Doggy Bag

dog in a bag

H being a dog in a bag model

One of the guys that I walk with on a morning when I take my JRT, Max, out has a little lhasa apso called Tilly.

She is 14 years old and although she seems incredibly fit for her age, she suffers quite badly from arthritis.

get me outta here!!

get me outta here!!

This isn’t helped by her dense and curly coat which holds all the moisture in this wet and windy weather and doesn’t dry at all quickly.

The damp adde to the soggy coat makes her very stiff, achy and miserable in the cold and wet weather.

I have already suggested that she is towelled down before she goes in the car for the trip home but having seen how she objects to being messed about with (and let’s face it, she has earned her objections at 14), I can see just how tricky it is to manage that.

No point in the little lady suffering unnecessarily, so I have made her a towelling drying bag for her trip home in the car.

The idea is that the ‘bag’ dries the dog as they rest or travel and it keeps them warm at the same time (key for little Tilly).

Couldn’t be simpler to create either:-

1 cut the decorative edge from your recycled towel

1 cut the decorative edge from your recycled towel

take an old towel (this is one that my mum donated to us) which I have dyed (Dylon Woodland Brown) a practical and serviceable colour for using on the dogs when they have been out getting dirty…….

1 – Cut the decorative finished edging off the towel (this one is about 70cm x 110cm – and the size of towel needed for a small dog).

2 – Fold the towel length ways

3 – cut a triangle off one corner 10cm down (on both layers)

4 – sew the short seam (this forms the front)

5 – sew the opposite straight seam (this forms the back)

zip

6 fit zip down back

6 –  fit the zip along the back (allowing enough space for the towelling loops so they don’t catch on the zip teeth). I happened to have a chunky brown zip that had been taken out of something. It is an open bottomed zip and not the full length of the bag but sewn in to fit.

towelling loops need to clear zipper teeth

towelling loops need to clear zipper teeth

7 - forming corners

7 – forming corners

7 – fold open (right sides facing) and sew bottom corners to give depth to base of the bag

trim corner once sewn

trim corner once sewn

8 – turn collar over to allow for threading cord or a ribbon on inside and sew, thread ribbon for tightening.

8 - tie ribbon inside in case the neck needs to be pulled a little snugger

8 – tie ribbon inside in case the neck needs to be pulled a little snugger

Tada!!!

I have added a few extra details such as a towelling tab over the bottom of the zip so it softens the edge in case it comes into contact with a soggy doggy.

zip end sewn into bag

zip end sewn into bag

stitching tab over base of zip

stitching tab over base of zip

zip tab finished

zip tab finished

I have yet to find out if Tilly objects to this method of drying as much as a rub down but we have tried.

I hope it works for the little lady and helps with her aches and pains.

I suppose I ought to be making one for my own mutt too!

scrabble picture

scrabble letters

scrabble letters

My sister received a gift of a scrabble picture some time ago and I loved it. It has her better half, her daughter and her dog’s names on there and it is delightful

word score with names

word score with names – 37 by my reckoning

I liked it so much, it inspired me to make this for friends. Unlike most of our friends these guys are really hard to buy for. They have everything they could possibly want and more besides so a gift is a real challenge.

A personal handmade scrabble picture is like nothing else that they have and seemed to be the perfect solution.

ta da

ta da

This doesn’t work for everyone (unless you use those all important blank tiles!!) and not all pictures get a high score but I love them and they are just such fun and about as personal as you can get for a family.

coming together

coming together

I thought about adding their pets – a cat (I think she’s called Shearer but that might have been the one before?) & 4 hens (heather, kylie, rose and peck) but it would have looked like the scrabble board itself.

 

And let’s face it, who knows how long Kylie/Heather/Rose/Peck will last before she/they become fox food or sunday lunch??

I love it

I love it

pretty baskets

handle detail

handle fixing detail

I have a bit of a weakness for whicker, it’s true.

I already have more baskets than is strictly necessary.

loaded

loaded

I have my fruit and sloe picking basket, my food basket for a trip to the village butcher, I have a basket that holds sewing projects that are not quite finished, I used to have a basket for fabric scraps, our old picnic baskets transport some of my makes to the market, I’ve even turned one into a sewing box for my niece, and I also carry all my cards and labels to market in a little shopping basket too.

It’s fair to say I have a few and my husband’s irony laced comments about me needing more baskets when I add to the stash is justified.

pretty handle detail

pretty handle detail

But…..

I ignore him (of course) and now I have a new basket which is for all those bits that lie around but never seem to have a proper home.

I’d seen this particular basket a few times on a stand at our local car boot sale but had resisted the temptation. The seller is actually a trader and sells the ‘collectables’ at the car boot sale and keeps the ‘antiques’ for the fairs.

We’ve bought a few things from him as he always has interesting pieces that are in good condition.

candle snuffer and note books

candle snuffer and note books

As the car boot season is drawing to an end for this year, I decided I wasn’t going to resist any longer nor risk missing out so now it is sitting with my lovely Dear Emma fabric bowl on the side table in the living room.

fabric bowls

remnants from The Cloth Shop

remnants from The Cloth Shop

I was inspired some time ago by my purchase of a dear emma fabric bowl to make an odd one of my own but  I wanted them with a fold over top and contrasting linings.

cutting out

cutting out

I wanted them for use around the place for the various ‘bits and pieces’ that seem to need a home but don’t have a specific one or are in transit to somewhere else.

outside ready for patterned lining

outside ready for patterned lining

My original need for them was so that I had somewhere to put all the threads that I am using so they are easy to get at. Since thinking about making them though, my big top drawer on my sewing table seems to work well for these so the bowls will now be used for lots of other things sewing and miscellaneous alike.

lined and turned the right way for finishing

lined and turned the right way for finishing

I got a remnant of some fabulous heavy upholstery fabric from The Cloth Shop recently that is weighty enough to make a fabric bowl work so I got on with it this weekend.

pinned ready for top stitching

pinned ready for top stitching

They are surprisingly easy to make if you get the basics right and allow yourself a little tolerance here and there.

tada!!

tada!!

Preparation and making sure you don’t skip on the stages is the key to neatness but you really have to have the right fabric to make them stand up.

3 different sizes with 3 different linings

3 different sizes with 3 different linings

I love the fact that they are completely reversible to suit your requirements and I will change the combinations and what is on the outside depending on where the bowls end up living.

grouped together

grouped together

I will make more (possibly a nest and definitely some as presents) that are pretty and contrasting but also some that are decorated on the outside with applique.  These plain ones, however, are perfect for and will go into my work room and onto shelves around the flat.

complimentary fabrics

complimentary fabrics

A very satisfying little project before I get on with the rest of the things that I want to do and those that I still need to finish.

contrasting lining

contrasting seersucker lining

getting through those projects

boys shoe/gym/swimming  bag

boys shoe/gym/swimming bag

I really haven’t been able to enjoy any making time much lately as work is unexpectedly hectic and very demanding.

It’s quite frustrating because my workroom also doubles up as my office and I have to look at my lovely fabrics, projects and machine everyday with the thought that I would really much rather be sitting there doing that than sitting here doing this.

But I’m managing to very slowing making headway through my unfinished projects and I haven’t added too many new ones to the pile so far!

I would have made more headway had I not managed to leave behind all the car boot booty, the bias tape, interface and fabrics that I bought last weekend.

train bag

train bag

Never mind, there is always something that does’t need those things for finishing and I can still be getting on with one or another.

book bag

book bag

I have had to completely abandon some projects since I first started them and condemn the fabric to the scrap box.

It is because they just weren’t the success I had hoped and I need to go back to the drawing board or I have completely changed my mind about some of them and no longer think it is worth spending the time in seeing them finished.

fish bag

fish bag (WIP)

I get an idea into my head and try different types or versions of the same thing and the results are hugely varied.

fish bag

fish bag

Some first attempts work brilliantly and some really need work.

fish detail

fish detail

Some ideas will just never be realised successfully but that can honestly be as much of the fun as doing something that you know you can successfully make.

lavendar bags

lavendar bags

Bags seem to be the order of the day at the moment so I managed to get a handful finished but there are still some that need my time.

I’ll get the next batch of these bags sorted out and then I think I will concentrate on getting the cushions finished before I get on with some more of the little dresses that I love making so much.

happy birthday harringay market

Smile

Smile

A week ago was Harringay Market’s first birthday and it was a scorcher too.

happy birthday

happy birthday

It was very hot and sunny and the event was to be marked by lots of visitors and a birthday cake!

pouches and bags

pouches and bags

I’m not a regular trader at Harringay Market as my work keeps me away more often than not but I feel very much part of it. I’ve been selling there since not long after it started. I love the sense of community there is and I love the people that you meet.

cushions

cushions

Us crafters aren’t the main feature, it is a food market after all, but I like to think we add a bit of interest. We have developed a bit of a following and some people are disappointed when we aren’t there.

my new doggy model

my new doggy model

None of us were in a very good spot for the birthday market, unfortunately and although we benefited from not being in the direct sun for most of the day, we were nowhere near the action (unless you consider a loo stop as action!). A real shame and a missed opportunity as were tucked out of the way and were literally in a little corridor on the way to the loos! But I had my lovely friend V to kep me company and we had a good old chat to our neighbour and newcomer Spacedog.

bags and cosies

bags and cosies

Anyway, I had made a few new small things recently so I decided to take them to the market to see if they’d be good sellers.

Most of the things I make are for kids but are bought by their parents or a relative as a gift. I’m aware that amongst the shoppers out there, there are a few who are spending their hard earned pocket money too and there need to be some smaller interesting items that are affordable to those little shoppers.

some of the making

some of the making

Because bags are always needed for boys and girls, I tried out a selection of different shapes, uses and styles to see how things went.

I love them and have made myself a small sewing bag the same which fits in my handbag for the odd train journey.

sold

sold

They went down well and I think I will make a few more with different patterns, images and styles.

the little collection I tried to get done the night before!

the little collection I tried to get done the night before!

The big hit at the moment though are the little summer dresses!  I really have to get on with all my new ideas for them

matching accessories

grey tote bag for work

grey tote bag for work

One of the presents that I gave to my sis this christmas was a grey tote bag with a brightly coloured lining like the one in the photos.

She had asked me to make her one ages ago when she saw some I made and I got it done just before Christmas so wrapped it up along with her other gifts and despatched it

lined pocket

lined pocket

The brief was simply that the bag needed to be grey. Black denim is robust and serves brilliantly for a working tote bag and should go with almost anything grey.

I love making these bags especially as the variations are endless and have finally decided to use one for myself.

the finished bag

the finished bag

Imagine my delight (and Liz’s too) when I got a thank you text to say that it matched her new grey mini perfectly!

The lucky girl had been given a grey mini cooper for christmas from Kit, her other half.

tag

tag

New year Resolutions

sorting out projects that need finishing

sorting out projects that need finishing

I’m not big on new year resolutions but I do try to make a few:-

So:-

1   have a good sort and clear out (ouch!!)

2   detox again (did it in November and it was amazing)

3   stop spending and start saving (LOL now that I have just finished all my internet shopping!!)

4   list all the wonderful things that happen in 2013 (great idea from little room of rachell)

5   finish ALL the projects I have started

So, resolution number 5 – projects;

I have had to resign myself to having a restless creativity that means I flit from project to project and will always have a few on the go at one time.

I’m very focused when I am working but need the challenge of variety to keep my attention. It is the same in my job as a designer project manager.

I always have a million ideas going around in my head and committed to my sketch book, some become real, some get started but falter and but some are simply condemned to my eternal ‘to do’ list because I don’t have the time to realise every idea.

I have a written list (I love a good list) and I have an actual list (that takes the form of a basket that is full of part finished work).

At any one time, I will be working on 2 or 3 different things anyway. It isn’t as random as it sounds. I work a bit like a production line, albeit a production line of completely individual things. For example, I cut lots of things out at the same time, I do lots of machine sewing at the same time, I do lots of applique at the same time and generally add my labels to all of the finished items at the same time.

There is an efficiency in there somewhere, I’d like to think.

I do tend, however, to lay some of these many projects aside. The reasons could be any of a number – I’m not happy with how it is progressing, I have run out of time, I have run out of interest for it, I am bored with doing the same thing over and over, I’m not sure it is right etc etc etc.  Most of them are eventually revisited with a fresh enthusiasm, and although some seem to remain unfinished for an eternity, I do get there.

A busy 2011 & 2012 has meant that ALL the things that I set out to complete previously (I have said this before) are still waiting to be done!

So on new years day, I went through them all and have transferred them from the ‘to do’ basket into my ‘doing’ work bag so that I WILL work my way through them and get them finished.

valentine bunting

valentine bunting

There is bunting for valentines day.

lavendar cushions

lavendar cushions

There are lavendar cushions for valentines day.

patchwork

patchwork

Patchwork for blankets and cushions.

dog neckerchiefs

dog neck ties

Dog neck ties, aprons, cushions, bunting, jungle chums blanket, patchwork blanket, bags and food savers to name but a few.

I completed one of the handy shopper bags and a dog neck tie this week and I prepared some of the applique for bunting and cushions that I wanted to do. They will keep me busy during the dark wet evenings before the weather changes.

When they are all finished, they will help swell the stock in my internet folksy shop and my facebook shop back to where is was previously and I will take some of them to Harringay Market when I am next able to do it on the 3rd of February.

I expect to be ticking them off my list over the next few weeks before adding a few new ones (of course)!

rule breaker

fresh new stash

I broke one of my strictest making rules……

I bought some brand new fabrics!!!

Not thrifted, remnants or repurposed; brand spanking new and they come with that glorious smell that you get from fresh off the roll fabric.

yum yum

I couldn’t resist, I really couldn’t. I went to the knitting and sewing show at Ally Pally last weekend and just couldn’t walk away.

charlie fox

I know exactly what each piece is for and although I have stashed them and am saving them for later, as soon as my latest commission and some christmas makes are completed, I will be delving into them to get started.

ladybirds

The red foxes were the first to catch my eye and they (along with lots of the others) come from a lovely on line shop called pin it and stitch who are opening an outlet in West Hampstead soon and I can’t wait. It will be well worth a visit and the ladies at the show were lovely to deal with.

abstract

Myself and my friend V (of pearl barley and by appointment fame) both wanted to go so we got there early and were done by lunch time. It started to get very busy just as we were finishing and I sort of lose the will to live when I have to fight with the crowds (you can see I would be hopeless in the January Sales!!). I find shopping a bit frustrating anyway but I can get over that for all the lovely stuff at the show which is different; it’s a bit like being in a big sweet shop full of your favourite stuff but even that has it’s limits so we left quite early very happy with our purchases.

floral

Anyway, like last year, I have found some great on line shops while at the show which I will fall back on for certain things when my thrifting lets me down.

crafty ribbons for gift wrapping my makes

This year it was crafty ribbons who sell these lengths of lovely ribbon,

blooming felt starter kit

Blooming Felt who sell all things felting (thank you very much for your help Sarah – more of that later).

The Handweavers Studio which is only around the corner from where I live and I had no idea it was there but what a find.

felting wools from the handweaver’s studio

the black sheep craft barn who sell all the gorgeous Sublime wools and patterns for gorgeous, gorgeous knitting projects (how long were you able to hold back before you treated yourself and started your knitting V?)

hooplayarn were there will all their lovely T-shirt strips for the chunky knits and crochetting in your life

wanstead fabric merchants for floral prints

the eternal maker also did lovely fabrics like those at ‘pin it and stitch’

the village haberdashery or ray-stitch will fulfil all your haberdashery requirements

lady sew and sew for novelty fabrics.

I could go on……..

All fabulous in their own way but I was completely won over by ‘pin it and stitch’s’ gorgeous ranges and would like to thank them for their patience in the face of my indecision, I got there in the end and had to stop looking in the end otherwise I would never have managed to carry it all home.

delicious

Until next year, let’s hope I can keep to my rules and resist temptation.

oh so totes

making a tote on my frister rossman cub 7

I have made 4 more tote bags like the one I made for myself.

Some of the fabrics that I work with come from a lovely lady called ann who makes curtains.  She gives lots of fabric offcuts to the local school for their craft projects and my friend Anna gets some of it for me to work with. It is free and as leftovers it sits very well with my recycling/upcycling preference for Tinyinc.

connecting the lining

These ones, like the one I made myself are using some of the fabric offcuts from Ann’s studio so it seemed appropriate to me that one of them should serve as a thank you to Ann for her generosity.  It has been posted and should have arrived by now and I hope Ann has use for it and knows how much I appreciate her generosity.

finsihed tote

I have also sent one to my mum and to the lady who recently gave me a load of sewing stuff that she no longer has a use for.

lined with an inside pocket

These totes are quite capacious and able to hold much more than A4 documents, they are lined and have a pocket on the outside as well as the inside. They are gusseted to help them keep their shape when they are full and they have straps that go all the way underneath which gives them structure and makes them robust for carrying heavy things.

hot pink lining

Mine is invaluable and I hope everyone gets as much use out of theirs as I do out of mine.

pink and mink