Sometimes I get a new pattern that I fall in love with and have to make not just one or two but lots! (Tilly & The Buttons Coco is one of those – I have quite a collection of them now!) It happened again last month: I bought my first Dog Under My Desk pattern, the Two Zip Hipster, and I love it! Friends have been asking me for a top-zip cross-body bag as the ones I usually make are either open-top or close with a magnetic closure. So I’ve been searching for a good pattern and have seen several recommendations in the sewing community for Dog Under My Desk.
I made the first one in plain denim with a blue stripe cotton lining. I didn’t have any sew-in interfacing or canvas, as was suggested, so used the thinnest wadding (batting) I had, which in hindsight was a bit too thick, so made quite a puffy bag, although it is very sturdy and will protect whatever is inside. But the pattern and the instructions are great, so I have since sewed up 4 more, in different fabrics, and have a fifth and sixth cut ready to sew (I’ve run out of zips so have to wait for more to come – aarrgggh, the torture!)
I then bought a second pattern from Dog Under My Desk, the Daytripper bag. Again, another lovely pattern with amazing instructions and great step-by-step photos. I highly recommend these patterns and will be back for more. The Daytripper took a lot longer, but I have ended up with a lovely, huge bag that is great for stashing all my stuff! It is even big enough to carry a magazine, and the back zipped pocket is roomy enough for a large notebook/journal or iPad. I am one of those gals that carries so much junk with her, (it’s all necessary junk, of course!) but this bag takes it all, and then some! I made it in a cool Rose and Hubble cow print fabric and it’s really nice and has been so useful!
I have a couple of other new bags and pouches in the pipeline…more on them soon! Hello to my new followers! Great to have you here – drop me a message!
In the meantime, if you’d like to see the bags I have for sale, please check out my Etsy shop or my brand-new nuMonday shop.
Guys, I made trousers! Yep, you heard me – TROUSERS! To be honest, I’m still wondering why. I don’t wear trousers. I’m not sure I really like trousers (for me). I own precisely one pair of jeans that I wear when camping or country-walk-walking and a pair of black stretch trousers that I got for about £2 at a charity shop. So whatever possessed me to make them, I’m not sure. But I did. And you know what? It was ok, and I learnt some things too, which is always good. And best of all, they look like proper trousers!
Why trousers? As I was leafing through the Love Sewing magazine I spotted this cute pair of Paperboy Trousers. The pattern is a Wardrobe By Me pattern that was featured in the magazine, along with an article about the founder, Christina. Free PDF (and I do LURVE a PDF!) I loved the colour and style and kept going back for a little look, so after a while I thought, come on, why not just give it a go? The pattern calls for only 1.5m of fabric – much less than the normal dresses I make, so I ordered a lovely teal Ponte Roma and thought “what the hell – if they’re awful, it’s only £11 (including postage) I’ve forked out. No biggie.” The pocket facings were cotton poplin from my stash.
So, I like quick sewing. I like to start something and have it finished the same night, or the next night at a push. This pattern was fine – completed in two nights but only because I didn’t have the required width of elastic in my stash. I learnt some new things (pockets with facings, belt loops and false fly) and realised while working on it that I have come quite a long way in my sewing journey – I could spot where there was a small printing error in the pattern (before I cut the pattern pieces and fabric!) and also could read between the lines of the instructions (I don’t think it’s suitable for complete beginners).
I love the colour of the trousers, although I don’t have much that “go” with them, because I mostly wear dresses and am not really one for separates (cue online search for sewing patterns for tops and tees!) I do also think I should have gone with my instincts and cut the slightly smaller size 12 rather than the 14 (waist measurement was nearly 14 but hips 12 so I erred on the side of caution and thought I’d cut 14 all through and take the side seams in if necessary, but in the end the waist was also a bit big too, and I’d already done the pockets so couldn’t really take in side seams on hips.) Another lesson learned!
But they’re ok. I am still not sure I like me in trousers – maybe some more fitted ones would be good as these are quite baggy and make me feel a bit ‘hippy’ (of the too-much-on-the-hips rather than flowers-in-your-hair variety). But I am mostly proud of going out of my comfort zone and making actual trousers – YAY!
I’m planning action! I’d like to step up my game, increase my output and make more sales. I’ve already planned in a few craft fairs/events this year and have others on the back burner (watch this space), and want to try to reach a wider audience.
A full-time teaching job means that time is limited for making and selling. But I love it, especially the making part! It’s my switch-off from schoolwork and lets me indulge in my creative side. Plus it gives me an excuse to buy yummy fabrics! And I get a real kick out of each and every sale, either in my Etsy shop or face-to-face. Some of you reading this are already loyal customers! So thank you to every one of you who has bought a luckybear item so far, because I love it when you choose to buy something of mine. I always hope that you will love it as much as I do!
So I am determined to make more time to sew and sell. One thing I have decided to do is to take part in the Make May My Month Challenge – #makemaymymonth – , run by a fellow Etsy seller (Jade Hargreaves of The Pattern Parade Design). It’s a month of challenges to refocus you on the business and I hope it will enable me to get some things sorted. This looks like it will be great collaborative support and networking. It’s good to share the love!
I am also planning some exciting special offers and giveaways, so follow me on twitter, facebook and instagram and I’ll keep you posted!
Fingers crossed that May will be a productive month! If you’d like to check out what I have in stock right now, have a look at my Etsy shop. I will add new items regularly. Have a great bank holiday weekend, everyone!
My challenge: One year - I will not buy clothes - I will upcycle to make what I need - everything from underwear to evening wear! Join me for tips, exclusive BrawHem makes, and inevitably some hilarious disasters...