The weekend before Easter 13 intrepid campers joined 3 teachers at Sew Brit Bag Camp in deepest, darkest Somersal Herbert.  Just in case you’ve never actually come across it on a map it’s a teeny, tiny hamlet near the village of Doveridge, which is in turn near the town of Uttoxeter.  If you’re not a horse racing fan or familiar with small Potteries towns, we’ll just say ‘between Stoke and Derby’ and be done with it!  Here’s one of the ‘cottages’ we were in:


The idea of Bag Camp was that by the end of the weekend the attendees would walk away with a completed weekend bag and the understanding of a number of new techniques.  The mainstream bag pattern was aimed at beginner and intermediate bag makers, and those 7 makers spent the weekend with Samantha and 3/4 of Liz, while the advanced bag pattern was aimed at, you guessed it, the advanced bag makers and those 6 got to hang out with me and 1/4 of Liz.  Liz also did a faux leather masterclass on the first night so that people could get to grips with it before diving into their main bag, both of which involved faux leather to a greater or lesser extent, while I did a quick overview of interfacing options before dinner that night.

Friday night also saw us handing out our goody bags, so thank you once again to our sponsors for both our goody bags and our prizes: Remnant Kings, Aurifil Thread, Sew Sweetness, Clobird Designs, Emmaline Bags, Simply Solids, Sewing Patterns By Mrs H and The Littlest Thistle.

With all the meals happening in my cottage, each night most of the attendees headed over to the other cottage for post dinner sewing and cake (a large quantity of which was provided by the inimitable Christine), although some of my class stayed with their machines and sewing paraphernalia because there was too much to humph around, so they got my mum’s shortbread instead along with their endless cups of tea.  So you’ll all be pleased to know that this non-tea drinker can now make a cup or tea to a whole cottage full of people’s satisfaction, provided I don’t get distracted when the kettle’s on, which might have been what happened the first night when I saw this out the window:


By just after dinner on the Sunday night my class had all finished their bags, with the incredible Judy, having been struck down with a bug on the Saturday, recovering to complete hers in 1 day, in fact she finished in second place before dinner!  I tried my best to hang them all nicely on the pegs to get this photo but they were rebelling a tad, and Fiona’s took the huff altogether (well, her adjustable strap had accidentally turned into a non-adjustable one, so it needed more pegs to hold it up!).  From left to right below we have: Mine, Lynn P’s, Christine’s, Lynn G’s and Fiona’s and at the front, Judy’s (Lisa had to head home a little early on the Sunday, so hers didn’t make the final shot unfortunately).  You can see we had a bit of theme and variation in the flaps, and a variety of straps and handles made of both fabric and faux leather, in fact Lynn G went one step further with fancy stitches on her handle.


Our happy band went on their way on the Monday morning, bags in hand, a whole gamut of new techniques under their belts and their purses a little lighter from the fabric pop up shop, supplied by the lovely ladies at Simply Solids and manned by Lisa, the hardware shop, manned by Samantha, and the interfaces and other internal bits shop manned by me.  I will be selling the remaining interfacing in my shop soon, along with some hardware, so keep an eye out!

The patterns for both bags are now available in my shop, both individually and in a pattern pack to give you the best of both worlds, just click on the pattern cover below to take you to the right place:

Mainstream Camp Bag Pattern Cover

Advanced Camp Bag Pattern Cover