I made a cushion to represent the 2016 referendum in which the UK voted to leave the European Union.
The cushion was based on the EU flag which features 12 gold stars on an azure background.
I used the correct dimensions of the flag to make the cushion but forgot about the seam allowances which makes the stars slightly bigger than they should be.
The stars were tricky, I had to buy a protractor and you can still see some of the tailors chalk used to draw them, which I am hoping will wear off soon
The main part of the cushion was made from a sweatshirt left behind by one of the gardeners in my residential development. He was probably eastern European.
The stars were made from a scarf given to me by my daughter who works in a residential home for old people. The scarf had belonged to a resident.
The black cross, representing the ballot paper, was made from a leather glove found on Piccadilly.
The four Union flag teardrops were made from a child’s hat found in Brockwell Park. The Union Jack is in this case part of the Australian flag but I wanted to work with what I had. The two internal drops represent Scotland and Northern Ireland, who voted to remain, and the 2 outer drops represent England and Wales, which voted to leave. All results were close.
The stars and teardrops were reverse applique and the cross was actual applique.
I also made some piping from the scarf to go round the edge of the cushion, that bit was just about sewing really.
In case you weren’t sure, I voted remain but think the result should be accepted and we should now get the thing done and move on.
I enjoyed making the cushion, its a match for my earlier kidney donation cushion.
I await a new major event in my life to inspire the next one.
I made a new bag for taking to work. As my job is 12 hour night shifts, the bag has to be big enough to fit generous supplies of food, drink, clothing and entertainment in.
The dimensions were based roughly on my old bag, bought new a couple of years ago from a local shop. It looks OK in the photo but has already been subject to a few repairs, has been washed a few times and is looking a bit past it.
I had some fabric in mind bought at a jumble sale last year very cheaply, probably meant for curtains, it is some kind of open fairly thick linen. I got rather excited to see some actual fabric on sale and snapped it up without a plan.
I needed a contrast fabric and this pair of trousers BNWT left behind by a passing girlfriend of my stepson, seemed to work well. They were a similar weight canvas 100% cotton in bright turquoise and the pockets could be used for my signature 2 pockets made into one for the front of the bag.
I cut 5 pieces the sizes and shapes I needed using measurements taken from the old bag.
I haven’t made a bag like this before so it was a learning curve and I wanted to do it properly so heavy duty interfacing was applied to the main pieces .
The interfacing didn’t seem to stick that well so I ended up sewing it in, leading to a visible extra line of stitching that I will have to live with.
There was also going to be a lining.
This used to be a long skirt, previously used to make a top. The original charity shop skirt was the last item of clothing I bought before giving up shopping for a year, I have another 6 months to complete the no shopping year.
The lining fabric was slippery and unpleasant to work with. The top previously made from it …..
doesn’t quite hang right because something went slightly wrong in the cutting out and although I do wear the top, am always aware of its failings.
I remembered a tip about spraying slippery fabrics with spray starch to make them easier to work with. I didn’t have any spray starch but did have hairspray and this worked surprisingly well. I sprayed each piece before sewing and it made quite a difference, and made the pieces smell nice.
I wanted an internal and external pocket and these were sewn on to the relevant pieces first, bearing in mind where their final placement was to be once seams and handles were taken into account
The next stage was to sew up the base and side pieces into one strip, then attach the front and back.
The handles were interfaced and I used a few hand stitches at the internal corners to keep the lining held in place.
I am almost looking forward to going to work to test this bag out.
I am 4 months into my ‘no new clothes year’ but I missed sewing, you can’t really get that much sewing satisfaction from darning a pair of socks.
The bag was made from things I already had.
I found this tutorial for a Japanese knot bag and it was simple to construct in a few hours.
There’s a great bit of magic at the end when you turn the bag through a small hole on the short strap and it all comes together.
The main fabric was bought a couple of years ago in a local market, 6 yards of the stuff so I was glad to find a project to use some up.
The bag is reversible but I only used an old sheet for one side so that is always going to be the lining.
I added a pocket to both sides, before sewing up. The main pocket used to be a ‘bib’ section of a t-shirt given to me by my daughter, and the inner pocket was cut from a pair of trousers bought at a jumble sale.
I didn’t bother downloading the pattern, you can see what the shapes are and draw your own according to what size bag you want.
The next time I would make the bag shape a bit less round as it would hang better.
I am planning to use my bag on holidays when a handbag isn’t quite big enough.