Sunday, 24 October 2010

Woolie Winter Warmers

I was recently asked if I would be interested in making some hot water bottle covers. It is something that has been knocking around in my head for a while anyway, so I was more than happy to give it a go. In the past I have seen knitted hot water bottle covers and decided that was the route I would like to explore.

As I quite enjoy knitting, I could have found a pattern and knitted some covers. The whole ethos of From Rags To Bags though is recycling, so it made much more sense to use secondhand woolies. I ended up trawling through the jumper racks of six charity shops in my hunt for the perfect garment. It is amazing how many are acrylic or only part wool. I needed pure wool for the idea to work. I finally managed to find two jumpers that were labelled wool, two cashmere and one which was machine washable wool.

The first step was to felt them all, so I popped them all into the washing machine on a hot wash. It was really interesting to see the results when they all came out. The wool ones were perfect, one cashmere was felted but the other wasn't at all - go figure! The machine washable wool jumper did what it said, it machine washed and didn't felt at all. You live and learn.

The jumper I liked the best became my first experiment. It had shrunk really well, almost too well but the body was still just long enough to fit a full sized hot water bottle. I used my own hot water bottle as a pattern and cut the shape I was after. The high neck of the jumper became the perfect access point for filling the hot water bottle, with a ribbon to tie the top closed when in use. I cut the back of the hot water bottle cover in half and bound the edges with a complimentary fabric. This means the cover can be easily removed and washed as required.

I have to say, I am really pleased with the design. I love the pattern and colour of the jumper too. I am really tempted to keep this one! The next two covers with be slightly different, one will be the softest, pale pink cashmere and the other will be a navy with a flower pattern across it. I shall definitely be on the hunt for more woolies to use in the future as well.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, 11 October 2010

Slouchy Corduroy Handbag

Finally, I have managed to scrape together some time to make a new handbag. I have sold quite a few of late and was getting really low on stock - and still am! I have got a couple more new ones planned which will hopefully follow soon. I seem to spend all my sewing time making piles of lavender bags and door stops at the moment, not that I am complaining.

I have wanted to make my latest handbag for a while, ever since I found the corduroy at a car boot sale back in the summer. Before my scissors got the better of it, the corduroy was actually a really gorgeous, long, Italian pencil skirt. I loved the fabric as soon as I saw it and managed to buy the skirt for £1.00. The corduroy is a wonderful soft cotton with alternating thick and thin furrows. It makes the bag really tactile.

As I have put a zip in the top, I decided to give the bag a single strap secured at each side. For added interest, I have added a couple of metal rings into the sides of the strap. The rings are actually curtain rings I found in the local DIY store. They are absolutely perfect as they are very sturdy. The bag will give way before they do!

The fabric flower and the lining came from a man's shirt I picked up at a charity jumble sale recently. The fabric was the perfect colour for the corduroy and I love spotty fabric, so it was a definite winner. The centre of the flower has a wooden button that I think came from a cardigan I had years ago. Again, the colour of the wood was a perfect match.

I have to admit, I am pretty pleased with the bag overall. Hopefully it will find a new home very soon ....

Bookmark and Share