Category Archives: non-knitting crafts

A sewing day

A sewing day

There was nothing on the calendar for today and I was excited that I’d be able to spend a few hours in my sewing room. I did end up having to pop out to collect some plumbing parts so that Tai Chi Man can fix the bath, and I will probably go grocery shopping tonight, but the fabrics were calling.

I followed two different You Tube tutorials and made a total of three bags. One was from The Crafty Gemini for a triangle pouch. The first one was a bit bigger than hers as I cut my fabrics 8 x 16″ for a finished bag that measured about 6.5 inches tall.

This is a lime green cotton fabric with balls of yarn printed on it. I used some medium weight interfacing and added an octopus charm.

I also made a larger version with a contrast lining but no interfacing, as I didn’t have enough left at this point.

The fabric was cut into 10 x 20″ pieces and the bag turned out about 8.5 inches tall. I plan to make two more in these same fabrics, but in different sizes, just for fun.

And this bag is from a pattern/tutorial called Easy Cosmetics Bag by So Sew Easy. You can print out the template from a Craftsy pattern but I just drew it up on a sheet of paper closely resembling the one in the pattern. I like that the base is a little wider than the top. It’s just as well this one is for me as the print is not quite lined up on one side and one of the little side tabs is wonky.

Not sure why my screen is giving the photos a blue cast. I was outside on my deck on a bright day so hopefully clicking to see the full size photos will make them look better.

Recently, I bought some lobster clasps and sea-themed charms from Michaels, along with a tool for opening split rings, and I used some, not just for zipper pulls, but also for progress keepers on my crochet.


The beads are ones I’ve had for years. In fact two of the above were already made up as earrings, so I took off the hooks and put on the lobster clasps instead.

It’s snack time and then I shall have to see if I feel like sewing some more.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…



Christmas buttons are 50% off at work this week so I snapped up a packet of these ‘Christmas lights’ and made some earrings to wear to work the next couple of days with my hot pink Santa hat!



And Christmas just isn’t Christmas without gingerbread people. A home day today in which I did eleventy-bajillion loads of laundry, vacuumed, cleaned bathrooms and the kitchen, baked bread and the aforementioned cookies.

Wishing you all a Cool Yule, Merry Christmas, Super Solstice, Happy Hannukah or just a nice end to 2016.


What’s new?


Well, I spiffed up my couch cushions…


I’ve had this cheap and cheerful fabric around for at least a year, I think, and I still have about four metres each of lime on white and orange on white to use up! This worked well for my couch cushions because the couch is brown and I love turquoise. I just cut a metre of fabric, trimmed some off the width to square it up, then put the cushion in the middle, brought in two corners, then brought in the other two corners and tied them together. So much quicker than crocheting or sewing!

My crochet news is that I have finished the Happy-go-Lacy shawl, washed it and pinned it to my ever-so-sophisticated blocking mats. It should be dry very soon as it’s thin yarn and the weather is warm and dry. After I took this photo on my kitchen floor, I very carefully dragged the whole shebang into the living room where it will hopefully not be in the way.


This used three balls of Red Heart Heart and Sole and a 6mm hook. Next, my boss would like me to make something out of the RH Scrubby which should be fairly quick, though the yarn is quite rough and I’m not sure what it’s going to be like to work with.






Adult colouring books have really taken off, it seems. I hear lots of people talking about it now, and books are for sale all over the place.

In August, a friend gave me a set of Faber Castell PITT artist pens (brush) in the basic primaries and secondaries. Specifically, Pink Carmine, Phthalo Blue, Purple Violet, Permanent Green Olive, Cadmium Yellow and Dark Chrome Yellow.

Today I had to go downtown for a quick dental checkup to make sure that some cold sensitivity wasn’t a cavity (Phew! Nothing found!)  so I also dropped in at a lovely little tea shop for a Cowboy Fog (I believe it has tea and coffee beans in it) with Tai Chi Man, and a nearby art supplies shop which sells these pens.

Their stock seemed a little low, but I added Black, Caput Mortuum (looks like brown to me), Cobalt Green, Light Green and Medium Flesh.

Don’t you just hate that word, “flesh.” <shudder>


Testing the app again 


IMG_4407-0IMG_4408-0Well, this is exciting. I updated my iOS today on the iPad Mini, AND noticed a WordPress update in the App Store. So I felt lucky enough to try a post in the app (I’ve been using Safari for months because of crashing problems). And yippee, the photos uploaded. I had some much needed home time today and finally spent enough time in my sewing room to get the ironing done, sew three infinity scarves and make a no-sew vest. 
A pretty remnant I brought home from work.

The above fabric is a lovely soft greyed blue. It’s like knitted sweater fabric, and so soft. This piece was 150cm wide and about 90cm long. The result is wide enough to wear over the head as well as around the neck.

The pink version is also from a piece of fabric 150cm wide (which becomes the length of the loop) but only 45cm long, so it’s skinnier than the blue one.

The no-sew vest is made from identically-patterned fabric to the other one that I made, but in a pink rather than a turquoise colourway. I had to mess about  to get the photos to display, and they are at the top of this post and it’s too much effort to move them! It is hung up with a black turtleneck underneath. I’ve had customers admire my first one at the store, wanting to know how it’s made. (Dead easy!) In fact, this one was even less work than the last, as the colour went all the way into the selvedges and I didn’t have to trim them off.


Knitting and sewing


My kerchief is finally being blocked. It joined a load of clothes in the washer and is now being streeeeetched on the mats.

The other projects I have been working on the last few days are upcycled jeans bags. I bought two pairs of jeans and a pair of denim shorts at one of the local thrift stores. The shorts became this bag with the butterfly lining…


One pair of jeans has become this bag…


And the legs are destined to become yoga mat bags. One leg already has fabric added to the top and bottom, but I need to get some sort of cord for the carrying handle and think up a cute embellishment.

I’m doing a different event in a couple of weeks which I am optimistic about. It’ll be a new audience who will hopefully like what I make.

Hope you have a great week!



Inspired by Pinterest, I have upcycled a pair of jeans that recently died. It was a tricky place for them to wear out though, right at the top of the inner thigh.

I cut up the inside leg seams and found that, of course, when I wanted to overlap the curved seams over each other, preferably with the topstitching showing, the worn out bit was on the side I wanted on the outside. So I had to overlap it the other way, which doesn’t look quite as good.

Anyhow, I had two panels of rather pretty daisy fabric which I put behind the V shaped gaps and pinned in. Tried it on, repinned again, when I was happy with it, I sewed it in, just topstitching twice near the edges of the denim. The only place I zigzagged was at the top of the back V, where the edges were raw and will get more wear. Any frayed bits will add to its charm!

Tai Chi Man set a line of pins around the hem for me (with a metre stick, while I stood on a stool) and I machined that, and it was done.

If you’re looking for a tutorial I’m sure there are many online, but there is an exceptionally good one in the book Jean Therapy by Scatha G Allison (I borrowed it from the library).



Dyeing experiment


This is the result of my dyeing acrylic experiment that I told you about last week. The skeins took a long time to dry out, then I had to wash and rinse them and hang them to dry again. A lot of paint came out.

The turquoise and orange ones have a deeper colour than the one on which I tried four different separate colours.

The yarn was cheap and not soft to start with, and whilst it feels a little stiffer in places, it is knittable. I don’t think I would trust this not to run with later washing so I wouldn’t combine two skeins in one project, just in case.

Now to wind it into balls.




Edited to add photos of wound balls…turqoise 75grams, orange 105, and Neapolitan 80.




Yes, you can dye acrylic yarn


The above link will take you to a video by the Frugal Crafter. This lady had the brainwave that she might be able to dye acrylic yarn with acrylic paint. And guess what…you can. It’s more like handpainting really, because the fibre is not actually absorbing the paint, but it seems to work. I had to try it.

So armed with a one pound ball of Red Heart Comfort (cream, from Walmart), I played the video again while winding off some yarn into hanks and getting out my old acrylic paints, which the kids haven’t used in years.

The first one, I used two greens and a blue, and they mostly mixed to form a pleasant uniform blue-green. The second was yellow and orange. The third, I got more creative, and used red, yellow, orange and brown in four quadrants, allowing them to blend where they touched but still keep them as individual colours. I think I succeeded and will know better when it’s dry.

I’ve left them to drip dry over my laundry tub and they’ll probably take a couple of days.

I only used about half the ball so once I see the results and how the yarn feels I will know whether to dye the rest.



Gift cards


I love making my own gift cards. Shop-bought ones are far too expensive and often I can’t find just the right one. In the past I’ve used watercolour paints to make abstract art on the Strathmore Creative Cards that I buy at Opus, the art store downtown.

Today I brought home a library book called Crochet Inspiration by Sasha Kagan and it was perfect timing. I used a crochet flower pattern from the book to adorn a card, held on with a sewn button and hot glue. A few green buttons and it was done. I also made a gift card to attach to the baby shower gift with a rainbow of buttons – as the receiving blankets and crochet newsboy cap are already in a bag, I don’t see the point in putting them in another bag with a lot of fancy tissue paper.

The purple splurge of colour in my photo is where I edited out the recipient’s name.