First attempts at free motion machine embroidery

I’ve completed my final project before we move house.   As the kids have gone back to school, I didn’t want to fork out on school insignia emblazoned uniform and accoutrements as I’m going to have to buy it all again for their new schools (yet to be sorted out and we move it 2 weeks! Eeeek!). However they still need to take their PE kits in and a carrier bag just wasn’t going to cut it.   I had some bits and bobs of canvas in the stash so decided to whip them up a couple of personalised bags, using this tutorial.


To personalise the bags I decided to try a bit of free motion machine embroidery.   My results weren’t amazing but not bad for a first try. I struggled with moving the fabric under the presser foot, even with the foot pressure set to the lowest.   It didn’t help that Eli’s name was stitched over a bulky seam line.



I lined the bags too.



The materials, including cord were ntirely from my stash too, so zero cost.

My sewing stuff all got packed away after I finished this project. The conversation with my husband went something like this.

Me: I think I’ll pack my sewing stuff. I won’t do any sewing now until we’ve moved.
Tobi: Yeah, I’m not sure I like that idea.
Me: Why?
Tobi: I like you reasonably stable.

For me, like many, sewing is a form of therapy. A mindfulness exercise where you can be nowhere other than in that moment. When I’m feeling particularly anxious, worried or low Tobi has been known to usher me towards my sewing machine as he knows he will get his level-headed wife back at the end of the evening.

I’m not sure I’ll have anything to post between now and the start of my new job in mid-October. But I’m hoping to make it to Charlotte’s (English Girl at Home) SewBrum meet-up on 31st October as I will only be half an hour away on the train. Fingers crossed the rota for my new job has me off on that day.

Until then, adieu.


Bag Making- Chemo Survival Kit

Just a quick post to show you the first bag I’ve ever made.   We had bad news a few weeks back and a very close member of my family was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast cancer.   It came as a complete shock to the whole family as she is only in her late 30’s and, at the time of diagnosis, had a 6 week old baby (she still has the baby, she’s just a couple of weeks older now).   Whenever there’s any family crisis my brain locks into Social Worker mode and I was trying desperately to think of anything I could do to help.   Obviously, I’m not an oncologist so all I can really do it offer emotional support but I also thought I might be able to make her Chemotherapy sessions a bit more pleasant and decided to make a ‘survival kit’ to relieve the boredom.

It was my first foray into bag making and I used this tutorial to make the bag and raided my fabric stash and the lovely flip flop fabric I was given in the Kestrel Makes Spring Sewing Swap.   I don’t have a lot to say about the construction of the bag, it was really easy and quick.   From cutting out to finishing the bag and putting the contents in it took me about 2 hours.   I wanted to have the main body of the bag in denim, but I didn’t have enough so used it for the handles.   This was a big mistake as there was a lot of bulk where the handles attached the body of the bag and my machine struggled a bit, even with a jeans needle in.   I had some spare top-stitch thread leftover from my denim rug so I top-stitched the handles too.

Here’s what I put in the bag:

  • Two Trashy magazines
  • A Mills and Boon triple book
  • Bars of chocolate
  • Boiled sweets & mints as I’ve read that chemo can give you a horrible taste in your mouth
  • Bottled water
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Hand and nail cream

She’s had her first Chemo session and really liked the bag and found the contents useful, which I was please about.   A much more useful gift than a bunch of flowers and extra special as I made it myself.