Odds and sods

If you are expecting a post about haute couture, look away now. This post is simply reporting a few small activities with which I have been entertaining myself this week.

First up, I’ve been experimenting with embellishing my Japanese bags. I’m hosting a sewalong for these bags in November and I want to play with some variations. I found a device called an “easy pleater” among my mother’s things and thought I’d give it a go. The “not quite so easy pleater” is what it should be called, but I mastered it eventually.


The pleats require starching prior to pressing, so I ventured into the supermarket (a once a year event for me), to look for starch. To my dismay, starch can only be bought in a pressurised can. I decided to make my own. Piece of cake – just use cornflour and water, mix it together and put it in a spray bottle. The bags finished up looking like this


I’m also experimenting with fine silks and brocades. This is my first effort. After evening up all the edges I sewed it together with gold thread, which looked fabulous, but it wasn’t strong enough, so the next version will be interfaced first to stop it tearing apart.


Archie asked me to make him some exercise shirts. These are basically t-shirts without sleeves, and with the edges left raw. I rubbed off one of his existing t-shirts and finished up with a credible first effort. This is a simple design, but there is a surprising amount of fitting to be done. I have more of these planned for the coming week.


My last experiment was with a hair wrap. Hair wraps are fabulous for drying wet hair. I don’t have enough hair for a towel – they always finish up falling off my head and I feel as though my neck is being tested for strength. Hair wraps are made from microfibre towelling and are a very simple turban shape. I found a microfibre towel in an op shop, and, given that it looked new, I thought it would be just the ticket.


The hair wrap is this shape. It has a piece of elastic at one end and a button at the other.


My head goes in the big end and the rest gets twisted round and secured with the elastic and button.


Long hair would go into the long bit and get twisted round with it. These hair wraps are pretty cheap online, but it’s so much better to make your own. I was going to make a couple more but Archie spotted the towel and spirited it off to add to his gym towel stash. Whatever, it’s no longer in my stash, so I’m happy!

In a nutshell: I’m wearing my 1950s blouse and the Ultimate trousers. Head wrap is made from a microfibre towel, and the bags and t-shirt were stashbusted from scraps.


12 thoughts on “Odds and sods

  1. Hi, I just wanted to pop by to say I love your blog. I’ve been lurking for a while, and should introduce myself. We must be about the same age, but you seem bursting with energy. Maybe it’s all the sunshine, we’re usually a bit short of it in the UK. Love the new use for microfibre towel, but what I really like is your button top. Which are the real buttons? And will the bag sew-along be online? Anyway, all the best, Trish.

    1. Thanks Trish, and welcome! There is only one button on the button top, the largish green one. The bag sewalong will indeed be online, and I have the pattern all ready to go, but not the instructions yet. I wanted to add a few variations to increase interest and difficulty. I hope you join in!

      1. Would love to join in, I’ll keep my eyes open for it. I certainly have lots of material to try it in. 🙂

  2. Great little projects! Your new japanese bag is awsome. I had never seen hair wrap for wet hair yet. It looks like a turban à la Simone de Beauvoir (though hers were mostly in velvet). Very chic to answer the door, indeed!

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