Harris Tweed Handbag

My handbag finally gave up on me after three years of daily use. The handles had been fraying for months, the lining had torn, the out fabric was wearing thin, but I still carried it with me every day. When the handle broke away from the bag, there was no way I could keep using it. I had to accept that it had come to the end of its life.

The good thing about losing a handbag is getting a new one, and I had been looking forward to owning a handbag that wasn’t falling to pieces. As my old bag died at the end of January, there were still sales in the stores, so we went to have a look. I didn’t like any of the bags I saw at the shopping centre, they were mostly made from plastic and covered in gold fixings, not to my taste at all. I knew I could make something for myself that I would like a lot better, and it would also be much cheaper. Read more

Star Book Bag

Inspired by the bag I made for my mum, I got my sewing machine out again this week and stitched up another bag. This time, I went for a messenger style book bag with a gusset and flap.

The bag is very roomy, big enough to fit an A4 lever arch folder inside. It has a wide strap for comfort and I think the two colour design makes it rather eye catching.

Mum’s Handbag

A while ago my mum asked me to make her a handbag like the one I had made for myself. Today, I dusted off my sewing machine and set to work.

I designed this particular bag for myself about two years ago. I wanted something with plenty of space for my stuff, yet compact enough that nothing rattled around and got lost. I achieved this by making the top band of the bag very tall and adding a small pleated section to the bottom to add extra space. I also included two interior pockets to prevent small things getting lost. Read more

Sewing machines

I have owned three sewing machines during my life. The first was an old hand wound Singer that my grandma gave me. I didn’t know a lot about sewing back then. I attempted to make myself a pair of trousers with a wrap-around-skirt-style tie closure instead of learning how to insert a zip. I made a wonky patchwork curtain out of scraps of denim, which I sewed together haphazardly, following the edges of the roughly cut fabric instead of making straight lines. I’ve grown up since then and learnt a lot about sewing properly. Read more

My first attempt at a handmade christmas

This christmas I wanted my gifts to be a bit special as well as inexpensive, so I chose to hand make a lot of the things that I gave.

As usual, I envisaged all sorts of beautiful things, and with six weeks to go I figured I had plenty of time to sort everything out and get it all finished in time. Of course I would…

I spent the last few days before christmas frantically knitting, crocheting and sewing. In the end, everyone got their gifts and seemed to like them, so I guess finishing things off at 2am on christmas eve night was worth it. It didn’t feel like it at the time though! Read more