I can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post. The lack of posting is due to my forgetfulness at taking photos of my projects before I send them onwards and not due to a lack of sewing. I have been doing lots of sewing. I’m finding that a little sewing at the weekend sets me up for the next week and that if I don’t find the time my week is sluggish. Luckily some of my recent projects have gone to family so I hope to get photos soon so that I can post about them. But anyway, in this post I can talk about two projects whilst showing the pictures of one because really this should have the title Chocolate birch handbag No. 2.
This bag came as a kit from Ink & Spindle. I first stumbled upon the company in about December of last year. I saw the chocolate birch fabric and thought that my sister would love it. At the time the only way they were selling this fabric was as a bag kit with a pattern called Aiko Tote by Lara Cameron. I figured K would like the bag so I put in an order. The company is based in Australia and my order went in too near to Christmas for it to arrive before the New Year but that was ok because I’d planned on giving K the bag for her birthday. However, when it arrived I fell in love with the fabric, the brown is so rich and the birch trees so beautifully printed.
I had a crisis of conscience. I thought that K would love the bag too so I felt guilty at wanting to keep it for myself. In a bit of a panic I asked if K would like me to make her an Emmeline apron for her birthday, she said yes and I figured that as she didn’t know that I’d planned to give her the bag she wouldn’t mind the change in present. Oh dear, I found the perfect fabric for her apron but I had to buy it from the USA and it didn’t arrive in time for me to make her apron for her birthday. I panicked again. Luckily another tote kit in the chocolate birch became available from Ink & Spindle, so I snatched up the kit for myself and gave K the first bag for her birthday (I made her the apron for Mother’s Day and will post about that when I get a photo of her wearing it).
After a wee wait, the second kit arrived (along with a couple of other fabric bundles I couldn’t resist buying) and yesterday I found the time to make it. When I made the first bag I learnt from the pattern how to make inside pockets as a part of the lining and outside fabric (rather than patch pockets) and I adapted the pattern to include a small outside pocket for my travel card using the same technique (see first picture).
The kit comes with everything needed to make the bag, including iron-on interfacing and the magnetic clasp. Lara Cameron‘s pattern was fun and easy to put together and includes inside pockets that I’ve stitched so that they hold my diary, a pen and my phone. The pattern also taught me a different (and easier) way of forming square corners on the bag bottom (the corners are cut out when the fabric is cut rather than at the end). For both bags I also added a key fob and an inside zipper pocket for valuables. The interfacing that came with the kit is pretty sturdy but for my bag I swapped in heavier, fleecy sew-in interfacing for the bottom of the bag it help it stand on its own.
For K’s bag the kit came with a white spotty fabric whilst mine came with this red print called Acacia. I love the vivid red and that the bird theme is continued from the outside in. I’m very pleased with my new handbag. What with all of the extras that I put in the design and construction took me all of the BBC’s 2005 version of North and South and one and half episodes of the BBC’s 2006 version of Jane Eyre (about 6 hours and yes, R was away for the day doing TA things). Time well spent I think.