It started with inspiration from a Ballet Friend who made a Hex Bag for her Ballet garb. When she arrived at class with it, I fell in love and knew that I wanted to hand piece some hex-i-love!
I haven't hand pieced hexies since I was about 8 and my Nanny unearthed a REALLY old book (you know the sort, wonderfully musty smelling, small font with ink drawings (yes, printed before the dawn of photos in books!))
She found me some fabric from household and dress-making projects and reached into the sideboard for her sewing tin, round, yellow and red roses on a black background with a gold lid......always full of elastic, poppers, a selection of needles, buttons and 'Sylko' cotton on wooden bobbins (that when she'd used the cotton I threaded onto a shoelace as a baby and my Granddad made into French Knitting dollies as I grew up!)
We gathered some used envelopes (re-used for writing notes and shopping lists on) and cut hexagons.
She hex-ed along with me and I made a tiny (7 hexagons each side) pincushion.......... ah......memories!
Thank you Nanny for all the craft seeds you planted in our wonderful years together....x
My Ballet Friend kindly photocopied her instructions and gave me a stash of ready cut hexagons, plus two with fabric tacked on and ready to go!
I went home inspired and immediately got out the fabric scraps, they included pieces of offcuts left after making my old school summer dresses, a couple of dresses I made Tiddly Toes, our Christmas tree skirt, Advent calendar, Teenage Daughters 'LOVE' cushion, 'Charm'ing-birdie, Mini Quilts, quilted cushion cover and a whole lot more .
Not wanting to ruin my friends templates I cut more hexagons and snipped a diamond from the centre of each one...
through this whole you pin your paper to your fabric, like this......
....and tack the fabric over the paper BUT....don't sew the paper!
...this means that when you've finished sewing you can remove the papers without having to unpick all the tacking....so much faster!
I laid out my hexies into a pleasing pattern and took a photo of them so that I could remember how they were placed......
.....good job really as Tiddly Toes 'tidied up' for me and they ended up looking like this.........
Before we went away I put together a few hexies.....and my goodness it was addictive! I had to stop myself so that I didn't get too far ahead and have no project left to take!
On holiday, I sat in bed most evenings and did a spot of sewing whilst watching the Olympics.
Sadly we had a couple of rainy days, but with the Blessing of a games room, the children were happy to play there and I was able to sit and watch (and sometimes join in) and get a little sewing done too.
I basically followed Ballet Friends instructions which I found were in Cath Kidstons 'SEW', which had been given to my daughter for her birthday......
...... but instead of making a bag with handles (the knitting bag), I re-jigged my hexies into a tube (by joining the 2 sides) and interwove the hexies along the base so that it had my lovely hexies as whole as possible (as opposed to just machine sewing a straight base and sides).
It did mean I was left with finding a solution to hexagon corners.....but I did this......
I got this all finished whilst on holiday and had to put it to one side ready for the lining and drawstring bit on the sewing machine at home.
I found a half made skirt that I no longer, liked or wanted (you can see why, take a look at the colour!!) I used half of it to make the lining.
I cut it to size by laying the outer bag on the top of the fabric and cutting 1cm bigger on 3 sides and about 9cm bigger on the top edge (sufficient to give me a 'collar' on the top of my bag.....you'll see why later) plus seam allowance.
I sewed the sides and base of my lining and slipped the patchwork outer into the inner that now resembles a tube and sewed the 2 together like this............
....... onto this I sewed 2 lines of stitching around 1cm from the very top and 1 cm above the patchwork, I double stitched near to one seam so that when I opened the side seam with my seam ripper that it didn't unravel the whole side seam.
Into this gap I fed some cotton herringbone webbing and leading it with a safety pin threaded it round the channel.....
Before tying a knot I raided Tiddly Toes bead box and threaded on a large red bead....done!
It reminds me of my Nanny, my holiday, friendships made through shared interests, the peace and beauty of Ballet....it just makes me smile every time I look at it.
Here it is....
I shall enjoy using this every week for my Ballet class.
I'm off for a little jaunt this weekend....only about 20 minutes down the road....BUT, a weekend in Flossie-van is to be treasured! The weather looks like it's going to be good and I can take a little project to work on!
Hope you have a fabulous weekend,