It’s a Wrap !

So, it’s a wrap!

1What an exciting week in Denver filming my new bag making class with Craftsy. Wow.. I was hoping to blog daily about my Craftsy adventure, but there has hardly been time to sleep.

The whole thing has been a whirlwind since I started filming, what a fantastic experience.

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13I have seen everything this week – blue trees, men going to work on hover-boards, the largest plates of food imaginable, even the Grim Reaper crossing the road and heading into a coffee shop, and the biggest, most impressive fabric shop I have ever seen in my life.

The Craftsy crew were amazing, so friendly and helpful, and they welcomed me with open arms, showed me the ropes and helped me settle in straight away. Thank goodness, because I was so nervous the first day not knowing what to expect, I was shaking in my size 5 trainers.
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We were filming on location at this beautiful house in the ‘burbs of Denver.

You wouldn’t believe how much goes into filming a class and the work everyone puts in to achieve a slick production.

It was a three day shoot. Day one was really geared to getting me used to the camera and filming the shorts, taking stills, and filling me with a false sense of security etc, the hard graft kicked in on the following days (particularly for the film crew).

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It was pretty hot by day two, we were filming in a sun room with numerous windows, and no air-con because of the noise it generated. I had to film in the same shirt for a couple of days for continuity so you can imagine how happy I was to finally change into a new top on day 3.

I suffered with a bit of altitude sickness on day 2, (Denver is such a dry place, you need to drink at least 4 litres of water a day not to suffer with it) so think I might look a bit shiny (sweaty bint) on camera half way thru. Hopefully it won’t be too obvious or someone will Photoshop the green out of my face a bit. 11

I was pleased to get home each night to unstick and wash off the gaffa tape down between the old boobs where I had been miked up all day. (And thank you Bob for uncoupling me every time I needed a comfort break!)

Think I have eaten my own body weight in food this week – huge American breakfasts at the hotel, and buffet lunches delivered to the set daily from every corner of the globe.

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This was my breakfast after asking for just a half size egg and bacon sandwich

By the time I was dragging myself back to the hotel at night, it was all I could do to call into the 7/11 for my usual order of 2 litres of water, a boiled egg and yoghurt, and fall into bed. (One night I didn’t even eat the yoghurt!)

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Interesting Do Not Disturb signs at this hotel

We filmed in living rooms, sun rooms and even out in the garden. Interesting to find how the film industry works, and it really isn’t as easy as just point and shoot! Everything is set up and covered in great detail, often with numerous takes (particularly when my ageing brain wouldn’t co-operate and I fluffed my lines!) There must be hours of film that now has to be edited down for the final product, it really is a huge job.14

Luckily the sewing itself all went to plan, I hadn’t forgotten to bring a whole section of something with me, and manage not to swear or stitch over my finger at any point – though there were a couple of nasty pin incidents where I jabbed myself but couldn’t say anything as we were in the middle of shooting a scene – you might be able to spot the odd wince here and there!

It will be a couple of months before the class is ready to launch and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. – I made a point of not looking at any footage while we were filming so it will be a surprise to me too – hopefully my wrinkles will not show too much.

Thanks to my wonderful film crew Nancy, Rob, Joe, Josh, Danika and Bob, and everyone else who cycled in and out over the shoot, what a professional and fabulous team you are, and thank you for making my experience such a fantastic memorable adventure2

So goodbye Denver, I hope to see you again soon.

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hmm, are these crop circles? There must be a lot of UFO’s around Colorado.

 

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And………Action !

So…..first filming day ! – Monday

I was up and about again at 4.30 am this morning, not surprising as I had fallen asleep in my room service salad at 7.30 the night before. I haven’t even made it through a single episode of Lost in Space yet.

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Out and about waiting for the 7/11 to open – yes, its freezing, hence the hat and scarf.

I was in full make up this morning two hours before the car was due to collect me for the trip to the studio. I was fully aware that a hair and make-up stylist would be waiting for me at the other end, but there was no way I was heading off through the streets of Denver sans ‘slap’, women and children would be running screaming. That, and I am certainly not brave enough to meet a whole film crew without war paint – they wouldn’t even recognise me from my previously retouched photographs.

This is my sophisticated hotel room make up table and makeshift desk set up for the week – the trusty ironing board! It’s coming in handy for an awful lot of stuff.20180521_074653

So we are filming on location in a beautiful house on the outskirts of Denver. 20180521_150034

The film crew were already there when I arrived and put me immediately at ease. They were all very welcoming, chatty, and helpful.Everyone is so laid back, it’s as if it’s just another regular day at work – yes, well I know it is for them.

I was broken in gently with publicity shots and general easy sitting at the machine stuff and getting used to speaking in front of the camera. The real filming is starting tomorrow.20180521_164954

There is camera equipment everywhere, you wouldn’t believe what goes on behind the calming scene you actually see on screen!cam (1)

Anyway, more tomorrow when I can stay awake long enough to take more snaps. I need my bed.

Zzzzzzzzz

 

Good Morning Denver. Anyone else up yet?

Ping !! Oh look is it that time again? (4.30 am!)

Well I had great plans for sampling the Denver nightlife and trying one of the lovely themed restaurants that Denver has in abundance last night.

Not a chance, I was fast asleep by 8pm.  The sales pitch for this one below particularly amused me! -no prizes for guessing which one I would have gone for.

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This one particularly amused me.

I made up for it at breakfast of course. Who knew you could get a breakfast bruschetta omlette (in pastry)

 

I was lucky to have a free day and the chance to shop yesterday, and though the weather was inclement, to say the least, whilst Britain basked in glorious sunshine, and the rather fabulous Royal Wedding, I managed to bob around the city’s rainy shopping areas on buses and Ubers.

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I dragged myself to a couple of local fabric stores (obvs kicking and screaming) and though the price of most items here in the US these days is more than the UK, the fabric was a steal. Tula Pink fabrics only $10 a yard, half the UK price! So it would have been rude not to indulge.

I then had to proceed swiftly to TKMaxx to buy an extra wheely case to carry on the plane home due to said purchases

Denver seems a very cultured and boho City, and has some fabulous characterful independent shops. I nipped into a comic shop and had the best coffee and banana bread you could imagine whilst surrounded by old books, comics and and arcade machines. (I also found ‘pot shops’ are legal here!)

Not sure I was on the best side of town at this point however, and Uber’d quickly to a high end shopping center to get out of the rain.

After availing myself freely at American Apparel, Anthropologie and Vera Bradley I headed back to my hotel room, which I will henceforth refer to as ‘home’ for a small classy glass of (I’m not drinking while I am here, oh go on then just one) beer in my toothbrush mug.20180519_163655

Night All !

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Soft landing in Denver

plane to denverSO…. its day one in Denver Colorado, we are 7 hours behind UK time. Boy, did I need my bed when I arrived last night.

Long journey but arrived safely. Think I ate in excess of 6 meals in 24hrs on various planes and in airports.

It’s a beautiful and picturesque city, and luckily I have a day to acclimatise before Craftsy filming starts. They call it the Mile-High City as it’s a mile above sea level. The air is thin though and I am feeling a little queezy. Don’t think I could run a marathon today (wadda you mean I couldn’t anyway ! )denver-city-park

I’m staying Downtown in a very themed hip hotel. I’m on the “One Hit Wonder” floor, hope nobody is trying to tell me something.

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Check out this room!

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Apparently alcohol is so much stronger if you  drink at high altitude, so they tell you to be careful – never having been careful with alcohol in all my life, I will try not to have any whilst here, I don’t want any raging hangovers for filming, that would be disastrous!

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Just point me in the direction of the shops instead! My intention is to plunder every fabric shop and haberdasher in the metropolitan area. Only problem is, it’s lobbing it down, and as it is only 5am, the shops don’t open for another 5 hours!

The nightlife looked great on my way in, I think I may have to come back at some point to sample it properly with the husband

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Craftsy – The Brits are coming!

Take me home, country roads, to the place…..oh no that was John Denver!

SO… hair done, nails done, new clothes, legs shaved, egg sandwiches made, script rehearsed (with more rehearsal time on my long haul)

Scissors packed and I am out the door, on my way to the airport. Denver, here I come!!!!!!

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I am weighed down with bags and samples, hope I can get through security with all my possible weapons – 12″ scissors, pins, a craft knife, a dangerous unpicker and some threatening looking zips

So…do we take a left or right from Manchester?

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Craftsy Call

So…. a couple of months ago I received an e-mail from a very nice lady at Craftsy saying that they had been looking at some of my patterns and would I be interested to talk to them about teaching a bag making class for Craftsy.

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That’s my ‘surprised’ face by the way.

After ruling out a number of hoax worthy friends, I found the offer was quite genuine, and was absolutely delighted to say yes.

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A few meetings and samples later the class was agreed and I was sworn to secrecy until nearer the time.

There has been a lot of work and an enormous amount of fabric processed since then as you can imagine.

My boxes of samples have been packed up and couriered off to Denver, and I will be following them on Friday

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Terribly excited, but also apprehensive – how will I be on camera? will I sound nervous? will I look 100 years old? will I stitch through my finger? will I stitch my leg to my finger? Anyway, you get the picture.

I am now in rehearsal stage, and this is probably the hardest part for me as I wouldn’t class myself as a natural talker, (well unless I’ve been at the wine, then you can’t stop me, hmm, maybe I should suggest that to them!)

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I really want to be able to express my love of sewing and inspire others to start on their own stitching journey.

Wish me luck, and follow me on the blog to keep up to date with what happens inside Planet Craftsy!

I’ll let you know more as it happens.

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The Flip Clutch Wallet Sewing Pattern

 

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So… my latest pattern release is The Flip Clutch Wallet. A lovely spacious ladies wallet and phone case.me purses2

It’s such an easy fun make, and comes together pretty quickly too.

It was also my first foray into cork, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I’ll definitely be using more of it going forward.

It can be made in virtually anything though – quilting cottons, wool, vinyl or leather, and has a wide range of options for endless finishes. It’s such a fun make. Once you have made one, you won’t be able to stop.

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It is the perfect accessory for carrying all your essentials: coins, cards and notes. It even has a handy compartment for your phone. A functional and firm wallet with a convenient wrist strap option.

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I wanted to design a wallet that was different to any other sewing patterns, obviously we all know and love Emmaline’s Necessary Clutch, it’s probably the best known bag pattern available, so I wanted to make sure my creation was a completely different option.

I first considered what my wallet needed to be for my lifestyle – Obviously I need to carry change, notes and credit cards, but I also often carry more than one currency, as I am often in other parts of Europe. When I grab my wallet to head out to the shops, I don’t always want to carry a handbag, so somewhere to keep my phone safely, without chance of it falling out was a necessity, room for my car keys, and for carrying it, a removable wrist strap

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The Flip has a really generous zipped pocket at one side for change and keys, and a phone pocket large enough for an XL phone and maybe a lipstick at the other. The centre panel folds out to reveal 8 credit card slots; each slot being able to hold more than one card. There are also two separate pockets for bank notes behind the credit card slots, which easily fit UK or US/Euro notes – If like me you carry notes in two separate currencies, you can keep them in the two separate note pockets. These are all held securely together with a magnetic clasp.
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The generous flap securely fastens with either a magnetic clasp or a twist lock. Pattern pieces are included for both rounded and V-shaped flaps, and I will be issuing new shapes for the flap free here on the blog.
The wrist strap gives you the option to use it as an evening bag.

With a host of alternative options that come free with the pattern for wrist strap application, flap shapes, adding Emmaline Bags Metal Edge Trim and twist lock fastenings.
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Bling it up however you like

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Did I tell you it also has a lovely bottom!

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I must also say thank you to my lovely testers who spotted my daft mistakes and suggested some really worthwhile improvements to the wallet.

Here are a few of my talented tester’s wallets

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Thanks for joining me, and watch out for new flap shapes coming soon.

Happy sewing !

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A bag fit for a bag-maker

You already know I am a bag fanatic. But did you know, I hardly ever carry one of my own bags. Yes, for a night out or a holiday I do, I am forever making one suitable, but not when it comes to my everyday bag.

As you can imagine, I do have rather a large collection of handbags, favouring something strong in leather that I can stuff to the gunnels with ever more junk that I carry around when leaving the house – how did we ever manage with small handbags??

So I finally made a bag for myself for everyday use. Amazing we bagmakers don’t ever have time to make one for ourselves.print

What started me on this thought was seeing a fabric on a Facebook board that was just so ‘Me’, I couldn’t live without it, and then trying to track the print down all over America. I just had to have it; it was so apt and just perfect for an everyday bag for a stitch lover like me. I finally got hold of some and then had to wait impatiently for it to arrive a month later.

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Yes, I’ve finally got my hands on it! I don’t look too happy, must have been the extra charges.

I wanted a tote bag as I often stuff a bit of shopping in there along with dog treats (and the odd poo bag), a purse the size of a bag, sweets, scissors, my Kindle, tablet etc etc, but to improve on the tote bag I currently use, I wanted to add lots of pocketry in the lining so I could find things like my phone, keys and car park ticket easily without having to empty out the whole bucket on the street swearing and cussing that I’ve lost them, happens every time!

My gorgeous bright sewing print fabric never arrived and after chasing the American supplier numerous times, I located it in a Royal Mail warehouse in Manchester. Finally – oh not quite, I had to pay £18 to get it out. In the end it was probably the most expensive fabric I have ever bought per metre when you include the shipping and charges.

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I already had my pattern planned out with a wide top opening tapering to a nice rounded base, with leather handles large enough to get over the shoulder. I felt the print needed framing somehow, so I pulled out some black from my vinyl stash. I’m such a snob though. I like a leather bag, so off I went to my leather stash, but it revealed nothing that was large enough for the whole width of the bag. Then, light bulb moment – I remembered, that black leather jacket that’s been hanging in my wardrobe that I hadn’t worn since nineteen oatcake!

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I cut pieces from the sleeves of the leather jacket to make a top and bottom frame for the side panels and used the back of the jacket to make a quilted base with lovely gold feet.

I used Bosal foam throughout so the bag will stand on its own (knowing I tend to throw things in my bag like it were a basketball hoop)

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Yeah, I know, it’s inside out.

I set the whole thing off with extremely bright pink lining trimmed with accents in the Love Sewing print (I still don’t know who it’s by). A large divided pocket on one side for my Kindle and chargers, three pockets on the other side – suitable for phones, pen diary etc, plus a specific Polo (the mint with the holo) pocket at one end. Yes its true, I did – well I carry them everywhere and it’s so hard to find them in the bottom of a tote bag full of crap.

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I added a concealed zip opening to the top using a rather beautiful gold Emmaline zip with double puller – so decadent!

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I added leather handles that I had harvested from a bag some time ago, and had been sitting around waiting for the ideal project – not the easiest things to stitch on though through the 8 layers I had included, but thankfully now attached. If they ever get loose, I will be hauling out the rivet machine, I couldn’t face that fight again with the sewing machine.

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So here it is, my finished project I hope you like it. I am really pleased with it, but haven’t started using it yet as I don’t want to get it dirty! Right, I am going to swap all my handbag contents over to it right now and make it part of my everyday life – And I’ll get much more wear out of that leather jacket this way too.

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If I get lots of adoring comments when I am out and about – I may even make this bag my next published pattern.

Oh, I made a purse to match this morning too! (Another pattern that I have on the go at the moment) A girl has gotta have matching accessories. Maybe I could make some shoes next.

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