Bush bounty

Whilst I’ve been glamping I haven’t been idle, and I thought I would share my sewing environment and some of my activities.

I have been sewing in a flyproof dome tent. This has the advantage of being shady, allows the breeze to waft through and it keeps the insects away.


The towel on the floor was for Heidi to sleep on – I don’t run to mats when I’m camping!

For anyone interested I am using an Elna Lotus SP which was made in 1967 and which is my designated camping sewing machine.

I also have a teeny tiny steam iron which packs a real punch, and the table top ironing board was given to me by my Mother-in-law. The two bags gracing said ironing board are gifts which I’ve made since arriving here.


My set up isn’t very ergonomic. I am sitting on a pillow and the foot pedal is off to the side, so I don’t do long stints in the tent.

The tent has proven very useful – Bridgette and I undertook a prodded rag Christmas tree for her similar to the one I made, using fabric left over from Christmas stockings made by Bridgette for Tom and the pets. Heidi managed to photobomb every single photo!


She also managed to put all the photos out of focus because the camera focused on herDSC01581

The tree didn’t get finished in time for me to blog it.


Other things that I made on this trip:

  • A hat made from denim left over from the Christmas jeans I made for Mark and Archie using the Amy Butler pattern I used previously.


  • A couple of totes from scrap fabric, playing with the design of the zip closure. The first bag was made from a pair of old jeans. I put a pocket either side and a red separating zip in the top. I added a magnet to keep the pockets together, but in retrospect wondered if this was a good idea as it might wipe any magnetic strips I have in my wallet – ergo, my credit card!


I then decided to do an inset zip, and vaguely followed this excellent tutorial, making adjustments to suit my bags and the fabric I was using.I used recycled zips from my mother’s stash – she had a waste not, want not mentality, and cut zips out of every discarded garment. Here is the small selection I chose from for the bags, some of which still have fabric attached!


So, with zip in hand, I made the casing


I then made the tabs as per the tutorial. I felt that they were too bulky and cut them down, but was still unhappy with them.


The provenance of this fabric is unknown. It was donated to my stash either by my sister or my friend, Thelma. It is heavy upholstery fabric and the lining is a lighter home decorating fabric from Spotlight.


a pic of the external pocket with a press stud closure just showing, I couldn’t get a photo   of the internal pocket


My next bag was made from some fabric Mark brought back from Sri Lanka and from which I made him some trousers.


Once again I made it with a recessed zip, using a recycled zip from Mum’s stash. This time I abandoned the fabric tabs and used a tiny bit of leather to fashion more interesting tabs.


The lining is made from a piece of fabric I bought at the local church fete.


Here is a close up picture of the two aforementioned Japanese bags.


and a final photo of all the bags together.


One of these bags is destined for my niece who is about to undergo chemotherapy. I also made her a beanie for the winter (she lives in the UK) and she gave me permission to show it here. I used the same pattern as my grey beanie and knitted it on a plane. I was able to stashbust some pink and blue wool, to match her new wig, which is also pink and blue!



23 thoughts on “Bush bounty

  1. I’ve just read this with amazement and admiration, not to mention the ideas that have started swirling in my head for our own impending camping trip. I showed my husband with oohs and aahs. His response “you guys are obsessed”. I suspect he may take some time to come around to this glampsewing idea. But I’m going to work on it, ha!

  2. Your setting for sewing in nature looks like paradise on earth! May I add that I’m in love with Heidi. Her eyes are so expressive, totally human. If you have a chance, can you tell me which pattern you used for your Japanese bags? They are lovely and seem pretty easy.

    1. Thank you for the comments. Heidi is a beautiful dog and very clever – she is being trained to be a scent specific tracker dog and she and Tom volunteer with our local State Emergency Service.
      The Japanese bag pattern is my own, so happy to share. Easy once you know how… I am going to host a sewalong later in the year and if you would like to be a guinea pig for my instructions I will put a package together and email you and then you can become my critical friend on it?? If interested my email is sstoney@mac.com

  3. And I thought I was obsessed! Never thought of taking other than hand sewing on holiday but that could change now. See you in Feb.

  4. I used my sister-in-law’s Elna Lotus SP, about the same vintage, on this Christmas break when I took some sewing projects to her house to work on. I love it!! I think it’s the cutest machine on the planet!

  5. You must have a very understanding husband. Mine would have a fit if I even suggested taking a sewing machine on holiday, let alone setting up my own sewing tent! I hope you’ve had a great camping trip!

    1. It was all his idea, in fact. Anything to keep me out of his hair I suspect!!

      Camping trip was great and I’ve nearly finished all the laundry so back to normal.

  6. WOW! I am so impressed that you take a sewing machine camping! When we go camping it is sans electricity of any sort. Maybe I should get a treddle machine. 😉 Actually, while camping I tend to either knit or read.
    All the bags look great, I really love the one made from jeans 🙂

  7. Now your sort of glamping may change my mind, you look so productive and have the perfect setting. Very interested to read the comment about Heidi being trained as a scent specific tracker dog, very impressive.

  8. This is amazing! I usually use my vacations to send my machine in for service — aside from hand sewing, it seemed impossible to sew on vacation. And here you’ve done it in a tent, and made some seriously awesome bags. I love the little leather tabs you made, that’s such a cool touch.

  9. Living the dream!! How I envy you – it looks the perfect break away, but WITH sewing machine. I could not imagine anything more perfect! I love the bags you made – I am visioning some bags at the moment – thanks for the inspiration and links 🙂

  10. love the fly free tent Sue. good luck for your niece. I’m interested in your sewalong and will keep an eye out for further info. Thx!

  11. I’m amazed that you were sewing while camping! You might just be my idle. LOL Thanks so much for sharing my zipper tutorial. I agree with you, zip tabs are kind of annoying, but what else can you do? Did you like the leather tabs better?

    1. Thanks April, Yes, I really liked the leather – they are easier to make and are less bulky. having said that, your tabs work brilliantly too 🙂

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