The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Handmade fantasty felt bird lavender bags


Photo: Handmade bird lavender bags

Photo: Handmade bird lavender bags

The small investment in the old sewing machine is paying off on the fun stakes. Absorbed by the possibilities that seem limitless from a newbie point of view. Yet alarmed that the precious needle might snap. Longing for small sharp scissors to cut a fine line (found them at Tescos and spare needles, just in case!). Practicing my curves, learning how to thread a bobbin and listening to the radio. Discovering that I had a whole load of inherited cotton thread on wooden reels. Bliss.

I reckon that it’s at least 40 years since I last used a sewing machine. Getting back in the saddle was easy when it came to threading the machine but it has been a fairly steep learning curve since then. Lots of dashing up to bed to pore over the manual – downloaded from the Singer site onto the laptop, which is located in my major nest upstairs.

As the deep freeze has halted all garden projects the machine has stepped into the void and become my long lost friend.

We are selling our smellies in gauze bags. Pretty but not particularly original. I love the little gingham hearts filled with lavender but wanted to try making something a bit more adventurous. Over the past three days I’ve created a flock of lavender filled birds. Once they had eyes they seemed to come alive.

Hopefully we are going to open our own online mini shop on the Cottage Smallholder website by Sunday (not the Country Store). Meanwhile these birds will be available from our gateside stand from midday tomorrow at £4.50 each. If I close my eyes I can almost here the twittering in the kitchen below my bedroom.

Now what shall I make next?

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  1. Mrs Green @ my zero waste

    These are beautiful! Well done you and it sounds like you had a lot of fun too. I would love to make some; did you use a pattern and how long do they take to make? Stuffing them with lavender is an fab idea…

  2. Ooh ooh, when will these be up online. I have two friends that would just adore these especially if they were part of their christmas present……

  3. Catofstripes

    How pretty they are.

  4. Oh, how about making scented christmas tree decorations in the same way with felt and hanging ribbon, fill with xmas spices instead of lavender.

  5. Wow, they’re fantastic. Looking forward to online shopping with you. x

  6. Magic Cochin

    They’re lovely Fiona!!!

    Not just for Christmas – perfect for Easter too 😉

    I hope I can make a detour to your stall next week.


  7. Oh please do open up an online shop! I’m sure lots of your regular readers would love to buy from you. I especially love the little birds, beautiful!

  8. They’re really cute, Fiona! You should sell bunches of them.

  9. Suz in LA

    Am so glad to hear you’ve been having fun with your “long lost friend” 🙂 Oh, and isn’t it good to be able to be productive even when the garden is a frozen lump of ice – how are the min pins taking to the snowy weather?

  10. How do little character egg cosies i.e chicken with beak and comb or piggy ones .. or gingham ones with a little ribbon to pull off the egg.. matching range of tea cosy / oven gloves when you get more material and speed to keep with the cottage kitchen and animal theme 😉

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