Friday, 6 October 2017

Fabric Happy Dance

I'm a fabric addict, I admit it.  I can't stop buying fabric and have enough to keep me in sewing projects for a very long time.  Having said that, I am quite selective.  I definitely know what I like and what will work for the peg bags, laundry bags, doorstops and cushions that I sell.

Whenever I visit a fabric shop, I look for a remnant bin.  Why pay full price when you don't have to?  To be honest, they are usually full of odd fabric that, let's face it, nobody else who has rummaged in there before you wants.  But just occasionally, your timing is perfect and you find the most fabulous fabric remnant, that is perfect for your work.

That's when I do the fabric happy dance!

I try to hold myself together until I at least get home.  If you dance around a shop you get odd looks from people.  I do find it hard to contain my triumphant glee though and stand there grinning like a fool at the checkout.

Today, I did the fabric happy dance followed by a lap of honour around my sewing room.  I dropped into my favourite local fabric shop, just for a quick look and found not one but five fabulous remnants which will be perfect for toy bags and laundry bags.  The best of the lot was the "Under the Sea" fabric by Prestigious Textiles.  I love it!  Not only was it only £2 a metre, I found three pieces each measuring 2.5 metres long, all scrunched up in the remnant bin.  Talk about perfect timing.

I shall no doubt be spending most of the weekend sewing the new toy bags and laundry bags but who cares when you are working with such joyful fabric.  The octopuses (octopi?!) just make me smile.


A Return to Blogging

Wow!  I've just realised it is more than 18 months since my last blog post.  Where does time go?  I hadn't actually meant to take a break, I certainly have plenty to say still.  Finding the time to sit down and blog is actually the issue.

Business is booming, so when I am not working the day job, I am sewing, photographing new products, listing across various market places and then posting out orders.  It all takes time and when you factor in life generally, there never seems to be much left.

So many times, I have thought, I will blog about this or that and then the moment passes and it seems too late down the line.  I have still managed to keep on top of the Facebook page though, as well as Instagram, so hopefully some news has escaped into the world.  

I have realised that my compulsion to write is just as strong as my compulsion to sew, so I signed up to Patreon recently too.  You can find me on  I hope to add some tutorials onto there at some point in the future ... when time allows.

In the meantime, I shall seize this moment and write another blog post.

Monday, 7 March 2016

A Crafty Fix

Don't you hate it when you buy a new piece of clothing and ruin it within a week?  Well, that's what I managed to do. 

I bought a new top and managed to get two dark splodges on it by the neckline, so in a fairly obvious place.  The spots were both about  the size of the pencil end and no amount of washing and stain products would remove them. I have no idea what the marks are or how they got there, so was a bit stumped as to how to get rid of them.

I was on the verge of throwing the top away but couldn't quite bring myself to do that as I had only worn it a couple of times and it had obviously cost money to buy.  Thankfully, I had a flash of inspiration, I could cover the marks over with something.  My first thought was a pretty lace trim around the whole neckline and then I decided on a few mismatched mother of pearl buttons.
 Having found a button that was big enough to just cover both marks but not too heavy, as it would drag the neckline down, I was pretty pleased with the results.  I have got a wearable top again plus I have now got a unique piece of clothing.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Viva Las Vegas!

Vegas is one of those places you either love or hate and we love it!  My husband even collects used Las Vegas casino dice and playing cards and has built up quite a collection in his man cave.  Each to their own.

Last year, whilst I was lurking in a local fabric store, I found some Las Vegas print fabric featuring the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign as well as various hotel neon signs.  I had to buy it for him and decided I could make him a pair of curtains for his man cave.

Fast forward a year and the fabric was still sitting in my fabric stash.  I never seemed to have the time to actually make the planned curtains, there was always too much other sewing to be done or just other things in life generally.  It eventually dawned on me that I was avoiding making them as I wasn't actually sure how to make a pair of lined curtains.   I had never made any, in fact I had only ever made one pair of curtains before and they weren't lined.

Having finally realised why I was putting off making the curtains, I decided to look on the internet for instructions on how to make them.  Not sure why I didn't think of that earlier, as when I did a search there was plenty of instructions.

The first site I tried was We're In Stitches which gave really good detailed instructions on how to measure your windows, pattern match your fabric and eventually sew your curtains.  I quickly realised that I couldn't actually be bothered to read all of the instructions, sometimes it is just easier to watch someone show you.

My next stop was You Tube. I found a fantastic video by which gave really good, step by step instructions from start to finish.  To be honest, I don't know what I was worrying about really, it made perfect sense when I knew how.   (

Having decided that I was far to lazy to hand stitch the hems of the curtains, I also found a really good You Tube video showing my how to blind hem with my Brother sewing machine.  It worked perfectly and took minutes to do.  (

The curtains took my four hours to cut out and stitch in the end, plus the year of thinking about it!  I am really pleased with the result ...

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Craft Book Review

I have probably said this before, but I can't help browsing all of the craft magazines whenever I am in the newsagent.  I always hope to find a really good sewing magazine I haven't seen before and often end up buying a magazine based on an eye catching project on the front cover.  However, when I get home I soon discover the only bit of interest in the whole magazine was the item on the front cover!

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to come across a new publication amongst the magazines simply called "The Craft Book - Techniques and Projects".  Needless to say, the cover image piqued my interest and a quick flick through prompted me to buy it.  I didn't even check the price.

Having got to the checkout, I was slightly taken aback to find it was £9.99.  As I had found the publication amongst the magazines, I had expected a magazine price, of say £4.99.  With nearly 170 pages of content, "The Craft Book" is actually what it claims to be, a softback book and not a magazine at all.  Given the amount of content, I think it is actually a really fair price.

The book is split into five main sections, Textile Crafts, Jewellery, Ceramics & Glass, Candles & Soap and Eco Crafts.  Each section then gives really clear written information and photographs of all of the tools you will require and instructions on a wide variety of projects, from silk painting and needlefelting, beading and metal clay to basketry and rag rugging.  Also included are crafts I hadn't even heard of at all, including ribbon weaving and cold enamelling.  I was really surprised to find such a wide range of crafts included in one book.  Whilst each subject offers only a taster project, it is enough to give you the confidence to experiment further.

I would really recommend a buying a copy of "The Craft Book" for yourself or a gift.  It is ideal for anyone with a love of crafts, from mid teens upwards.  The only problem you may have is finding enough time to try out all the crafts!

If you can't find the book in your local newsagents or for more information, click here.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Art of Giving

It's Christmas Eve, the decorations are up, the Christmas cards sent and the presents bought and wrapped.  Sitting quietly with a cup of tea, I can't help thinking about all of the orders I have posted out over the last few weeks not just to the UK but the USA, Europe and even Australia.  I hope they have all arrived safely and in time for tomorrow.  More importantly, I hope that whoever receives the items as a present actually likes them!

Buying presents is tricky, whether it is for Christmas or a birthday.  Even if we think we know someone really well and know their taste inside out, I am sure sometimes we just get it wrong.  So what's the answer?  Well, everyone could write a list of items they would like or need, I do that for some of my family who ask.  Whilst you know you will get something you actually like, it does take away the element of surprise though.  You may not know who will buy which bit but you still know what is probably under the Christmas tree for you.

Some people announce they don't know what they want (not very helpful!) and just want cash or a gift voucher.  That's fine but if we all gave each other a voucher, there wouldn't be a pile of presents under the tree on Christmas Day.  Somehow a little bit of the Christmas magic would be lost for me.  I do like to eye a pile of presents, even if they aren't for me!  I also think that if we all just swap a gift voucher then we may as well not bother at all, you are just passing cash between you at the end of the day, so what's the point?

Buying presents for someone can be an art.  I believe it takes time, thought and care.  And that for me sums up a gift.  It isn't about how much it cost, or if it has a designer label or not, it is about the time someone has taken to choose it.  The thought they have put into finding something they hope you will love.  Best of all for me, is the smile that lights up their face when they open a present they genuinely like.

Have a lovely Christmas everyone and a very prosperous 2015!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Small Business Saturday

The UK has millions of small businesses in its villages, towns and cities, many based online, like From Rags To Bags.  They are all dependent upon the continuing support of existing, loyal customers, as well as new customers to promote growth.

Small Business Saturday was the idea of American Express who first promoted it in 2010 to show support to small, local business.  The date chosen was the first Saturday after the popular shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, at the end of November, which primarily favour the major retailers.

This year's Small Business Saturday is 7th December.  It is the perfect time to revisit your favourite small businesses or discover new ones.  With Christmas around the corner, small businesses are often the perfect place to discover unusual gifts, often handmade locally.

For more information on the Small Business Saturday campaign in the UK, click the link:

Small Business Saturday website