Judo bag and Dragon drawstring bag


Dragon bag and judo bag

Dragon bag and judo bag

The second of the draw string bags I’m making is finished this one is with thicker green fabric printed with welsh dragons.  I like this fabric and it doesn’t fray as easily as the stripy fabric I used for the first drawstring bag.  I have a strip of fabric left over from cutting this bag and have been thinking of what to make with it, I’m tending towards making a wallet from it.  The judo bag has now been finished and tested as well.  After I’d finished the bag I thought of a useful addition so I made a ribbon using the same fabric and sewed one end into the inside seam.   This allows rings to be tied to the bag so that they can’t fall out during judo training.  I’ve also finished tacking the shirt I’m making ready for another live fitting this evening.

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Stripes, dragons and judo art


Multicoloured draw string bag and judo painting

Multicoloured draw string bag and painting of judo for a bag

Yesterday afternoon I moved onto some different projects as there isn’t much I can do on my main project, a dress shirt, until next week after I’ve had another fitting.  I’ve been asked to make a set of drawstring bags to keep toys in and some of the fabric that arrived this week was for these.  The first bag is being made from an organic fair trade cotton and bamboo fabric which is woven in multi-coloured stripes.  The suppliers warn that this is liable to shrinkage so I spent some pleasant time in front of the television watching Cake Boss while sewing a hem on the fabric’s edge to prevent fraying in the washing machine.  I lost around 2cm on the piece I cut and washed, which is around the 2% shrinkage that the suppliers said it would be.  While I was ironing the stripy fabric I washed the piece of fabric for the second bag which is dark green organic cotton with red Welsh dragons printing across it.  I sewed the main parts of the stripy bag, created the draw string from the same fabric and attached it.  There are some finishing touches to add but this is very nearly finished.

As today is Saturday I don’t normally do any sewing but I said I’d make a small bag for my hubby to take to judo with him so he can keep his glass and small things safe while he’s training.  So to get started this morning I drew out an image of two judo people (apparently the term for them is judoka) doing a move called tomoe nage on some fabric.  I’d been sketching some pictures of judoka for another project so I based the picture on one of those.  I then painted the image in fabric paint using simple lines.  I’m trying to simplify the image as much as I can with a limited number of flowing lines to reflect the dynamic movement in the sport.  On the face of it it would seem easier to do a simple drawing rather then one that is detailed and photorealistic but knowing what can be left out and how to work with white space to still show the image you want is difficult.  The result I got this time isn’t quite there but I’m confident I now know how to improve it for my bigger project.  Once the image is dry I can make the pouch bag.

It’s a really nice day here so I’ll be outside enjoying the sunshine by the river for the rest of the day.  I might go to the cinema this evening and watch a film about prehistoric cave art.  It might give me more inspiration for creating art with simple lines.

Waiting for deliveries


cotton reels buttons and fabric samples

Cotton reels, buttons and fabric samples

I’m waiting to start my next project, a men’s short sleeved shirt.  The planning has been a lot of fun, especially deciding the design details.  Looking through samples of fair trade and organic cotton gave me a much better feel for the different fabrics available.  For this shirt, after talking to the person the shirt’s for, I ordered the green gingham with large checks.  The colour is the fabric at the front of the photo above but with the design of the blue fabric behind it.

While I’ve been waiting for the fabric to arrive I’ve been working out the details I can add to make the shirt pop.  I always think of check shirts as informal and rugged in style, like lumberjack shirts, so I decided to play on this in an understated way by making the stitching more visible.  Normally the stitching would be in white thread so that it blends in but to enhance the green of the shirts I’m going to highlight some of the stitching in a coppery/brass/goldy brown colour.  I’ve bought two shades of thread for this and I’ll see which one works best.  To go with this I also chose metal brassy buttons, I thought these would look good with a design on them as well.  I’m lucky that York has a great haberdashery with thousands of buttons to choose from so I took a walk to browse their collection.  The ones I picked are shown in the picture and have either a Chinese style dragon or fish which is cool.  Unfortunately I’ve completed all the preparation I can so now all I can do is wait with excitement for the fabric to arrive.