Pack Up Your Troubles

After struggling to get back into the right frame of mind for sewing after completing The Wedding Guest Dress, I opted to try out my bag-making skills for a change and, hopefully, a rather easy project. I knew the kind of bag I wanted to make – basically, one with lots of pockets because that’s my favourite type of bag – and I knew what fabric I was going to use (some blue and white striped cotton pique I’d originally bought to make Karl a polo shirt but then realised it was too heavy).

I flicked through some back issues of Love Sewing magazine and found a design for a Cath Kidson-inspired bag that featured tons of pockets. Below is a montage of the projects in that issue (Issue 27) and the bag is the second photo in from the left:

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(Apologies that I couldn’t find a better photo of it but I couldn’t be asked to try to find my physical copy of the issue again just for the sake of this post!)

As usual, I started off following the pattern and then got side-tracked and did my own thing. I also put it off for a long time before picking it back up again. That was kind of a problem because I forgot which pieces I’d cut out… And I was so excited to use my overlocker to make impenetrable seams that I started that part too early and had to unpick/snip a load.

Because I’ve used cotton and not oilcloth like the pattern suggests, my bag is a lot floppier than the original but I knew this would be the case and I’m fine with it. The aim was to make a very relaxed, beach-ready bag that could be filled to the brim with all the lazing-on-the-beach essentials. Never-mind that I live practically at the centre of England and my nearest beach is about 100 miles away…

Oh well, at least it’s easy to grab for those spur-of-the-moment-100-mile-car-journeys!

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I actually reduced the number of pockets (I know, insane, right?) because I wasn’t sure the bag would balance very well otherwise so I just kept the three along the front and then one inside.

I love the pink straps. The colour combo is very ‘Jack Wills’, which, living as I did for so long in very preppy-dressed Exeter, is hardly a surprise. (Seriously, that city’s population looks as though JW threw up on it).

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But what I have that JW doesn’t is some cute penguin cotton for the lining! 🙂

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I added the customary Creative Little Cwtch label on the inside and, for a little bit of fun, sewed on a motif I bought from My Fabrics in their sale, which fits the beachy/nautical theme!

It’s not a perfect sew in any sense of the word – some of my top-stitching is very wonky and just in ‘normal’ thread rather than anything thicker – but it’s good to finally finish a project and if it’s only going to get fictitious sand in it why waste tons of time on it?!

Montage time…

 

 

(Blue and white cotton pique fabric from Regency Rags; Pink cotton webbing from HaberCrafts; Can’t remember where I got the penguin cotton fabric from – sorry.)

I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconut (Macaroons)!

Okay, so I’ve been very absent online recently. And that’s due to having misplaced my ‘sewing mojo’ somewhere; handsome reward offered for its safe return. It’s mostly been too hot to bake and, although I have been crocheting, what I’m currently making is a present for someone and if I share any details about it they will guess straight away!

Bearing the weather in mind, I opted to make a quick, simple recipe yesterday, courtesy of the Silverspoon caster sugar packet:

I tasted coconut macaroons well before I ever had French ones (both are delicious so, no, I’m not going to choose between them) and I’ve always loved the texture of desiccated coconut. When I saw how ‘no frills’ this recipe was I reckoned it was worth sticking on my fridge for a time when I wanted to bake but not in a hurricane-has-swept-through-the-kitchen kind of way.

Seriously, the trickiest bit about this recipe was probably separating the eggs. Or trying not to use all the melted chocolate up on dipping strawberries (yum!) whilst waiting for the macaroons to bake.

I probably was a little overly cautious about the length of time I baked them; they could perhaps have done with being a little more ‘golden’ than they are. If you’ve ever seen my fried eggs you’ll know I’m not adverse to a bit of under-cooked egg white…

Oh, and I didn’t add the lime zest, by the way. It seemed a bit unnecessary and I didn’t have any so… *insert shoulder shrug and ‘meh’ sound*

They taste rather delicious! 😀