Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and Do

Journal

Making a peg bag

 

embroidered peg bag

I was originally asked by someone to make a peg bag to replace their worn out one. I made this one, the pocket embroidered with a delicate meadow and I liked it so much that I made myself one and put a few extras in the shop.

The instructions here are for the basic structure - you can decorate the pocket in any way you like, or leave it plain. If you want to learn how to embroider meadows with your sewing machine then I shall be running a course within the Studio Club in April - that is currently closed to new members at the moment but handily opens up again at the beginning of April. If you are interested in joining in the next intake make sure you are on my mailing list and you will be the first to know. There are always limited places and they do tend to sell out.

You need

  • Child size wooden coat hanger
  • Fabric 75 cm long and 4 cm wider than your hanger (my hanger is 32 cm wide and the fabric is 36 cm wide).
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine is optional.

materials needed

Method

Cut your fabric into two pieces. One should be 54 cm long, the other 21 cm.

Lay your hanger on the top edge of the fabrics, hook above the fabric, and draw round the curve.

draw round hanger

Cut round the curve and mark the central point.

cut round curve

Take the longer piece of fabric and measure 21 cm from the bottom - draw line, fold and iron a strong crease. This is the pocket.

Turn over the edge that will be the top of the pocket 1 cm and iron with a strong crease, then fold another 1 cm and iron again. You can either hand sew this hem or machine it. I hand hem, so that it isn't visible on the front.

Decorate the front of the pocket in whatever way you like or leave it plain.

Hem the bottom edge of the shorter piece of fabric.

Fold the long fabric inside out so that the right side of the pocket faces the right side of the back, pocket side upwards. Then place the shorter piece over it, right side down, matching up the curves at the top.

pinning the peg bag

Pin the pieces together, start 1/2 cm from the centre top and then sew right round the outside edge to the base with a sewing machine or a small running stitch then do the other side in the same way leaving a gap at the top for the hook.

Trim any excess fabric at corners. You can zig-zag or overlock the edges at this point if your fabric is prone to fraying.

sewing the peg bag

Turn the right way round, make sure the corners are neatly turned out and press firmly with an iron.

Put hanger in the bag, putting the hook through the gap in the top. If the fabric pokes out the top carefully push it back with a large needle - you can also re-inforce this with small running stitches worked round the hole.

Putting the hanger in the peg bag

Learning how to make freehand embroidered meadows is going to be the Studio Club course in April.

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Tags: tutorial

Comments: 1 (Add)

Catherine Hunt on February 19 2021 at 11:09

I love how you have labelled your scissors. I find doing choices easier if I have beautiful everyday objects to help do them. I love your things, they always make me feel more inspired

Snapdragon social

The sun room table, an old enamel basin, hazel twigs and pure glamour from green tinged white trumpets.⁠⠀
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I looked up yesterday lunchtime and the garden was full of sunshine. ⁠⠀
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There are a few places in the (very messy) house where keeping a bit of negative space, clear surfaces, a sense of breathing out pays off.  This white table is one of them.⁠⠀
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I took this on Sunday, disappointingly it is currently cluttered up with things (a nest, two candles, a box of matches, some receipts) to take down to the Studio.
Over the past year I have become increasingly uncomfortable about how we talk about the seasons to the point that I feel I need to say something.⁠⠀
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I'm particularly uncomfortable about how we talk about using the seasons as a life guide.  I can understand why this has happened - it is great, easily understood marketing, it is a ready built structure, I'm sure it helps the people who are desperately in need of rules and timetables at the moment.⁠⠀
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But it is rooted in a very particular idea of what seasons look like - particularly the 4 defined seasons of the UK, Europe and North America;⁠⠀
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Which would be fine if people were talking about their local area, the view from their window.  But that doesn't seem to be the case - this seasonal structure is built up into a programme to follow, the language is very much that 'this is the correct way to think about life'.⁠⠀
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But, if you are saying that the dormant season is the time to rest and recuperate, what does that say about countries where the seasons don't look like that.  Is there to be no rest? Is everyone to adopt the seasons in the UK as the 'correct' version? ⁠⠀
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Language matters, because language is where our assumptions lie.⁠⠀
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⁠The photo is of a rose hip - rose hips are the only berries left in the hedges now.  I used to think that it was because they tasted spiky that the birds left them till there were no other options but recently I found that they have the least calories.  The ivy, rowan and hawthorns produce the Kendal mint cake of berries - perfect for seeing the birds through the cold - so get eaten first.⁠⠀
There is a lot of talk at the moment about what 'seasonal flowers' means - the wonderful @wolveslaneflowercompany have been addressing the issue and they have a great story thread exploring the issue saved in their highlights.⁠⠀
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It was a thing that used to bother me a lot when I grew flowers because I only ever sold flowers that grew here, that was the whole point of the business - and in Scotland seasons are very late. I spent a lot of time explaining to brides that not everything is available at every time of the year. ⁠⠀
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I didn't ever have cut flowers until April.  I missed both Valentines and Mother's Day. ⁠⠀
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This is what I have as flowers in my home through January and February - glamorous, long lasting, amaryllis bulbs are on every surface. ⁠⠀
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Elsewhere cut hazel twigs in jam jars are taking over the windowsills. next week I may add in some snowdrops.
Yesterday I sent out a newsletter about extractivism - about the human tendency to push and exploit and keep extracting until we end up with a husk.⁠⠀
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It was sparked by conversations I had after the Oxford Real Farming Conference and a realisation that there is a thread that ties colonialism, industrial farming, privatisation of services and the way we often treat ourselves.⁠⠀
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I've been having such interesting conversations with the people who replied.⁠⠀
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I resend my newsletters to new subscribers on Sundays so if you want to sign up you can click through my profile to the website front page.⁠⠀
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We have been frozen here for a while - the top inch of ground thawed yesterday, but under that was rock hard.  Most of the garden is a low flood of slush floating on ice.⁠⠀
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The hardy annual plants I sowed in late September and transplanted in October are currently under snow but looking pretty terminal.  The temperature in the polytunnel went down to -6 last week and the salad crops turned to mush.⁠⠀
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Were I remotely self sufficient it would be proving a hard winter.⁠⠀
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But I'm not, so I just add more plants to my sowing plan - sowing seeds is my favourite thing - and admire the beauty of the hoar frost, and feel happy that I have food in the store cupboard and logs in the woodpile and a big pile of books by me.
'See a pin and pick it up and all the day you'll have good luck'.⁠⠀
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I have been embroidering a tiny run of linen needle/pin cases to go into the shop tomorrow - and I have embroidered this rhyme inside them - a reminder of the time when pins were made by hand and were to be treasured and looked after. ⁠⠀
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It gives a new appreciation to the term 'pin money' too - the modern kinds of pins, shiny in their plastic box that have made us assume that the term meant a small amount, left over change for fripperies. ⁠⠀
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In reality it was used as an alternative name for a household allowance - the amount of which was often laid out in the marriage contract - and was the money that a woman had complete legal control over. If it was unpaid a woman could sue her husband or his estate for back pay.
Allium Chistophii are rolling around under the espalier apple trees in the vegetable patch. ⠀
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I always hope for a little light self seeding as they go. ⠀
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Now they are like glittery tumbleweeds in the frost. ⠀
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In truth we bought the airstream to avoid a divorce.⁠⠀
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We bought it on Ebay late at night after sharing a bottle of wine.⁠⠀
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At the time I was running a business from the house - from a house that was about half the size it is now, a jumble of tiny rooms, painted plywood floors, two small children and a high level of sticky chaos.⁠⠀
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I am not a tidy enough person to run a business in a home - even had it been a well run home with storage space - and those years were not remotely well run.  My invoices always had cereal stuck to them, my sewing machine was parked at the end of the dining table, 90% of my working time seemed to be spent looking for something that I was sure had been left 'just there'.⁠⠀
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So we looked for something that we could afford so I could move the business out of the house - we priced up a chalet style home office from B & Q - and then, on Ebay, we saw the airstream, badly damaged, vandalised, forlorn.  It came in cheaper than the shoffice . . . .⁠⠀
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For a few years - before I built the Studio - this was my workspace and since then it has become a storage area and been sadly neglected while I tried to save the money to repair the damaged back window and the sagging floor.⁠⠀
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This weekend we began clearing out all the fabric that was stored in it so that the renovation can begin.  I am very excited.
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

Learn more about why here

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