Scrap Sunday – World Costume Day

I know, I know, a little later than usual, but it is still Sunday.

It was World Books Day this week, so time to get dressed up as favourite book character. Which is quite clearly mistaken by some as favourite TV character. I saw a lot of Disney princesses and Superheros plus one Yoda.

But I was lucky.  I asked them: What’s your favourite book?

Child No 1: Room on the broom (We haven’t read it in ages but ok.  It is a good book, also costumewise)

Child No 2: Blue.

We did a couple of times: -No your favourite BOOK. -Blue. (or “green” as clearly mum did not seem to be satisfied by blue)

I explained: – Look, for example P wants to be the witch from Room on the broom….

– I want to be the dragon, I want to be the dragon.

Great. Matching outfits. In different schools though :)

Technically, the witch costume is not exactly a scrap project. I had to buy just about everything. Well, the yellow bow (hiding behind the hair) and the ginger plait are made of scrap wool (see, I am still knitting). And we had the hat since ages.


Obviously I could have made a simple purple skirt but I wanted to use the opportunity to practice piping as I will need it for the final garment in my Fashion Course.


The dragon however is entirely made of scrap.

IMG_3297I have used the left over from the carrot costume  and some other red and orange fabric scraps.

First of all I cut out some sets of red triangles plus some strong interfacing. I sewed them together and turned them inside out. I also made a stuffed grey horn similar to the one the dragon in the book has on his head.

For the main “body” I used a hood pattern and just elongated it at the back into a long tail. I pinned all the spikes and the horn on one side and stitched the two body parts together. I decided to line it with some dark red left over lining as it makes the whole costume just so much more sustainable.

IMG_3295As you can see, the horn does not quite stand up but the dragon was happy and so was I.

I did not want to make a full costume because… well it would have been far too much work really but also we needed something practical to be able to play in the nursery and its garden.

And in case if you were wondering why he carries a flag, obviously this is not a flag but a portable fire to breath out fire. Because this is what dragons do.

I am extremely pleased with the result of the whole costume making. The child inside misses the carnivals of my childhood I guess.

It has been very little work (apart from the skirt) with maximum outcome plus the children could help with some of  it. Obviously the skirt is too elaborate for a costume only but it was a good opportunity and I made it to be worn on many occasions.



Last but not least, the accidental reversible book bag

I have been asked to make a simple cotton bag that a secondary school girl can use as a book bag in school without being told off for standing out from the crowd. So basically nothing that is not dark blue or black :)

IMG_3278As you know, that is slightly too depressing for me. I just can’t do it. So I thought I will put a very nice lining inside to make up for the boring outside.IMG_3279Pretty, isn’t it.

I also made a zip pocket large enough for phone, oyster card and whatever else you need in school. And guess what? Obviously the inside of the pocket needs to be different again.

IMG_3281I know, that is actually getting quite boring for you now.

Anyway, I was very pleased with the result but I was even happier when I finally realised that I had just produced a perfectly reversible bag. Which you know already because you have seen it in the picture. But I only realised it once it was finished. So it can be used with the dark blue outside during the schoolday but with the fancy fabric on the outside for the rest of the day.

It is actually a very spacious bag as it has a 8cm gusset going all the way around it so there is enough room for large folders and I am sure I will make a few more of them and put them in the shop. I will let you know.


Scrap Sunday: The left over crafts bag

Just one thing before we talk about the latest bag – for all those who have sleepless nights because they are wondering about the progress of the knitting in this knitting blog: Don’t worry I am still knitting, really. I will soon show you something knitted. Promised.

But now back to bag: This one here is made of lots of scraps, I even had the zip at home, so no shopping of new shiny things had to be done.

I wanted to make a little crafts bag for a birthday girl who seems to be into making things (cutting and sticking things on other things).


I took a rectangular scrap piece of the outer fabric and cut it in half and started all the other measurements from there. Stupidly I didn’t write anything down as it turned out to be a rather perfect size.

Anyway, to give it more volume, I just put two seams in an right angle across the side seams (about 4cm from bottom edge, next time I would do rather 3) and cut off the excess fabric.

IMG_3274Inside, I lined it and added a few simple slip pockets: one big enough to hold some coloured cards. On the other side, one rather deep one (did not quite work out as un planned) for the glue stick, one for some pencils and one for a pair of scissors. Which I did not provide as I am completely paranoid by Health and Safety rules here and I don’t actually know the little girl or her family very well at all. So who knows if they have rules about scissors.

And then I just added a few craft things like tiny sparkly flowers, feathers, … just things you can glue onto other things.

I am extremely pleased with the result, quick, very pretty, a good use for scrap fabrics, personal present, so a total success (did not yet ask the little girl if she agrees on that :) )

I hope you are not yet getting bored by bag posts, we are not quite done yet. But at least the next one will be a bit different, at least in a different fabric :)

It’s never too late for a Christmas present – the bag story continues

As I said last week, I have been busy with quite a few bags lately.

This time, I will show you two very similar bags, one is a Christmas present for last year (so it needed to be a bit more apologetic than usual) and a smaller version as a birthday present (just in time) for my niece.



For the adult version I followed roughly a pattern from Lisa Lam’s The Bag Making Bible (not a bad book, lots of things in it, but it does lack a bit of consistency and pictures where you can actually see what is happening. Maybe not quite a Bible but a good start)

For the outside I have used waterproof coated cotton which I have once again bought at Dotsnstripes.

For the big bag’s inside I have used red and orange cotton, plus one patterned cotton hiding behind a zip :)

I made a laptop flap thingy on one side and three different pocket types on the other side.

IMG_3266 IMG_3265

The book suggests to use Twist Locks for the main flap but I was slightly too frightened to make holes in something that I have made myself. Thought I will leave that for next time. My initial plan was to just use a band of velcro to close it. I did change my mind halfway through though and bought some kind of button release buckle on ebay which meant that I needed a rather long and awkward looking strap to reach from flap edge to bottom bag edge. Not too great so I guess, next time I will try those square twist locks and make holes to fit them :) or at least decide before cutting out and make a longer flap.IMG_3267

For my niece I made a smaller version as there is no point in dragging around a bag that is half the size of you.

Instead of a flap I decided to put in a concealed top edge zip. I was a little bit unsure which fabric to choose to conceal that zip. The waterproof outer? Might be tricky to sew neatly, will be bulky  and might be odd to fix to the bag.

The plain cotton inner? Not waterproof, slightly flimsy (in comparison) and most importantly boring.

Difficult choice so I went for a third option: a strong cotton with yet another pattern. And as I was already adding patterns, I thought I might as well use another fabric for that inner top edge and made this in another one of the waterproof coated cottons.


Inside, I added three pockets in total, one with zip and the patterned cotton (same as for the zip) on the inside of the pocket.


I honestly love using a pretty fabric secretly hiding behind a zip. It makes it so more special, no?

I am very pleased with both results, they look amazing and I can’t wait to finally make one for myself – after all this is why I initially bought that fabric in the first place a few months ago :)

It is just hard to say which one I prefer… which one would you choose?