Monday, 20 July 2009

To Market, To Market

A few times, I have been asked what got me into blogging, what got me into sewing.  I always find it difficult to answer, my memory of it all is not that great but I think this whole blogging/crafting thing stole upon me slowly and the inspirations and influences were many and varied.  Anyway, I am fairly confident that the first blog I looked at (or at least one of the very first!) was that of Alicia Paulson of Posy Gets Cosy fame.  She has a marvellous sense of taste and colour, she is indeed a purveyor of great eye candy!  She sews, she crochets, she loves Liberty Tana Lawn.  A woman after my own heart.  Her style is often quite different from my own but I love, admire and appreciate everything she does.  

I don't often buy patterns anymore (at least for bags) because I usually draft my own but I recently fancied this bag pattern which she produced.  How could I not when it is inspired by my beloved Miss (Jane) Marple?  I have to say though, I haven't yet spotted Miss Marple with her calico shopping bags, I always see her with her trusty basket.  I am happy, though, to imagine Miss Marple with such a shopping bag.

And so, on Friday, I decided to make one for myself, what a treat!  Umm, what fabric to choose? There's quite a stash to choose from, as you know.  My bag ended up being a fusion of some Sandi Henderson greeny coloured star fabric with some pretty cottons from my trusty local sewing shop.  I had bought loads of the white tulip patterned fabric intending to make a dress so I have very naughtily chopped into it for this bag.  But you know how it is, when inspiration strikes, no other combination will do.  So, Miss Marple's market bag came along to the West Country this weekend for a spot of shopping.

It took me a few hours to make the first bag on Friday.  Yes, you heard correctly, first.  I had the bug and decided I wanted to make some more.  Ah ha!  They would make great end-of-year thank you presents for the Munchkin's teachers, I thought.  Any excuse to faff with more fabric...

I had such a lovely time admiring them in various spots around the cottage and village whilst Mr HH and the Munchkin played cricket.  The neighbours must have thought I was quite mad!

Hmm, but don't they look nice together as a little trio.  Like they were made to be together...

Very much liking this one below, which surprised me because the main (side panel) fabric was one I had bought over the internet a while back and once it arrived, I was not that taken with it, to be honest.  But here, teamed with the multi-coloured stars, it has come alive.  Errm yes, I like this one.  Very much.

I'm rather partial to this peppermint stripey number too.

Off to market then?

Well, the jury is still out on the two bags intended as gifts.  I know, I know, I must be good and hand them over.  I did however, pop along to Bridport with my own market bag.  It came back with goodies inside, oh yes indeedy.


Loving these vintage barkcloth curtains.  I know, how about making a market bag with them?!

A few other bits went in too (very important to test out the strength and capacity of the bag, obviously).

I love the Rosehip recycled paper notebooks, wrapping paper and cards.  I hadn't seen these little mini notebooks before.  I couldn't choose which of the four I wanted.  "They would make great presents", I thought, and so into the market bag went all four.  Trouble is, I'd have to actually choose which to keep and which to give away, wouldn't I?  Seems wrong to separate them, now I think about it...

Ah, all too soon it was time to leave lovely wondrous Wessex.

We did manage to dodge the rain showers to fit in a spot of fruit picking yesterday so my day is pretty much mapped out, today...

My cupboards are overflowing with yummy jam so I thought I'd snaffle the last of the weekend's croissants and try out the bit of raspberry jam that wouldn't fit into the jar when I made the last batch.  Ummm, heaven.

Remember the den makeover and the new (sale buy) Laura Ashley baskets?  Hmm, didn't take him long...

And of course, Charlie-Boy just happened to choose the one which stores all the lovely, soft, spongey, cosy, fleecey wadding!  This is why I love cats.  You meander through life, pretty happy with your lot, thinking you're doing just rather fine and along comes a cat... to remind you they are oh so much smarter than you are!

Hello again!  Just to say, thanks very much for all the bag love.  I'm afraid I won't be able to sell any as the pattern is marked "for personal use only".  Sorry about that.  I will be making some tote bags, as I have before, featuring a couple of funky fabric prints with a front pocket.  You know how it is, when time allows...!


  1. ooo loving those bags what lucky teachers!!! also really like the covers of those notebooks i need to keep my eyes open for those as well (the 2 I bought I ended up keeping one LOL)
    enjoy the jam making!!!!!!!!

  2. Wow....the teachers will feel so special!
    Lovely bags Hen...:>))
    Cats are so great...really cheer the day along!

    Take care

    Love Melxx

  3. I love your sense of humour!
    ..I've lost count of how many shopping bags you made! ;-)

  4. Those bags are great, definitly Miss Marple! (Like you it has to be Joan Hickson whom I met in Sidmouth 1987 when they made The Sleeping Murder when we were living there). They will make great presents
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  5. There's nothing like faffing with fabric,is there Hen?!
    Glad you had a good weekend ;-)

  6. No way could I part with any of those bags, how on earth can you chose which one to keep and which ones to give away?
    Anyway, one would be lonely without the others, they are siblings after all, I reckon they ought to stay together. Yep. Sorry, teachers, but you wouldn't want to be responsible for splitting up a set of triplets now, would you?

  7. Loving the bags, clever you. I don't know if I could part with them though.

    Where did you get the lovely little notebooks from the're gorgeous.

    Sue xx

  8. Love the bags! I wish I were as industrious as you - and I think I must make a trip to Bridport one day - good shops!

    Pomona x

  9. Hi Hen,
    Very Very lucky teachers! Such a pretty and useful gift!
    Rachel x

  10. Those are indeed lovely.
    Can I ask where you get your henhouse embroidered labels from?
    Chris x

  11. Love the bags, Hen, the materials go so well together. Don't think I have a favorite, they are all so pretty!! Wish I was a teacher!!
    Love all the bits you brought too, really looking forward to visiting Bridport in August if thats what you come home with!!
    He's a clever one, that Charlie-Boy!!!! Looks really snug!!

    Linda O xx

  12. Alicia is such an inspiration isn't she. I can't believe the amount of original designs she comes up with. Yours look lovely too.


  13. The bags are lovely Hen, the teachers are very lucky...wish your little boy went to my school!!

  14. Bags of fun looking at those bags! Lovely fabrics.
    Cal x

  15. The bags are lovely Hen - I'm sure that they'll be very appreciated when (if!)you give them as gifts!!


  16. Ha Ha, and I thought it was just me that never wanted to part with things!! I am so Loving those bags they are gorgeous! I dont blame you for not wanting to give them away I wouldint either!, Love the Note books too!

  17. WOW -- I am honored. These, and your photos, are totally fantastic. Miss Marple eat your heart out indeed!!!

  18. I love the bags you made,,,, lovely. Funny how I want to say Alicia's blog was the very first blog I ran into as well. I heard of her through an article of Romantic Homes, and I was very intrigued by what I read, from there it opened up a whole new world of blogging. You wanna know something even more funny? the fact that Alicia's husband was named Andy & then I found your lovely blog & you have an Andy as well! Cheers to the Andy's!
    huggs, Susie

  19. Lovely bags. Your dresser looks absolutely wonderful!

  20. The new bags are fabulous (as your creations always are!), the munchkin has some very lucky teachers!

    Victoria xx

  21. **sigh** this really makes me wish I could sew. Nice work!

  22. The bags are so pretty. I bet the teachers will love them! x

  23. I saw the pattern on Alicia's blog and thought that it looked very nice and yours certainly do!
    I also love the lamp and lampshade you have pictured too! Are they new or are they vintage, please? x

  24. Great bags Hen, lucky teachers. I looked at that pattern but knew I'd never get around to making it...where do you get your energy??
    Love Charlie in the basket, made me smile :)

  25. Wowzers Trousers Hen! what a bonanza of a post! Ooh to get my hands on the bag with fabric sides that you werent too sure about!

    Your dresser looks so good with all the Carlton ware! I was in heaven admiring your den and now all these riches. I might have to leave you another comment when I have re read everything twice more!
    Love Sarah x

  26. omg, love those bags, am going to go and buy the pattern now! Just wish I had your gorgeous fabrics to go with it!

  27. oh love the bags, dont tell anyone but i think i like yours better than alicia's, how terrible of me to say such a thing! xx

  28. Great post - partiuclarly loving the barkcloth> What a great thing to find.

  29. I love these posts, you cover everything, you never know what the next bit is going to be, its all so gorgeous. Would you mine telling me what those containers are holding the raspberries, they look like a modified icecream container?? Looks very handy.

  30. They are great bags Hen, and I love the fabric combinations you have chosen.

  31. I hope the lucky teachers fully appreciate your generosity Hen!How you're going to choose which to give away, I just don't know, it's almost impossible. I think you should probably somehow forget to give away those notebooks, they're far too nice to give away!Love your dresser, oh gosh, I'm salivating at the thought of it!
    I hope your jam making went well?
    Liked the catmint cottage sign......... talking about catmint, I just want to pick Charlie Boy up and cuddle his soft little body, he looks soooo soft and cuddly!
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  32. Oh Hen I love your bags, I wish I was one of the teachers receiving one of those who would not like one! Love the beautiful fabrics.
    Do you sell them Hen ??

  33. Beautiful bags - just like Posie Gets Cosy! That jam looks delicious too - you always have such lovely photos and you should be proud as your blog is an inspiration too! And your cat...typical! They are so funny, I love how they sit there looking at you as if to say innocently- what?! - and you can't help giggle as they look so cute and like the simply didn't plan to curl up in your bag, draw, laundry basket etc etc....though you KNOW the little buggers did...

  34. Hi Hen!
    I love to re-read your posts until a new one!
    I was wondering if there is any chance to have the measurement of your birdies'nest..please...I'd like to make a wooden one..
    Thank you in advance for your kind reply!.
    P.s. This morning I had a croissant with some jam, yum yum!!!

  35. The bags are gorgeous, congratulations

  36. Hi,
    I really enjoy your blog and it has inspired me to create my own (not very well I hasten to add)
    Would you have time to give me any tips on attracting visitors? I have linked your site to mine its called Karenshopes and my email address is
    regards karen

  37. Hi Hen,
    The bags look amazing and just look at them make us itch to go to the market. They are really cute!
    BTW, loved the cat in the basket! ;)

  38. Hello,
    Love the bags. I love, love, love your big white hutch filled with all the lovely colorful things. I haven't looked at your etsy shop yet, but hopefully you will put some of your market bags up for sale.
    see ya soon

  39. I am so happy I found your lovely Blog , I will be a follower of yours, so I can visit you often.
    Charley-boy is just the cutest cat , and I am a real Miss Marple fan too :)
    Oh , and these bags are awesome !

  40. Hi Hen I think my favourite has to be the first one on your post. So fresh and summery...lucky teachers! Dev x

  41. Great bags, I think you should definitely have a pretty Rosehip book to match each one. I can't believe how many comments there are, having just started a blog this is very encouraging.

  42. What a goodie packed post!! Love the bags but have to say that your CarltonWare collection took the prize!!
    Lesley X

  43. What gorgeous bags Hen, I love the peppermint stripe one. Lucky teachers, they can use them to carry all the chocolates home in!!!(now I have to admit to running out of time and giving the girls 5 teachers Belgium chocolates instead of making anything)!

  44. Thank you for letting me know about the lamp! It is lovely and you are very cleaver being able to cover it to personalise it! Strangly enough, I happened to swing by CK Bicester last night on my way home from Oxford; I didn't come out empty handed and could have spent a lot more! x


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