Monday, 30 January 2012

Getting carried away (get it?!)

I’m relatively new to the world of sewing having been put off for many years by experiences at school detailed on my other blog. I cannot repeat this enough - do not let school textiles classes put you off. Sewing is great fun, achievable and not all machines end up a tangled broken mess after every stitch!

Sewing does much the same for me as cooking, giving me a chance to do something practical that I can get absorbed in. I prefer not to use patterns and make it up as I go, you might feel differently! It takes the stress out of it for me as it’s not right or wrong, it’s just what I’ve come up with that day. Nothing I sew is every perfect. I’m just not wired that way. But I like to think it all adds to the rustic charm of it!

One of the things I made recently was this carrier bag holder using some Clarke and Clarke sage spotty fabric that I picked up as an off cut from a local curtain shop. Making it was very simple and amazingly cheap given how I got the fabric. So much so that I’ve been quite happily fulfilling orders for family and friends since I made one for myself.

If you fancy having a go yourself it is very simple indeed. Just cut out a piece of fabric to about the size of a tea towel. Hem both of the shorter edges on your sewing machine. Cut a piece of elastic half the width of the short edge of your fabric. About ten centimetres from the top of each short edge tack the middle of the elastic to the middle of the fabric (see the arrow on the pic below).
Now stretch the elastic to the edges of the cloth and tack at a couple of points along the way. With your sewing machine, sew the stretched elastic onto the fabric. This will make the runched effect so that you can easily insert and pull out carrier bags. Do this for both ends.

When this is done turn the fabric inside out and pin along the length of your bag holder. Sew it together into a long sausage shape. Turn inside out and voila! You have yourself a carrier bag holder! Sew on a piece of ribbon to the back of the holder to tie to a hook or door handle. Sew a bow, or any other decoration you fancy to the front.

Another great thing about sewing is that your house quickly becomes full of things that are unique. Everything is in your favourite colours, with memories of where you picked up the fabric and how you came up with the design. My sewing motto is: Experiment, create and have fun. The perfect way to spend those January evenings!

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