A pocket for everything...and one more for good measure

Well now, somehow an entire month seems to have passed by without a blog post, and part of it hasn't even been my fault! But more on that later, first some sewing, because my stitching archives are nearly three months deep now with unshared makes. A couple of months ago I was asked to make a bag to be given as birthday gift. The colours were to be kingfisher blues on donkey-coloured suiting...so many shades of donkey...so horribly open to interpretation...I was very much hoping that we were imagining the same donkey. I'm not sure we were, but I've since heard from both the gift-giver and the recipient that the bag has been very well-received, and so I'm assuming that all shades of donkey can become beloved.

Anyway, I hadn't found myself wanting for donkeys and kingfishers, but I have to admit that I did try this bag on a few times and became so consumed with wanting one that I rustled one up for myself too. Mine is the one at the top of this post with the more subdued blue piping...let's call it petrol...or dolphin.

And now here is my very own bag (at a jaunty angle as Zebra girl is becoming rather arty if in her photography). It has a much shorter handle than the other bag, as when I know I'm making something for myself then it becomes part of my 'petites range' (he he!) which is more suited to people who are only 5ft 1. Originally most things that I made were cut this way until it was broken to me (very tactfully) that normal people need longer bag handles.
I don't tend to experiment with things quite as much when I'm making them for other people, but as it was for me and it mattered far less if it all went horribly wrong and ended up in the bin, then I thought I'd attempt an internal zippered pocket, which is something I've always wanted, but never found the time to try. Anyway, Lisa's tutorial for this provides all the pointers a girl could need for getting it right first time and I have to admit to having butterflies as I finished the pocket as I was so thoroughly excited by seeing for myself that it really was perfectly do-able. And like an over-decorated Christmas tree I added in a key holder, as well as a pocket for mobile phone, wallet, pens and a whole host of other things that I found it strangely pleasing to make perfectly-sized pockets for. It's not very clear here, but there are actually additional pockets beneath the zip, as well as piped pockets on the other side. I listened to a Damian Rice album six times over that day as I was working so fast that I didn't feel I even had time to get up and change my iPod to something different. By the time I went to pick the children up from school the room was a mess, Damian was starting to grate a little, I was covered in thread, but my bag of many pockets was finished.

The magpie in me is loving these shiny hoops, also from Ms Lam's shop - is there no end to that girl's goodness?

How odd though that it doesn't feel like my bag after all that...it actually feels like my mother's. Last year I made her this bag in very similar material and now whenever I use my bag it feels like I'm borrowing it from her. Hmmm.
Anyway, I did say that there were reasons for my blogging absence. The first is that I suddenly had so much work on, that when not deciding to quite illogically drop it all to sew millions of pockets for myself instead, I didn't have time to blog. At some point I came down with the usual October coldyness which seems to have left me partially deaf, but in amongst all that we took ourselves off to the most wonderful cottage in West Wittering with my parents, where we stayed for several days. The weather was perfect and every day of our stay was spent at the beach playing football, cricket and searching for shells. There was such a healthy sense of competition between the adults that two came home with sporting injuries after making tackles with more vigour than seaside games might usually require. The beach at West Wittering is amazing and every day gave a different look to the shoreline.

Arriving home I was all ready to get back to work and had a long list of things that I wanted to do...which all suddenly became impossible once we found that our Internet connection had somehow broken while we were away and that I would have to spend the next week on the phone trying to work out why it had broken and what could be done to fix it. Anyway, BT have now installed some new cabling somewhere a long way from us, and after something of an Internet detox I now feel quite delighted by the idea that you can have a thought and then google it immediately, rather than delaying the gratification by waiting for 10 days.

But there was lots of of sewing to be done and I am now beginning to make some things for the We Make Fair in Chelsea Town Hall in December, where I will be sharing a stall with Joanne & Helen. I am loving the idea of shared stallship for it means there is so much less pressure to produce a mass of things. We are in a smaller room, that is a little less grand than the main hall, but is apparently very near the tea and cakes, which seems like a good compromise.

What have you been up to? x


  1. Wow - this bag is gorgeous. I have a bad case of "I NEED it"! Are you going to sell the pattern? I'll be first in line to buy it.

  2. beautiful bag Florence. I do love the way you combine the gentle colours of suiting with a dash of something more colourful. Just perfect. The beach pictures are very lovely too. Been busy here sewing and thinking/panicking about Christmas...lots! Good luck with the stall x

  3. oooh, I love the velvety piping... great bag.

  4. Hello dear Florence,
    lovely to read your post and hear of zipped pocket success!
    pleased also to hear your coldyness has gone.. sea air really is the perfect tonic.
    haow fun to be doing we make london... good luck with the preparations,
    warmest wishes
    ginny x

  5. I am hoping that I may be able to come to your fair - I think I deserve an outing! And I have just remembered that it is where my brother and sister-in-law were married so I could probably find it unaided! I love your bags - I like lots of pockets, too.

    Pomona x

  6. Your bag is gorgeous, I love the grey fabric and the blue edge. we live near Wittering and it is a fab place.

  7. Thanks muchly for the credits Sweet Florence. The winter warmer version of your bag is delectable.

    Ohh you 3 sharing a table! That is going to be such a hoot! A giggly photo opportunity if ever I saw one. Folks should make a bee-line for their table because they'll all have you in stitches and their handi-work is dee-lovley. I'll do my best to pop down.


  8. Oh Linda, you lucky thing. I'm having withdrawal symptoms!

    Pomona - how lovely - it will be so nice to finally meet you. I would never think I was capable of finding somewhere having been there only once...are you sure? Lawks.

    Pipany, Ginny, fancy elastic et al, thank you lovelies. x


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Florence x