Friday, 19 July 2013

It just gets hotter!

Hello Everyone I do hope you are all ok and those lovely readers in Britain, I hope you are managing to keep cool.  I am not a hot weather person myself but know that many people do love the heat and being out in the sunshine.  I do hope my wonderful readers from outside the UK are all doing well and you are happy.  It is lovely to see you all again, I was intending to write more posts this week but, as always, work took over once again, I am sure a lot of you are in the same boat as I am.
However lovely Readers I haven't been idle during the week and have tried to keep working on my projects.  I really must finish the knitting projects soon as I am ashamed to think that they have taken this long.
Very recently I managed a day with the lovely Lauren from Guthrie and Ghani on a bag workshop.  I am sure you must be thinking, for goodness sake not another bag!  However there was a reason for me going on this one as I wanted to learn how to use an invisible zip and how to manage piping which I love - it seems to really set off a piece of sewing.
The workshop was run by Vicky Walker from Rowan who also did the pinny workshop a while ago which was one of my earlier posts when I met Lauren from the Sewing Bee.  Vicky is such a lovely tutor and talented, always so patient.  There weren't many of us there on the day so we had her full attention.  This was good as we had a lot to do.

I am not going to show you the bag yet as it is not finished lovely readers.  It was quite complicated and was an extremely hot day so was tiring. 
We had to choose two fabrics, one for the outer and one for the lining.  Surprise surprise mine was red, although I didn't intend it to be so but I did love the pattern.

Vicky did tell us to be careful when choosing patterns as we had to be careful to match the fabric up when placing the invisible zip in.  This took a bit of time as everyone was afraid of making a mistake in the cutting - I managed it ok but did cut the bottom of my bag in half by mistake!  I was worried that I wouldn't have enough fabric left but just about made it. 

The invisible zip is quite tricky but then I haven't ever done one before - in fact I have not really ever noticed a difference in zips at all.  I had to redo mine over as I hadn't stitched near enough to the zip teeth so it was showing too much white when the zip was open.  However I did manage in the end with a lot of help from Vicky. 


Have you had an experience with invisible zips?  I would welcome any advice and any useful tips.  You lovely readers are such a mine of information and experience and I do love hearing from you all.

We then cut the handles.

The picture below shows my lining fabric and I wanted the handles to be red on one side with the lining on the other.  Vicky chose this fabric to pick out the red detail which I thought looked gorgeous.  

I am fibbing now lovely Readers because after cutting the bottom in half in error I didn't have enough fabric to make the other side of the handles, hence the lining fabric  -  good thinking Vicky, thank you.

The other part that I was dreading a little was making the pieces to cover the piping.  Vicky mentioned that these were cut on the diagonal and as you are all aware, cutting straight is not my greatest strength in the world.  She did reassure me that the strips didn't have to be too precise - just as well - but if I was going on to make bias binding then I would need to be quite precise. Lovely readers it looks as if it will be shop bought binding for me then............

I didn't take any photographs I am sorry to say as time was moving on and I was getting stressed that I would have too much to do at home by myself with Vicky's guidance and help.  I did find the piping quite difficult to do but I was getting tired as it was near the end of the day and we were all so hot.  I knew that I was starting to rush everything as the end of the workshop was nearly upon us all.  One lady finished her bag and it was delightful and I am so sorry now that I didn't ask her if I could take a photograph of it to show you all.
I had a little chat with Vicky about it and she agreed that it would be best to finish it at home rather than rush the home thing and make a mess of it.  Unfortunately, since the workshop, my day job has been rather full on so I am intending to finish my bag this coming weekend and will hopefully have some nice pictures to show you all.
Yesterday I had a bit of a shock at work.  One of my lovely bosses is retiring and I had thought that her finish date was in August.  I had intended to knit her a little beaded bag to keep handkerchiefs in - I am still old fashioned lovely readers and adore hankies, especially vintage ones (as long as they are clean!).  When I spoke to C yesterday she explained that she had decided to leave today as she had holidays to come.  I was very taken aback and really had to think about what I was going to do.  I had already bought her a couple of gifts in readiness but have always tried to make something cute for gifts for her as she is so appreciative.
When I had been at the lovely Lauren's shop I had bought a gorgeous Russian doll fabric intending to make something for my granddaughters.  However, I thought about making a small bag to put the gifts in.  It was a bit of a rush I have to say as I wanted to personalise it a little so sewed in some beads around the heads of the dolls.


I also crocheted a small flower and had made a red brooch ages ago so thought this might look cute attached to it.
The button with the little girl on is from a local market for 50p - really cute.

I have been toying with the idea of trying to transfer photos onto buttons but not got round to it yet.  I am not really sure how to do it but have a glimmering of a idea.  Any thoughts and ideas would be so helpful Folks, would look rather nice on Christmas gifts I think. I worked all last evening on it and managed to finish it around 1pm this morning - doesn't look much work I know but I do tend to be a bit on the slow side with sewing unfortunately.  I didn't stop to take any photographs as I was worried about not having the time to sew it all up properly. 

I got to work early this morning and was going to take a lot of photographs whilst no one was around.  It is so lovely to walk into work really early when it is so much cooler and have time to myself before everyone arrives.  However, C was also in early and I saw her coming in so had to quickly take the photographs before she arrived - panic!

She did seem to love the bag, although I know that she wouldn't say anything unkind about it - she seemed to be genuinely touched that I had worked on it last night.  I was pleased with it myself but sad that she was leaving.  Good bosses are sometimes hard to come by and she has supported me so many times during the past 17 years and I shall miss her badly.  I feel very sad tonight as it is the end of an era - new changes coming in - sometimes for the best I know but I am always down when lovely people leave.  Hopefully we will keep in touch and maintain our friendship. 
Anyway enough of me lovely Readers.  How are you all doing?  I thank my lucky stars that I found blog land, have discovered so many talented and really wonderful people out there.  You have restored my faith in mankind as there is so much sadness going on in the world today.  I will be speaking to you all very soon as I desperately need to finish my bag and my knitting...........I hope you all look after yourselves and have a wonderful evening.  Be happy, lovely to see you all again.  Lots of love, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxx  


  1. What beautiful fabric! I am in awe that you can do a zip at all, and an invisible one would be an impossible feat for me at the moment. One day maybe! I am sure your boss was very pleased with the bag. To produce something so lovely in such a short time is very impressive.

  2. The bag is simply wonderful, I'm sure she was really thrilled with it genuinely. I learnt to fit an invisible zip this year from a book called Sew Serendipity but you have to get reaaallly close. My zipper foot is not as good as the one int he photo. Chill this weekend Dorothy. Jo x

  3. Hi Dorothy, not sure how I missed this post, but the weekend has been a bit of a blur with so much to do. You have had a really busy week and I love your bags, although one is only half visible. I love the fabric you have chosen for both and I think the Russian doll fabric is so sweet and will make such a gorgeous gift. I can't wait to learn how to put a zip in properly, I have done quite a few, but I have taught myself, so most probably have it all wrong. I am sure the lovely Sue will show us how to do this come September, I can't wait. Wishing you a wonderful week and I hope you find some time for creative endeavours xoxo