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I can’t believe we’re closing in on a month already! How time flies, I feel like I’ve done so much and yet so little at the same time. This week has been pretty quiet on the blog front, but I’ve been a busy little beaver this week, spending a lot of time behind the sewing machine.

What went well?

I’ve had a sudden burst of creativity

I’m well and truly out of my creative funk from last week. The ideas have been flowing freely and I’ve been doing heaps of experimenting with ways to give new life to old fabrics. I’ve been doing a lot of practice on decorative stitching methods and I’ve learnt a bunch of new techniques I can’t wait to put into practice.

It’s op shop time!

I’m heading down to SaveMart today to start stocking up. I’ve held off going until now because I knew if I went in without having a very clear idea of the fabrics I’m after, then I would just get overwhelmed and buy things I won’t use. Now that I’ve got a better idea of how different fabrics react with interfacing and learnt about different finishing treatments I feel better equipped to pick the right items to make bags from.

What didn’t go well?

I’m slowing down a bit

Part of the reason that it has taken me so long to get back to work has been my health.

This week I was really feeling it. I’m in the middle of the adjustment period for new antidepressants. They are fricken magical because I’ve been getting better sleep. Still atrocious compared to a normal persons sleep cycle, but good for me.

It’s piling on top of the antidepressants I’m already taking so I was warned that the change over could be rough. So far it’s been pretty low key but towards the end of the week I started getting some epic headaches and managed to sleep away half a day when all I wanted was a nap.

As far as bad things go it’s pretty minor, I just have to remember that I’m allowed to have sick days, it’s part of the reason why self-employment was the better choice for me.

My first bag idea didn’t really pan out

So the first bag idea I had was to make a super cute knot bag that could be used as a project bag for knitters and crocheters. When I did mockups in calico it was looking pretty promising but the end result wasn’t what I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I actually think the finished product was super cute.

Buuuuuuuuuut it’s not fit for purpose. I wanted a bag that would slip over the wrist and allow the yarn to feed out for a crocheter or knitter to do their thing. It’s big enough to hold a cake of yarn with a bit of room left for the hook or needles, but the yarn doesn’t feed out easily enough so it’s back to the drawing board. Don’t worry, I have this pattern safely stashed away so it can be reincarnated at a later date.

What have I learnt?

So many new techniques!

It turns out, quilting is akin to sorcery. I have picked up so many tips this week on how to use my sewing machine in weird and wonderful ways, and every single tip came from the world of quilting

I’ve learnt how to do a few styles of applique and that there is more than one style of applique.

I found out that the blind hem foot on my sewing machine is AMAZING for doing topstitching. It makes it so much easier to sew in a straight line.

I’ve also learnt that I should be more careful when I’m unpicking seams if I’m not sure if I’ll use that piece of fabric later on. That’s not a tip from the quilting universe, it’s just plain common sense.


It was a happy accident though because it forced me to be crafty about how I’m going to cover up the hole.

What still puzzles me?

Interfacing, interlining, stabiliser – the guts of the bag

For you non-sewing types, interfacing is used to give a fabric a bit of weight and make it more sturdy. You can see it in action on shirt collars but it’s used extensively in bag making. I’ll no doubt cover interfacing in extensive detail in another post because I’ll be using a lot of it.

It’s been a bit of a fiasco trying to nail down which types of interfacing to use where, and how much I’ll need for different types of bags. But I’ve turned to my faithful spreadsheets to collate the information and I’m starting to get a good picture. Once an analyst always analyst am I right?

What’s next?

I actually have a few things chugging along at the moment.

Between the sewing marathons, I’ve been sorting out what I need to do for bookkeeping. I’ll be posting about that at a later date. There is a lot of information out there, but very little of it is specific to New Zealand businesses. I’m still finding my feet with it so that post will be a few weeks off yet.

I’m entering two upcycled fashion competitions. The first is Candice Ayalas Upcycling Challenge, and I’ve already started my entry for it.

Look familiar? Yeah it’s the shirt that ran afoul of my seam ripper

I have a shirt that I love the colour of, but it’s an absolute pig to iron so I’ve taken a risk and combined it with a super comfy grey cotton/spandex knit fabric to turn it into a more casual piece. I’ll be using the leftover material from the shirt to create some bold stencil-like applique on the finished garment – check out my Instagram if you want to see how I’m going on that.

The second is the Oversew Fashion Awards 2018 and I’m really excited about this one. It’s a New Zealand based competition, yay! Plus it gives me a chance to really challenge myself with the clothes I’m choosing to upcycle. I don’t have any specific ideas yet, but today’s trip to SaveMart might spark some inspiration. There are a few different categories, but I’m leaning towards the Night Life or Show Stopper categories. I may even attempt a mini-collection!

I’ll also be putting up a post showing what I got from the op shop today. Keep an eye out for that one later this week!

Now it’s off to shop!