Tweed Monster Purses…

I’m happy to admit I’m struggling.  I always do at this time of year, I imagine that as soon as the boys start school I’ll have loads of time and I’ll be able to crack on, sewing during the day and have a (finally!) tidy house, bake the odd cake, potter in the garden, all that idyllic life stuff but no, in reality I feel a bit stressed, I have so much I want to do and although I am now ‘free’ from 9am-3pm the time seems to be disappearing into a black hole of laundry, teachers meetings, trying to get the garden ready for winter and making blinds (which I HATE, just for the record).

Well, enough moaning, I know most people in blogworld are feeling the same,. I find when I feel overwhelmed, I need to just get my head down and sew when I can, even if I don’t feel like it and tick off lists as it keeps me motivated and reduces the stress.

I’ve been working through some of the ‘open projects’ that have been sitting in boxes for months, if not years.  I started some little monster pouches using up tweed left over from Tweed Bunny Purses a very long time ago and last week I buckled down and got them finished.

There are only a few.  I talked a while ago about maybe adding tweed monsters to the existing corduroy ones and maybe making them a little larger (for all those big kids out there who want to be able to fit a credit card in – me included!), this is still an open plan but unlikely to happen until early next year.  For now these are made up from odds and ends, and are the usual size, they have cute crochet zip pulls that make me think of Ermentrude from the Magic Roundabout.

They have varied floral linings – I took loads of photos of the lining fabric etc, but the light hasn’t been great so my photos generally are a bit crap.

As with all my monster purses, they are a bit wonky, those eyes are really, really hard to zig-zag around as they are quite a tight circle and it’s hard to keep it neat.  I like to think it all adds to the character.

The final one is a bit different to the others.  For some reason it makes me think of Vivienne Westwood, maybe it’s the slight punk quality?

I haven’t packed them up yet, need to do that now and then get back to blind making so I can be free to sew nice shop things next week.  You can find them listed here, do please let me know if you see any mistakes, I sometimes get listing blindness, where I can’t see bad spelling etc, it all just merges.  I am slightly dreading listing all the new autumn stock, it takes ages but I’ll admit is very satisfying once done.  Just need to get all the photos taken.  Next week.  I hope 🙂

Monster Purses…grrrrrrrr

That’s a nice little monstery ‘grrrrr’ by the way, not a cross one.  I am being forced to watch ‘The Wizz’ (in case you’ve never seen it, the movie tagline is: ‘An adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” that tries to capture the essence of the African American experience’ and it was filmed in the late 70’s and has Michael Jackson in it) for the umpteenth time so perhaps it’s even a cowardly lion kind of grrrrr, at least that’s what I think of whenever I see the monster purses.  

When I often say I started something weeks ago, I wonder if you think I exaggerate?  Well I really don’t.  The below little stack of monster purses have been patiently sitting on their tray for many, many weeks, nearly complete but still without linings.

The linings have to be stitched by hand and it makes my poor fingers very sore, I quite often use a pair of pliers to pull the needle through (it has to be stitched through a number of layers, hence the difficulty) and I’ve tried using a leather thimble but alas it’s not meant to be, I need to spend some time retraining myself to use thimbles as it would make life a lot easier (I used to use them when stitching period clothing but have got out of the habit).  I just get sore blistered fingers instead.  I suffer for my art 😉

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, the little stack was complete – hurrah!

Something I’ve realised over past months is I really enjoy having products completely ready to send out (such as the flower brooches and little birds), and by that I mean with labels attached (where appropriate) and packaged so all I have to do is print off a delivery slip and pop them in the post box.  All lavender bags are stuffed to order and many other things need to be packed up nicely, all little details that take time, something I don’t always have a lot of at the moment, especially in the mornings and I do like to get orders out as swiftly as possible.

So all the new batch of little monster purses have been tagged and bagged and stacked into boxes ready to go.  The bagging is a great help as the cotton corduroy tends to pick up fluff very easily, it comes lovely and clean with the aid of sellotape but if left unbagged would need to be cleaned again before posting off, this solves the problem.

As far as those satisfying ‘project done’ moments go, this one really did make me feel happy.  I took so many photos of the neat little stack of bagged and ready purses and also loads of them lined up on the bench before packaging,

as I figured I’m unlikely to make such a big batch in one go again, it was almost a bit much and I think is partly why they took me so long.  I do enjoy my sewing, some parts of each process I find a bit tedious and some really fun but on the whole I really enjoy it or I wouldn’t do it, I do find I need to strike the balance between the two though or it get’s overwhelming.  The reward of a final finished stack is always my favourite bit as most regular readers know.

The monster purses have always been popular, my boys love theirs and they got a new one each (C a green one and F a red – their favourite colours) to take to Berlin, attached to their messenger bags.  I think these are just one of those things I’ll always be running out of and so need to keep a constant flow going, or simply accept they will often be out of stock and maybe a seasonal item.  In fact I feel a bit guilty as it’s taken me a while to publish this post and quite a few of the purses have sold already (thanks everyone that’s bought one!).

I made a new purple version.

And much to F’s delight a red one that I think has a slight demonic tone to it!  Purely accidental, I didn’t like the yellow eyes so I added a brown dot in the centre of each and it has given them  a naughty devil (in a cute kind of way) look.

I have also taken some new photos of the purses being held so you can get an idea of the size.  I have always photographed them with coins at the side, hoping this had the same result but I’m not sure the scale was obvious enough.  As you can see, they are small coin purses, not big enough to hold a credit card (I have sold quite a lot to adults, so might make a bigger version with this is mind) but I aways imagined them to be the right size to be squished into a little boys pocket if needs be.

Right, enough.  You can find them here.

Little Monsters…

This is going to be a quick post with lots of photos, as quite frankly it’s too nice out there to be indoors working and this sunny, warm weather may not last (sorry if you’re not enjoying the same, especially those of you freezing in Finland, you know who you are :)).

Finally there is a neat little stack of monsters on my desk

In the true style of my own little monsters, each time a new colour appears they try to snaffle them and come out with phrases like, “Oh, I wish I had a red monster purse to go with my yellow one….” whilst gazing wistfully at the new creations and in C’s case, simply running off with them.

Sorry boys, not right now but given a little monster purse making break you may get a second one each.

Although they are called ‘Monster Purses’ C likes to keep a couple of Playmobil men tucked in his, so they aren’t just for pocket money,

and I would have loved to have been able to offer personalised versions, like the original, but sadly having a sick one at home today I am reminded how erratic my time is and prefer to have only completed work for sale (that and the 2 week long Easter holidays followed directly by ‘The Wedding’ weekend that are fast approaching, yikes!).

I did also consider making them slightly larger so they could hold a credit card as I’m pretty sure not all of these will end up belonging to children, but I really like that they can be squished into a child’s pocket, when needed, plus they are the perfect size for hanging off a pair of jeans (as my boys mostly wear theirs) or attached to F’s book bag for school.

They are listed on my shop and a few on Folksy.  There will be more coming in this range and some Monsters in other fabrics, given time; but I know there are quite a few people waiting so finally, here they are 🙂