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When I was five I saw a shiny hubcap by the side of the road. I’d never seen one before and I wanted it so badly, I begged my dad to stop the car so I could get it. Needless to say, he didn’t. I’ve always had magpie tendencies, and love to hoard and collect things. At ten I had a huge jar of colourful lighters that I found on the street, and (rather embarrassingly) also had a collection of old spark plugs. I was sure they would come in useful someday. At 15 I made a curtain out of old ring-pulls from cans of coke (remember those old ring-pulls? The ones that you actually peeled off the top of the can?).

I like collecting things, especially pretty things. I also like making things, especially if I can make things out of other things. I’m always on the lookout for treasures in charity shops and skips, or other people’s discarded rubbish that I can turn into something useful or practical.

Sewing is my main passion, and I’m best at making bags, but I’ll give anything a go. I’m not a carpenter, am terrible at DIY, and rush things, so most things I do are bodge jobs rather than lovingly crafted works of art.


I am aiming to photograph and write up 111 projects in 2011, and document them here. They will probably range from very simple little bags that I can whip up with my eyes closed to more ambitious complicated projects that will inevitably involve mistakes, swearing and tears. Maybe I will inspire or amuse others, but mostly I just want to document my creations.

I am very pleased that I completed all 111 projects in 2011, learnt loads of new techniques, improved a lot at sewing and had my own stall at a craft selling my wares that went down a storm.


After a year of not really having a focus or aim for my creative endeavours, I have decided to give myself a new challenge for 2013. The challenge is to use up as many of my fabric scraps that I can, and also use my fabric stash rather than buying new fabric. I have so many bags of fabric scraps that it has become rather embarrassing. I am running out of places to hide them. I can’t be the only one with this problem, so join me as I battle my way through my hoards of scraps and see what I can make. I have visions of lots of patchwork!

53 Comments leave one →
  1. soimpressed permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:32 am

    Great blog! I didn’t know how interesting sewing and fabric and buttons could be. It took me back to the fifties when my mother made all of her everyday clothes and many of ours as well. One of my greatest pleasures was tipping out her huge tin of assorted buttons and rummaging through them, with the sound of the Singer treadle sewing-machine clicking away in the background. In a post-apocalyptic world we’ll all be using treadle machines again….

  2. January 12, 2011 12:31 pm

    Congratulations on a great blog. It’s good to see you diving in and making your own stuff and there truly is no gift like one that’s been made for you, whether it’s a hot meal, a handbag or a knitted jumper featuring a raindeer with a bobble for a nose.
    I’m glad you’re not afraid to repeat the things you know (i.e bags) as well as trying new things, repetition is crucial on the road to real craftsmanship.

    • January 12, 2011 8:38 pm

      That’s right, repetition really is the answer… “Rome wasn’t built in a day”

  3. January 13, 2011 4:49 pm

    What a great blog! I too like to sew bags & am terrible with anything DIY. I think swearing & sewing go hand-in-hand πŸ˜‰ Just speaking from personal experience. Keep up the good work!

    • January 13, 2011 10:33 pm

      I couldn’t agree more, sewing and swearing certainly do go hand in hand πŸ™‚

  4. donnabright permalink
    January 13, 2011 6:08 pm

    Kudos! I like the blog and the thread.
    Have you thought about playing with the colors and coming up with designs to photograph?

    I photographed by beginning quilting efforts (black squares, rectangles) on white – I consider it

    Would love to see more from you!

    • January 13, 2011 10:35 pm

      Donnabright that is a very interesting idea, I should put more thought into the composition of my photographs and play around with colour and backgrounds to make them more striking and arty.
      Glad you like my blog, I will keep posting!

  5. January 13, 2011 7:51 pm

    This looks really cool! How do I subscribe?

    • January 13, 2011 10:47 pm

      Hi shoechase, I have added a subscribe button to the lefthand sidebar, so subscribing should now be nice and simple! Thanks for asking.

  6. January 13, 2011 9:56 pm

    I agree! How do I subscribe?

    • January 13, 2011 10:49 pm

      Hi Leilani, I have added a sbscribe button to the lefthand sidebar, so it should be as easy as clicking on the button, thanks for asking and for drawing my attention to the fact that it wasn’t obvious how to subscribe. I hope you enjoy the blog.

  7. January 14, 2011 1:00 am

    Great blog! and love the spool holder project! I love the “111 projects in 2011” idea! I totally wanted to think of something catchy like that too, but I’m actually about to have a baby in 6 weeks and figured any commitment I try to make is going to go down the drain when he/she comes. But I’m looking forward to sewing some cute baby stuff- good luck on your projects!

  8. Helen Stead permalink
    January 14, 2011 6:54 am

    Hi! Wonderful blog. Very inspiring and full of wonderful ideas and tutorials.
    Would you be interested in being interviewed to be featuring on my blog ‘The Creative Diarist’ ?
    I’d love to share your work with my readers.

  9. Katie Frank permalink
    January 14, 2011 12:00 pm

    I can’t wait to see all of your projects! I absolutely love the laptop bag that you just made. I am an absolute disaster with a sewing machine, but maybe one of these days I can conquer the thing! πŸ™‚

    I saw the monarch tag on your items; do you sell them any where?

  10. PlainJane permalink
    January 14, 2011 10:11 pm

    I’m getting nostalgia for the charity shops of Cambridge – love the Sally Ann on Mill Road. Lived in Cambridge for 20 years but when I visit now I have my 3 little ones in tow and no time for a rummage – will live vicariously through your lovely blog! I did the first part of the City and Guilds Textile Design course at Cambridge Regional College before I moved away. Like you, I am a real magpie – I am currently collecting stuff for a collage – charity shop, haberdashery, beach and skip finds mostly.

    • January 14, 2011 10:18 pm

      Oh yes, Sally Ann is one of my favourites, so much to rummage through there! Your collage sounds very interesting, combining elements from all the best places!

      • PlainJane permalink
        January 14, 2011 10:57 pm

        Hmm – may be fantastic or end up looking like a dog’s dinner!

      • January 15, 2011 7:18 am

        Well, wither way, I would be interested to see a photo of the finished product!

  11. January 19, 2011 3:50 pm

    I’m so impressed and inspired. I have a sewing machine in a box in the corner screaming to be let out.

  12. The Boy permalink
    February 5, 2011 2:36 pm

    great great great I just love it

  13. February 12, 2011 5:34 pm

    My first visit to your amazing blog. I love it!

  14. Siouxsie Homemaker permalink
    February 14, 2011 9:27 pm

    This is great! I love your blog – I added you to my blogroll!

  15. February 19, 2011 10:29 pm

    I hope you don’t mind but I’ve chosen your blog as one of my stylish blog nominees
    I found it via Mumsnet and really enjoy reading it.

    • February 20, 2011 12:14 am

      Kim, thank you so much! I shall have to get to work now deciding which blogs I should nominate!

  16. Donna permalink
    February 23, 2011 3:19 am

    thanks for visiting my blog! and you have such a great blog idea too πŸ™‚ maybe you can help me figure out why the bottom of my stitches always loop and bunch up? I’ve done everything the manual and the web suggested to resolve the issue but it still loops to no avail!

    • February 27, 2011 6:50 pm

      Donna, not sure I can be of much help really, as this happens to me too, frequently! I find what uually helps is changing the thread, some threads seem to do this more than others. I suppose you’ve tried cleaning your bobbin area of all the fluff and lint that gathers there? What about bobbin tension? I only recently discovered that I can adjust my bobbin tension.

      I finally gave up my old sewing machine because it started to always bunch up underneeth, I had bird’s nests of thread under everything I tried to sew, I tried everything wihtout success. In the end I took the machine apart and discovered that the teeth on the gears on the motor had completely worn away. I smothered the whole thing in grease which helped for a few days but in the end bought a new machine.

  17. Average Jo permalink
    March 18, 2011 1:31 pm

    Brilliant blog, will be visiting often πŸ™‚

  18. OnlyWantsOne permalink
    March 31, 2011 4:48 pm

    I’m adicted to your blog. (fellow mumsnetter)
    Pray do tell, the prism bags you make, I’ve got a scrap of material right here i’d love to make one, have you a tutorial?

    • March 31, 2011 5:37 pm

      Hello Emily!

      Glad to hear you are addicted! The prism pouch tutorail can be found on craftster, here it is!

      Of course, you can change the dimensions depending on the size of your scrap of fabric, good luck, let me know how you get on!

      • OnlyWantsOne permalink
        March 31, 2011 6:40 pm

        oh and pray do tell – your labels, where can I get some made? (i wnt to write “Love E” on them, as giving away as gifts)

      • March 31, 2011 6:55 pm

        Emily, I made them myself, you can read a tutorial here, they are super easy to make!

  19. May 9, 2011 8:27 pm

    Love the idea of your blog I am going to have a browse through what you’ve been up to!

  20. June 6, 2011 12:11 pm


    Thank you for thoughtful and encouraging comment on my blog (organised castle). I had to pop in and check yours out. I have only read the most recent entry and your profile. Love the comment about the curtain made from ring pulls. I did exactly the same thing at age 15 too (in 1973). I used it as a divider for the entry to my bedroom – it afforded some privacy when the door was open!! I will definitely be back to read some more.

    Fairy xx

  21. July 26, 2011 4:29 pm

    I love your goal of 111 projects for the year! Good luck to you, and I will be back to see how you are doing. πŸ™‚


  22. thesmockingbee permalink
    September 12, 2011 9:47 pm

    What a smashing blog! 111 projects in one year is quite an ambition – I salute you! You have made some lovely things.

  23. smockerybee permalink
    October 3, 2011 12:49 pm

    Hello again! I hope you don’t mind but I have included your lovely blog in a post about inspiring blogs.
    smockerybee (formerly thesmockingbee)

  24. October 3, 2011 2:53 pm

    Oops! I don’t think my username link was working then – trying to link to my old name! I think it is working now.

  25. lizzypoet1 permalink
    November 3, 2011 2:56 pm

    Loving your blog … you are SO lucky to have the patience and talent to produce all those lovely things. I used to paint a lot and even managed to sell a few, but these days I just don’t have the patience. Really interesting to see how you recycle in a way which actually produces things that are more beautiful than the original. Will definitely be following your progress with huge interest and admiration.

  26. Mom's Place of Sanity permalink
    December 2, 2011 12:22 am

    Wanting to let you know I have nominated you for a blog award! Here is a link to check it out!!

  27. January 22, 2013 6:22 am

    Hi So Resourceful ~ I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to be using your Year on the Make idea for myself this year as I loved reading all your projects – have blogged about you here. Happy New Year to you and yours x

    • January 22, 2013 7:46 am

      Good Idea!

      • January 22, 2013 12:31 pm

        I’ll hold you to that when I’ve run out of things to make in a few months’ time πŸ˜€

      • January 22, 2013 1:19 pm

        Ok πŸ˜€

        I’ve got a new challenge for myself for 2013, that I am about to commit to writing here on my blog, to use up all of my scrap fabric, so hopefully some of the projects to come out of that will keep you going!

      • January 22, 2013 3:58 pm

        Definitely good thing to do – I’ve been getting better and better at using up small scraps, although I do now have a few too many fabric key rings as a result πŸ˜€

  28. May 21, 2013 5:02 pm

    I have nominated you for a Liebster Award! Keep up the fab blogging and enjoy!

  29. August 28, 2013 7:52 pm

    Hello! This Elba Valverde from Live Colorful ( I would love to share one of your amazing projects on my blog and I was wondering if it is ok if I use some of the pictures I found with your work. I will provide a link to your blog and to the project.
    I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!
    You have an amazing blog.
    Xo, Elba

  30. barbara sampson permalink
    January 2, 2014 6:44 pm

    I like your site a lot and your idea for the camping patchwork quilt- it was so clever. I hope that you do relate more uses for fabric scraps, I only have three containers full. I am grandmother to too dear girls ages four and eight. I have made for them dresses, quilts, skirts and outfits for dress up pretend. thanks, barb in Louisville Kentucky usa. have you ever found fabric that you just had to have but have no idea of what to do with it ? I bought that fabric and thinking of what I will use it for. was this foolish of me?

  31. murdenkim permalink
    October 17, 2015 8:04 pm

    So lovely to stumble across your site. Loved the patchwork quilt tutorials. Will be trying out some of the methods shortly.

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