Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How I Made a New Bag!

1. Cut out two pieces of the printed fabric 45cm x 40cm and the same measurements in the cotton lining.

2. Pin at the top, the right sides together of the printed fabric and the cotton lining and sew. Sew 1.5cm from the edge of the fabric.

3. Unfold and you will now have one whole piece, do the same for the other cut out pieces of printed and cotton fabric.

4. Pin the right sides together, with the printed fabrics together and the cotton lining together,make sure the two joins also match up as well. Sew along the sides, the top (the top is the printed fabric end) and down the other side as well.

Along the bottom edge (the cotton lining end) sew 3cm from the edge of the fabric, in from both sides. Don't sew all the way across,
you must leave a 14cm gap in the middle so you can pull the bag the right side out after sewing.

5. Pull the bag right side out through the gap you left, and then push the cotton lining down into the inside of the printed section of the bag.

6. The outer printed fabric should come over the top and into the inside by about 1cm. Press to
give a sharp edge. Then make sure the lining is pushed up against the inside and is smooth and taut.

7. Turn the whole bag inside out, so you can get to the bottom of the lining. Slip stitch the cap
with white thread. Then turn back the right way out again. Now for the handles.

8. Take 110cm of Twill Tape, cut in half. Take one half and fold over one end and pin to the inside top of the bag, a little way from the side of the bag. Do the same for the other end on the same side. Sew a rectangle and then sew diagonally through the rectangle. This will give the handle strength. Do the same to the other side with the other half of the tape.

9. The finished Bag! Hopefully that was explain well, it's difficult to actually explain step by step when you just do it automatically with out really thinking. These instructions are for a 42cm x 37cm shopper bag. Enjoy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Fabrics from the seaside!!

Here are a couple of fabrics I picked up whilst in sunny Brighton this weekend. Plans are for a couple of purses and a shopper bag of each fabric. Tomorrow a step by step guide on how they are made, that's if I don't melt in the heat first.

Penny placed for an idea of scale.

Much Love

Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcome to the Spirrel Monkey Blog

I have been sewing since I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of admiring my mother's embroidery work, particularly the rich colours and complex stitch work.

At school when we had embroidery practice, I found it to be one of the most relaxing lessons I had. As I got older the more I wanted learn, I loved fabrics and had a curiosity about how clothes were constructed.

Art and Textiles became my speciality at school, college and eventually university. I've done many different jobs and career ideas in my life so far, but sewing is something that is always there in the background and I always go back to it when I have career breaks.

I have therefore decided to share my passion with others. To show how to make simple items and how to recycle fabrics and components into useful and funky accessories.

I hope give you a guide on how to make items and what new techniques I've learnt along the way. Yes, what I've found is that you are always learning new techniques and tricks to save time and make sewing easier.

The two pictures at the top are a couple of items that I've have made recently. One is a simple coin purse made out of Robert Kaufman Fabric and the second is a fabric flower brooch made from a piece of cotton fabric I found in a remnants bin at a local market and two buttons from my button collection. This is just to show you the type of thing you can expect to see on the Blog in the future.

More updates coming soon, away at the seaside this weekend but this will mean an excellent chance to find some interesting fabrics ready for future Blog commentary.

Night night.