Gifts I've made, giveaway, home furnishings, Knitting
Comments 12

Blog Backlog, shopping in Harrogate & Bag catch-up, oh, and fluff in my machine

Such a busy week!

Lots of unselfish sewing and an impromptu trip to Haroggate (pronounced ‘Harrow-gate’ if you’re posh!).  And a big ball of fluff!!

My Auntie Kath, who taught me to knit, iron and bake when I was young lives in Harrogate. She had her birthday last week, 70 something I think (her age has always been something of an enigma!) and I forgot to post her card. This was a blessing in disguise as I’d not visited her for ages and I could also call into a couple of fabric shops that I’d found on the internet – Fine Fabrics of Harrogate and The Remenant House

FINE FABRICS OF HARROGATE – this little shop certainly lives up to it’s name! Not a very big shop, but bright and airy and the fabric is well organised and is a pleasure to browse. I was almost tempted to buy a couple of metres of 3 or 4 different fabrics that caught my eye, but as I intended to just go for ‘a look’ I would just be adding to my stash. So, with much restraint I made just a few small purchases from the remenant section. The remnants were neatly hung on hangers and clearly labelled with the fabric composition and the length. Much better than rummaging and guessing.  The prices were reasonable too. I bought 4 remenant pieces, some satin bias binding and a zip. Not a huge purchase, but they were lovingly wrapped for me to take home. 



Here are 3 of my purchases, not sure why I didn’t photograph the 4th – that was a mustard and grey hound tooth wool fabric which I think will be a fabulous bag for one of my nieces. 


Later in the week I needed a pressie for my hubby’s 3 year old god sons birthday. Like most children he has everything, and with Christmas only around the corner I thought I’d make him something unique – a pump bag with his name on.  

I used some fabric in my stash which I bought a while ago on eBay. Dark blue, light blue and red wide stripes in a sweat shirt material. I French seamed all the seams for added strength and it only took just over an hour to make. 

Here’s my progress:

For the cord casings I cut 2 pieces the width of the bag and turned the edges and stitched, then pressed them in half right sides together.

I then stitched them to the INSIDE of the bag, bent them over and stitched with right sides together, encasing all raw edges.


Now, for some bizarre reason I didn’t take a photo of the finished article, DOH!! But I have asked his mum if she will take one and email it to me. So one day, hopefully not too far away, there will be one.  

There, that’s bag number 1, here’s bag number 2 for my lovely niece (I have 4!) who was visiting us from America. They emigrated almost 5 years ago and it’s the first time they’ve been back home. Maddie is 11 this Friday. 

Originally I thought I’d knit her a scalf with some wool in my stash. It was going to be a jumper, but although I love the wool, I didn’t think once I’d started knitting that I’d get my wear out of it, so back in May it became a UFO. 

Here’s the front of the jumper and the label showing the wool:

Beautiful I know, and very girlie, but I could make 5 frocks in the time it would take to finish!


So, I cast on 42 stitches with 5 1/2 mm needles and proceeded to make a scarf. 

If anyone’s interested in the bobbly pattern, it’s really simple (can be made as wide as you want in multiples of four then add 2. Makes a fab blanket with super chunky wool and 15 mm needles which grows ridiculously fast!). 

Row 1


Row 2

Knit 1, (purl 3 together, knit into the front and back front of the next stitch) repeat bracketed bit to end the. Knit last stitch. 

Row 3


Row 4

Knit 1,  (knit into the front and back front of the next stitch, purl 3 together) repeat bracketed bit to the end. Knit last stitch. 

That’s it! Carry on until it’s long enough or you get bored (or run out of time like I did, then turn it into a bag!!) 


For the next bit I need to set the scene: 

it’s 9pm, the scarf is about 1/3 of usual scarf length and they’re heading down to the south of England at 9am the following morning. And I couldn’t make Maddie something without making something for her brother Oliver too (age 7). 

So, speedy seamstress takes over and casts off and sewing machine goes into overdrive:

I sandwiched the ‘scarf’ between 2 pieces of suedette fabric and held it together with clips. I’d no idea how it would sew together, but I was running out of options. I used my roller foot. The lower piece of fabric went a bit skewiff, but nothing really terrible. 


I turned over the lining top and bottom, and stitched some of the red fabric to the bag strap I’d quickly knitted (8 stitches knit 2 purl 2 moss stitch) to make it long enough. It was ok sewing with the woolly side face up if I took it steady and used longer stitch length – I used 4 mm. 

I wasn’t sure what to do next, maybe turn the top over and add a button or 2…..

I couldn’t decide, it was 11pm and my bed was calling. So I let Gertrude wear it and turned in for the night:

Bear with me, it’s the longest blog I’ve written but I’ve nearly finished. 


The next morning (at 7:30am) I decided that the sides would be simply sewn together with no flap and I’d best make a start on Oliver’s bag. 

I used the same technique as for Max’s bag and here is the finished article: 

With seconds to spare I arrived at my mums in time to catch them before they had to leave. I gave Maddie her bag, together with a darning needle, some wool and a pair of scissors.  She loved it.  I think she loved it more because she was allowed to finish it off herself!


One last thing, if you’ve never removed the bit of the machine which holds the bobbin in place and never had it serviced (like me), here’s what I found :

Yuck!!! What a mess! 


One last thing, (if you’re still here, well done!) as I’m writing this I’m planning a giveaway to celebrate 1,000 views. Only 20 something to go!  When i started my blog only a couple of months ago I was giddy when I hit 50! Never did I think so many of you would read what I had to say. So, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and it would have to light as I’d like to be able to offer the giveaway to all my followers from around the globe. 


Whoops!! Just one last thing…..honest!!

In and amongst that lot I went shopping with my mum to Dunn Elm.  We found 2 separate curtains, different lengths but same fabric for £2.50 each in the remenant bin!!! So I shortened them for her, and made some tie backs with the spare fabric (tie backs not up yet….c’mon dad!!!).  



  1. fuzzy gunk in the machine… I get that all the time, mostly because I sew a lot with fleece, and that really spews the fluffy stuff!

    • Crikey! Is there any more bits that need unscrewing and cleaning out?! My machines about 14 years old. I think she’s long overdue a service.

      • I have a pfaff (18 years old) . I can’t get to any other areas except the bobbin without taking it in to be serviced. Many others allow you to open the top thread tension area so you can clean that area out.

        • Thanks, I think I’ll take it in and leave it to the professionals as I can’t find my manual. Mines a janome.
          Only thing that puts me off is not having it for a few days.

  2. I feel exhausted! Hahaha . I am sooooo impressed with the gift making in such record time! Thanks for the heads up on Harrogate. I am going to the Knitting and Sewing show on 23rd November and hope to look in some of the fabric shops too. They were good remnants you found! Have you plans for them?

    • I’m going to the show on the Thursday. I thought I was going tomorrow, but was a week early!! Only realised at half 4 tonight!!!
      Have you had a look at
      If you let them know you’re going through their website they send you vouchers n stuff. Not sure what but I like anything for free!!
      With my fabric the 2 wool pieces will be bags, the pinky one I’m thinking a Sorbetto (not made one yet) and I think the bluey one will be used as a special lining for a leather bag.
      I’ve decided to make as many gifts as I can for Christmas and for birthdays, but I’m not getting much time for ‘me sewing’. I’ve a frock to make for my Christmas do, and some of us from work are tagging onto another stations Christmas do which has an 80’s theme and I need something for that too. I’m thinking ‘Toni Basil’ …..hey Mickie …!!

      • You’re so fine…you blow my mind…hey Mickey! Hahaha yes, I remember that! I have fallen into same trap regarding Christmas gifts! Boo! I want to only make for ME! Haha. Have made my mam 2 aprons…she loves her aprons that woman! I also agreed to make a coat(!!!???) for my friend….but she doesn’t know! Her daughter has asked me to do it and found some beautiful liberty lawn covered in Mani blahnik shoes. This could go horribly wrong! Aaagggghhhhhhhhhh! Stress city! Thanks for tip about Harrogate….will have a look!

        • Fab song…will have to make a routine up, could even video it for my blog!!! Oh no, best not, followers would leave in droves!! Haha
          People think you can ‘knock something up’ in no time. I think sometimes you can if it’s for yourself as it’s exciting, especially if it’s the first time you’ve made it. Today I nipped into the golf club and the girl who works in the office (girl,,,,my age, haha!) asked if I’d made my jumper (sleeveless). When I said yes then she wanted me to make her one, she was a bit shocked when I said it takes at least 12 hours and she couldn’t afford it!
          You’re very good tackling a big project for someone else, is it another trench?
          I’m now sat with my feet up (candycrushing!) after going out for a carvary….a rare treat!

          • Ooooo, nice! Lucky you. Just right sort of meal for this November night!
            It was my trench they had their eye on! But I went to town on that! This is same pattern but no pockets, lining or lapel. Just a plain coat, however the fabric is so fine I have decided to underlay it with white cotton. (So I am just sewing it on, but have run out of white thread!) yes, it takes ages to make things doesn’t it? And I finally understand why well made clothes really are so expensive! I am going to enjoy making it because I know she will be so delighted with it. I think that will make it worthwhile and if it doesn’t fit I will have it! Haha it is going to be a summer coat, so if it won’t fasten over her boobs she will just have to wear it open! My trench fitted her everywhere but there!
            I also want to do my niece a Christmas Day dress, a dress for ME for my Christmas do…. Not fancy dress thank goodness…… And finish my circle skirt for The Sew Monthly…. Ooooo! Busy busy! Ha!

  3. Wow… That was some last minute sewing there!! Nice work… I really like the names on the bags… And the fluff- such a bright colorful pile you have there! ~Laurie

    • Thank you! There were sparks flying out of machine – good job I removed all the fluff, might have caught fire!
      Think was the first time in years I’d done appliqué & I really enjoyed it. 😀✂️😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s