Bessie and Jessie's Homemade Blog

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Changing mat eye candy June 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather @ 21:01

My next project is to make some things to hang above the baby’s changing mat in the nursery.  At the moment I can’t say what shapes or colours I am using as the sex is a secret.

At the moment I have a few things hanging up already.  We bought a pot rack from ikea to hang from the ceiling and I got some twinkly fairy lights that light up in different sequences and we have two perspex animals that light up hanging down too.  I’m hoping that the new sewn additions will fit in and look really nice.

I’ll reveal more once I’ve had the baby (due today but no appearance as of yet!)


The finished bag!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather @ 20:52

This is the finished bag! I’m really quite pleased with how it looks and can’t wait to show it off.  Its a little bigger than I envisaged but its very pretty so the size doesn’t really matter.


Bag hardware (shiny lovely things) June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather @ 20:59

Lovely shiny bag findings (with the exception of my magnetic closers)

These are all of the lovely shiny bag findings/accessories that I used on my bag, with the exception of some magnetic closers that my mum gave me and a little crystal effect button which I put on one of the side pockets.  The pattern tells you to use velcro to close the bag but having had velcro on my old nappy bag and it getting stuck to absolutely everything and getting all dirty and full of fluff, essentially becoming useless, I wanted to use something different and I think the magnetic closers give it a more expensive look.  The pattern also gives you a piece to make a strap out of fabric but I felt that it would end up getting all creased and looking awful quite quickly so instead I had the idea to try and make a strap like you would see on other bags like ones by Pink Lining or Cath Kidston.  I found it quite hard to find a webbing strap that I could just clip on to the bag and having scoured the internet I found this luggage strap from Marks & Spencer for £5 which I thought was an absolute bargain, plus its just the colour I wanted and super long too so gave me some allowance for mistakes.  I cut off the plastic clip and slide adjuster in favour of using silver pieces to make it look a little more professional.  Because I wasn’t sewing in the strap to the bag like in the pattern I had to buy some D rings and make some tabs to hold these on to the side of the bag which I then fixed with rivets.  Although I love the luggage strap it actually ended up being a bit of a pain only because of its width it was too wide to fit normal swivel clips to allow me to clip it on the bag without the webbing of the strap getting all creased and folded over but the solution came on ebay where I found these huge swivel clips from a shop selling fixings for horse rug repairs.  This is also where I got the slide adjuster to keep the strap in place. The rivets also came from ebay for about £1.  It appears really difficult to be able to find silver rivets for some reason and these were really easy to use as all you have to do is make a hole in the fabric with a tailors awl and then hammer the pieces together. The bag feet, D rings and the small swivel clips (for a tab inside the bag) came from a website called u-handbag which is a really great resource for buying lots of lovely things for making bags and the huge pink buttons came from a local craft shop for 65p each, they are only for decoration though (I think I may have mentioned my love of buttons before!).  Also not photographed here is some bag bottom plastic grid that I also got from the u-handbag website so it keeps the bottom of the bag from becoming all horrid and saggy.



Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather @ 20:54

These are all of the fabrics I used with the exception of one which is a pink spotty fabric that I used for the large inside pocket. I used it as an afterthought instead of the plain white fabric  so never thought to photograph it. I wanted to use really girly fabrics and found all of these in my collection so didn’t actually have to spend any more money on them.  I did initially want to use some Cath Kidston fabric but at £10 a metre I decided it was going to be too pricey and also wanted it to look more individual and different to any other bag. I used the black ikea fabric for the main outside fabric and the rest were used to make the lining with the exception of some pink cord which I used to make the outside pockets.


All of my fabrics


Ikea fabric with birds and flowers


Some nice pink floral fabric from my mum


All of the fabrics cut out


Getting to grips with using a pattern

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather @ 20:50

I have never actually used a proper pattern before so was a little unsure what to do with it. When I was at uni and doing projects we had to make up our own patterns (I have no idea how to do this now I just can’t remember). I started by cutting out every single piece before realising that I only needed the pieces to make bag A. Thankfully everything worked out ok once I got myself organised.

Cutting out all of the pattern pieces

Pattern pieces all cut out and ready

Pattern pieces all drawn out and ready to be cut

Cutting out the fabric


Home made changing bag May 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather @ 21:45

The first project I want to complete is a changing bag for the baby which I am expecting in four weeks.  I do have one from my first baby but found it too big and clumsy to carry round as well as being boring black (more my husband’s choice than mine) and this time I want something for me, something more girly and a bit vintage looking.  I like the fact that my changing bag would look like no-one elses and also cost a lot less too.  I have tons of scrap fabrics but might need to buy some heavier weight stuff to make it look a bit nicer as well as the sliders to make the strap adjustable.  I’ve been trying to find a pattern online as I’ve never made a bag before and was really hoping for a free pattern online but can’t seem to find one that I like.  However, I did manage to find one from Butterick (pattern B4560) and have just found someone else on a blog who has made one too and it looks great.  It even has inside pockets and a flat over the top which is something that I wanted to do.  Hopefully this will cost me a lot less to make than buying a standard one off the shelf that looks like everyone elses.

I love the fabrics she has used but think I might try and use something a bit lighter in colour.

I’ll let you know how I get on.


A little bit about me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather @ 21:08

At university I studied Fashion Business  and whilst I never truly wanted to be a fashion designer I found that I really enjoyed the creative side of it and loved cutting out fabrics and sewing everything together seeing it all become something new and this is still something that I love to do today.   I also like to bake lovely sweet treats and am just starting to get into photography, although I’m not very good at that yet.

I like vintage or retro looking fabrics (but prefer the feel of clean new ones) and love anything that is a bit kitsch.  I especially love anything with birds on but like any truly girly girl I love hearts, stars,  ribbons and buttons (I have a lovely little jar of buttons in all sorts of shapes and colours that I just love to look at from time to time), oh and florals.  I love making things with a childlike softer side, my favourite thing that I have made recently are some monsters made of felt, old bits of scrap fabric and ribbons and buttons. They don’t always have a smile on their faces but hopefully they make others smile instead.

I’m starting this blog to share my homemade projects with others.  I am therefore planning to post up what I am thinking of making or doing along with any progress that I make on these projects.  Hopefully others will like what I do and it will encourage them to make their own homemade projects too.