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Welcome to the Toadstool Cottage Crafts blog.

Hi I'm Pip and this is my blog about the behind the scenes goings on of my business - Toadstool Cottage Crafts. I've always loved craft and sewing but last year I thought I'd see if I could make it into a business.

This blog is a way of sharing my journey with you the ups and downs the successes and disasters (and there have been a few!). I know it will at least give you something to laugh at, but hope it will provide you with tips and inspiration for your own craft endeavours! If you have a question or something to say just leave me a comment.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Some Days You Wish You Hadn't Bothered To Get Out Off Bed.

Today has been a disaster.

I have come up with a design for a new bag.
Not just any old bag but an all singing and all dancing one!

Now its only a small bag approximately 18cm wide by 12cm tall and 4cm deep (to be precise), but it has to work on so many levels.
So there is a zip here, and a pocket here, and a thingy for holding something here, and another one exactly the same over here.
Then there is a security strap here and a keyring there, oh and I want the bag to have some body to it I don't want it all flimsy floppy.
Then the lining has to be wipe clean, but the whole bag has to be very pretty and suitable for many different situations.

So I started on Saturday and drew the pattern - which in itself was very easy until I discovered that my ruler doesn't seem to draw a straight line any more and the set square is not square!

Usually I only make one bag at a time but this time I decided to be efficient and make more than one, it has to be quicker.
So I cut out 8 different pretty fabrics for the outer bag and then I cut the interfacing for all 8 and then the linings for 8.
I ironed all the interfacings into place and by now it was Sunday evening!

I was still trying to work out how to make the bags firm, I have some really stiff interfacing but it is so stiff that it can't be turned through to the right side after sewing.

On Monday morning I came up with a brilliant idea!
I will cut the stiff interfacing small enough to slip in between the lining and the outer fabric after they have been sewn, but before they are sewn together.
So I spent Monday cutting the stiff interfacing and ironing it onto some thin white fabric.

Today is Tuesday and everything is ready and I can start to sew and the bags will be ready in no time at all.

However I hadn't reckoned on today being one of those days!
'Some Days You Wish You Hadn't Bothered To Get Out Off Bed.'

Everything went wrong!

The tension wouldn't work properly, it had ideas of its own.
The security strap was so fiddly and kept getting jammed under the foot of the machine.
The wipe clean material was sticking to the sewing machine and causing problems.
Worst of all was the 'brilliant idea' that I had of just sliding in the stiff interfacing - basically it would not slide in! I started with the bag flaps and I had to cut a bit off here and then some more off there and then shape it around the curved outer edge and then ease it into place (brute force was used) but then I remembered that it was 1/2cm too tall so I had to pull it out and cut off the 1/2cm and then ease(?!) it back in. This happened 6 times, most people would remembered after the first one, but not me.
I only had 2 more to go but as I was having such a bad time of it I decided to move onto the zip pockets. Not such a good idea because just at the crucial point of the zip insertion the bobbin decided to run out - it could have been my best zip ever, but now I will never know.

I found myself looking at the clock thinking "Is it time for alcohol?"
 - - - but it was only 3 o'clock!!

Quite glad that I had finished the bottle last night otherwise I might actually have poured a large one!

Enough is enough, I turned the machine off and came away.

So far I have spent almost 3 full days on these bags and I'm not even half way through one of them never mind all eight!!

Oh well, tomorrow is another day....and my new gazebo is coming! Yipee!!



  1. Keep going it will be worth it in the end !!!

  2. To echo your 'Some Days You Wish You Hadn't Bothered To Get Out Off Bed' comment, I've just prepared a pasta bake, put it all in a Pyrex bowl and I added tuna and sweetcorn. Then before putting it in the oven I have a thought ... I wonder if I've mixed it up enough.... so automatically I lift the bowl up to look at the bottom and in the process pour it on the floor :( and to make it worse my PJ's now smell of tuna !!!

    1. Oh dear, I am so sorry about your pasta bake and fishy PJs. May I suggest that you change your PJs before you go to bed!!