Saturday, 29 March 2014

A Little Bit of Spring Sewing

I don't know what it is, but there's been a very infectious Spring sewing bug in the air, this last little while and some lovely sewing makes going on in blogland - here, here, and here, for starters. Perhaps it's the arrival of sunlight and the fresh colours in the garden that makes the idea of fiddling about with Spring fabrics so delightful and may be the contented murmur of the bees, newly busying about among the blossom and the daffodils, that has been subconsciously reminding me of the absent thrum of my sewing machine.

Anyway, be that as it may, a little light dalliance with fabric and thread, this week, seemed a good idea, imperative and I found just the right pattern to satisfy my craving. It's this one offered for free (always good) by the American outlet JoAnn's Fabric And Craft Store.

I don't know about you, but Easter fabric baskets in Spring colours strike me as hugely appealing and practical to boot. I think they are designed to hold a stash of Easter eggs (always good again!) but I thought they would make great containers to give homemade cakes, biscuits or hot cross buns in. And off the culinary front, these babies would make perfect yarn containers - big enough to be useful but not too big to cart about and open enough to see a range of colours for those happy projects where colour choices need to be made every row or two.

The only snag with the pattern is that although it's free and the assembly instructions are reasonably clear, the measurements are a bit sparse and the lining piece is incorrectly drawn on the pdf when you download it. To resolve this, make sure when you print it out, that you check the measurements that they do give you, against those in your printout. If you are printing to the correct scale, you should find that the measurements they do give are half what's on your bit of paper. So, simply double all the others on the diagram when you draw it out. The error in the lining pattern piece is at the bottom. For some reason it doesn't come down far enough. When you draw it out just make sure it's going to correspond with the bottom section of the outer part of the bag or you'll find yourself in a difficulty when you come to assembly.

Hopefully JoAnn's will correct this as I'm sure I'm not the only one to have found this, I did email them about it and it's just such a lovely seasonal pattern that doesn't take long to run up. Anyone wanting to give these a go but wanting a helping hand in the meantime, feel free to email me and I'll do my best to help.

I used a variety of Springy fabrics from my overflowing fabric stash - a good use for a remnant of a fun cupcake print that I picked up on impulse and some other flowery and polka dotty oddments together with some plainer contrasting fabrics that seemed to work well for the linings. If you are in the US, check out JoAnn's Easter fabric prints - they have some gorgeous ones here. I especially adore that pale blue Eggcellent Prints Fabric "Easter Egg Dot Multi" and the "Rick Rack Stripe", but sadly JoAnn's do not ship outside the US : (
If anyone in the US fancies some of my cupcake fabric, I'd be happy to offer a bit of it as a swap for a bit of that pale blue Easter Egg Dot Multi! Email me, if you fancy a little transatlantic fabric swap! : )

You can trim the baskets, as the picture in the pattern shows and as I did, with ric-rac - a nice retro touch. Or use any other trim that's in your sewing box. I seem to hoard things like that and it's lovely to have a project that actually uses some of it. I wondered about adding some decorative buttons but felt they might be gilding the lily slightly with the level of patterning on the fabric but on plainer fabric you could use buttons at the base of the handles, as decoration and for additional strength.

I managed to cut out the pieces earlier in the week in odd pockets of time and yesterday had an unexpected window of opportunity to sew them together. They've worked rather nicely - I love them! I love them so much I shall find it hard to give them away at Easter with Easter goodies in but hopefully they will find happy homes and be used for much longer than the excessive, cardboard corsetry that seems to be de rigeur for upholstering Easter gifts these days, in the UK anyway. And I shall keep one to serve my hot cross buns in over Easter before washing it to remove any sticky hot cross bun-glaze and turning it over to some nice new Dutch yarn that I've ordered and which I am awaiting with bated breath.

In the meantime they are holding a few hooky Easter eggs that I made last year. They are polystyrene eggs underneath and have nice stripy hooky covers. The pattern was in one of the Spring 2013 issues of Simply Crochet. March I think. Here they are in their pre-hooky treatment state last Spring.

I know it's not quite Easter yet but one can't run up Easter makes when Easter has already arrived so I don't feel too bad about posting about these now - they are waiting in the wings, so to speak!

I haven't made any hot cross buns yet but I must, if only to fill a basket and see whether these work as nicely as bun-baskets as I think they will!

Wishing you all a happy and Springy weekend 
(with a little Spring sewing on the side, if that's where your fancy takes you!)
E x


  1. Another wonderful, spring-y post with happy colors.

    I will definitely get you your fabric and ship to you TODAY if you just let me know how much of each fabric you want.

    Anxiously awaiting your reply, I remain truly,

    1. Oh Nancy, you are an angel! I'll email you direct! Happy Spring afternoon to you! E x

  2. Dear Mrs T
    I love those bags and the fabric all works together so beautifully! You do make the most gorgeous things. I don't think I could bear to give the bags away if I had made them.
    Many congratulations on yet more fantastic projects. Hope you have a great sewing/crochet weekend.
    Best wishes

  3. Hi Elizabeth, I love your springtime baskets, they are beautifully made and the fabric you chose is gorgeous.
    Those cute eggs are lovely too....such a happy post, thank you for sharing.
    Jacquie x

  4. Oh my, those eggs are beautiful! :) x

  5. hello
    How lovely your easter baskets are and how busy you have been. it all looks like fun makes too!
    Thank you for the link to my skirt, very kind of you.
    Have you been to America lately? I know and love Joann's from visits to my Mum in florida.Wish we had them in England.
    bestest weekend wishes to you
    and lots of sunshine!
    Daisy xxxx

  6. These are so cute and I also love your little eggs. Both will last so much longer than the plastic Easter gifts in the shops or a chocolate egg. Adorable!

  7. These are so charming. You are right to be organised with your Easter makes; I never seem to think about any Easter making or decorating until the week before and then it's a bit late! That fabric is pretty perfect too. x

  8. I nearly sat down today to make my own Easter baskets but was distracted in the garden. I spent the rest of the day nursing my sore body (I am only an occasional gardener) and the sewing had to wait. I hope to find some time next week but have rainbow tutus for ballet to make, too. Thank you so much for linking to my own wee sewing project, I had very many visitors this weekend. Have a lovely week, Elizabeth. Cx

  9. J'adore le tissu à petites feuilles vertes de la dernière photo ...oui, le printemps est là ! (Mais ici ce week-end, le vent soufflait à 100 kilomètres/heure...pas très printanier!...)
    L'année dernière, j'ai tricoté des oeufs de Pâques sur le modèle donné par Little cotton rabbits, mais ils ne sont pas aussi jolis que les tiens !
    (P.S. Une lettre part vers toi aujourd'hui !)


  10. Very pretty! I have tried several times to comment on your posts (with my WordPress account), but failed. Anyway, all your projects are so pretty, colourful and inspirational. Thank you!

    1. Miracle, it has worked! My name is Sophie, by the way.

  11. You've been very productive! I love the spring like colours of the fabrics - you certainly have a good eye for colour combinations. I've never been a fan of hollow Easter eggs in excessive packaging and always gave the children cardboard eggs filled with mini eggs but now they're grown up maybe I shall copy your idea and make the bags to fill with alternative Easter goodies.

  12. I just love these baskets and the eggs are gorgeous too. x

  13. An wonderful idea and such lovely fresh spring colours too. The luck recipients are going to be MORE than pleased with their goodies this year! x

  14. So bright and Springy Mrs T the bags are so lovely, the green ones my favourite as for the hooky eggs so sweet, and whats better completely calorie free, have a good week.
    Clare xx

  15. Elizabeth - those bags are wonderful!! I still chuckle over the squeezing the crochet hen and watching a crème egg hatch from her bottom! tee hee


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit me at Mrs TT's and comment. I love to read what you write.