It has been an odd last few days. Everything has been about embroidery but without actually doing any embroidery at all. It has been more about sewing, organising and planning.

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts I have decided to do the Royal School of Needlecraft certificate in technical hand embroidery course. I had send my application form off last week and this Thursday I received confirmation from the RSN that I am actually enrolled and that I can start booking my classes!

Since I don’t live in the UK, I can’t really travel to the RSN every (other) week for a single class so I will be doing my certificate as a ‘semi-intensive’ course. For my first week which will start on the 16th of October I have booked four classes of the first module, which is Jacobean Crewelwork. For the next four classes I planning to take two at a time in February and April. In July I will take the next module, canvaswork as a summer intensive course. Depending on how my first two module go I will decide how to schedule the last two, silk shading and goldwork.

My slate frame will be travelling a lot back and forwards to the Netherlands and I thought it would be a good idea get a bag for it, so the embroidery is protected and easier to carry. I know the RSN sell a bag, but I didn’t like the style and for the money it costs I rather make something that I actually like. I had looked at many bag-patterns online but I settled on something that I designed myself without any very complicated bits as I am not the most confident of sewers. I just wanted something that looks good without being overly complicated and which does the job.

On Friday my mum and I popped into Textielstad, a large fabric and haberdashery store about 30 min drive from my house. For the outside of my bag I settled on a sea green outdoor fabric which is water-repellent. They didn’t have a cotton fabric I liked to line it so I ended up ordering one from It is by Tilda and it is called Wildgarden 3 ( has a UK equivalent at At Textielstad I also bought some bag straps, brass accessories and fusible fleece.

Work in progress: My slate frame bag

I have started making my bag yesterday and I have completed the outside, so now I just have to wait until my cotton fabric arrives so I can make the lining and finish the bag. I am trying to take photographs as I am going along as I am hoping to turn it into a how-to blog post. Hopefully it help you to make a similar bag from your choice of fabrics.

When we were at Textielstad I also picked up some canvas fabric and some interfacing for piping to make pincushion from my canvas stitches project. The designer of the kit, Rachel Doyle had suggested making it into a pincushion and I thought that was a really great idea as otherwise it will end up in a drawer or lying in a drawer. I wanted to use a canvas and piping of a similar colour to the embroidery canvas. Piping in that colour of course isn’t available so I ended up making up my own.

I cut bias-strips from the canvas fabric and sew them together to create a bias tape and then used the interfacing to create the piping. It was quite fiddly the sewing the backing to the canvaswork and because I didn’t want to risk damaging it I stitched it by handing. I then tacked the backing canvas to the canvaswork and piping by hand and then stitched it together with my sewing machine. After turning the piece right side out and stuffing it I sew the final side shut by using lader stitch.


I am quite impressed with how it ended up as it is probably the most complicated thing I have sewn so far. Roll on my slate frame bag!

Posted by:Marlous

13 replies on “A different kind of stitching

  1. I’m so excited that another blogger is starting the RSN course. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress. Can’t wait for the tutorial on the slate frame bag. I might have to make one myself so a tutorial will be great.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What exciting times for you, I am sure you will have great fun over the coming year. I made my bag too – but mine is a very simple version utilizing old fabric scraps and a bedsheet! Padding is a good idea as the frame can get bashed around when travelling!

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  3. Great, Mum made my slate frame bag. We made the pattern up, mine is a giant envelope, it is worth making it slightly padded, I have a layer of quilting fleece in my bag. I have an internal pocket for the large plastic bag ( that comes with it, good for when it’s raining). My handle is about the same width as the bag, it’s surprisingly heavy, so the bag drops down, something to think about if you’re short like me. I recycled the clips from some old dog collars as a closure. I hope you enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is really nice of your mum! Mine will be a large envelope but with a roll-top rather than a flap to close to keep any dirt/rain out. I have still not decided how to do the strap/handle as I was worried about the bag dropping down. I am quite tall but I do want it to sit straight.


      1. I know, I am glad already bought mine, so I can check it fits! 🙂 Fortunately the RSN advised me to get the 18 inch one instead of the 24 to make it easier to travel with on a plane or on Eurostar.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We might catch up some time at the RSN, I haven’t been able to book anything for September yet, as I only have a temporary time table for School. Good luck with the bag making.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That would be a great! I have booked the Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri in the week of the 16th of October, but I am already meeting someone on the Friday. Do let me know if you book a day that week!

        Liked by 1 person

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