welcome To The One Thimble Blog
I’ve started this blog post about half a dozen times now. I want to find the right words to describe last weekend at the Bag Fanatics Retreat. It was such an amazing experience to spend time with people who “got” me. I came home so inspired and refreshed. I am so grateful to Kylie and Lisa for bringing it altogether and to all the amazing women I met!
I’d wanted to go to a Sewing Retreat ever since I heard there was such a thing. Hanging out with a bunch of sewing people … seriously could there be anything cooler!!! When my friend Kylie from Little Moo Designs told me she was organising one with Lisa from two pretty poppets I knew I HAD to go! Twelve months in the making, the Bag Fanatics Retreat was even better than I could have imagined.
It was held at Stacey’s at the Gap outside Toowoomba in Queensland. The accommodation was in cabins with between 2 to 5 ladies per cabin. I shared with Lyn from Bags by Lynwam and Susie from Twirl Girl. Luckily, being from Melbourne they were able to give me “Heater Safety 101”. Boy was it was COLD!!!! I must be the world’s worst packer for cold weather. Logically I knew it would be cold, but that didn’t stop me packing 3 pairs of sandals, shorts and cardigans with 3/4 length sleeves!!!
When I told my sister we started sewing at 7am and finished at 10pm she thought that was pretty funny. BUT if you’re into sewing, I think you’ll be pretty jealous, even more so when I tell you all the meals were provided. Imagine not having to cook or look after anyone else and yet having delicious home cooked breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and desert every day!!!
Included in the retreat registration fee were 4 bag patterns. The Urban Bucket Bag by Little Moo Designs, the Sew Compleat Shoulder Tote by two pretty poppets, the Rubenesque Hobo by Emkie Designs & the Matilda Bag by Hide4350.
The best thing was all four designers were on hand to help you sew the bags.
Here are the bags I sewed! I’m still kind of in awe that I sewed 4 bags in a weekend!!!
The week before the retreat my dog walking backpack gave up the ghost so I really wanted to turn the urban bucket bag into a backpack that I could use when walking Lexie. Susie showed me how to do it and now Kt wants me to sew her one.
I used the last of my Echino fabric on the Rubenesque Hobo and I’m so happy with how it looks with the dark brown Packer leather.
I kind of cheated a bit with the Sew Compleat Shoulder Tote. I brought this fabric from Spoonflower for Issue 5 (I used the knit version for a Bonfire Jacket) and had been dying to sew it into a bag ever since. I skipped the pleating and just used the one fabric to let the fabric shine.
I skipped sewing the Matilda Bag (clumsy me + hammers -> not a good look!) and took the bits and pieces home for Mr Fox to assemble.
For my final bag I sewed my favourite purse pattern. I first sewed this purse back in 2010 and every few years after my old purse dies I like to have another go at it! I used this fabric that I’d been hoping to sew a dress for me from … I’ll get that dress sewn one day!
Singer Australia kindly lent me a Heavy Duty 4411 sewing machine to take to the retreat. It sewed beautifully through mulitple layers and through leather and pleather. I only broke one needle and that was because I tried to sew through a zip stopper! I had two sorts of pleather that I purchased from Spotlight for my retreat bags. The machine had no troubles with the light brown but I think the green must have been “stickier” and the machine wasn’t a fan of sewing it. I think if I’d used a walking or vinyl foot or tried some of the pleather sewing tips such as sticky tape on the foot or tissue paper between the layers it might have worked better. All in all I was so pleased and grateful to be able to borrow this machine.
I would include more photos of me sewing, but turns out I’ll never be a sewing stock photo model as I have a really pained look of concentration on my face when I sew … who knew!
GIFTS & PRIZES
We were also gifted goodie bags. The amazing sponsors really raised the bar with their gifts!
A special shoutout to Packer Leather. They’re based in Brisbane and I probably wouldn’t have tried sewing with leather without their samples!
Your Chance to WIN!
Packer Leather have donated a purple kangaroo hide for me to give away. If you’d like to win it comment below with what you’d sew with it before 8am 16th September 2016. The winner will be chosen via random.org