This is to be a quick post as in half an hour I shall be wrapped up warm and singing carols in the school playground.
Thanks for all your lovely comments and get wells from the last post (I will reply to comments when I have a mo), I am feeling much better and today for the first time in weeks I have been busy in the studio sewing. This is partly, I admit that I have zero time left to finish up any secret gifts for the boys so I have favoured sewing over housework….which let’s face it, I’d probably do anyway.
A while ago now I read this fantastic post by Zoe of Scented Sweetpeas with the most adorable linen nature satchel she had made for her daughter and I instantly felt inspired to make the boys a bag each for Christmas, like many mums I often end up as the family mule and I think encouraging the boys to sometimes carry their own things on outings is a great idea. Zoe’s bag is lovely, I especially like her idea to use a laminated lining as both my boys are a bit messy and being able to wipe the inside is a great idea.
After coming up with some designs of my own based on past bag making, a hunt around the internet and a good think about what the boys requirements are I settled on using a pattern for a messenger bag from the book ‘little things to sew’ by Oliver +S. I figured the boys need pockets and ideally an adjustable shoulder strap as they seem to grow inches practically every day and this fitted the bill perfectly. It’s rare for me to sew from patterns but this seemed so right it was an obvious choice to use it. After a little tweet about what materials to use, I dyed some of my linen union that has been sitting around in a box for ages and borrowing Zoe’s fantastic idea ordered some oil cloth for the linings.
For the straps I bought some heavy cotton webbing, in the pattern you stitch your own but I figured the boys are going to be rough on them so I wanted something strong and durable and I liked the idea of the contrast of textures and colours. The bag in the book uses contrasting binding which I think would work quite well but as I was unsure of the ‘decoration’ I might add to the front, I decided to use a similar colour from my ready made cotton bias-binding stash.
I also didn’t bother with the front pocket flaps, I plan to make a version for myself in tweed (of course!) and then I will put them in but for the boys I preferred the idea of leaving them off and the pockets very accessible. Luckily I had the entire bags stitched up except for the front main flap which I’d left unstitched to I could add some personalisation, before we all got ill. I simply couldn’t decide what to do there, I had originally planned monster faces with gnashing teeth, but the boys are growing up fast and I wanted to make something they wont tire of too easily and with a more grown-up feel.
In the end I decided on stripes and their names. I have rushed this morning to finish and hide them and in doing so they are not as ‘perfect’ as I would like. The appliqued names were difficult to do, as I had the bags already made up I had to maneuver the entire bag under the machine which was quite difficult and the final binding around the outside could have been neater but on the whole I am very pleased. I also forgot to add some D-rings and snaps for attaching ‘things’ which is a shame.
Right, must dash as I don’t want to miss seeing the kids sing, I actually prefer it to the nativity play, it’s nice to have all the school together and the parents joining in, who knows, if I carry on feeling so well I may even go for it tonight and have my first glass of (mulled) wine for some weeks 🙂