Sunday, 1 September 2013

Sweety time

I was amazingly super organised and managed to get myself registered on the Sweet Pouch Swap organised by Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts... My first swap ever! Major excited and a little bit apprehensive!

Talking to my swap partner Monique (in New Hampshire, USA) about what she likes doing and what kind of pouch would be useful, I decided on a box bag - and had already saved this tutorial from Truly Myrtle in my pinterest board.

So then I had to decide on what fabric (from my very small stash), what size, and what patchwork/quilty design.  This obviously required a large mug of tea and some Cadbury's Chocolate Buttons (and I was doing Mathilde blouse things at the same time - hence the freezer paper hanging around....)

Design process

I embellished the box bag design from the tutorial as I wanted to quilt the outside to give it some padding, but then I wanted to line it as well and put a pocket in.  So first things first, to the outside and the patchwork panels....

In my freeform, see what happens design process I ended up not needing the rectangles of fabric at the ends as they disappeared into the corners of the box... but hey, never mind.

So I ended up with a rectangle of patchworked fabric that needed quilting.  I found a lovely box bag with the same patchwork style sides (this one from Spoonful of Sugar.) that just had straight line quilting - so I copied that :-)

For the pocket on the inside, I just wanted a side slip in pocket, which was an issue as the tutorial just uses a rectangle of fabric for the lining and there is no bottom seam to sew the pocket into.  So what I did was make the outside of the pocket as a little piece of quilting and then enclose the top and bottom edges in satin bias tape (luckily the lining/pocket fabric and bias tape were both left over from making my Sorbetto top, so they matched nicely!).  Then I worked out on my rectangle of lining fabric where the bottom edge would be and sewed over the bias tape again to attach the pocket to the lining.  I also tacked the sides of the pocket to the lining, but this stitching disappeared when I created the corners of the box.

I then followed the tutorial to make the box bag, with a fair amount of complaining about the thickness of the quilted outer!  I think if I was to make another quilted box bag I wouldn't bother with the lining - checking a few other tutorials (after the fact), it looks like most people don't bother.  But if you've read any of my dressmaking posts, you'll see that I don't like having the fabric edges exposed!

There was a fair bit of unpicking and re-sewing to get the seams right around the end of the zip, and the corners just because of the thickness of the fabric.  But in the end I got to a finish that I was happy with.

I didn't put any interfacing on the lining fabric as I thought it was robust enough anyway with the quilted outer, but it turns out that wasn't the best idea as the lining kinda flopped and didn't hold the box shape. So to remedy that I hand sewed the lining to the outer on the edges of the box and into the corners.

I did sort of try to line up the birds on either side of the zip.  It almost worked as well!

So after all of that sewing I needed a reward, and what better excuse for a trip to the sweet shop.  Monique had said she couldn't do dairy, which meant I had to visit the best chocolate shop in Britain to get some of the milk free good stuff (and some chilli chocolate for me, I needed the sustenance you understand). Whilst in Chester I picked up some other sweeties from the traditional sweet shop (the ones that have sweets in glass jars, and they weigh them out and put them in paper bags), bit touristy I know, but it is Chester.  Of course, no sweet pouch from Britain would be complete without a packet of parma violets and love hearts..... Did you know parma violets have been around since the 1930's?! 

And yesterday, I got my pouch from Monique! Doesn't it look cute?! I love the pleats, and the colours, and the zip pull, and I've even got a matching pin cushion....


  1. Awesome pouch - your partner should be well chuffed:-)

  2. Her Partner certainly was! It's a lovely bag and the goodies were wonderful. Thank you again!

    1. You're welcome Monique. I love mine too! Tonight may be maple candy night :-)

  3. Did you ever have that maple candy? I saw some this afternoon and thought of you!

    1. Yep it was lovely thank-you! Very sweet so I *had* to share it. Maple syrup is one of the things that Mal has to bring back from his work trips to the US - it's just so expensive over here....

  4. What a cute bag you made, and how lucky you are to received an equally lovely one, plus a pin cushion - bonus!