Thursday, 5 July 2012

Blog Hop Bus Bag

It's my Blog Hop Day! Hello again to those of you who've been here before, and to those of you who are new - hope that you like it here!

If you're new here, my name is Sarah or Sarah-Lou, Sarah Louise if I'm in trouble, and Little Sarah quite often as there are lots of Sarahs around and I'm 5" nothing. My Dad calls me Weezy because I used to have trouble saying Louise - but he's the only one allowed to call me that. My friend's little girl calls me Auntie Sar-dah, which is just the cutest thing ever :)

I'm 26 and live in North London with the lovely Hubs, who doesn't quite understand why I *need* to take over more of the house with the growing fabric stash. I'm a teacher which means that I don't have lots of time for sewing during term time, but the holidays are more productive.

I've been sewing nearly a year now, I started when I found out that my lovely cousins were both pregnant, and my friend Charlie suggested making them cushion covers. I then started working on my first quilt just after Christmas, and Hubs bought my lovely Janome for my birthday - yay!

Beth suggested that we answer some questions to help us "get aquainted!" Here are my answers:

Favorite quilting tip(s)
I wish that I'd known the importance of keeping seams allowances consistent earlier - I'd read it somewhere but it hadn't got through my somewhat thick skull, so I've just spent ages unpicking my Half Moon Modern quilt as the sashing really didn't match up.

Favorite blogging tip(s)
The main thing that I've realised is that it's important to get involved - I haven't had time to join any swaps yet, but I love getting comments and then replies to comments.

Favorite fabric
Ooooh, there are so many! I love the Liberty prints, but my bank balance hasn't stretched to that yet! Of the fabrics that I actually own, I think my favourites are either my solids, or the Raindrops by Erin McMorris which I used to make my first ever handbag.

Favorite craft book
I've said it before and I'll say it again - Elizabeth Hartman's Practical Guide to Patchwork

Favorite book
By far the hardest question here! I'm currently reading the latest Game of Thrones book and Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, and I've been trawling through Les Mis for over a year! I also love Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer's books, and Jane Eyre, and Terry Pratchett. Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey is fantastic, and I love love love Animal Farm, and........ There are just too many to name!

Favorite children's book
I read the Hobbit with my Dad aged eight and it lit my imagination up. I also love the Weirdstone of Brisingamen which was set in the area where I grew up. I have a real thing for early C20 girls' fiction, things like the Chalet School and Abbey books, and the classics like What Katy Did. Can you tell that I'm a bit of a bookworm?


Favorite quilting tool
No contest here - 1/4" foot all the way.

Favorite music to listen to while quilting
I rarely listen to music whilst sewing - usually it'll be whatever Hubs is listening to. To be honest, I don't have an MP3 player and only listen to Radio 2 in the car (old before my time or what!)

Favorite TV show while handstitching
Box set of The West Wing, or whatever's on E4 (UK channel showing things like Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother)

Binding - by hand or by machine?
Machine on the front, by hand on the back


For the Blog Hop, we were asked to choose a novelty fabric to work with. My friend's little boy is about to turn three, and is obsessed with buses and books, so I thought I'd make him a present that combines the two! I used the Child's Messenger Bag pattern from 101 Great Ways to Sew a Metre.

and made it using fabric with a London bus pattern from Fabric Rehab. I'm afraid this is more of a pattern review than a tutorial I'm afraid as it was from a published book and not a self-made pattern, but here we go!

Overall, I thought it was an excellent pattern - easy to follow with clear instructions, making good use of the fabric (I have a decent amount left over) and leading to a nice final product. More specific thoughts on certain parts of the bag are below.

The fabric was just quilting weight, and on reflection, it might have been a good idea to use some interfacing to strengthen it. The pattern does suggest using a heavier weight fabric. However, it can hold the weight of a decent sized cookbook, so hopefully it'll be ok for a trip to the library.

Nice boxy corners, made by folding a flap into the fabric and sewing in place. I was really pleased with this, even though I had to read this step quite a few times!

The velcro lined up quite well on the front, but I wish I'd ignored the instructions and left it off the front flap so that they could be lined up with the velcro on the body more closely.

Cute little pocket! Knowing the birthday boy, it'll probably end up with a toy car or digger in here.

The straps came up a little long on Little Miss Cheeky here, but the birthday boy is taller than she is so hopefully it'll look ok on him.
The persuasive power of chocolate buttons is amazing!

Thanks for visiting, I hope you liked what you saw. Don't forget to visit the other blog hoppers this week - Catherine from Knotted Cotton today, and  Di from Willowbeck DesignsJennifer from Knotted Thread who posted on Tuesday.

Sarah x

PS - I'm rearranging my layout at the minute, any feedback is gratefully appreciated!


  1. Your bag is lovely, I am sure it will be much loved by the birthday boy! I like unfussy layouts so yours is fine by me. I struggle with blog layouts that have so much going on I can't read the posts.

    I am anxiously waiting for the next book in the Game of Thrones serious before I forget the storyline and lose track of the numerous characters!

  2. Cute bag and cool fabric. Perfect for a little boy:) I think your layout looks nice and clean!

  3. Your bag looks great! So nice to find another Georgette Heyer fan and Weirdstone of Brisinghamen was one of my favourite books when I was little too - but I could never work out how to pronounce it!

  4. HI Sarah, nice to meet you. Great project. I know what you mean about not having enough time to sew. After my work weekends are my most porductive. You have a very lovely blog.

  5. Cute bus bag! And I love the raindrops from Summersault! I want some in pink. Maybe a handbag? :)

  6. I have that book, but its called One Yard Wonders. Cute bag - I may have to make one.

  7. I loved the Chalet School books (and still do really but I don't have them any more...huge mistake to give away/lend out books you love!) but I'd like to know more about the 'Abbey' books!

    I love the layout of your blog but wonder if it would be better if you could make your photos a little larger? That way it will be easier to admire all your hard work! (Mind you, my blog needs a re-jig so I'm one to talk *wink* )

  8. The bag looks awesome! Very practical for a young child! Great to find out some more things about you =D

  9. Great post! Love your little bag - very cool fabric. Nice to get to know you better!

  10. Very cute - he must love it!

  11. Lovely bag! I especially love the fabric. You're other projects are fun too! I don't know what your layout looked like before but I like this one!

  12. Hello! I finished the Game of Thrones (up to the current book) last summer. I thought that was going to be the last book so I'm excited that there's another one. But unexcited as I'll probably forget everything in the meantime.

    I also love the look of your's nice and clean. The only possible change would be to put the followers/follow by email closer to the top (if those things are important to you). When I'm looking at new blogs it's nice to have to search for the place to follow.

  13. Such a cute bag! It looks like it's already a hit with the younger crowd ;-)

  14. That is such a cute bag! Gorgeous fabric! I bet it'll be an absolute hit with its future owner!

    Good luck with the unpicking on your Half Moon Modern quilt! Painful I know, but you'll probably be much happier that you did it!

  15. Love that bag and the fabric you girls would love it too! Your blog looks great, and I'll be back to visit again!

  16. Nice to meet you Sarah ... that's a thoughtful gift (I want those buses too!!) - always plesed to hear someone is a bookworm, I'm a regular guest at the library.

  17. Stopping by on the blog hop - nice to meet you Sarah!

  18. Stopping by on the blog hop and becoming your newest follower.
    I really like your sewing makes.
    I have that book too so maybe I will have to whip up a cute bag now I have seen

  19. Stopping by on the blog hop. You have made such a lovely bag. Di x

  20. Hello just hopping by - really like the cushions and the handbag! I had forgotten all about the Chalet School books but now you mention them I remember being quite entranced with them when I was young!

  21. Nice to meet you Sarah! That bag is just adorable.

  22. Very nice bag for a little guy! Sorry about the unpicking - argh. Hopefully you'll be moving forward on that project soon!

  23. Hi!!! Love your blog!!!! I have been watching for awhile but Now I will be able to follow!!! Thanks

  24. Cute bus bag. Like your books too!

  25. Very cute bag! I love the fabric.

    Nice to get to "meet" you! The academic schedule does have some perks, doesn't it? :) I'm also surprised to learn that there is a channel in England that shows primarily American sitcoms. I just hope there isn't also one for importing all of our crappy reality TV--I need to believe that there are Kardashian-free places in the universe.

  26. Nice to meet you on the blog hop. Lovely bag and I love the fabric!

  27. Just stopping by on the hop. Great post and great bag. I'll have to try making one for my son!

  28. It was lovely getting to know a bit more about you. You know how much I love that raindrop purse and the bag is so cute :)

  29. Hi Sarah, the bag is fab, love the London bus/taxi fabric - has me missing home. Private Peaceful is a favourite of mine, my 3 (now grown) kids all studied it at school though I was disappointed with the stage production, thought they copped out changing the ending. Your photos including The Hummingbird Bakery books reminded me that my two books by them haven't been used in a while - favourite recipe being the Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie. I like the look of your blog but would agree that for me bigger photos are always fun and show work off better. Good to meet you on the blog hop, ChrissieD :)

  30. Hi Sarah, we have a lot in common, my name is Sarah too and I'm also a teacher :-) I love reading,
    Private peaceful is a very moving book isn't it. Your London bag is lovely, the little boy will love it I'm sure. Oh and my daughter is called Freya, I saw her name on your lovely cushion! Good to meet you xx

  31. Very nice to meet you, you have some lovely projects!

  32. Nice to meet you! I love this library bag, great print choice!

  33. Nice to meet you Sarah. I'm 5' nothing too. Love how you put that. Cute little book bag. Hope the birthday boy fills it with lots of good reads.

  34. Another Sarah here! I love to read although I don't seem to have as much time now - possibly because the kids take up so much time and possibly also because I seem to spend most of my precious free time sewing or surfing quilting blogs!
    The messenger bag is very cute!


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