Keeping my promises

Do you remember that in January I said I would try and complete a sewing project every month? Well I am a woman who keeps her word (for now, at least).

There’s only a couple of days of February left and I know that I am going to be busy catching up with work and trying to get back to the gym (I ate a hell of a lot of camembert on holiday. They shouldn’t make it so tasty). So, when I had caught up with last week’s blog posts on Sunday, I knew that I needed a quick and easy project that wouldn’t take a lot of planning or preparation.

25022014 hoop bag in situ 2Good job I spotted this embroidery hoop bag tutorial on the Crafty Ladies 101 blog. What attracted me to it in the first place was the embroidery hoop part. After my brief foray into cross stitch the other week I reasoned that I probably wasn’t going to use my hoop for its intended purpose again, so why not get my money’s worth? I do need something to catch my fabric/wool/thread scraps after all – till now I’ve just been using a plastic bag, and as much as I like Sainsbury’s, their bags just aren’t classy.

I used some cotton fabric from my stash to make the bag itself. The blue rose print was left over from a Colette Sorbetto top that I made last summer (great beginners’ pattern – would recommend it to all), and the blue polka dot print was from some bunting that I made for a friend’s wedding. So I had everything that I needed for the project already in stock, which was a good thing cos Sunday was a bit of a pyjama day and I’m not one for getting my slippers dirty on a trip to the fabric shop at Tooting Bec.

The sewing itself was very straightforward – just straight lines. I did forget to leave a space along the bottom edge to turn the bag inside out, despite reminding myself to do so just as I put the presser foot down. Out came the seam ripper. I also couldn’t get my head around the boxed corner instructions, so I did some googling and found this tutorial. Problem solved. After that it was plain sailing – just sew round the top, turn it inside out, sew up the hole in the bottom and install the embroidery hoop.

25022014 hoop bag boxed corner

Boxed corners – one of my new favourite techniques

Side note: boxed corners are ace. They’re really easy (once you’ve sussed them out) and they look great. Currently up there with French seams and mattress stitch in my list of favourite techniques.

To hang the bag from the table I used an S hook that I found in Chris’ man drawer. It’s quite possible every man has a man drawer. Chris’ contains things like matches, takeaway menus, fuses and blu-tac. The S hook I found is a bit large – I think it’s meant for hanging pans or something – so I think I’ll look for something a bit daintier and more ladylike. One of those portable handbag hooks you can get so your bag doesn’t have to sit on the floor of the pub should do the job.

All in all, this was a super-quick, super easy project to take on. I learned a new skill with the boxed corner, I used up some of my stash and I managed to keep my promises for this month at least.  Recommended!

Grand sewing plans
I’m getting March’s sewing project out of the way quite quickly. Next weekend I’m off to the Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead to have a go at making a quilted and bound cushion. I’m also going to have a go at the Stitchery Studio’s Zinnia sewalong which starts today. I’ve had the pattern for some time but haven’t had the chance (ok, I haven’t been bothered) to make it so far. Hoping it’ll be the kick up the rear I need – the prize is a fancy new sewing machine so I feel it’s worth making the effort. Expect a couple of show and tells in the near future.


2 thoughts on “Keeping my promises

  1. Caroline Joynson says:

    Hey Jo, nice to meet you last night. Have fun doing your homework for the Tulip skirt.
    Your blog is great – It looks to me that you will have May’s make sorted for the month.
    I noticed you have joined the Sewaholic Belcarra top – how is it going. I really like the pattern and want to make one for one of my next projects.
    See you next Wednesday.
    Caroline (from up North!)

    • jocala42 says:


      Thanks for the lovely comments! I’m going to have a nose at yours now 😉

      I’ve been a good student and done my homework today. I was going to make a start on the Belcarra sewalong but the printer is not playing so it’ll have to wait until my boyfriend gets home to sort it out. I’ll let you know how it goes though – could even be done in time for Wednesday!

      Enjoy the rest of half term!


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