Embroidered Bag Remake

Amongst my boot fair finds was a fab wool embroidered handmade bag , fell in love and thought I would carry out a bit of refurbishment .

The embroidery was lovely but the fringing was felted and the handles needed replacing , so I took the bag apart, the front panel was quite an uneven shape, happily the lining was in good shape so I cut a pattern from the lining from that. I used the new handles to draw the stitching line then added the seam allowance .

As the bag opens either side of the handles to about 6 inches , I cut out a facing which sat just below this opening. I cut the bottom part of the lining from glazed cotton, adding a pocket in the seam . I choose some black mid weight wool from my stash for the replacement back panel and the facings and cut canvas backing for front , back and facings. Making sure all pieces were notched at the opening , centres and for balance around the curves.After stay stitching the backing to all the pieces it was time to put the bag back together! 

Firstly I used a piping foot to attach a faux leather piping all round the back panel and to the opening section of the front – ending stitching at the notch.

 Next I attached the facings stitching, trimming and clipping the curve. Pressed the seam open and then attached the lining , the pocket goes in the back panel , I stitched one pocket bag to centre of facing and one to centre of lining panel , leaving seam allowance of 1cm free at the both sides.

The lining was then attached , stitching right up to the end of the pocket bag stitching on either side.

The pocket bag was then stitched all round taking care not to catch the upper seam allowance .

Back lining done, I then stitched the lining to the front facing , and pressed . 

I should have changed thread colour to attach the lining as the black shows on the pocket opening edge – knew I should do it but thought it I would get away with it !
Deciding to carry on regardless, next I attached the handles, the “shoulder” seams of the bag (from the handle to the opening are to be sewn with the handles in place, I inserted the handles between the facing and outer pieces and stitched from the opening notch as far towards the handle as possible with the machine .

Then stitched the remainder of the seam by hand .

Next a magnetic fastener was attached to the centre of each facing , just above where the seam allowance sits to reduce bulk , I marked a small piece of canvas and used an unpicker / seam ripper to make small holes through to the facing , I find best way to ensure these holes are not cut too large accidentally is to insert the unpicker at the base of the marking and then bring it back out at the top of the mark thus limiting the cut . Once done the fastenings were inserted to both facings .

Next I stitched tch the seam across the base of the bag. Matching balance notches , I stitched from one notch marking the bottom of the opening , round to the notch on the other side , up to where the stitching line for the “shoulder ” seams stopped . There was a lot of bulk here so I hand tacked to control the placement before machining. 

This was repeated for the lining seam , leaving a gap in the seam sufficient for turning through .(just larger than the handle!)

The seams were trimmed and curves clipped and then the bag was turned through.

I used a bone seam presser to encourage the fabric up around the handles, anything sharper may have penetrated the fabric- which would have been a bit of a disaster at this stage! The binding sits nicely up around the handles .

I’ve just noticed my seam presser is called “Crease Mouse”!!

To hold the handles in place I stab stitched around the curve with wool , using a yarn similar  to the original embroidery .

To finish off I tacked the seam allowances at the sides of the bag together to prevent it pulling out and slip stitched the lining seam closed. Am pleased with how the bag has turned out ,  there are other ways to attach the handles , the original was hand stitched to the lining, this way worked pretty well although needed some persuasion to sit tightly against the handle once turned through, a lighter fabric may have turned through easier!

 Do you have any tips for this type of bag ? Would love to hear from you ! 

Finished – Upcycled Floral Print Raglan Sleeved Summer Top


Finally finished my summer top and with the weather as lovely as it is I’ll get to wear it inbetween the showers ! 

Got distracted over the weekend with a crochet chimp, 

once he was done it was back to completing the top ! 

Was a pretty easy make although,as I suspected , that small seam allowance tripped me up – can you see my stay stitching beyond the seam ? ! 

A little bit of unpicking will teach me to go more carefully next time .

However I was glad I stay stitched as all the pieces went together perfectly , the seam allowance didn’t need trimming so finishing was super quick.

The facing was edge stitched and the top stitched a centimetre away from the edge to make the channel for the elastic , and the sleeves were simply turned up and the hem used for the channel . 

I had added an extra inch to the length as I am quite long in the body , but when I tried it on it was too long , the pattern only allows a half inch hem , but as I had the extra length I used some to make a double fold hem which gives the hem a bit more weight . It’s not clear from the pattern where this is supposed to finish but I decided on top  hip , looks great with jeans and disguises a not very flat stomach ! 

I measured the neckline elastic as per the pattern but I added an extra 4″ as it sat a little too high around the neck . 

Am pleased with how this turned out and already planning to make more , maybe changing neckline to fixed band and gathering into that instead of the elastic ? 

Glad I have added some sunshine to my wardrobe , let’s hope it encourages the sun out ! 

Upcycled Floral Print Raglan Sleeved Summer Top


My wardrobe needs some summery tops to brighten it up , I came across this lovely print fabric  made up as a elasticated skirt , there was quite a bit of fabric and only 2 straight seams so once unpicked and laundered I had 3 pieces about 85cm square . Plenty for a short sleeve top. 

I choose a pattern from a bargain lot picked up at a charity shop , by Kwik Sew , described as a square dance blouse ! ? , looking at the pieces it looks good ,so  I decided not to do a toile , we’ll see if this was a good decision soon I guess ! 

The fabric is quite mobile , I have stay stitched all the curved edges and am handling gently , the other thing I will have to watch is there is only 1/4″ / 6mm seam allowance – it’s all cut out , not much to spare , I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have you made this top ? Or have you successfully salvaged fabric to make into another garment ?