How much is that doggie bag in the window?

This post has been a long time coming: ostensibly it's about this bag and matching purse, which I made as a Christmas gift. However, every time I sat down to write the post I realised it needed a bit more back story.

I made this as a gift for K, but who is she and why the gift? K was my mum's flatmate at university and is one of her best friends. As a result she has been a fairly permanent fixture throughout my life, whether sharing Christmas with my family or on holiday at her house in the Ardeche (and yes that is me hammering nails with my teddy bear). When I was growing up K was like an extra (and very cool) aunt.

Like me K is from a family of crafters (her mum was a sewing instructor for the WI), and in recent years I have been able to share my love of knitting and sewing with her. It is one of the things I love about crafting that it something which can be shared (in person or on line), and some of my closest friends now are ones I've made through knitting (hello ladies!). In the past few years K have very generously give me some beautiful fabric and buttons from her stash, from which I've made this dress and this jacket.

I wanted a special way to say thank you to K for her generosity, and I thought what better way than making her something from some of the fabric. Thus, the doggie bag was born.

The pattern is from Emma Brennan's Making Vintage Bags, and the fabric ...  well it was formally in K's stash! I know K loves dogs and I couldn't resist the little applique dog. I really wanted to line the bag with dog fabric, but I found it very difficult to find. I dragged my poor boyfriend round every fabric shop in Cork and on our holiday before Christmas and failed. When I got home for Christmas I thought I would just try my local fabric shop at home, and there they were - these adorable little Scottie dogs.

I really enjoyed making this project, not only because it was a fun little project but also because of who I was making it for. It is also one of the best made things I've done in a while, you can see from this picture I even quilted the lining fabric! Well K's mother was a sewing instructor for the WI, and I knew she would be checking my workmanship. And I was right, the very first thing she did was look at the seams!

Having scrutinised my handiwork, and it having (I hope) passed the test, K seemed delighted with her new bag, and I hope it will be getting plenty of use!

And while K was unwrapping her present, I was unwrapping one from her and what was it in? Yep, that's right ... more loveliness making its way from K's stash to mine!

This picture really doesn't do the gift justice - the fabric is a lovely navy blue wool (I'm thinking coat - especially as it is one of my goals for the year to make outerwear) and the buttons and buckles - well what can I say, they are just fabulous and I can't wait to make something from them. And, I already have a project in mind for the green ones!


  1. Is Toti's bag also going to get a post?

  2. I am honoured and very touched by this lovely post! And yes I do love the bag and it is getting lots of use, and lots of admiring comments. You are so right about the joy in making things for special others and the connection it brings to all of us. I know your online community is a really vibrant living thing and that is great. And you know what? You're all getting me inspired to go back to sewing myself! Just need to get that machine overhauled - some help from your father there!!


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