Saturday, 30 January 2010

Lilly of the Valley - Flowers for my mum

My mum's favourite flowers have always been Lilly of the Valley. 
The first time she saw them, I think, was when she went to Paris, France, in her early twenties. They don't grow in Portugal, where she comes from and lives, so they are very special, and exotic,  to her. Everytime I see the first Lilly of the Valley delicate flowers shooting up in the late Swedish Spring, I always call her to tell her about it!

When I found this fabulous floral fabric on Retrodepot I just knew I had to make something out of it for my mum. So I made this bag.


It is of course yet another size variation of  the Charming Handbag, pattern by Amy Karol, from Bend the Rules Sewing. Only here I have exchanged the handle for a shoulder strap. This is the third size (original size here and XL here!) I Have used for this same pattern. It is definitely a perfect pattern to use in different sizes.


The lining is a recycled old, but almost unused shirt that my partner had, literally, grown out of. It's a lovely thin, smooth cotton of very good quality!

The three little buttons I stiched to the decorative ribbon on the outside were new, but they have a very old-fashioned, vintage look to them, which was what I really liked about them. And they went perfectly with the Lilly of the Valley fabric.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Recycled jumper-bag

I made this bag using an old shrunken jumper I had kept for ages.  It went in with the wrong wash and turned out almost felted.  As Betz White explains in her beautiful book Sewing Green a garment has to contain at least 80% wool, or a combination of wool and other animal fibres to felt. This jumper was mostly synthetic and it had a low percentage of wool so it didn't really felt, but it's close, anyway. Not bad considering it was originally an accident!

I cut it straight along the underarm seams, turned it inside out and sewed in a cotton lining the same way I did for the Big Jumps Gym Bag. The fabric for the lining is called Très Jolie - perfect name which fits really well! It's designed by Janet G. Gossard for Fabrics by Spectrix. 

For the shoulder strap I used an old belt which had been lying around unused, from my older son's trousers.

I'm very pleased with how cosy this bag turned out and the lining has a - now - worn touch to it which feels lovely when I have to put my hand in it to get something out.

For the string I used red leather - I really like red leather, and it matches my purse (which is in my bag so you can't see it!) - and three cloisonné beads.

NOTE: The HELP HAITI! Fabric Auction - on previous post - will be open till the 31st January. If you haven't donated to any Help organisation yet, you might want to take part in this auction and not only will you be helping the victims in Haiti but also having the opportunity to receive a beautiful  fabric pack.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


I am auctioning this fabric to collect money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

cotton: approx. 48cm x 112cm, 50cm x 150cm, 50cm x 142cm, 70cm x 100 cm 

All the money collected will go to a help organisation.
In Sweden, the following organisations are helping in Haiti:
Actionaid, Erikshjälpen, Hoppets stjärna, Läkare utan gränser, Läkarmissionen, Plan Sverige, Rädda Barnen, Röda korset, SOS-Barnbyar, Svenska FN-förbundet, Svenska kyrkan and Unicef Sverige.

Leave a comment with how much money you are willing to donate.
I will send the fabric to any country in the world, free of charge, of course. And who gets the fabric can choose which help organisation - Swedish or local - to donate the money to.

HELP HAITI! And tell everyone you know to join this auction!

Thank you for your help!

Monday, 18 January 2010

A Brilliant Cause

Happy New Year!

It's been ages since I visited my own blog!
The 4th of Advent has gone. So has Christmas and the New Year is now here, roaring on.

I'd like the first post of this New Year to be a colourful one and so I leave you with some ribbons I bought when I went to Lisbon, Portugal, for Christmas.

In down town Lisbon there as still a few old haberdashers with dark wooden cupboards, shelves and a million little drawers which hide treasures like these.
These ribbons were bought in a shop called "Causa Brilhante", which of course means Brilliant (Shiny) Cause! And yes, this was a brilliant cause to spend a large percentage of my already empoverished study loan!

Last Summer I bought some ribbons in the same shop so I decided to go back. I explained to the gentleman working there that I had already bought some ribbons a while ago. He opened a drawer and asked "Was it from this drawer?", then as he opened another one, "Or from this one?"..."Or from this one?"... And he opened five or six different age worn drawers with endless colours and patterns and I didn't know where to turn! So many more I hadn't seen last time!

It's great to be back!