Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Open Studios This Weekend!

Just in case you didn't know.....
Lots of discounts, lots to choose from, new tea towels and a few cushions thrown in.  Plus all the other studios have some great stuff too!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Tea Towel Tote Tutorial


I've finally had a moment to write this quick and easy tutorial for turning one of my tea towels into a happy go lucky tote bag - perfect for the summer!
Of course you can use any tea towel, but the print needs to be either multi-directional or run horizontally across the tea towel, otherwise you'll be looking at it sideways.

It shouldn't take more than 30 minutes to make:

Fold the tea towel in half along its length and match the two widths right sides together.  The seams may not be dead straight so match the pattern as best you can.  Pin and sew a straight seam (you could mark with a ruler before sewing to make it easier) 
Keep or cut off any labels if necessary.

Press the seam open to fall down the centre back of the bag.
Sew along the seam at one of the open ends to make the base of the bag, again mark with a ruler if uneven. There’s no need to over-lock the seams as the job has already been done for you in its former life, making it nice and quick!
To make the boxed bottom, make a triangle at one corner by matching up the bottom seam along the length of the side crease.  It’s easiest if you have a quilting ruler, if not, use a square of card. Fold the card in half diagonally from corner to corner and mark 4cm / 1.5” in from one of the opposite corners along the diagonal crease. Fold the corner point in towards the middle so that the fold line lands across the mark you’ve made.  Open out and match into the corner of your bag and mark each end of the fold line to make a straight seam across the corner. Sew and repeat on the other side.

Double stitch the seam for added strength. Don’t trim this seam as leaving the corners intact will help to support the bag and give it some shape.
For the top opening, press a hem to the inside  - it will already have one fold from the tea towel - so another fold is enough.
Top stitch on the outside.

For the handles I’ve used cotton webbing which is 4cm / 1.5” wide.  For shoulder length handles, you’ll need approx. 66cm / 26” for each length which includes 8cm / 3” at each end for attaching to the bag. Adjust accordingly if you want shorter /longer handles.
Press the corners in on each end of the straps and then fold over again 2.5cm / 1” and press
Pin each end 5cm / 2” down from the top of the bag, evenly spaced in from the sides. Play around with the positioning until it looks right, even try it over your shoulder to make sure it hangs how you want it. Make sure that there are no twists in the handle before sewing!

Secure the handles to the bag by sewing a complete rectangle close to the edge and then a diagonal across it for added strength.  I played around with different ways of top stitching here and this was my favourite and a very simple finish.

One last press and the jobs done. 

Made with my Moroccan tile and Parade tea towels to be found in my Etsy shop.
You could also try contrasting colours for the handles.

Happy sewing!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Back and Busy

Scarpat in June 2012 So we've had our week of fun.  Scarpat was waiting for us in all its splendour.  Friends came with us this time (rather than the big family get together we normally have in the summer with my two brothers & co.) It was nice to share the place with newcomers and not get too caught up in the responsibility of it all.

Stanley had a ball with twin, ten year old boys to keep him entertained, making it an easy holiday all round, apart from deciding who was who!
Their big sister was none too impressed with all their shenanigans but she entertained us one night with the sweetest singing voice I've ever heard! (pop star in the making for sure, too shy for a photo I'm afraid)

The weather was a bit hit and miss so I took a few more shots of the barn interior while it chucked it down - funnily enough it's not hard to spot a few of my own wares!
Scarpat in June 2012

Scarpat in June 2012

Scarpat in June 2012 

 One of the sad things was the demise last year of the old fir tree in the back field. It was always a bit misshapen with a sombrero style top and dancing arms, a lovely crazy tree full of wildlife, constantly on the go. But it went for the chop this year and was slightly strange to take in its absence when we first arrived. The up side is we had a whole bunch of hazelnut trees chopped back at the same time which has made the view even better than ever.
France, spring 2010
Taken in 2010

France 2011
Saying farewell in 2011

Scarpat in June 2012
A new view in 2012
So I'm back in the big smoke and yesterday was catch up time - packing orders and getting them all off before the 3pm deadline (= school boy run)
We've got open studios coming up at the end of the month. I've got to get my busy hat back on and try to do all the things I want to do before the chaos of tidying up begins.

We have a brand spanking new website - thanks to Sarah Hyndman of With Relish and my studio pal over in F7.
I'm enjoying seeing what everyone else is doing as the blog gets filled with images and news. There's some fantastic work going on at the Chocolate Factory and we don't always get a chance to see what sort of projects we all get up to in the outside world. You can take a look here and come and see for yourselves on the 30th June and 1st July. Private View on the 29th 6.30-9pm - all welcome!
You can even join our mailing list for all future news and events at the studios.

Friday, 1 June 2012

New Makes and Taking a Break

I've been busy with customer orders for the last couple of weeks.  What with juggling lampshades and all the rest, I never seem to get the chance to make new things so it's always great to get a customer order or two so I can do something new.  My to do list is getting longer and longer!
So here they are.
Tea Towel Totes in Parade

Moroccan Tile Slim Cushion in Elephant Grey
A whole stack of squares!
Yellow Parade
Olive Moroccan Tile

 Having had the chance to take some snaps, I'll be listing them in my Etsy shop soon.  But for now - we're taking a break to Scarpat in France.  Our family hideaway (a life long love I share with my two brothers).  We've still got a couple of weeks left in June free and one week in July if anyone fancies a getaway!

See you all soon and happy half term / holidays!


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