Monday, 20 September 2010


When I took a stall at Tissington Craft Fair earlier in the year, sales were really disappointing; I didn’t even make enough to cover the cost of my table.  I decided to give it another go though, and booked two days last weekend.  What a difference!  I sold loads!  I had people come back for more! I’ve had people phoning for items they didn’t buy on the day!  It helped that John told people from his art class to visit and they bought stuff too, but generally it had a good feel about it and I’ll definitely be booking a few dates there for next year.

Em came to visit for a few hours and we had a nice mother and daughter natter while we sat at the stall.  I also managed to do a bit of hand sewing in the quiet periods and completed quite a few hexagons for my quilt.

I sold seven cushions which I made about a year ago and, up to now, hadn’t sold even one.  I sold eight of my bags, twelve flower brooches and a few small purses.  Strangely (I thought) I didn’t sell any of my denim and floral purses, which were the ones I was sure would be most popular.  It just goes to show that you can never really predict what people are going to like!  I’m now going to concentrate on building up my stock again for the next fair in November at Melbourne Leisure Centre. 

These were two of my most popular style of bag.  I sold both of these to the same lady, who wanted them for presents.  I took an order for another, similar bag the next day but I do try to make my bags one of a kind so need to vary the design slightly.

The first bag I sold was the one with bamboo handles I made from a pattern by Lisa Lam on U-Handblog.  It's the first time I've used bought handles on a bag but I'll definitely be doing it again.  I used a pretty autumn berries and navy print which went really well with the handles.

I do really need to find a new supplier of good quality cotton, linen and canvas fabric for bags.  I only like to use natural, good quality fabrics and don’t always like to use quilting cottons as I find they need a lot of extra interfacing to make a good, sturdy bag.  My regular supplier of furnishing fabric remnants appears to have gone out of business L.  Ikea is good, as is The Fabric Guild, and there are a couple of shops in Derby I use, but I’m always on the lookout for good furnishing fabric shops!  If anyone out there has information to share I'll be very very grateful!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Musically Inspired Bags

I find I am mostly inspired by different fabrics when it comes to putting a bag together.  These two 'music bags' were a perfect shape for the stripey design of the cotton fabric and the black and white theme.  I might just have enough fabric left for a couple of zipped pouches too...

I used piping around the outside and a pocket or two inside, zipped and plain

and finished them off with a nice black button


The perfect bag for a music lover!

I wanted a soft but sturdy bag, so I interfaced the outer fabric and used a soft but heavy interlining.  Both bags have a reinforced bottom so they will stand up on their own.  They measure approximately 13" wide by 11" tall with a 4" gusseted bottom so they are big enough for a lot of 'stuff' whilst still being a nice sized handbag.  These will be going on my stall at Tissington Craft Fair over the weekend.

The Bag Making Bible - Review

When I received this book I sat down and read it from cover to cover. It is a fantastic resource, full of inspiration not only for absolute beginner bag makers, but also those who want to try new techniques to customise their own designs.  It is packed full of instructions on everything you need to know in order to make a bag, e.g. magnetic snaps, zippers, handles, piping, linings, interfacing… the list goes on.  Rather than fill a book with her own bag designs, Lisa encourages her readers to have a go at designing and making bags for themselves using her foolproof techniques.  It is by far the best bag book I have read, and I have read plenty! 

I have already put several of Lisa’s techniques into practice and they have made a real difference to the quality of the bags I make.  Having a one-stop resource on how to insert a zip, attach a magnetic fastener or deciding which interfacing to use would have saved me so much time when I first began making bags, rather than surfing the internet to find tutorials!

There are also 8 full sized patterns in the book together with instructions on how to put them together.  As a bonus, if, like me, you have trouble sourcing things like fusible fleece and bag handles, Lisa runs her own online shop for bag making supplies – so you only need to look in one place for those too!

My advice to anyone who makes, or wants to make bags – BUY IT! 

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Bag Making Bible

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I met Lisa Lam at the NEC Festival of Quilts and was very impressed with her book, having been a follower of her great blog for a long time.  I was lucky enough to be chosen to review the book, The Bag Making Bible and I just received my copy!  Needless to say I will be eagerly delving into it as soon as I possibly can.  Just a glance has revealed so much information and I can't wait to take a closer look!

Watch this space for further information!

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