Co-ordinating zips

Busy as a bee with cloth from the Honeycomb Loom

Making bags from wrap cloth means that each commission is very different from the last. The blends of fibres used to make the weft and the warp of the cloth, produce many different textures, colours and even smells. Some are quite difficult to work with in terms of bag making. As wraps, the blends are often what makes the cloth as amazing as it is to use while baby-wearing. But even sewing straight hems on some can be a task and a half when working with the more robust blends.

Fear not with the Honeycomb Loom cloth. This wonderful 100% cotton material is sold by the metre for wrap making, accessory making – the uses are endless. The cloth is a collaboration between Firespiral Slings and Baie Slings, and from the perspective of bag making, this is a dream cloth to work with.

From the moment I started cutting out the pattern, it was obvious that this cloth was going to behave itself. I’ve worked with Firespiral Slings’ cloth for a long time and occasionally find the looser weave materials don’t lend themselves well to bag making as they start to fray before you can get the edges overlocked. I used the Honeycomb Loom Sea cloth. I overlocked each piece of the pattern to a reinforcing fabric to stabilise the bag once the parts are all sewn together. Sometimes the cloth can stretch a little, especially while overlocking around curves. But the Honeycomb stayed put – keeping its shape. Hemming the strap was easy as the cloth simply rolled and flattened as I ran it through the sewing machine. The cloth has a shimmery sheen despite being a flat colour, and when paired with different coloured linings, zips and rings, shows off beautiful hues.

The Honeycomb Loom will shortly be launching their website shop where people will be able to order. Until then, I am able to source the cloth for bag making direct from them.

Colours available are the wonderfully-named Love, Sea, Coal, Kiss, Leaf, Juice and Stone.

This bag, in any of the colours, can be ordered by messaging Absolute Bobbins through the site here or via the Facebook page.

Working with super charity Carriers For Kos

There are times when Facebook drives me potty with its teethwhitening, leggings-touting adverts. But then there’s that one time when a post makes so much sense and alters your path a little.

Months ago I spotted a post by charity Carriers for Kos. They are a group of parents in the north west of England collecting used baby carriers to send to help refugee families fleeing war torn parts of the world.

I know the benefit of carrying my kids. As well as soothing my incredibly colicky eldest, it helped me with the school run when I had my second baby. I could still hold hands with my now non-colicky preschooler as we chatted on the way home. The journey was just short of a mile and it was a nice time to talk about his day while his sister slept in the sling.

So if that neat collection of fabric and buckles can help me with a straight forward job like the school run, imagine how useful it would be aiding families to get away from the shit that is war. Collecting just the belongings you can carry, coordinating your family to get everybody to a safer place.

It sounds incredibly naive comparing these two jobs. They are nothing alike. But the carrier is beneficial in either scenario.

Carriers For Kos soon realised that for these people, time is of the essence, and families can be shown how to use carriers safely and relatively quickly. Children are up off the ground, close to their carer, who now has their hands free.

Some lovely people also donated woven wraps and ring slings which have been auctioned off or ‘dipped’ to raise money for the charity. The charity felt that the time it would take to ensure families were wrapping safely might impede their journeys so decided against sending the wraps.

So this is how Absolute Bobbins ended up converting a wrap to bags for the charity to dip. I contacted Rebekah from the charity through the Facebook page Carriers For Kos and asked if there was a spare wrap that they planned on dipping. A dip allows, for example, 50 people to pay £2 each for an imaginary raffle ticket. A number is then drawn at random and that number wins the wrap. Easy.

Rebekah said she had a few spares and would send me one to convert for the charity. I was sent a lovely Polish Little Frog wrap in beautiful greens and blues. I happily chopped and stitched and sent two of my baby wearing bags back to Rebekah to dip. There’s also a nameless Girasol bag on the way to them soon.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the dipped bags do and what they raise to support refugees in the future. To get involved and find out more about what they do, check out: