Saturday, 15 June 2013

Super (tote) sewing day

Over the last 15 months, since we first met, I've been lucky enough to have several get-togethers with Aneela Hoey, ostensibly for sewing and chat, but in reality far too much chat happens and we rarely, if ever, end up sewing!  Since I went back to the world of full time employment, and with Aneela's hubby working shifts, it's been harder to meet up, but we planned a sewing day for today, and last night in a flash of insanity inspiration, decided to each make a Super Tote.

This is one of those patterns by Anna 'Noodlehead' that much like the 241 tote has taken the quilting world by storm, and is up there with the Aeroplane in the 'must make' stakes. Yesterday Aneela blogged that was planning to make one, and I was dithering between that and the Aeroplane, so it seemed fate that we work on them together.

As usual, distractions got in the way at the beginning - there were quilt tops and yummy fabric to be admired and coo-ed over, and gossip to catch up on.  I don't think my sewing machine even made it out of the bag, let alone be plugged in, until at least an hour and a half had passed.  Luckily, I did quite a lot of prep last night, cutting out all the bits, and working out which fabrics to use for which part of the bag.  In fact, that would be my one criticism so far of the pattern - although the picture shows it being made with different fabrics for the various external parts, the cutting layout (although only a suggested layout) shows the front, back and external pocket being cut out of one fabric, and it took me a while to get my head around which bits to cut from what.

I had decided to go with Melody Miller fabric, much as that made me feel incredibly disloyal in Aneela's house! I used the rich coloured heavier weight fabrics from Ruby Star Sparkle, including the fab roller boots. I managed to cut one piece wrong - not realising there was only an external pocket on the front - and so I used the wrongly cut cameras to line the front pocket, instead of just facing it.  I have to say I'm a bugger for cheating on straps, and I do like to use webbing, so I used some grey heavyweight webbing I already had in my stash for something else (which I will now need to replace - MORE shopping.... *sigh*....)  and I also decided to forego the piping (too much faffing for me!).  Just look at all that wonderful fabric stacked up behind the ironing board - with stuff like that to look at, is it no wonder I got little sewing done??  

Once we'd stopped for a scrummy lunch (thanks, M&S!) we got back to the sewing, and tried to get the gussets done without sniggering every time we said the word 'gusset'!

I went for some of Melody's vintage flowers - one thing I love about that fabric is the colours in it go sooooo well with other Melody fabrics.  I have to confess I was a bit unsure at this stage that it might be a tad OTT.  But I was really happy once I'd wrestled the gusset (hrumph!) into place and worked out how to topstitch it once the back was added - it actually looks great.  Now, wouldn't it be fab if I had a picture of that stage to show you?  

Well, the thing is, By the time we'd done all that bit, we'd run out of time, and so we've planned to go back again tomorrow for a couple of hours and get the bag finished - I'm hoping the lining, recessed zip and internal pockets are quicker to put together than the outside, or I'll be back on Monday too, and work might not be greatly pleased by that!

So you'll just have to wait until tomorrow to see that...

Those of you who read Aneela's blog will have seen yesterday that she said she'd been feeling a bit down in the dumps and to make herself feel better she'd decided to make a project pouch for a friend of hers, because making things for other people always made her feel better.  She'd used the puppy print from Sherbet Pips and I have a soft spot for that fabric as it reminds me of my titchy springer, Bella.  So imagine my squealy delight this morning to arrive at Annela's and find out the friend was me!  And here it is in all its puppy glory.  All ready to be stocked up for my EPP class at the Fat Quarterly retreat.  

And while we're on that subject, don't forget the lovely Annie is having a fantastic shopping event at the Village Haberdashery on Friday 19th July, with a special evening opening for retreat goers - there will be cupcakes and wine and evryfin'.  Oh and there's a 10% discount all day for in-store purchasers, so if you fancy on stopping off there en-route to South Kensington for retreat supplies, you'll get a great welcome.


  1. Oh I can imagine that getting round to actually sewing was a bit of a struggle!!!

    Looking forward to the reveals xxx

  2. I'm making a supertote too - I just need interfacing to arrive and I can get on with the sewing bit. I've also got the aeroplane bag pattern ready to make although not sure I'll get it done for the retreat. The Supertote was going to be more essential. Hope I make it to The Village Haberdashery as I never get to go to real fabric shops! Love what Aneela made you too!

  3. I'm making one too and am struggling to get the interfacing. What did you use Pennie? I also am struggling to know which piece should be which fabric...

  4. looks fab so far! Good luck getting it finished :-D


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