Friday 20 January 2012

A Thing Of Shreds And Patches?

cathkidstonblanketA couple of years ago, Floss posted about a Cath Kidston camp blanket festooned with badges, retailing at around £60. As a good Girl Guide, Floss already has one of these.

Hers is, of course, a proper personalised one, with badges from the various camps she attended in her youth. I think one that is yours with your badges is infinitely preferable to a mass-produced one.

CK is trying to sell the nostalgia to people who have never joined a jolly jamboree [ and succeeding by the looks of it, having been honoured by the Queen a couple of years back with an MBE for services to business]

The latest badged item in the CK catalogue is the doctor’s bag [a mere £85!!] – and before that there was a rucksack.

ck rucksack


In November, when I was in the loft fetching down my suitcase for the Belfast Trip, I found another bag inside. I admit that I had forgotten about the smaller bag completely – I think it went in there after the Great Silver Wedding Trip to the USA in 2004.


I should point out that since then, I have not had a holiday requiring a large suitcase – for three years, we holidayed on the motorbike, and I was not allowed luggage, and for three years all holidays have been at Cornerstones, as the mortgage takes up all our money!

It is a good ‘holiday’ handbag – reasonable size, comfortable held in the hand or over the shoulder, with two internal pockets [one zipped] and a magnetic closure. Ideal for carting about shopping and souvenirs, or holding sunglasses and swimwear. It originally came from East – and I believe was a gift from one of the girls [apologies, Liz and Steph, I cannot remember which of you it was] The only problem is that the suede straps have gone stiff and curly at the ends, and the central section of the straps has become grubby and unpleasant to the touch.

Time for a rethink. I have a collection of badges and patches [Girls’ Brigade, Swimming, School Logos, garment labels, and random bits and pieces] which I have been collecting for years, waiting for some good purpose…


First of all, I unbuckled the straps and removed them. Then having decided on a layout, I backed each patch with a small piece of Bondaweb and ironed them all into place.


Then it was a case of spending my evenings with a needle and thread, blanket stitching each patch down firmly. I could have done with Jane’s help [Maple Syrup Mob]. I happen to know that she is a wizard at sewing on badges, after all those years in the Navy. Her badge-attachment-skills would definitely pass muster at the strictest inspection. Stitching onto tough corduroy, without catching the needle in the bag lining was not easy, even with a thimble.

I found some cream coloured tape in the Great Stash too, and covered the straps so they look cleaner and neater.

I’m very happy with my new, personalised bag – and enjoying ‘the thrill of what I already have’


A wandering minstrel I —
A thing of shreds and patches,
Of ballads, songs and snatches,
And dreamy lullaby!


  1. That looks fab! A fantastic upcycling project- you are very clever. Definitely a ' thrill'. Wow - £85 for a mass produced canvas bag? The phrase more money than sense comes to mind.People who buy those must think 'Recession? What recession?'

  2. That looks great, and so much better for being personal.

  3. What a clever girl you are and CK's over-priced bag isn't a 'patch' on yours!Well done that was a really genius idea... and now that song's in my head, I'll be singing 'and dreeee-eee-my lullaby' all day long!Have a good weekend Angela.

  4. Brilliant! I love this idea and I hadn't seen it on the Cath Kidston USA website.
    I love patches and I never know what to do with them (except buy them at the fabric store!)
    How are you, Angela? (BIG HUG!)

  5. Your bag looks brilliant :)

    I do love Cath Kidston but I am coming to the realisation that a lot if is overpriced (doesn't stop me wanting it though!)

    Gem x

  6. I love this idea! My daughter is just starting out as a Daisy Scout (in a US Girl Scouts troop here in Paris) and she is so proud of her "petals" and badges. I hope she saves them for future (re)use!


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