Posts Tagged fabric

A few more bags

I had been going to write something about these a while ago, but time moves on… These are all Scrapstore fabrics.

Anyway, I had made two goes of patchwork bags. In the first I had the edges just laid over each other and zigzagged over them all, front and back (uses a lot of thread that way!). The second I cut out squares from an upholstery sampler and straight-stitched them together with the seams inside. Not perfectly lined up.

15.04_BoCPatchworkBag 15.05.03_BoCPatchworkBag

I made a pair of bags in fabric with a car pattern, one red and one blue.


I made the red bag in a different way: the inside and outside made separately, then put together so the top is what you have to sew up rather than leaving a hole in the side for turning. It means the inside seams are all hidden, but that you have a topstitched rim. Not entirely convinced – I like the very clean join at the top of the inside-out way.


I made an alphabet bag and a flowery bag.


I sewed on a pair of pretty wooden butterfly buttons to go with the flowers.


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Sewing: drawstring bags for Beads of Courage

Sewing updates, after my post on UK Scrapstores. Here’s what I’ve done with some of the fabric.

I started off by cutting out some bits from solid-colour samples and appliquéing them onto a white cotton background. (Probably should have ironed it a few more times in between and/or sewed more carefully – I have a bit of gathering in my white).


Then I made it into a drawstring bag, using the pattern at LoveMeSew.


That pattern is made from a single piece of fabric and has a gap at one side for the drawstring. The bag with the squares was made using the same pattern, but is kinda big! This is because I looked at the BCCA instructions for sizes, and it asks for two 9×12″ pieces of fabric, so I went “Oh, since I’m using a single piece, twice that is 18×24 inches”. No, no it isn’t.

It looks nice though!

The BoC pattern is a two-drawstring bag with a lining, which LoveMeSew has also done a pattern for, so next I made this one:


I used the white cotton for the lining and the same square pattern fabric for the outside. It’s pretty solid-feeling once you have both layers! All the hems are tucked away between the layers, so it looks well-finished too.

You can see I’ve also sewn on the BoC and BCCA badges for these bags. (Be Child Cancer Aware will send you some if you’re going to make them bags – you can contact them on FB).

For my next trick, I’m going to try BCCA’s pattern for the bags – the LoveMeSew one involves sewing the linings together and the outers together, so you have a fully closed tube with lining on one side and outer on the other, then you turn the whole thing inside-out through a little gap left in the lining and hand sew that closed at the end. The BCCA pattern has you sewing the lining and outer into tubes from the start and turning them back and forth – it was rather confusing, so I went through it with pinned fabric only and think I have a better idea. I will see how the time taken and finish compares, and which way I like better.

(I do have a tendency to sew front to back at least once when working on a tube…)

Anyway, so far I have only had to unpick a very few sections, and pricked my finger once when hand-sewing the badges on my first bag (I had them before making the second, so could do that one by machine). Success!

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UK Scrapstores!

Sample book contains a rainbow!

Sample book contains a rainbow!

This post has been sitting here awaiting the photos for a month or more, so here we are!

I decided I’d get round to getting a sewing machine this year.

I recently joined the Wandsworth Work & Play Scrapstore ( A friend of mine volunteers there.

It’s a rummageable cave full of crafting goodies of all types. I was looking for fabric specifically, so came home with a whole pile of fabric: some bigger bits of cotton, some nice patterned pieces, some small matching bundles and several sample books of interesting and brightly-coloured stuff. There’s a whole mixture of things available, from high end prints to blackout material. The fabric is mostly intended for upholstery, but there’s a smaller section for dressmaking fabric and very helpful ladies who know what’s what. (And tbh, some of the upholstery material would be fine for making clothes from anyway!)

Small fabric bundles

Small fabric bundles

They have loads of all sorts of other stuff: white card, rolls of wallpaper, colour-coordinated boxes of plastic lids… There’s a section with loads of Christies auction books, and for people who do book art there are green and gold bound Dickens novels and the like.

For this store, you pay an annual membership and can then take as much as you like during that time. Some things are limited on the amount you can have per visit. You can join as a student, a family or a larger organisation like a school. Or speak to them if you’re not sure you fit in the categories. The rule for this store is that everything has to be for personal use – you cannot sell it or things made from it. Yearly membership for individuals is tiny: £36 for a family, and there was a 20% discount when I joined. (They have a static year rather than a rolling one right now, so my membership is until the end of August). They want more members so tell anyone you think might be interested!

Shiny samples

Shiny samples

For their records, you give them an estimate of the value of everything you’re walking out with (they help with this). We reckoned I had at the very least £150-worth of fabric I was lugging out with me, and that was probably on the low side.

To get there: From Wimbledon station, you can get the 493 bus from stop A on Alexandra Road and go 7 stops in very short order which deposits you right outside (Hazelhurst Estate stop). It isn’t immediately obvious: on exiting the bus, turn left and go a few meters along until there’s a driveway. Turn up that and walk to the gap between buildings: they had a sandwich board up there and the entrance is just on the left. You may need to buzz. Children under 12 aren’t allowed to go among the stacks (potentially hazardous) so would need to stay in the entrance. Open Tues and Thurs only.

Remnant with lovely embroidered flower

Remnant with lovely embroidered flower

There are scrapstores all over the place, have a look at They are each run individually, so have different rules for membership or whether they have members at all.

Because of the opening hours I can only go there when I’m on holiday, but since it was more than worth it for one visit, that’s not really a problem!

Sample book

Sample book

I am intending to begin by making some bags for Beads of Courage UK: the kids need bags to keep their long strings of treatment beads in, and it seemed a handy and fairly simple project to begin with. I like this tutorial: How to make a simple drawstring bag from Love Me Sew.

One of the brighter-pattened fabrics

One of the brighter-pattened fabrics

As of now, I’ve washed and ironed various of the fabrics I bought. Yes, I had to buy an iron and ironing board for this. (Aside: I could get an Argos value iron on sale for £2.99. The only ironing board I could find was from TK Maxx at £24.99 and has a 10-year guarantee! Insert something about disposable electronics here. The board is rather nice though, adjustable with plenty of height).

Remnants with another embroidered piece

Remnants with another embroidered piece

My sewing machine is a nice hefty metal-bodied secondhand Frister & Rossmann Model 35. No bells and whistles, but I wanted one that wasn’t plastic and would do a small number of things reliably to begin with. I’ve been making friends with it by trying out all the stitch adjustment options, rethreading the machine in white (came with black), filling a new bobbin and overcasting the edges of my fabric so it doesn’t fray. (Which is actually a decent exercise to get used to using your machine and controlling the speed, going in a straight line etc).

Sample book with a few leaf patterns (mostly solid colour)

Sample book with a few leaf patterns (mostly solid colour)

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