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It’s official! I am now Flax and Loom!

I am no longer trading as The Cosy Bag Company. I am now trading as Flax and Loom.

My shop and new website have gone live (from 1 January 2015), so please keep following me by heading over to the new site flaxandloom.co.uk  You will find my shop to purchase my unique handmade products, information about my workshops and my blog too! Hope you will visit!

Have a wonderful 2015.


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The birth of Flax & Loom….

As mentioned a little while ago, shortly I will be producing my handmade products under a new name….. Flax & Loom. I love working with natural wool and linen fabrics and have recently developed a passion for using handwoven Manx wool from the Isle of Man. The fabric is produced at the only woollen mill now existing on the island and they still use the traditional methods of weaving.

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‘The Laxey Woollen Mills were established in 1881 by a Lancashire silk weaver called Egbert Rydings, who wanted to revive the traditional skills of woollen spinning and handloom weaving. With the support of prominent Victorian artist and writer John Ruskin and his Guild of St George the mills were converted from a corn mill to a water-powered woollen mill.’ My ethos is to produce mainly one-off bags, that are high quality. As the mill produces some limited edition fabrics, this fits in perfectly with my ideas on design. They use wool from the native breeds of sheep for their fabrics – Cheviot and Shetland.

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via cheviot sheep society

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via the Hebridean sheep society

They have recently introduced the use of wool from some native rare breeds too – Loaghtan and Hebridean, which produce more natural coloured fabric that is thicker and warmer for winter projects which are ideal for my handmade bags….. ….so, by January 2015 …….. Flax & Loom!


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Tweeds & Weeds

I have to confess my favourite season is autumn, so feeling that morning chill in the air, despite the fact that it is still only August, does bring a smile of contentment to my face. I have been harvesting the fruits of my labour collecting vegetables from my tiny ‘potager’ (well I can dream can’t I!) It had become a little overgrown with weeds but an hour or so of digging & tidying the plot revealed a lovely selection of vegetables for my plate. Nothing nicer than homegrown produce.IMG_1774

 

 

 

 

 

 

The moment September is appearing on the horizon I turn to my workroom, hunting through my hoards of woollen fabrics to inspire me to create a new winter range of items for my Etsy shop. Lavender, which I collected from my garden when it was at its peak a fews weeks ago, now ready to fill my little Scottish tweed hearts. Two new wool shoulder bags and a scarf in this beautiful Zoffany wool fabric all ready to add to my shop.

 

 

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Thoughts of France

As the sun shone today I began to dream of my forthcoming trip to France… lazy days to enjoy the surrounding countryside of the Loire region. I was planning a sewing project for my Etsy shop as stocks are getting low! With thoughts of France still in my mind, I was drawn to this beautiful piece of grey linen fabric with sunflowers that I’d purchased – I suppose attracted at the thought of fields of sunflowers in Provence!

I love this roomy shoulder bag. Although made for my shop, I am tempted to make another for myself ready for my trip! Perfect for a day out,  far too nice as a picnic bag but I’d certainly fit plenty of baguettes in this!

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Rainy day project

It was an overcast rainy Friday. I fancied a leisurely start to the day. I always seem to be rushing around never taking a moment to pause. I was in need of a slow start. The dark overcast morning made me lay in a little later than usual. I sat eating my morning porridge and in doing so glanced across to my ironing board leaning against the kitchen wall. Hmm… time for a new cover! I haven’t made an ironing board cover before. I’ve often thought about making one, but have always ended up purchasing them from a store,  yet they look so straight forward to make! I rummaged in my fabric cupboard to find a suitable material and before long was cutting and stitching. Here’s how it’s done.

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Lay the old cover on top of the fabric to use as a template. You don’t need to worry about seam allowances. Just cut it to the exact same size as the old one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I decided to line the back with a piece of curtain interfacing I had. You could always use an old towel or even reuse the sponge lining from the old cover. What ever you choose, cut a piece exactly the same size as the cover.

Pin the two layers together and machine close to the edge all the way around to secure.

Next you need to add the cord to gather the edge of your cover all the way round. I had a whole roll of blind cord I use for my roman blind making workshops. It was perfect for the job, but it’s easy to get hold of from haberdashery stores. You could even use the cord from the old cover. I needed something to house the cord, so some 1″ (2.5 cm) white tape I had was ideal for the purpose. It was a little fiddly to do this next stage – perhaps slightly wider tape might have made the task easier!

Starting at the centre point of the narrow end of the cover, I machined one edge of the tape to the back edge of the cover all the way round leaving the two ends a few cms longer where they met. I would have to return to that part later when I had decided how I was going to finish it!

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Facing the cover right side up, I lay the cord along where the tape and edge of the cover met. I placed it under the machine foot and bringing the other edge of the tape up and over to the top, with the cord laying inside, made my way slowly around the edge.  Don’t rush this part! You have to do this very carefully so as not to accidentally machine over the cord!

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IMG_3721Once I had sewn all the way round I had to revisit the ends. It’s a bit like adding bias binding as an edging really. Once you get to the point where the two ends meet you have to machine them across inside and trim away the excess, so that when you turn it to the right side, it looks as though it’s all one length and sits flat and neatly around the edge of the main fabric. The ends of the cord need to be exposed by a few cm at each end so you do need to leave a gap for these to hang out from the tape. I used the plastic toggle which had been supplied with the original cover to hold the cord tight. After threading the two ends through the toggle, knotted them together to ensure it didn’t slide off.

 

There we have it. A rainy day project that only takes a couple of hours at the most.

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