Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sewing for Others

It all started off with an simple request from my husband Paul, to sew him a comfier (is that a real word?) guitar strap.  Well that was simple enough...or so I thought. It did take me two goes to get it right.

Following that, I thought I'd be a kind and thoughtful wife and also sew him a messenger bag for his guitar music, using the leftover fabric from the strap and some blue cord. I like bags. I also like bags to have a specific purpose. Up until now, Paul has not had a bag specifically for his music. I think he may have been slumming it and using supermarket bags. Not good enough! I thought a new bag would be handy for going to and from band practice, which is utterly ridiculous as 95% of the time, band practice is at our house. But hey, now he gets to look cool for the other 5% of the time.

Then using the leftover fabric from the bag, plus some additional scraps, I sewed each of my kids a mouse softie. Things got a little out of hand didn't they? I mean, it did all just start with a request for a guitar strap. 

Front of bag: Cargo pocket, piped flap 

Secret love message sewn inside one of the pocket flaps.

Pocket on other side.

The strap that started it all!

Three not-so-blind mice.

 You never know where this sewing shenanigans  is going to take you!


  1. That looks like hours and hours of work. The embroidery alone aould have taken me hours. Happy household tonight!

  2. Fun stuff! Love the secret message inside the flap!

  3. Wonderful guitar strap, bag with secret love messeage, :), and mice. Thanks for sharing!!
    Anne xx

  4. Aw, that is all just so lovely! Especially that little message inside the pocket flap.
    Can you share how you did the guitar strap? Is it a cover for an existing strap? I ask because our eldest son plays guitar and when he wanted a strap, I tried looking for tutorials or even pictures of handmade straps and found nothing really, so he just has a totally boring plain green one I bought. I'm itching to make it better!

  5. Hi Jane, I sewed three layers of wadding-stuff together. I think it's wadding, but not sure as I'm not a quilter. It's wasn't your standard rolled up fluffy cloud stuff, but creamy-coloured compressed soft stuff bought off the roll at Spotlight. Hmmm, am I being helpful? I can email a photo of it if you need. Anyway, I cut to size, a long strip of the fabric covering. Folded it lengthways. Sewed it right sides together and turned it right-side out. I then sewed a long ribbon to the wadding, tied a pen to the ribbon and dropped it through the covering. I then pulled the wadding through and cut off the ribbon. (I'm not sure if this complies with traditional techniques as I was making it up as I went along).

    Anyhoo, I then cut the wadding so it was 1.5 cm shorter then the covering at both ends. I folded to the inside a 1.5cm hem of the covering at either ends. I then cut both ends off the ready-made strap, leaving approx 5-8cm of webbing attached to the leather bit. I trimmed the sides of the webbing a little and then slid the webbing into my fabric cover so it was sandwiched between the wadding and the cover. I then zigzagged across the strap quite a few times to make sure it was anchored in place.

    The only problem with this design is that it is not adjustable. I got Paul to commit to one length before I made it. To make it adjustable, I could have reused the plastic slidey bits(?) off the original strap but Paul wanted something quite padded (he's a bit sensitive, you know). All that padding wouldn't fit through the plastic bits.

    I hope this all makes sense. I can send you a more detailed photo of the end if you need it. Happy sewing!

    1. Ah, thanks for the details Bernice! Yeah the strap I bought for Charlie doesn't look very comfortable I have to say. Not to mention plain-bordering-on-ugly. I think I would have to maintain adjustability though since he is still growing.
      The wadding stuff sounds like some bamboo or cotton wadding I have also bought at Spotty. I particularly like the pen-on-ribbon technique you describe, ingenious :D

  6. You deserve a good serenade for that!

  7. I agree! You deserve to be serenaded! Love the embroidery-- and the mice, too :)

  8. You have just got about 3 million brownie points! I love the mice!

  9. I adore all of these,and perfectly understand how a guitar strap turned into an amazing bag and 3 mice, it is a slippery slope.

  10. These are awesome gifts! I love the corduroy for the messenger bag.

  11. My daughter would love that guitar strap. A very nice bag, very non gender specific meaning I would love that bag myself! Great use of the leftovers

  12. Oh my goodness, that is so sweet. I love the secret message. Did he?