Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Sewing with Harris Tweed

I'd had a couple of metres of Harris Tweed in my stash for months (I've now got more !!!), but felt really nervous about cutting into and sewing with it, partly because it's quite expensive (average £22 per metre) and also because I'd heard it frays. For ages I sat back and admired all the Harris Tweed creations I saw on Facebook and one day, only recently, I took the plunge!

I decided to make a relatively simple bag by Swoon Patterns called Lola, I felt she would look really cute in Harris Tweed plus I could use the leather handles I sell in my Bobbin Girl shop too.
Before I cut anything out, I fused woven interfacing to the back of the tweed, I'd read that it reduces fraying and I have to say, it absolutely does. I cut out Lola with little or not fuss and proceeded to make my first Harris Tweed Bag.  I used Pellon Flex Foam for the interlining and a 4.5 long pull zip and hardware from the Bobbin Girl Shop 
I have to say, I was delighted with the outcome, and being proud of my creation, I shot round to my neighbours Sylvia first, then Betty, to show it off. Sylvia liked it a lot but Betty loved it and at 90 years old, I have to say Lola really suited her. Betty asked me to make her one but as her 91st Birthday was rapidly approaching, I decided I'd give it to her as a Birthday present. After much protestation and offers to pay me, Betty finally accepted my gift and now Lola is hers.
Hot on the heals of my new found confidence in sewing Harris Tweed, I've now made another bag, this time an Everyday Tote, pattern by Bagstock. I used a combination of Harris Tweed and Faux Leather and Tula Pink for the lining.
Harris Tweed is readily available to buy from a number of weavers on the Isle of Lewis, Shawbost, Lil Shop of Harris Tweed, Christina's Harris Tweed, are just 3 of them.
Every time you make an order, the weaver sends you some Harris Tweed labels to sew onto your bag - to give it accreditation that your product is made from genuine Harris Tweed and if you plan to make lots of Harris Tweed products, you can apply to buy more labels and hanging tags from the Harris Tweed Authority, you need to provide receipts that you have purchased at least 10 metres before they will set you up an account. You can have a maximum of 1000 labels per year but don't panic, you don't have them all at once. Contact HWA for application form and tag prices.

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