Sewing and not

I don’t love sewing in the same way that I love knitting and crochet, but I do find satisfaction in making useful things. And so, over the past few days I have slowly been working on a gardening apron. I am using the same pattern ( the Beatrice pinafore) that I did for my two kitchen aprons, but this version is lined, so the edges didn’t need binding, and I made the pockets deeper because gardening requires much more transportation of random stuff than cooking does! The benefit of making garments from scratch like this is that I know it wasn’t made by workers who are being exploited and I am able to source fabric that is organic/fairtraded. It’s akin to cooking from scratch, it’s just that it requires more concentration! The downside is that I usually always have to unpick something and I am never 100% satisfied with the result. However, it is finished now, and I’m hoping that the dark purple chambray (which is a rather nicer colour than the photos suggest) that I chose for it will hold up to the rigours of the garden and that I won’t be too sad that the lovely bee fabric is mainly hidden away as the lining (although it is reversible if I don’t mind having the pockets inside).

I do, however, wish that I liked sewing enough to make gorgeous quilts and other complex constructions. That said, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the yarny things that I want to, so I mainly just look on in awe at the creations of my fabric-oriented fellow crafters. However, I do occasionally get my hands on a beautiful piece of sewing to treasure, and this has just happened.

Over the weekend there was an online auction to support the Sixty Million Trebles project and I was lucky enough to submit the highest bid for the most fabulous handmade work bag.  Barbara, the lady who made it, sent it straight away and so I already have it… and I’m just blown away by her skill. Look:


the skill!

Not only did it arrive beautifully gift-wrapped, but there was a rustle from inside and I opened it to find a matching ‘mug rug’ and a little pouch of sewing goodies. Internally, and somewhat difficult to photograph, there are all sorts of pockets, including some very narrow ones that will be perfect for hooks and knitting needles.

Oh the joy of owning a wonderful creation like this… I am in awe.


Leave a comment


  1. I love your apron! I too wish I enjoyed sewing as much as I love knitting.
    Fantastic bag! So beautiful and well made:)

    • but I guess if we did, we wouldn’t have time to eat!
      I quite often get asked whether I’d like to learn to spin, but I always feel that it would take precious time away from knitting and crochet!

  2. Ann

     /  April 4, 2017

    I love your Varks helping you. 🙂

  3. I love the apron and the bag. The bee fabric is just lovely, I was wondering where you bought it from please? You bought a fantastic bag there, clever lady who made it. It’s time I got sewing again, I have fabric for three cushions and for a skirt for my granddaughter. The latter requires a zip which is a bit scary for me. Why do I want to dothese scary Projects?

  4. I am the same about sewing – I can do it, but it feels like a chore rather than a pleasure.

  5. Laurie Graves

     /  April 4, 2017

    Wonderful apron and bag! My skills don’t run to the knitting/crocheting/ sewing end of things, but I sure do love seeing seeing such work. Let’s hear it for the creative life, in all its various aspects.

  6. I love your apron! And that bag is a wonder! Like you I love seeing all these pretty and useful things made by clever people. I often think it is as well I decided to live simply else I’d be spending all my pension on unique, handmade items just because I love them and want to encourage the maker 🙂

  7. That bag is a work of art… and your useful and still decorative apron is a work of craftsmanship… hand-made things are an every-lasting joy…. I search for them in op shops and markets….

  8. I love the apron. So very practical. The bee fabric is very sweet. But you are right to put the more durable one on the outside. I love the bag. What an extra surprise to find all the goodies inside! I have a bag on my list of things to make. You know that list that just keeps getting longer. I agree that we all have things we like doing more than other things. I like being with quilters and having the finished product but the making of them is often so difficult for me that I would prefer to be able to wiggle my nose and have it done. 🙂 I’m enjoying hand embroidery again after so many years. Love that you are using the Varks for weights. 🙂 So cheerful for sewing.

  9. Now you have a small inkling of what I feel when I see your socks! A well thought-out craft bag can turn into a sort of Tardis, with so much more able to fit into it than it at first appears. Really, the only thing to worry about is how much it weighs once fully stuffed!

  10. Your apron is beeutiful! (sorry, I couldn’t resist! I am surprised that Kate didn’t say something similar 😊) and will be so practical out in the garden. Well done to the Varks, who look like they are reading the patterns and overseeing the whole job. The red one is definitely the Leading Hand on the project. And your delightful bag is another example of how generous (and talented!) people are.

  11. Your apron looks fabulous!

  12. Oooh, look at all this lovely stuff! Your apron looks great, and what a lucky bid on that bag! Nice to see the Vaarks pitching in with your work, too… I wonder if the Beasties will be as helpful if I ever get around to making something out of the dress fabric I bought last summer?

  13. I wish I liked knitting anywhere close to how much I love sewing, but I try to give it a go, albeit quite badly. I’ve never even tried crocheting 🙂 Anyway, the apron is charming and I love the insect fabric!

    • Thank you… we all have our favourite crafts! I only learned to crochet a few years ago (having tried many times before) but now I love it and I do more crochet than knitting.

      • Well, I keep hearing that crocheting is easier than knitting and that’s what makes it so tempting 😉

  1. Sunny gardening | The Snail of Happiness

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