I love seeing the same pattern being made in a wide range of fabrics and styles!
My Betty Bag is growing in popularity and I want to show you some stunning finishes!
Aren’t they fabulous!
I just love how stylishly practical they are, ready for some serious use about town!
And 3 more to show you.
These are Betty Bags made by my #threadsacrossthesea buddies, Trudi, Sarah and Di.
Because we weren’t able to have our annual meet up this year, we had ourselves a secret swap, making Betty, and had an exciting reveal over zoom at the weekend. I received the first one pictured, which was from the super talented Trudi (@Trudi_wood), made in stunning Art Gallery Fabrics, received together with this package of cuteness!
The class consists of 1 YouTube video and 2 PDF files. You can purchase the class here.
In your order confirmation email you will receive links to 2 PDFs – one is the full list of materials needed. The other is the heart template which also includes the link to the YouTube video. Copy and paste this link into your internet browser to access the video.
When printing the heart template, either select ‘Actual Size’ or deselect ‘Fit To Page’ printer settings.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of our class finishes (always my favourite part!).
Not only will you receive everything you need to make our drawstring bag, fully pre-cut, but we are also throwing in a half metre of Retro 30’s Apples & Strawberries (Green) by Lecien and a spool of Aurifil 50wt Quilting Thread.
The giveaway opens today 3rd July and you have 4 different ways to enter:
* subscribe to our YouTube Channel * follow us on Instagram (@justjudebelfast) & tag someone in our giveaway post * like our Facebook page and leave a comment on our giveaway FB post * leave a comment here with your email address
The giveaway is open to international entries and we’ll announce the winner on 11th July!
The last of my recent run on gift making is this plush velvet tote bag for my youngest daughter.
She requested an everyday sizeable, soft tote bag, especially when she’s too-ing and fro-ing to lectures at Uni.
Now this girl of mine is super tactile! I gave her a choice between 2 different lightweight upholstery bolts I had been donated, knowing full well she would choose the sumptuously soft velvet over a paler linen look fabric.
I also gave her a choice of lining fabrics and she choose the one I had my fingers crossed on! That’s my girl!
At 5’11” I knew she would need long length handles. I made a feature of them with a few repurposed denim loops and tabs. A little scrap of leather denotes the front of the bag.
A simple phone pocket on the inside is all this bag needed to make it fully functional.
I’m happy to report the birthday girl loved her new bag and has been using it ever since!
I’ve been working on a few gifts lately, and now that one has been received I can show you it here.
This bag was made as a special thank you to a lovely lady who enjoys repurposing textiles as much as I do!
I had a few relaxing evenings making up the EPP hexies, but with no other plan in my head than that!
So when I had 2 panels made to a good enough size the old design juices started flowing.
I got the panels quilted on to Flex Foam which I think really adds some lovely texture to the hexies.
I had a vision of a messenger bag with curved corners this time. Once the gusset was in, the bag really started to take shape.
Getting the depth and style of the flap was important. I didn’t want anything too fussy, so as not to take away from the hexies. So a few lines of Aurifil 12wt wool thread in contrast gold did the trick, with curved corners to mirror the bottom of the bag.
When it comes to bag linings, I love the surprise of opening up a bag and getting that ‘wow’ factor from a stunning lining!
This lining is Autumn Nectar Honey by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics and is available here in my shop.
Doesn’t it just bring a blast of sunny colour to the inside of the bag! And the purple tones are the perfect match for a cheeky Liberty key fob tab!
No funtional bag is complete without a handy slip pocket.
And the adjustable cross body strap means you can get out and about hands free!!
I’m delighted to report that the new owner loves her bag and says it was a timely gift as her old bag was in need of being replaced! Yay!
I love it when my ‘play time’ repurposing textiles brings happy smiles and pleasure to faces!
We are still very much in lockdown here, so ‘teaching’ has had to look very different for me.
Aside from my free video tutorials on YouTube, I trialled an online class last month with my ladies – the Causeway Hexie Cushion.
Feedback from the ladies was really positive and I’m looking forward to showing you their results!
Spurred on by their brilliant results and encouragement, I’m making another class available – the Applique Hearts Boxy Bag.
This class will be available first to my ladies from 8th June, and then to the general public from 6th July.
As before, the class will consist of 4 weekly YouTube videos, with an optional zoom session at the end of each session (existing class members only). This is when we check in with each other, talk about any issues, swoon over our progress and fabric choices etc. and generally stay connected (as best we can!).
This boxy bag design is a variation on my original Boxy Bag class I designed and taught way back in 2011!
I often call it my book bag, because the short handles and sturdy body really lend themselves to carrying heavy books and files, to work, college, church or the library!
However, I also think it would be a great project bag. There is a handy divider pocket which could keep a pattern book with lots of room in the main bag for a knitting or crafting project.
I chose to needleturn my hearts onto the bag, but as you will see in the ‘what we cover’ section below, I also show you how to machine applique too!
So here’s what we will cover in this class:
*hand applique (Needleturn)
*machine applique (Satin and blanket stitch)
*suitable materials for the bag
*reinforced divider pocket
*snap fasteners for divider pocket
Many of the materials I have used in this bag are available in my shop.
So if you need another practical and sturdy bag in your life, or can think of someone who would love one, why not join us on either 8th June or 6th July for some step by step handbag making fun!
In our current block of classes we are looking at tucks and pleats.
You may remember I had made 2 examples of tucks for our classes, but at the time was still working on a pleats sample.
And here it is:
The pattern for this pleated bag is by Lisa Lam (U-handbag.com) and is called ‘For Pleats Sake!’. You can find the free tutorial here.
The tutorial doesn’t include quantities for the exterior and interior fabrics.
If you are using non-directional fabric you will need 0.5 metre of both. However, if you have a direction to your pattern which follows the width of the bolt, you will need 0.75 metres.
And a further note on the fabrics. I used ‘deco’ (decorating) weight fabric (or lightweight curtaining) from Ikea. This fabric gives body to the bag, pleats beautifully and negates the need for interfacing or fusible fleece.
I used the same weight for the lining (a vintage curtain) which also gets pleated. However if you wanted to use quilting weight cotton I recommend using a heavy weight sew-in stabiliser (rather than fusible fleece) on both the exterior and lining. Spray baste the sew-in stabiliser rather than using a fusible heavy weight stabiliser as this could resist the light weight cotton and cause it to bubble.
Sewing the faux leather handles through the exterior layers only can be tricky (the handles can’t be held in place with pins and the needle comes out awkwardly between the exterior and lining!). So try sewing through both layers and covering the visible back stitching with glued on fabric or leather scraps.
P.s. you want to use really strong thread to sew on your handles, like linen, perle cotton or 6 strand embroidery floss.
The bags currently being made in class are gorgeous! I can’t wait to show you them at half term, with the equally beautiful pleated pouches and cushions! It’s a hive of wondrous activity!
(Want to know the difference between pleats and tucks? See here)
I like a little ‘hexie action’ in the evenings, and over Christmas I enjoyed working my Tilda scraps into 1.25″ EPP hexies.
As they grew I thought I would make a cover for my soft cover Bible. But then I keep a journal with my Bible, as well as Bible Study books!!!
So a cover grew into a bag!
I remembered many years ago I had designed and taught a boxy bag class (my mum uses hers for keeping books in). So I blew the cobwebs off my pattern and set to!
There is so much I love about this new boxy bag.
Firstly, it has plenty of room for my Bible and study books and a separate pocket for my A4 journal. And because it is made from flex foam it sits squat and open giving me visible and easy access to the contents.
I also love the combo of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) with the Tilda Hexies and a little vintage lace.
I even included some hexies inside.
Also inside is handbag mesh in the base, to ensure the shape of the bag is maintained while carrying around heavy books.
Now that I can keep my Bible books together in one place, I’m super organised whether reading at home or at Bible Study group!
I have another round of hexies being made at the moment!
3 and leave a comment here or on FB or IG telling me what’s your favourite textile to work with.
You have until Monday 18th November to enter, when I will announce the winner (international entries welcome). (Please ensure you leave your email address with your comment if you are a ‘no reply blogger’.)
Our studio in August looked a little bit like a jeans factory, as many pairs of jeans were massacred in the honourable pursuit of making my Boro Denim Bag pattern.
Repurposing projects are among my favourites, and it was exciting to see the ladies’ bags grow in a very organic, non-prescriptive way.
While some of the techniques are the same e.g. ‘quilt as you go’ and measured bag construction, each bag looks uniquely different because of the different denim placements and features used.
Like an archeological dig, there was much excavating through the pile of jeans for pockets, loops, leather labels and interesting design features which were rescued and treasured for embellishing the bags!
Doesn’t Glenda looked pleased with her finished bag!
There are a few more bags that are still in the making, but to all my ‘bag ladies’ I’d like to say a big well done on your repurposing and bag making skills! The variety and creativity you showed in the hand and machine quilting of your bags was inspiring!
If you would like to have a go at your own Denim Boro bag, you can find the pattern here.
(Newsletter subscribers will have received a 50% off coupon code for this pattern in the Autumn ’19 edition – expires 25th Sept.)
Almost 2 years ago I launched our first appeal for Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Care in Antrim Hospital.
As the name suggests, the bags carry Syringe Drivers, the vehicle for administering pain or sickness medication. The patient receives the meds via a tube, which means they have to carry the Syringe Drivers around with them all the time. Sometimes they have one syringe driver, sometimes 2.
Providing bright and colourful bags instead of the standard issue grey ones is a small way of bringing a little cheeriness to the patient, especially when they get to choose one they like!
For our first appeal we had a brilliant response from generous sewists across Northern Ireland. So much so, we were able to pass on some bags to other palliative care units.
These bags can’t be reused, and the supply of bags from the first appeal has been exhausted.
Macmillan have asked us for more, so we are launching our 2nd Syringe Driver Bag Appeal!
If you have some sewing machine experience and cotton fabric, would you consider making one or two bags for those receiving palliative care or cancer treatment? You can find the tutorial here.
Previously we have only made for adult males and females, but now we also have a request from The Children’s Hospice, N.I., so we can receive bags in child-friendly fabrics too!
I launched the 2nd appeal on Facebook 10 days ago and we’ve already received 25 bags! THANK YOU!
I’ve always known how generous our sewing community is! Please, please help us to make many more bags! The bags can be posted or delivered to me at home. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my address.
And if you live locally to Belfast, keep your eyes and ears open for an announcement about a free Syringe Driver Bag Workshop at our studio in Conway Mill!
This is my last week of classes before the summer break. The sun is finally shining and I will have a few more photos to show you from this term’s project focus.
In the meantime, I can show you some stunning bags from our Beach Bag Workshop last Saturday.
It was a warm and clammy day in the studio, perfect weather for thinking about holidays by the beach!
All the ladies beavered away on their bags, and just look at their results!
Such classy and colourful bags! The webbing handles are sewn onto the exterior and base of the bag, making them nice and strong for all your beach or picnic gear.
The bags are lined with Rip Stop Nylon, a water resistant and washable fabric, which is really easy to sew with too!
And you can see a few examples of the additional ‘wet bag’ above, which is included in the pattern. This is also lined with Rip Stop Nyon, the perfect place for wet swimwear or drippy sun lotion bottles!
Well done ladies on your hard work. I hope you get many opportunities to use your bag this summer!
And if you would like to make your own roomy beach bag, you can get the pattern here.
You may remember seeing my aprons on display last term. I decided to leave my dressed mannequin again this term because we are running our 3rd Apron workshop in August (booking available here). In this workshop you can choose from either a tie back apron (pictured) or the Japanese style cross back apron (see here).
2 Kids Tote Bags:
These simple and fun makes are samples for my upcoming children’s workshop.
I have 4 girls and 2 boys registered to learn how to use a sewing machine and let their textile creativity loose!
Children are a joy to teach because they don’t overthink it and are so creatively uninhibited! We adults could learn alot from them!
This is my big and roomy beach bag (first featured in Pretty Patches magazine). It features water resistant Rip-Stop Nylon lining, mesh or cotton exterior pockets and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your soggy bikini, or drippy sun lotion bottles!
I’ve made a few of these practical bags over the years, and they’ve even been road tested by my girls on their holiday!
If you’d like to join us at our Beach Bag workshop, you can book in here.
This week saw the end of our current block of classes.
The optional class project was all about Triaxial and Basket Weaving.
I had made 3 class samples to showcase the different types of fabric weaving I would be teaching, but as you will see, a few creative minds didn’t stop there!
Aren’t they stunning! A few little notebook covers didn’t manage the photoshoot, but I’m sure you can guess how wonderful they are!
In the end, we were unable to source Wefty weaving needles here in the UK, and while we managed pretty well instead with large safety pins, the Wefty needles are certainly advantageous when it comes to the more complex triaxial weave. I would definitely recommend these genius little tools!
So a huge well done to my weaving ladies for stepping up to the challenge (especially when it came to triaxial weaving!) and producing beautiful work!
And of course, these weren’t the only projects being worked on! Well done to all my other ladies on your pre-Easter finishes.
I hope you all have a wonderfully creative and choccy-filled Easter break!
(Classes resume w/c 29th April – booking available here.)
I’m so proud of all my ladies, not just those who tackle the class project, but also those who work continuously on their generous gift making, charitable fund raisers, sharing inspiring new projects and continuing to fuel and feed their creativity.
And I get to call this my day job!! #lovemyjob
We are taking a one week break, and when we return it will be the last block of classes of 2018!
Tune in again soon to find out what our new class project will be.
It’s hard to believe that the summer is almost through, and attention is quickly turning to the new term of classes starting in September.
This term our (optional) class project will be Twin Needling with Fusible Bias (incorporating Stained Glass Windows).
As you can see above, there are a range of makes to choose from. Let’s look at them:
Mosaic Cushion (Beginner Friendly):
This 18″ cushion is a great starter project if you are new to fusible bias and twin needling.
Simple piecing creates the mosaic background, with the twin needled bias creating a dramatic (and quilted) finish!
I’ve made a feature of the zipper closure in the back of the cushion, but you could easily have an envelope or button closure here.
The digital pattern is available here (hard copies are available to purchase in class).
Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Intermediate):
This is another 18″ cushion, this time inspired by Charles Renee Mackintosh’s iconic design.
Shapes are bondawebbed onto background fabric, and the fusible bias then curved and twin needled down.
Again I’ve made a feature of the cushion back.
The digital Mackintosh Flower Cushion Pattern is available here (hard copies and full size templates are available to purchase in classs).
Applique Leaf Denim Bag (Advanced):
This project not only incorporates twin-needling (stems) and satin stitch applique (leaves), but also re-purposing textiles, zippered pocket and handbag construction.
The digital Applique Leaf Denim Bag Pattern is available here (hard copies and full size templates are available to purchase in class).
Mackintosh Rose Wallhanging (Advanced):
If you love wallhangings and aren’t afraid of something a little more challenging, you could try your hand at this Mackintosh inspired ‘Stained Glass Window’.
I’m in the progress of making up this wallhanging in a different colourway, and hope to show you the finished wallhanging soon! The finished size will be approx. 14″ x 21″ and full size templates will be available to purchase in class.
Each pattern lists the materials you will need.
However, I will have the following available to purchase in class:
black 6mm fusible bias
4mm twin needles
pattern transfer pens
hinged faux leather handbag handles
full size templates
So I hope you are inspired to perhaps try something different this term. You will have 7 weeks to make one of these projects, or a project of your own choosing!
And there are still a few spaces left across all the classes (more info here), so why not join us for some creative fun!
How is your week going? We are (still) basking in the most gorgeous sunny weather here, leaving us with stunning, glorious sunsets!
This week in my classes I am presenting my summer Saturday Workshops. The 4 Saturdays in August will all be workshops, and I will be posting about them here, starting with ……
If you’ve been sewing for any length of time, you may have a huge healthy stock of scraps, leftovers from previous quilting projects. These pieces might just be too sizeable, pretty or meaningful to throw away, leftover binding or jelly roll strips, or perhaps frugality gets the better of you!
Either way, there are many, many ways to put those ever growing scraps to good use!
Here are just a few examples of what you can make on Scrap Buster Saturday.
My technique for making strip pieced blocks doesn’t involve a foundation layer.
I added a little ‘organisation’ to lots of random strips by making the central strip in each block white. The white strips are of uniform width, but that’s were the uniformity ends! All other strips are random widths and lengths. I even used ‘ugly’ fabrics I still had, but I totally love the finished quilt! That’s the magic of using scraps.
Autumn Rail Fence Quilt(block tutorial available here)
The simple sewing together of strips means you can easily make up this quilt top in a day.
Once again, I dove into my scrap drawers for specific colours – golds, oranges, pinks and teals, all of different widths and lengths. Some donated yardage of a brown stripe gives flow and order to the scraps.
But equally, this quilt would look fabulous made in random coloured scraps with a uniform ‘fence’ fabric.
‘Quilt As You Go’ Handbag: (pattern available here)