Clamshells Handbag

By Judith on May 19, 2017
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Hello everyone!  How has your week been?

It’s been another busy week here in the Hollies’ household – lots more sewing to share with you in the coming weeks.


A wee while ago I was prepping for an English Paper Piecing class and brought in some of my sample projects.



I had diamonds, hexies, kites and coffins to show in a variety of projects, but there was one shape I was missing………. Clamshells (scallops).


Clamshells are a great example of curved EPP.  I often get free pre-cut EPP papers with quilting magazines.  Which is where I got these clamshells!



The little project book that came with the papers was helpful too!  It gave me an idea for a sample.


EPP Scallop Bag


I decided to make this little bag using some Tilda leftovers teamed with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).


Joining curved EPP shapes is a little different from straight edge shapes. Shapes like hexies and diamonds can be sewn right sides together using a whip stitch along the straight edges.  Because there are no straight edges on curved shapes, the pieces are appliqued down onto a background instead.


EPP Scallop Bag


A little note on basting clamshells – snip into the fabric along the curves, approx. 1cm intervals before folding the fabric over the paper.  I’m a fan of hand tacking/basting the fabric to the papers, but I know some of you are big into the convenience of the glue basting pen.  However, the glue pen doesn’t work so well here because the papers have to be removed before they are appliqued down.


I sourced some vintage wooden handles on Etsy that were just the right size.


EPP Scallop Bag


So now I have a sweet little Clamshells Handbag to keep all my English Paper Piecing papers and wips in!  Great for sewing ‘on the go’!


EPP Scallop Bag


Have a wonderful weekend!



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New Class Project: Feb-March ’18

By Judith on February 4, 2018
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Hello everyone!


I hope you’ve had a healthy and creative week!


My first (half) term of classes are almost through (this is week 5 of 6) so it’s time to announce next (half) term’s class project!



This is a project for those who not only enjoy a spot of ‘re-purposing’ but also bag construction.  The exterior and lining are reinforced with heavy weight vilene, and the exterior is quilted.




What’s involved?

  • Upcycling your unwanted denim jeans, skirts and shirts (I have a large stash you can avail of!)
  • English Paper Piecing (EPP) – hand sewing the hexies into 2 panels
  • Eyelet Ring handle opening
  • Zippered pocket in the lining
  • Reinforced base


And to make it even easier to make this great shopper, I will have part-kits made up of the following:


    • 37 hexie papers Sizzix cut and hole punched
    • 37 varied pieces of denim for the hexies
    • 4 sets of eyelet rings
    • 1 metre heavy sew-in vilene
    • comprehensive Just Jude Designs pattern with step by step photos


The part-kits are discounted at £13 for those attending the classes.


So the only materials you need to bring with you are:


    • 0.5 metre cotton for the bag lining
    • 1 fat quarter cotton for zippered pocket lining
    • 8″ plastic zipper


Easy peasy!


As always, the class project is optional, and I will be announcing class vacancies at the end of this week!  So stay tuned!


Happy re-purposing!



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