Sunday, 19 May 2013

A day at the Fluff-a-torium

Yesterday in my weekend catch up I mentioned spending a lovely day at the Fluff-a-torium in Dorking. For my birthday present Hubby treated me to one of their sewing days, learning to make a bag. It was a fabulous day and I learnt lots.  The sewing class was held above the shop so not only was I looking forward to learning to make the bag but to having a good nose around the shop too.

The day was taught by a lovely Lady called Gwyneth.  Her day job is a Radiologist in hospital but her passion is sewing.

Here's a picture of Gyneth arranging all our bags we made.   I'm afraid I had planned to take lots of pictures of the day but it was quite a push to get the bag finished on time and rather then messing around taking pictures I was concentrating on what I was doing.

Once we had all arrived, there was 6 of us in the group, Gwyneth had a chat with us all explaining how the day would go.  We  had a choice of making 1 of 2 bags, either a messenger or a banana bag.  I chose the banana bag as I thought it would be beneficial for me to learn how to sew curves.  We were then all handed our instruction sheet and we headed down to the shop to choose what material we wanted to use for our bags.  The bag is reversible so we need to choose 2 different materials which were all part of the cost of the course (£65) and we could then choose any embelishements or extras we wanted to add to the bag and those we purchased ourselves.

We weren't allowed to take the instructions or pattern home with us, although we did have the option of purchasing more material and cutting it out so that we had all the bits to make another bag and thus would have the pattern too.  I didn't do this, mainly because I ran out of time and I thought one bag would be enough.

This is't a tutorial of how I made the bag, but I wanted to share a few pictures of the process and some tips that I learnt.  You make think 'Der! Kate, how did you not know these things' but I know they seem pretty simple I just hadn't thought about it.
Previously when I have cut out patterns I would pin one piece and cut it out and then pin the 2nd piece etc. But on the day we folded our fabric in half pinned the pattern on and then cut out the pieces.

We repeated this for the lining/inner of the bag and for the interfacing too.
For the strap you need a long piece of material. To make life easier I learnt if you pin that piece to the very edge of the folded side of the fabric, once cut out you ended up with tone long piece of fabric.  Again so simple but easily forgotten.

  • Now this may sound silly but correct way to pin fabric.
  • How to sew a curved piece of fabric. Bit tricky to explain so I will do a tutorial about this when I make something and have pictures.
  • Ideas of how to make a bag that I can use in my own designs in the future.

It was a superb day.  I met some lovely people and learnt a lot.  I'm not sure if any of you watched the recent series Great British Sewing Bee but I take my hats off to the ladies and gents who did it.  Apart from their excellent sewing skills working under all that pressure and having to complete the projects in the allotted time.  I don't know how they did it.  We all kept laughing because we felt the pressure trying to complete our bag before the end of the day!

  I want a craft/sewing room just like the one where the lesson was held.  Here's a couple of pictures of around the room.

Here's a picture of everyone's bags they made (except one as the lady had already left)

If you have a love of sewing and want to learn more, I highly recommend doing a sewing day or course near you.  I absolutely loved it and felt it was so beneficial.

I leave you with a couple more pictures of my bag.  Although it was reversible I will just be using it with the paisley outer fabric so I added a cute little label to the inside.  The spotty fabric will be my lining.


  1. You obviously have a knack for sewing, Kate. If I attempted that it wouldn't turn out anywhere near as lovely x

  2. I read this on holiday Kate but my phone refused to let me comment. I think you made a lovely bag and what a great day you must have had.They are selling lots of bags like yours in Turkey made of heavier material like borcade or carpet like material.You could start a business once you get faster at making things,there's a whole website with people seling their craft work.

  3. That is a very pretty bag!

    I am enough of a purse/handbag/clutch fiend that I would love to learn to make them. I just can't sew that well...

    Don't you love it when you take a class and it really teaches you what you need to know to do it yourself?

    Very nice. :)

  4. Your bag is so pretty! And great tip about the pattern/folding the fabric!


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