Saturday, 21 May 2016

A Bag and a Hat to Match

I made a Shoulder Bag / Flight Bag a few months back [blogged here]and was so delighted with it, I used it every day. Sadly after 5 weeks in and out of the Motorhome whilst we were in Europe took its toll. It was beginning to show signs of wear and like all new makes you know in your heart you'd do better next time.

Now choosing fabric for a bag like this needs to be fairly special. It has to have some body to it and if it has a fun design, all the better.

I should explain first that I've had a sort of personal MOT this week. On Wednesday morning I had a dentist check up and a haircut in the afternoon. Thursday morning I had a hearing test booked but the audiologist called in sick so I ended up having an eye test instead and came out having spent over £200.00 on new reading and driving glasses. On the way back to the car park I walked through the market and spied a fabric stall. I couldn't resist this watering can and welly boot fabric at only £5.00 a metre which would be perfect for my new bag so I had to have it.

With all my health checks I didn't get much time to sew but I did finish the bag and managed to make a reversible matching sunhat as well. I had some contrast fabric in my stash which looks pretty and matched well but it is very stiff and I couldn't have made a garment from it even after washing so it was perfect for the bag and sunhat and meant I didn't have to add a lot of interfacing. 

I got the patterns for both from I need a sunhat as the ophthalmologist told me I have the beginnings of a cataract and UV rays can speed up the formation so it's a hat and shades from now on.

But on to the bag...

The front pocket has a gusset and is closed with a magnetic clasp. The top is closed with a sturdy plastic zip cut to fit [sorry it doesn't show in any of the photos].

The back has a full width zip pocket and a sturdy grab handle. The lining is another scrap from my stash, a blue stripe cotton.

The interior is also lined in the blue stripe cotton and has custom pockets for glasses and my Kindle Tablet.

The strap can be used as a 'cross body' or threaded through the grab handle turns it into a backpack. [Worn on the front of my dressform for demonstration purposes]

On Friday I had a Doctor's check up and ended up having a chest X-ray and blood taken at the local hospital to see if I have an under active thyroid. Next week I have to go back for the re-scheduled hearing test, pick up the glasses and see what the X-ray and blood tests threw up. Apart from all that I feel fine...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Fabric Shop in Bergerac, France

We're home again from our trip to Portugal and I did manage to stow a few [!!] fabric purchases in the motorhome to bring back.

I shall be blogging about the pieces and where they were bought very soon but for this quick blog I thought I'd share the photos of the biggest fabric store I visited and this one happened to be in Bergerac on the way down.

I bought 4 pieces but as you can see it was difficult to know what to pick out of this fantastic choice. These photos were taken from the middle of the shop and if I'd turned around 180 degrees the photo would have shown as much space again but this part taken up by curtain fabrics, faux leather, towelling, lace and plastic sheeting for tables etc.

There was so much it was almost overwhelming and although this was on about day 4 of our 5 week trip I could have happily spent the other 30 days there. However, I would then have missed out on the other fabric finds along the way.

In Nazare, Portugal we came across a very small fabric shop but it was dedicated to just men's fabric. Beautiful shirting cottons and suiting fabrics. We did buy some winterweight for John and I'll be making him a shirt from it and blogging about it after the summer. 

A bit further on in the same town was another shop stocked with lots of diverse fabrics and run by an aged gentlemen who couldn't work the electronic till. He kept keying in the different lengths and prices of each piece and as he got 2 or 3 in correctly he'd make a mistake and wipe the whole lot off to start again. Then he'd key in the price instead of the length. I began to wonder if we weren't on the set for a new TV comedy series!  We spent longer waiting for him to tell us what I owed than it did to choose 4 pieces of fabric but as we weren't in a rush it was quite entertaining. 

There were several towns on our route through France and Spain to Portugal and eventually to Alvor on the south coast but our daily pattern tended to be to drive during the morning and find a suitable place to stop for the night by lunchtime. After a quick bite to eat we'd then set off to explore the local area only to find that the habit in this part of the world of taking a siesta and closing for several hours in the middle of the day meant that even though we may have come across a few more fabric outlets they were closed. This was maybe a blessing as it stopped me buying more than I did and if we'd been stopped on the way home we may well have been overweight [and not just from us having eaten too much and drunk too much vino - well we were on holiday as we kept telling ourselves]

Anyway the washing machine has been doing overtime and we're back to our normal routine now so I shall be getting into my sewing room very soon and putting some of the ideas I've had plenty of time to work on into practice. I'll be back soon to blog about them.