The Mrs H team were bowled away by Desra's enchanting poppy-inspired bag!
Make your own Bowler Bag, by buying our recently-released sewing pattern from https://www.mrs-h.com/the-bowler-bag-pattern.html
We reached out to Desra to ask whether we could interview her about her make and about her sewing life, and she said yes! Read on to find out more about Desra and read some of her top tips for bagmaking!
Hi, Desra! Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a mother of 3 grown up children. For most of the past 40 years I worked as a legal secretary. I stopped working full time nearly 4 years ago which was when I bought my first ever sewing machine.
What inspired you to start sewing and what is your favourite thing about sewing?
My daughter inspired me to start sewing. She bought a chiffon scarf, cut it in half and made a kimono, sewing by hand. I decided to buy a cheap sewing machine to make some for her. I've always liked to have a hobby, knitting, cross stitch, crochet etc but had never been interested in sewing. I made a few kimonos, moved on to cushion covers and then found a tutorial for a make up bag. I loved making them. I soon came across the British Bag Makers Facebook group. This was when my bag making journey began. I bought my first bag pattern in January 2017 and have not looked back. I love trying new patterns and learning new techniques which is why I like to join the Bag of the Month Club. Each bag has new methods and challenges for me to try.
Did you have a particular creative idea or inspiration for your Bowler Bag? If so, what inspired you?
As soon as I saw The Bowler Bag pattern I knew I ‘needed’ to get it but had to wait a while for its release. Sadly, the day after I bought the pattern my lovely mum passed away. She always loved poppies and she loved that I could make bags so I decided to use this poppy fabric. The bag is hanging on the wall in my sewing room and it makes me smile every time I walk in.
What type of machine or machines do you use?
I currently use a Juki industrial walking foot machine. I've also recently purchased a Janome HD9. I'm hoping to be able to attend a bag retreat at some point and this is the machine I will use. (Editor's Note: Team Janome! We love our Janome machines, too )
Aside from your sewing machine, what's the sewing tool you can't live without?
Aside from my sewing machines, I could not live without my rotary cutter and double sided tape. I find I can cut more accurately with a rotary cutter and I use a lot of leather and faux leather so double sided tape is a must, especially for making straps and inserting zips.
What's your top tip for other bag makers?
My top tips for other bag makers would be to have patience and believe in yourself.
What are you going to make next?
Do you have a business page or Instagram page where people can follow you?
I'm on both Facebook and Instagram as By Desra.
Would you like a chance to win a free PDF bag sewing pattern from the Sewing Patterns by Mrs H catalogue? To take part in the September Make of the Month competition all you need to do is share your Mrs H make on the Facebook group or pop it on Instagram with the hashtag #MrsHPhotoComp any time during September.