Online Shop – Opening Soon!

Exciting news – My Online Shop will be opening very soon!

I’m very excited to get this up and running!

I know some people have already spotted the new page on my website for the shop.  We’re just putting the final finishing touches together, but hopefully it’ll be up and running very soon.

Just a reminder, if you’re in and around Padstow, check out Bolla Tay’s Summer Design Fair….

Poster Bolla tay 2015




Summer news!

Looking forward to heading to Padstow again with the Bolla Tay girls for another Design Fair in a few weeks….

Check out the other artists and designers  – Clare McEwan, Rebecca Williams and Alice Povey

Bolla Tay Summer Design Fair

Hoping to get another few projects finished before the show; here’s a look at the fabric combinations of my current project….

And now for something completely different……

Every so often it’s nice to sew something completely different, and so it was with great delight that I got to work on a pattern I was given a few months ago.  I’ve made a few clothes here and there over the years and I really enjoy it.  So after I’d sourced the fabric (so much fun!) and found what I was after, I set to work redrafting the pattern to fit my shape.

I made my first dress in navy blue (ponte roma jersey to be precise).  It was a lovely weight jersey to work with and didn’t move under the machine too much.  I particularly love the cuffs on this dress; if you’ve got a plain fabric it’s nice to have some extra detail in the design……. so here it is…..

Navy dress

Moor Things Vintage and Lovely Show!

Looking forward to being at the gorgeous Moorland Garden Hotel on Monday 4th May, for the Moor things Vintage & Lovely Spring Garden Fete.  There will be an array of Vintage & hand crafted stalls, live music, dancing, children’s entertainment, hog roast, cream teas and lots more!  For more information check out Miss Ivy Events website.


A few finished photos…..

(Finally) a few finished photos of Huccaby!

After much (much!) delay, here are the finished photos of the 60s-inspired Huccaby from my previous post.  Things have been somewhat hectic recently, which is great, but it has once again meant that my blog is a little bit behind!

Click on the images to enlarge…..

For all the information on Huccaby bags, including price and dimensions, please see the Shoulder Bags by Ellie page.

Craft events and illustrations….

Looking forward to being at the beautiful Woodlands Castle in Taunton next Saturday for the first show of the year –

Miss Ivy Events Poster

Also, if you haven’t already seen, do check out what illustrator, and fellow member of the Bolla Tay Collective, Alice Povey has been up to recently –  see Alice Povey on Facebook and/or Alice Povey’s blog; her new illustrations are FABULOUS!

60s-inspired Huccaby

I love it when I get asked to make something I know I would LOVE to keep.   This happened with this latest design for Huccaby.  I have always loved this fabric; it makes me smile because it is such a happy print.  So it was with great pleasure that I began to turn it into a satchel.

This was a really fun commission to make – I love this choice of fabric and the gorgeously rich purple to compliment the fabulous colours of the main design.

For this particular bag, I was asked to make the pattern slightly bigger – it needed a bigger interior zip pocket and to be slightly deeper so it could carry certain things.  This was not a problem at all, and it’s great to personalise each bag to an individual’s requirement.

Click on the images to enlarge…

The first photo shows a cross-section of one of the main panel pieces; here you can see the main fabric print, then a layer of sew-in interlining, a layer of quilting fabric and finally a layer of backing cotton to keep the quilting fabric in place.  All these layers give the bag a lovely quilted feel and helps it retain its shape as well as making it stronger.

The second photo shows all the main and lining pieces ready and waiting to be turned into Huccaby…..

New Year, new projects: what’s on my sewing table?!

The festive period brought an excellent opportunity for a spot of retail therapy of the fabric kind. I was so excited by my purchases that I had to photograph them to share them.  Now I’ve got lots of potential designs and fabric combinations whizzing around my head, wondering in what order I’m going to make things….

So, what’s on my sewing table?  Rather a lot at the moment…. (to get a better look, click on the images to enlarge them).  All the fabrics have been washed/preshrunk so they are ready to use, but as you can see, they are also pre-ironed!!!

Look out for some of these fabrics over the next year and if you have any suggestions about what would make a great combination, let me know!  I’m already thinking of either of the blue flowers prints (on white) as a Shelstone Box Top with (possibly) the light blue spotty handles, the feathers print as a satchel and the bird flower print as, oooh lots of things!

Happy New Year and happy sewing!

C F McEwan small scarf sale – 5 days left!

If anyone is in need of a Christmas gift, check out C F McEwan’s small scarf sale – beautifully designed silk scarves at a reduced price!  Only 5 days left!

To read all about Clare, her scarves and inspiration, check out her website at; to see all the details of her scarf sale, click here.  For more details from Clare about these beautiful scarves, see below……

days remaining to order your small scarf from C F McEwan.  A selection of small 100% silk scarves are on special offer at £45 including gift wrapping and p+p (RRP normally £87). These are limited edition scarves, only a handful produced of each design. Easy to wear at 65cm x 65cm in size.  

Email Clare by 11pm
Sunday 21st December with your design choice.  Posting within UK only by Royal Mail Special Delivery – just in time for a Christmas gift.

All available designs and how to buy can be found in the sale lookbook

Introducing Shelstone Box Top!

So, after redesigning my original patten, here is the finished Shelstone Box Top with its brand new zip top…..

Click on the gallery to enlarge and scroll through –

I decided to make the zip long enough to start and finish on the side panels, rather than just being the length of the top of the bag, (hence the box top zip closing).   This makes it even more practical and improves its functionality.

After being asked to create this Shelstone, I was then asked by the same lady to create another to be worn on the left shoulder instead of the right.  This makes a difference with zip and pocket placement (you want the zip facing the front on whichever shoulder you wear the bag, so the zip is easily accessible; similarly, the inside phone pocket, situated on the inside side panel, needs to be at the front of the bag).  All these requirements can be adapted so the bag is personal to how you use it.

For all the details, including prices and dimensions, please visit the Weekend and Travel Bags page.

Oh and did you notice – IT’S SNOWING ON MY BLOG!!!!!!!!  Very exciting!

Redesigning Shelstone…

With all the ‘work’ (when is sewing ever work?!) for Christmas going on, I’ve been a bit behind with updating news of my projects.   I was really excited to be asked to adapt an existing pattern for one of my favourite handbag designs so far.  The Shelstone was originally designed with a snap-set closing, as shown below, but I was asked to create one with a box-top zip.

Creating one with a zip closing had been on my (rather long!) ‘to-do’ list, so it wasn’t yet something I had got round to completing, until a certain lovely lady requested one.  It was then moved from half way down my list to the very top, and so began the pattern redrawing and redesigning.

Adapting an existing pattern isn’t always straightforward, so I literally took it back to the/my drawing board to work out what pieces needed to be adapted and what new pieces I needed to create….

…. fortunately throughout some of the (minor) head-scratching I had some of the very best advice on hand…..

So, after the pattern drawing was finished, I then started constructing all the pattern pieces and assembling the panels ready for creating the new version of Shelstone ….

Shelstone pattern pieces

Redesigning Shelstone

…finished photos of the new design to follow….

Finished photos!

Sightly later than planned, here are a few photos of the finished Huccaby…

As I said in my previous post, this was made using a lovely Japanese-inspired fabric….. there is only one of these satchels in existence and I believe it was for a very special 21st birthday pressie, which hopefully has been received by now (so I’m not spoiling anyone’s surprise)!

I love the finished combination of cream with that gorgeous green lining.

For all the information on this bag, please visit the Shoulder Bags by Ellie page.

Huccaby update

The next stage of the Huccaby, after backing all the fabric with interlining, quilting fabric and cotton, was to attach the buckles and construct the outer shell of the bag.  I decided to make this one slightly deeper than the previous Huccaby: the width and height stayed the same, but I increased the pattern size to make it deeper so it could carry even more.

Positioning the buckles for the base and top of the bag is crucial (or it won’t close properly!), so takes a bit of time to get it right.  In order to ensure they’re positioned correctly, they’re pinned, tacked and then finally stitched in place.

After completing the top-stitching on the buckle tabs, I attached the side panels to the front and back panels before finally sewing in the bottom panel.

The next job after that was making the adjustable handle, then completing the outer part of the bag before moving on to construct the lining……


After completing my first Huccaby design earlier this year, I wanted to start making another almost straight away.  I had some beautiful Japanese-inspired fabric by Makower that I knew would be perfect for this satchel, so started thinking about the complimentary fabric I was going to use for the lining…. so many choices…..!

Because the main fabric has a delicate design, I wanted to use whatever complimentary fabric I chose for the buckle tabs as well; this would give it a bit of impact and bring out some of the colour in the main fabric.  Having made the first satchel from a very strong colour and busier pattern, I wanted this one to look very different.  I had kept hold of this particular fabric for a while, wanting to use it for just the right project and this was it!

So here are my fabric choices for this project…… more update photos to follow soon.

Fabric choices for Huccaby

Fabric choices for Huccaby

Finished Shelstone photos….

It has been a busy few weeks with the Bolla Tay Design Fair in Padstow at the beginning of August and all the work which preceded that, followed by all the work which followed that!  Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello in sunny Padstow, talk about handbags and fabrics, and to those of you who are the new owners of a Handmade by Ellie handbag!

With all that’s gone on I haven’t had much time to update my blog with finished photos of the Shelstone Weekend handbag, so without further ado, here it is…

Click on the gallery to enlarge the images –

I had great fun making this bag.  It took a long time to ensure the snowflake design of the lining all matched up properly (like the spots on the Shelstone of my previous post), but it was worth it.   This fabric is full of such vibrant, rich colours, it’ll add a touch of summer wherever it goes!

A bit of info about the bag – the Shelstone Weekend features a large inside zip pocket, two slip pockets, an inside side panel pocket as well as two buttoned pockets on the front.  It has expandable sides – useful for all the things you need for a weekend away or a day out.  For all information about the handbag, click here.