Summer Holidays

La Corbiere Lighthouse, Jersey, Channel Islands

Sorry for my absence over the past few weeks; holidays, exam results/back to school & life in general have kept me away from the blog, but I have been busy!

We were home in Jersey for a week visiting relatives and friends; the weather was glorious and, as always, I got to visit my favourite lighthouse – I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for lighthouses!


Back in Edinburgh and the Festival is in full swing. The ‘StitchEdinburgh at 60‘ exhibition by the Edinburgh Branch of the Embroiderer’s Guild is going very well; members are taking turns to steward the exhibition where lots of beautiful work is on display. Images from the exhibition will be available on the branch website soon –

My first task on return from holiday was to make a costume for a friend going to Comic Con in Glasgow in September – he is going as Spock from a very specific episode of Star Trek. I will post photographs when I have them of the person in full costume and make up!

Messenger Bag – Pattern from The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam

My teenage daughter is just about to start college so I have made this messenger bag from the Michael Miller ‘Nevermore’ fabric that I won back in February –

To make this quilting cotton stand up to the rigours of student use I backed it with an upholstery weight cotton secured by stitching around the various shapes in the design. Woven interfacing was applied to the back of this double layer fabric and fusible wadding was applied to the lining fabric, this gives the bag body and strength.

I inserted a fairly large zipped pocket on the back of the bag.




The lining is 100% cotton dyed using procion dyes –

I have inserted another zipped pocket into the lining and added a pen holder with space for 6 pens/pencils and an elasticated pocket. I have also attached a lobster swivel clasp on a fabric strap to the side gusset for hanging keys on.

I used all the same hardware that I used on my ‘Hope’ Messenger –                            This was all purchased from

A word of warning, if backing a finer fabric with upholstery weight fabric use a larger machine needle – I used a 16/100. The seams do get quite bulky so where they join the needle has to penetrate several layers. I also remade the adjustable strap using only the quilting cotton with a strip of fusible woven interfacing down the centre as it was just too bulky with the upholstery fabric included.

A tip for sewing across bulky seams

Among the accessories included with my machine are 3 strips of plastic of varying thicknesses; when sewing across bulky seams – when using denim for instance – the machine foot has to travel at a sharp incline over the seam and sometimes stalls. This is where these strips come in.



As the foot starts to rise at the front stop stitching with the needle down, raise the presser foot and place the strip/s behind the needle. 

When you lower the presser foot it is level which makes it much easier to stitch across the seam.           You don’t need to have these plastic strips as you could easily use folded paper/card to level out the presser foot.


I hope you find this tip useful, if you have a favourite sewing tip to share I would love to hear it.


Please share your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s