Author Archives: Nicola

About Nicola

Long-time vegan, whole-food plant-based enthusiast and educator. Crazy about crochet and knitting.

A bit of everything

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A bit of everything

There’s been knitting…

Since I took that photo, it’s grown quite a bit. This is Age of Brass and Steam which is a free pattern that I found via Ravelry. It’s very popular with thousands of projects linked. The yarn is Cascade Ultra Pima Paints, a lovely tonal cotton.

There’s been crocheting…

I won’t say too much about this because it’s a test for someone. But it came out CUTE!

And there’s been sewing…

A vinyl zipper pouch based on a Crafty Gemini tutorial (YouTube) called a pinch pouch.

And an actual garment which gave me grief and I had to redo the neck binding but I think it’s wearable now!

Gawd, it’s 34 degrees today with a forecast high for the weekend of 38. What the heck?!?!?!

We don’t have AC so the only way to be sitting here and not dripping is to have the big floor fan going. Downstairs, where my sewing room is, is somewhat cooler. I can see the big maple tree in my front yard blowing about in the wind and I can imagine it’d be like standing on front of a giant hairdryer right now.

And now I have to make dinner so the fan is getting moved to the kitchen!

Yarn/fabric fusion

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I made two project bags on Friday and this is the second one. Unfortunately the garment-making didn’t go as well so I have nothing to show for that yet.

The base is a bowl shape crocheted from Knit Picks Dishie, a cotton yarn. Once the ball was almost used up, I added fabric to the top part.

After measuring the circumference of the top edge, I cut a strip of fabric the same length plus seam allowances, sewed it into a tube, and then sewed it to the top of the crochet.

The lining is another tube, the same circumference by the height of the bag, with a circle base. Much as I dislike sewing cylinders and circles together this came together easily.

When I sewed the exterior and interior together, I added channels for the drawstring. It worked out just as I imagined and I’m really pleased with it.

In the photo above, the bag has four 100 gram yarn skeins inside, so it’s a good size.

FO: another project bag

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There was a free oddment of vinyl lying around in the staff room yesterday so I brought it home. It was only 7″ wide so I cut it up for a bag base.

The quilting cotton has been in the stash for ages and is one of my favourite fabrics. I have already made a few things with it.

I used a Microtex needle and a slightly longer stitch and it just glided through the vinyl like a dream, even when I sewed through 8 layers for the D ring tab.

Fantastic!

Day 1 of a three day weekend. I need to wash a couple of pieces of fabric so that I can sew two tops, so the bag was a slight diversion! Hoping to get started on a garment tomorrow.

Rainbows

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It’s been a mixed bag of weather this week. We’ve had rain, sun, and both at the same time, hence the rainbow. The heat peaked in the high 30s and dropped again. Tonight we have high winds.

There have been rainbows in my sewing room too.

This fleece dress, pj pants and slippers are from a McCall’s pattern. I made a sweater with cowl neck from the same pattern about a year ago and this time I decided to make this bright combo for the June Pride display at work.

Here it is in place with some rainbow fabric and feather boas. I had two days off so made the pants and slippers on Day 1 and the dress on Day 2. I used my walking foot and a Schmetz Microtex needle (for those interested) along with a zigzag stitch for the seams and the fleece sewed up beautifully.

My other small finished object is this ice cream pint cosy. It’s from a blog called kathysewsclothes.wordpress.com. It’s pretty easy except for turning it through the small gap and topstitching, which was a bit of a struggle. I guess I need to buy some (vegan) ice cream now to test it out. Even if I don’t use it for ice cream, I’m sure I could find another use for it. It would probably make a good plant pot cosy too!

It’s a work weekend for me and four days of work in a row, so not much happening in the evenings except for eating, Netflix and vegging! We have inventory time coming up at work and we’re already deep into the preparation, attaching tags to the fabrics for weighing day.

Hope your weekend is wonderful!

What a weekend!

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Three days off in a row, and it feels like a holiday!

Sewed practically all day Friday (and took a couple of daylight photos of the bag)…

Saturday, did the grocery shopping and the library followed by a nice toasting in the sun. Pulled out some coconut oil that wasn’t being eaten and put some on my skin, and threw a blanket and a towel on the grass. Later we went to the gym. Enjoyed some reading time with one of my library books.

Sunday we were out early and had a walk along the lake…

Stopped for a tea at our favourite tea shop. Home for lunch then a little more sunshine time on the back deck.

There was still time for some more sewing and I made a drawstring project bag which required a lot less thought than Friday’s project. A palate cleanser, as it were, before I tackle another Yoan tutorial.

Then dinner and more reading.

And now my weekend is almost over. I hope you enjoyed your weekend and that all is well with you.

Nine Patch Convertible bag from Yoan

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This bag is an amazing design. So much work must have gone into the planning and production. It took me most of the day to make this, about six hours actively sewing plus breaks for food and stuff.

It has two straps so you can wear it as a backpack or shoulder bag, attaching to either the upper or lower D rings.

The fabrics I used were in my stash. Four of them are from one grouping and the orange was from a different range but coordinated well.

The above photos are the finished pockets. There are four zippers in this bag!

Below are the component parts before assembly.

A lot of hardware too!

Considering the fabric, the interfacing (Thermolam and SF101 aren’t cheap), the swivel hooks, D rings and sliders, and the time it took to make, this wouldn’t be a viable product to sell, but I made this for the joy and the challenge so it’s OK!

I have tabs open on my laptop for a couple more Yoan videos so perhaps you’ll see another completed project this weekend.

Have a great weekend, crafty friends!

Squeezing in sewing time

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Often when I get home from a full day on my feet, having lifted myriad bolts of fabric and dealt with lots of people (can you say extroverted introvert?!) I am wiped and all I have the energy for is food, tea, Netflix and bed.

Other days, given the right motivation, I can actually get things done.

The barbecue display at work

One evening to make an apron and a second to make an oven mitt to add to the display.

The finished rope bowl

My hand-dyed yarn crocheted over cotton clothesline.

A new mask and earsaver

Just because I love the camper fabric so much!

And another WhitneySews bag from the same tutorial as the cat bag I showed you last time. How adorable is this fabric, with the yarn-bombed trees!

One day, I managed to have a complete sewing room blitz and now everything is tidier and better organized.

All that clear space waiting to be used!

I’m working tomorrow but then I have three days off. Ooh, what mischief can I get up to?!

More makes from the makeaholic!

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My boss called me a makeaholic! I confess. I am. And I’m not a bit sorry.

This mandala is from a pattern by Lucy of Attic24 called Positivity Mandala. I used a rather splitty acrylic yarn from work without too much thought as to colour placement but I don’t think this could look bad however you made it. It’s pretty!

It was quick to crochet but it took me a while to find the metal ring locally. It was only a couple of dollars at a dollar store.

This is a crochet bowl in progress. At the stage above, I was crocheting a flat circle for the base. The yarn was a white cotton one that I dyed (my first dye experiment) with Procion MX dyes. At the time I thought it was so eye-searingly bright that I wouldn’t find a use for it but this bowl is perfect.

Once I decided the base was large enough I stopped increasing and kept going.

I love that one can pop the yarn (and in this case the rope that I am crocheting over) into the project in progress!

This is a gift for a coworker. The fleece toy is just made from a bear that was printed on the fabric, backed with more fleece, sewn around, cut out and stuffed.

The bag is from a tutorial by WhitneySews on YT. I like this style. It’s spacious and has both handles and a drawstring closure.

It goes with the baby quilt.

It was a very quick quilt. No piecing, just top, backing and batting. The backing was cut larger and brought to the front to act as a binding. I tied it in places with embroidery cotton.

All in all, a productive week! Oh yes, and I also sewed a quick apron from a quilt cotton panel for work. I will set up the display tomorrow and try to remember to get a photo.

FO: patchwork tote

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The patchwork tote that I envisaged last week is now a reality. It always feels like free fabric when you piece a lot of scraps together.

I confess I did buy fabric for the lining. The zipper is one of my cheapie ones from an online purchase (they work out at about 35 cents each) and the pink fabric for the pocket lining was in the stash.

I hit a snag after putting it all together. I realised that the large curtain grommets that I planned to use wouldn’t work because of the zipper pocket. I should have placed it lower down.

So a quick purchase of emergency 14mm grommets later, I had my handles sorted.

This bag is super roomy and I love it!

In case you were wondering…

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I actually started a crochet project this week but I’m not sure that I want to continue with it. I wanted to make a baby gift so pulled out some DK yarns in some analogous colours plus some from the opposite side of the colour wheel.

I started following the Relaxghan pattern, found on Ravelry, but now I’m not crazy about the combo or the pattern.

I need this gift to be fast, and a blanket made with DK yarn with lots of ends to weave in is just not doing it for me.

Nah!

Maybe I’ll go back to it later but for now I think I’m going to do a simple quilt with a fun fabric, one piece for the top, one for the backing, add batting and tie the layers together.

I have fabric in my stash for the top. Just need a metre of a coordinating solid for the back.

I did have some fun with rope tonight.

This stuff was from Home Depot and cost about $9 for 100 feet. I used almost a whole pack for a bowl that ended up about 9.5 inches across at the top edge.

Dang, that used a lot of thread. I think I filled the bobbin four times! The teeny bit of vinyl at the end is a scrap from work. I like the pops of colour from bits of quilting cotton wrapped around the rope in places.

I have the makings of more bag handles here – I found the cotton rope at the dollar store today so with the grommets and the scrap of vinyl to cover the ends of the rope I’d say I’m ready to construct a new tote bag. I’m thinking patchwork……….

See you again soon!