ScrapHappy February 2020

You may recall that at the end of my January ScrapHappy adventure I was left with a selection of zips, toggles, elastic, plastic sliders, velcro, cords, pockets and waterproof fabric…

… and a headache.

Well, the headache went quite quickly, but the materials remained and I had a plan for some of them… I wanted to make Mr Snail a small, waterproof backpack using a pattern that I first used last year.

For this scrappy project, I made use of the following scraps: a zip, two toggles, a slider, a piece of elastic and pieces of Gore-tex fabric from the old waterproof jackets, plus some old seconds wool suiting fabric that had some marks on it. I did have to use four new D-rings, two metal sliders, stiffening and interfacing to complete the project, but the bulk of it is scrappy.

You can see from some of the pictures that I didn’t worry about existing seams in the fabric – they were all flat and I thought that it showed off the re-purposed nature of the materials. In fact, now it is complete, I think it looks anything but scrappy!


I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of other folks often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me)Karen,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Sue and Sunny

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

Bags of Gratitude

Towards the end of last year I had a health scare and there was real chance that I might be seriously ill. There were trips to the gp, blood tests, a scan and then an appointment on Christmas eve with a consultant at the the hospital, who took a biopsy. In the end I was fine and there was nothing seriously wrong, but I had several very stressful weeks during which I hardly slept or ate… and, you may have noticed, did no blogging. Fortunately three very dear friends helped me get through it – without their support, love and reminders to eat (apparently it’s fine to have chocolate for breakfast in such circumstances), I’m not sure how I (and Mr Snail) would have coped.

The consultant reassured me, but it wasn’t until the results of the biopsy came through and I knew all really was well, that I was able to relax once more and my creativity (which had all but deserted me for the duration) returned with abundance.

So, how do you thank such good friends? I know they would have been there for me no matter what, but I wanted to demonstrate to them how grateful I am. I looked for presents to buy, but in the end I decided that I really wanted to make them each a gift… they all either knit or crochet, so I settled on my other main interest at the mo

I don’t normally name names, but I would, publicly, like to thank Sarah, Kt and Joëlle for their friendship… I love you ladies and I hope you like your bags.

Swooning over a new bag

Some time ago Sam destroyed one of my bags… a particularly useful little backpack that I had taken on many excursions. Rather than dash out and buy a replacement, I bought a pattern for something similar (the Lucy Backpack by Swoon ) and then I procrastinated. First I couldn’t decide what sort of fabric to use and then I read the pattern through, thought it sounded rather complicated, and put it aside for when I had a clearer head. And so it sat unattempted waiting for inspiration, which finally arrived in the form of need.

My recent trip to London was due to coincide with some damp weather, so the handbag I have been using recently, which is not waterproof, was not really suitable. In addition, a small backpack is ideal for carrying a bottle of water and other essentials for a trip involving a train journey. Of course, I left it until the last minute, but some time spent cutting and then a couple of evenings sewing were enough.

I was in such a rush that I didn’t take any photographs of the process, but the bag came together well, the instructions were good and I only made one mistake – accidentally doing some top-stitching through an extra layer, so that the pocket was sewn shut. My mistake was easy to resolve. I slightly modified the pattern, using a piece of ribbon for the drawstring rather than making it from scratch, and making use of a salvaged slider (from an old waterproof jacket) to secure the drawstring closed.

Earlier in the year I had bought some African waxed cotton remnants, so I decided to use some of this fabric for the outer, The lining /straps were more problematic, but I rummaged through the pile of old fabric I have squirreled away (all bought at least 20 years ago) and found some lovely wool suiting that I thought would be robust enough for what I wanted. I already had the hardware that I needed and there was a suitable zip in my store of random zips (I have no idea where they all came from, but were probably given to me). The interfacing and foam to provide structure do have to be new for this sort of project, but I had already bought those in preparation, so I didn’t have to go shopping.

I would certainly recommend the pattern and will be making it again very soon… watch this space.

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