Thursday, 21 February 2013

If you are wondering how to make your purse from Mollie Makes....

Disappointed to see that photos from this post are on Pinterest - I thought that the 'no pin code' thing was enough but apparently not. What makes me particularly sad is that it means that the blog was not read - just the photos needed for someone's page .... in isolation.... and you will know how important words are.  Pinterest's appetite is voracious......

Behind again with everything but thank you muchly for tin comments.  I fear that from next week onwards I should (in theory) have an even lower presence in the ether as life ramps up the busyness stakes.   Sorry if it seems very arrogant to be posting posts but not replying - that is not the intention.

 This might not be your best option but I thought that I would try and put some sort of tutorial together for making a purse of your own design. I use the term 'tutorial' guardedly - 'tutorial' is a word that has connotations of instruction, learning, skill, deftness, clarity, guidance and 'ta dah'ness' - none of which apply here!

 You may regret reading this....

This is my finished version using the free purse frame with Mollie Makes this month.


Warning - this is fiddly and the purse is tiny (measures about three inches from tip to toe).  Do not make this if you are feeling a bit stressed and grumpy - this WILL NOT MAKE YOU FEEL ANY BETTER!!!!

 Making it might  make you feel a little bit wor..

First make your template by drawing around the frame - the outer edge of the frame will be your final stitch line.  Mark the centre point of the frame and also mark where the bottom edge of the hinge is.
Like this:

Your drawing will not be wobbly like mine

I have inserted the protractor as an afterthought (to try and fashion some semblance of symmetry....can you see that I have NOT created a 60 degree angle).  Basically consider how long/big you wish your purse to be and drop a line from the frame to suit (that said TRY and keep a sense of proportion - it would be daft to have a suitcase-sized purse on a frame like this!!!!!).  I have folded my piece of paper in half to ensure that both sides are the same!

 Cut out your paper pattern - marking the centre and those hinge marks that you made previously.

Choose your fabric - this is a teeny tiny scrap (leftover from making dinner-money purses for Bronte and Maille).

Evidence of pre-made purses (I note from the photograph I made these two years keep the scraps for a while)

Note how I am encouraging 'cidre' purchase by children!!!!

It was barely enough....I think that you can tell....

Interface your fabric if you wish something less floppy.  Make the same for the reverse (I was not too happy with the back so not shown this bit off!) and pin right sides together.  I have put the pins in where the sewing needs to start and stop (basically you are only going to sew the bottom half at the moment).

Your sewing will start just below the hinge line and follow round until you meet the other hinge line

Do initial trimming (so that it looks like a Christmas tree)

You can skip this bit - EXTRA FIDDLY AS THIS PURSE IS SMALL - fold seams together, squash and pin.  Pluh-eeese make sure your seams are aligned - you bottom will look AWFUL otherwise.  NOBODY but NOBODY  likes an AWFUL BOTTOM!!

On this scale I used a 1.5 cm stitch across the seam.  DO NOT CUT IT OFF YET

Turn back to the right sides and check that YOUR BOTTOM IS ALIGNED.



Double checking alignment.
 I am indeed aligned

Now you can safely snip the snips and turn it inside out (so the right sides are now showing)

Choose your lining fabric - to be honest all of this was a bit of a rushed choice as the light was fading and I knew that I really had to start getting the dinner on.  

This was an old sheet

Cut just the same as the outer pieces. 

 Sew as before BUT this time leave the section at the bottom free as this you will need to enable turning inside out at the end.

You will be swearing if you forget and merrily sew right through.
I have done that once or twice....AHEM!

Extra fiddle faddle as you now put the outside pieces inside the lining - but ensure that this is inserted so the inside and outside 'shells' have fabrics RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.

I am sorry that I am shouting so much but I am merely reflecting REAL LIFE

If children are in the vicinity just keep smiling sweetly, pretend that everything is going swimmingly and just as you planned. 

 "Sewing this small size is a real treat" !!!!!!

"I really must sew in miniature more often" 

" is a real joy so to do..."

I have swapped to a zipper foot in order to try and see what $^"$%£ I am doing at this point. To be honest this bit is mainly done by sense of touch (don't laugh - this is true).  Not only are my glasses USELESS (and I did go to SPECSAVERS) but the sewing machine is USELESS too. A double whammy which means the sense of touch goes into overdrive - and the light was fading don't forget (light on sewing machine is no better than a lit match!)

"Bronte come and hold this lit not roll your eyes and do not ask why"

The top raw edges are now all that remain to sew - and this sewing needs to butt up against the sewing that you did previously.  Try not shout at the children at this point  - it is not their fault that the matches burn down so quickly.  So sew (so sew!!! sounds like a song!) along the top edges CAREFULLY.  All should be well because at least YOUR BOTTOM IS ALIGNED AND THAT IS WHAT REALLY COUNTS

Trim like Billy O - going as close to the wind (aka seam) as you dare - try and debulk (I have been trying to do that for years....) as much as possible.

Because you remembered to leave open the bottom seam of the lining you can now shove the outer pieces through that gap.  You did leave that open didn't didn' are in a pickle....

Please note that the pen mark on the ruler was NOT created by my good self but some soul many years previously.  It was as though s/he knew that several decades later some poor old woman with dodgy eyes would need that EXACT mark.  

Who knew!

At this juncture I had to stop to get the dinner on - I then forgot to take any glue photographs!
For this frame the glueing is the easy bit - the frame has plenty of space for your sewing.  Put your glue inside your frame channel and put in your purse!  Do one side at a time and allow about half an hour for each side to dry (I speed this up by putting it in the airing cupboard)

Go on - admire you bottom again - you deserve it

All done

This is the reverse that I was not tooooo happy with

I will show a little bit more...

Showing my large thumb in order to gauge the scale of this thing!

Neither use nor ornament....

I you do make one please let me know.

"Funnily enough Jenny you have put us right off....."

Bottoms Up

PS: This is the link to the purse that I made a couple of years ago from the last time MM had a free gift!  This was a Christmas version here: Another Mollie Makes purse

Disclaimer:  'I hereby refute all claims of injury, relationship rift, arguments, rows, emotional distress and match burns that this 'tutorial' may engender.  I am not liable for any purse malfunction, financial loss,  BOTTOM MISALIGNMENT or disfigurement of any kind'

Sunday, 17 February 2013

100 uses for an old tin...and some messages

Thank you for kind words on the last two posts - I have been trying to get an essay written (in years gone by I could rattle those off the night before submission date....not so easy nowadays...) so been a bit slovenly writing here but I will reply to all your kind comments - sorry for the delay.

So along with my home made bags, china, tablecloths I like an old tin.  I am not ashamed of my tin habit....there are much worse things that I could be addicted to.

As I was carting the shopping home from the Co-op the other day ('sausage fingers' in the making) I walked past a sprawling charity shop (the one where most of my 'returns' are returned to as it is the nearest).

 'Hello again - are you still looking for umbrellas?
 'No thank you - umbrellas are soooo last year dahling'
 'Bird Cages then?'
Titter, titter....
 'Oh my goodness no - bird cages were last weeks news!  Today I am in need of a particular little print' (that I had seen the previous week but thought 50p was too much.....)

Sadly that print had been sold but I spotted a tin.....a tin with a bashed up lid....I suddenly needed a tin more than anything...tin was £1.50 and I knew what I needed that tin for.

I was especially pleased that the colour of the tin matched my old Lloyd Loom table perfectly! Tin was a little dirty and just needed a bit of a clean (soap and water).  Maille was very taken with the tin so this will end up in her room I think.

Sorry - a few photos because I love the colours

I have used tins for plants many times before and this one was on the Mollie Makes blog a while ago.

This tin was a bit rusty so added some vintage trim and a button to disguise those bits - I popped a jam jar of water inside (ah - you see here that I managed to sneak in TWO tins in one photo!)

You don't have to plant with plants - this one was filled with oasis and then some winter flowers put in for Christmas

The vast majority of things that I make I do not show here - I DO NOT HAVE ALL DAY!!!

I am just using my blog to administer some messages:


In no particular order -

Dear Eco Ethel - I was a overcome by your gifts - that was very, very special indeed and once camera batteries are recharged I will blog about it.  I am figuring out a way of wearing both the brooch and the bunting...Sorry about the paucity of wrapping on my part.

Dear Lydia (I hope that is how you spell your name) - lovely to meet you yesterday.  Chuffed indeed that college students are reading my blog. Sorry that I spout on but I have been thinking about the marriage of art and science since our meeting.  I have a BSc and MSc and various PG Dips and I have never seen that as being at odds with making stuff. I think that the Krebs cycle is the most wonderful piece of art that there can be!  Cellular respiration is my number one favourite thing to teach!!!! There is plenty of scope in life to have a full range of skills/attributes/hobbies - I have had lots and lots of different but always interesting jobs (CV takes a bit of explaining....).

Dear Maaria and Phoebe - Maille tells me that I am legend at school.....that pleases me greatly as I have always wanted to be a legend in my own lunchtime...(thank you Eric M).  By the way I am not deliberately trying to be funny!!!!  Maille does not think that I am funny - she thinks that I am strict!

Dear Miss Lazy Daisy Jones - You are most welcome and I am particularly glad about the pin tin!

Dear sisters - Happy Birthday for last week Gail.  Trudie and I  ballroom dancing: Trudie dropping to the floor - barking at me to spin her round like Anne Widdecombe - will forever rate in my top five funniest ever life events.  All of this in order to try and win a box of Maltesers! Staff said that is was the funniest thing that they had EVER seen. YouTube clip coming up

 Thank you also Gail for helping to save me from drowning when I was a little girl - Maille likes me to talk through that quite a lot (which is why I am thinking about it again now) and we ponder how the children might never have been born.....

I should cite 'It's a Wonderful Life' at this point...

Best wishes
La Cootard

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Vintage Valentine

Old Valentine tin and hyacinths - need a bit of colour after all that brown!
I think that I prefer the old tin from last years post here - that is in the dining room this year.  I do not have any more Valentine tins - what do you think I am !!!

Heart highlight!


An Arts and Crafts PS:

I have a little collection of enamel brooches - all dating from the early 1900s - again something that I used to buy as a teenager and I was lucky enough to buy some John Ruskin ones for a few pennies (I did not know about John Ruskin, the art critic, or indeed the Pottery at that time) .  This one however is a Murrle Bennett brooch - a design that was sold in Liberty around 1900 in a range of colours - I think red is apposite for today.  For some reason I sold a few other Murrle Bennett brooches last year and let us not forget the most wonderful James Fenton necklace that I hoovered up and put in the bin!!! However.....breath again.....I do still have my James Fenton enamelled 'Honesty'  brooch....phew! For a moment there we were in a bit of a panic Jenny

No hope....

Magpie is my middle name

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Vintage Pancake Day - but not featuring any pancakes

In truth this was made a few years back but trundled out certain times of the year....and why not!

I spray painted an old wreath that I had bought for 50p at a church fete and glued bits on!

Vintage toy whisk (what do you mean you don't have one!) - regret selling one of these with a tiny rolling pin and tiny pudding bowl only recently - for £4...why, oh why....

I have other pots and pans in this 1970s saucepan 'range'....a little on the small side to use for making dinner.

I know why....too much stuff....

I do not have an electrical device for whisking purposes.  Best to teach whisking skills at an early age so the children always played with 'old' stuff (how they must have longed for a bit of bright plastic!!!)

So rather than having just the one child's whisk...... is best to have a few.....

Own whisk shown here to gauge scale....

For the beady eyed amongst you I have thrown in the child's sized mincer - sadly used for salt dough extrusion therefore rendered useless by the children!

This was my first idea....cheep, cheep.....

I ended up making the 'flowers' just to fill the gaps...

.....they have remained in this old posy bowl ever on posy bowls another time...cough, cough...

I am particular about my pancakes - they are frequently made by Dom (Dom 'The Pancake Maker' - as opposed to: Warwick 'The King Maker' (did you have that Ladybird book...!!!!) What!!!) for breakfast.  I like traditional pancakes which for me means thin, with lemon juice and caster sugar (preferably cast from a nice old sugar shaker....sugar shaker post another time....WHAT!!).  I will update this post a little later with some poor quality photographs from this morning breakfast (light not so great at 07.00!)

Arthur:  'Do you think that she is for real?'
Martha: 'Good question Arthur.  I am not too sure and feel that she may have one foot in La La Land'
Arthur:' Just the one foot......?'
Martha: 'Good point.  Maybe two feet and a leg....'

Thank you also to Rebecca of  beautiful square feet  for a blog award - I am not sure if I have time to complete the brief fully but will complete some