shave a quarter of an inch off the dowel. I’ve made all the bags I’d planned and they have been quick and easy.
If you are in need of a new peg bag and would like to make this one I’ve added a tutorial here.
I loved the balconette bra design when I first saw it but didn’t buy it right away, when I did finally buy (from the Little Fabric Bazaar) it I had no immediate plans for it then when I was planning a trip I decided to make some lingerie bags.
I decided on three designs for the bags, first of all the tried and trusted little caddy bag, then an easy drawstring bag. Lastly I decided to design an envelope style bag.
I’ve made so many of the caddy bags and I’m sure I’ll make many more. This time I made the side pockets a bit deeper and added a button to the top of each pocket.
The drawstring bag is simple and straight forward with the balconette fabric as the main with the cream floral as a border and an aqua solid from my stash as the drawstring pocket (much the easiest way to add the drawstring).
The envelope style bag was just an idea that I enjoyed working out. I was happy with the result and can see it working in different sizes for a number of uses.
It’s lined with the floral and padded with a thin wadding so it feels lovely. With my old machine I would think hard about making buttonholes but with my lovely new Pfaff it’s so easy I don’t have to think about it at all. Buttons are no longer just for decoration.
I think I’ll be making lots more of this style too so I’ve written out the how to here.
So a nice little set of bags and an appropriate post for this week!
This week Jenna sent me a picture of her envelope bag made using the tutorial. Here it is. I’m thrilled to have one of my tutorials tried and tested.I love the fabric choices and it’s beautifully made. I know Jenna is giving it to a friend. I’d love it as a gift, hope she does too!
Since making my very first Little Caddy Bag with Mel I’ve made lots of them. She said I would. I had a grand plan of making a stock to have to give as presents but I keep giving them to friends and family as soon as they are finished! Love making them, love giving gifts so win, win really!
Well they are easy to make and I want to have a go at writing a proper tutorial on here, so here’s my first try. I’ve played around with writing little instructions for blocks and the like but nothing really serious. Many thanks to Mel. So here goes. If anyone does read and use the tutorial please leave a comment so that I know. Thanks.
Little Caddy Bag Tutorial
Materials Main Fabric A for the sides and the base and pocket linings.
Fabric B for the pockets .
Binding fabric, can be different or fabric A or B.
1.5 metres of cord
Fabric A Four 6.5″ x 11.5″ rectangles for the sides. Five 6.5″ squares for the pocket linings.
Fabric B Four 6.5″squares for the pocket fronts
Lining Four 6.5″ x 11.5″ rectangles. One 6.5″ square
Binding Two 2″ x 12.5″ strips Two 2″ x 6.5″ strips
Wadding Five 6.5″ squares
FirstMake up the pockets
Use a quarter-inch seam throughout unless stated otherwise.
Click on the photos for a larger view First make four sandwiches with squares of fabric A, fabric B and wadding. Sew as close to the edge as you can. Take the four shorter binding strips and fold and press in half lengthwise with the right side showing. Sew the open sides of the folded strip to the top of pocket. Fold the binding strip over the top of the pocket and hand sew in place. You can choose to machine sew the binding but I prefer the invisible look and it only takes minutes.
Next sew the four pockets to the bottom of each of the fabric A rectangles. The next step is the most important of the whole bag.
When preparing to join the four side make sure that the bindings of the pockets line up perfectly and pin in place. You need to have a clear line around the top of the pockets for a professional finish. If the tops or bottoms don’t line up just don’t worry about it, you can adjust later. Once you have joined all four sides sew into a tube.
Make the base of the bag with just a square each of fabric A and wadding.
Sewing the bottom into the tube is tricky but just go for it. Turn the tube inside out, align one side of the base square with one side of the tube making sure that the needle is down as you finish. Lift your presser foot and manipulate into place for the second side. Do this for each of the four sides. When you’ve done that turn to the right side and check that you have caught the corners and none of the pocket seams are showing. Don’t worry if they are just go over them again – this will be hidden under the lining!
Make the lining by joining the rectangles and sewing the base in place in the same way.
Before dropping the lining into the bag I’ve found it easiest to press the seam around the top of each section. Pin the lining and bag together around the top before sewing as close to the edge as possible.
Now you need to make the pocket for the drawstring to run through. Take the two 12.5″ strips and press a quarter-inch hem along all four edges then pin each strip about an inch from the top of the bag and leaving gaps in between for threading and drawing the cord. Sew around, again as close to the edge as you can and taking care not to sew through any other parts of the bag.
The only thing left to do is to thread the drawstring through. A tip for anyone who hasn’t worked with twisted cord before is to beware that it can unravel with unexpected ease. Before cutting wrap tape around the cord and cut through the centre of the taped area to avoid this. Cut your cord in half and thread the two pieces in opposite directions. Knot the cords tightly.
Now that you have made one you can see how easy it is to adapt the size of the bag. I know I’ll be making quite a few more and I think I just might try a waterproof one next. Here they are in yet another colour! Thank you Mel!