Monday 20 June 2016

A summer bag, and setting my own challenge

- EDIT: Read on for the pattern! -

A month ago we had lovely warm sunny weather and I was thinking of summer projects. Just then, I received an email from Sew Mama Sew asking for submissions. This is nothing special, I have subscribed to those emails and they get sent out once every few months I think. I never dare reply to them...
This time, however, the email stuck in my mind. They were asking for bloggers to make a summer bag using new Manchester Metallics and any other Kaufman solid fabric. Straight away I saw a bag in my mind's eye! So, after deliberating and a lot of hesitation (will I, won't I...), I sent a last minute email outlining my idea, offering to sew the bag and blog about it, including some links to my blog as required, and waited...

After a week of silence, I had to conclude that they would not take me up on my offer. Maybe they had too many offers (quite likely). Maybe they didn't consider my blog or my skills suitable (quite likely, too). Maybe sending the fabric all the way to Ireland wasn't feasible (quite possibly, though there was no indication that there was a geographical limitation to the project). I will never know.

But in the meantime I couldn't stop thinking of that summer bag, I was inspired!
I decided that this bag needed to be made, official challenge or not. I entered into my own challenge!

So my challenge was:
  • Make a summer bag
  • Use only materials I already have
  • Finish in the week of 20 June
  • Blog about it in that week
  • Write a pattern

I previously made a miniature wall hanging with a summer theme, and I love it so much that it is on our wall all year round! The beach huts that can be found at many UK beaches have always appealed to me, it's something I dream of...

This time I adapted the huts a little, scaling them up for the bag, using solid fabrics and changing the roof edges a somewhat:

Because there was so much open space in the sand and the sky, I added some appliqué, too!

For the lining I found a half yard of laminated fabric with light houses and boats, nothing better for a bag that would be used for going to the beach.

And so there you have it!

Now I only have to wait for some nice weather so I can take it to the beach...

In the mean time I am working on the pattern!

EDIT: The pattern is now published and available for FREE download:  

- Beach Hut Tote Bag -

*linking up with:
- Blossom Heart Quilts "Sew Cute Tuesday"
- Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
- Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts
- Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts



  1. I do so enjoy making bags, and your wavy sea lines, sand below, and sunshine, what a great design. And waterproof lining, just the " Bees' Knees" as some would say.

  2. That turns out so cute and a great size for the beach.

  3. Sandra it is a wonderful bag! You excel at bag making! Your whole beach theme and design and fabric choices are so fun! The lining is the greatest too. Sew Mama Sew would be thrilled to have a project like this on their blog... your work is definitely of the highest caliber, so don't lose heart. My guess is that they probably had far too many entries for the challenge. You can send them submissions any time though and they pick and choose based on what will work with their schedule. My first two were turned down because they'd had too many similar projects recently.

  4. I have wanted to make a tote and your sweet design has me ready. Please share your pattern and I'll accept the challenge to make one.

  5. Sandra, I love that you set your own challenge and met it. Your bag is adorable and your applique looks so great! I hope you get to show it off at the beach soon. :)

  6. What an adorable creation!! Your quilting on the bucket is especially nice. I think your pattern will do very well - I would love to make this.

  7. Love it so much. I have been wanting to make a beach hut wall hanging. This has inspired me.

  8. so summery, you'll of course put all your summer goods into it for a walk in the sunshine.

  9. Love this - beach huts are perfect for a summer bag. Might be a long wait for sunshine, but you could go for a walk in rain.:-)

  10. A fantastic bag Sandra! Love your quilting, and the appliqué pictures are so cute. Really summery! Looks a great size for the beach!
    Barbara xx

  11. THis is so pretty. Definitely a Britsh seaside xxx


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