Category Archives: sewing

Sewing day!

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A friend came over today, bringing her sewing machine and supplies with her, and we set ourselves up at my dining room table, she at her machine, me at mine. One of the things that puts me off sewing, I think, is going downstairs to do it. Yes, I have a craft room with everything I need in one place, but I prefer it upstairs where it’s brighter and more comfortable, which is why I usually opt to crochet on the couch.

However I have been partway through a sewing project for months now. I made a table runner from a gorgeous panel of fabric that I bought at work, and I had the eight coordinating placemats cut out and pinned. I just needed to sew them up, turn them right side out, and topstitch them.

The placemats are reversible – heron fabric on one side, cherry blossom on the other. I still have a bit of this fabric leftover so I’ll have to pull it out of the drawer and see if I have enough for napkins. I know there’s none left at the store.

Once I was on a roll, there was no stopping me. Out came the Weekend Sewing book and the pattern tracing paper, and I started on an apron. This fabric was one I spotted as soon as it arrived at the store – so funny – and I just had to get some. I only bought 0.8m (about 31″) and I really could have done with a bit more for the apron, but at the time of purchase I didn’t have any specific plans. In future I’ll know that a metre is an absolute minimum cut.

 

Luckily I had some green fabric that worked for the facing on the waistband and ties.

It was very enjoyable to be sewing again, especially with company. I must do it more often.

I have also completed a second pair of the Slipper Boots, this time in Pewter. Two strands of Red Heart with Love and a 7mm hook work perfectly and I just extended the upper and sole by three rows at the widest parts to make them man-sized. The ones I made for me are in constant use and very cosy.

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Now that Christmas is over, I must get back to swimming, piano, and that one WIP that has a very definite deadline. Happy New Year to all.

 

 

 

Ten minute clothes pin (peg) bag

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peg bag

Hey, how are you? I’m enjoying a day off today and the sun is shining and it’s going to be hot again. The laundry is out on my brand-spanking-new clothes line which we bought from Amazon, with the brand-spanking-new clothes pins/pegs that we bought from Lee Valley. It just didn’t seem right to use the old weathered pegs on the new line!

The plan is to bring in the pegs each time to get them to last longer so I felt I needed a bag to put them in. I could have crocheted one – nope, too slow – and I could have sewn a fancy one out of pretty cotton, and I could have made one out of an upcycled T shirt, but there weren’t any in the thrift store bag (lots of socks and underwear, but no T shirts)!

I rummaged through my fabric bits and pieces and found this Hello Kitty fleece – it was already a rectangle and I just needed to fold it, square it up, cut a small hole in the folded edge for the plastic hanger, cut an opening and hem it for the access hole, and sew up the sides and bottom. And reinforce the hanger hole, just in case.

And Bob, as they say, is your uncle.

The ripple blanket has grown a bit – if only I could actually spend more time crocheting and less time browsing Ravelry! I know I’d like to get it done before the 17th so I can start the Peacock Tail Bag CAL without a WIP hanging around. Maybe I should have joined the Ravellenic Games on Ravelry, which would have given me a deadline of the closing ceremonies of the Olympics to finish it.

Ah well, I shall do a bit more housework so I can feel justified in getting back to the couch for some more rippling later on.

Gift bags and a new wrap

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The Dragonfly scarf is temporarily on hold as I wanted to crochet some itty bitty gift bags for small gifts I intend to take with me on holiday. I have used two colourways of Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable so far.

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I’d like to get three more done tomorrow. Tonight was too busy house-cleaning and doing laundry. One of these guys fits in the palm of my hand with room to spare.

Another idea I had was to make a rectangular wrap, inspired by many of the convertible wrap ideas on Ravelry. However I just didn’t have the time to crochet one so I bought some loopy fleece-type fabric from work and some clear snaps (didn’t want to make buttonholes).

The pattern I was most interested in was called Pillar to Post and the schematic looked something like this.

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I increased my desired width from 52 to 60 cm. The centres of the snaps were spaced 5 cm apart. The ‘male’ parts of the snaps were sewn on the wrong side, upper left and lower right corners, and the ‘female’ parts were sewn on the right side, upper right and lower left.

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This is a neat idea – you can wear it as a shrug (fold together lengthwise, snap together for sleeves), poncho (fold the other way, snap together at one side for the shoulder join), cowl (snap one end to itself, stick your head through the hole, wrap the rest around your  neck), cardigan shawl (drape around your shoulders like a shawl, snap together at the front like you would a sweater). The colour of this fleece is close to the sweater I plan to wear on holiday and it will give me an extra layer that I can wear indoors or out if it’s chilly. It may be mid-20s here at home, but it’s probably more like mid-teens in the British Isles.

If I had more snaps and more patience (I really didn’t enjoy sewing on those snaps) I would put more along one or both ends for more wearing options.

Oh boy, I just noticed the time, so I guess there won’t be any more crochet for me tonight.

Have a great day!

 

 

 

 

A sewing project

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My table runner project went well and I managed to finish it in a day, some before dinner and some afterwards.

I had had my eye on this range of fabric for ages, and as soon as it was marked down at work I snapped it up, along with some batting, to make a table runner and placemats. This is a preprinted panel, which I backed with the batting and  blossom fabric, and the placemats will be made with the blossoms and a coordinating all over heron fabric.

Today I was meeting two different friends for coffee/tea and had a couple of hours in between so popped into Michaels with a coupon and  gift card.  Often, I can walk around the whole store and leave empty handed, but today I discovered some new yarn and it was so pretty I brought some home.

It’s called Loops & Threads Chameleon, it comes in 100 gram balls, it’s 62% acrylic, 38% polyester, and this particular colourway is Rainbow. It feels very soft. I shall add it to the stash for now until the right project comes along.

 

 

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Making my own pads

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You may recall a while ago I made a camera bag for ds3, after which I was left with a piece of ripstop nylon. I also have quite a lot of cotton flannelette that I was given by a friend who has been decluttering for some time now in anticipation of a house move. And another friend moved recently and gave me a bag of sewing notions which included a small amount of Velcro-type hook and loop fastening.

I made a prototype panty liner with a layer of ripstop nylon for water repellency, a layer of flannelette for absorbency, and a crosswise strip of the nylon with little squares of hook and loop to hold it in place. I tested it. It was okay, but not perfect.

I usually keep a supply of small thin pads around as I have used a menstrual cup (a Keeper or a Diva cup) for about 12 years now, but some days the flow is heavy enough to need a bit of insurance.

I felt it was time to once again have a go at making my own. Tonight I ran up eight of them. It didn’t take long.

For each pad, you start with two rectangles of flannelette cut 6 x 2.5″, one rectangle of ripstop nylon cut to the same size, and another rectangle of the nylon cut 5 x 1″. Plus about half an inch of hook and loop.

Pin the two layers of flannelette together with the layer of nylon, hold a commercial pad over the top (this is optional, you could just wing it), round the corners and curve the sides in. Once that’s done, pin the small rectangle of nylon across the back of the pad. Zigzag around the whole pad. Use a straight stitch to sew the hook and loop onto the ends of the ‘wings’ so it will wrap around your underwear.

I was VERY slapdash about my stitching, but you of course can make yours look much nicer!  (You can click on the small pics to see them full size.)

Let me know in the comments what you like to do to reduce the waste that’s going into the landfill!

Camera bag

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image image image imageMy fingers and thumbs are sore from pinning multiple layers of fabric, but ds3 now has a camera bag for his fancy new Nikon.

I used a tape measure to get the vital statistics, figured out a way to cut the fabric (basically one long strip to go around the camera front and back, and two panels for the sides), worked up a rough prototype in flannelette, and decided to go for it.

The outermost layer is ripstop nylon for water repellency, middle layer is black fleece for cushioning, and the inside layer is cotton batik because it looks nice!

I assembled each layer, then put them inside one another in the right order, then had to decide how to finish the edges.

What worked was to turn in the edges, pin and sew, but that was tricky, what with the thick layers and the slippery nylon. However, I got there in the end, including a ribbon with cord-stopper to attach the bag to the camera strap, and finishing off with a jeans button and ribbon button loop.

The photos above show the bag with and without the camera inside.

And a totally unrelated thing…I had a haircut and some colour around my face yesterday and the hairstylist blow dried my hair straight, which I never do. It’s usually left to curl naturally. It certainly looks different!
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Crazy cat bag has a baby!

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I had a second walk after dinner (with Tai Chi Man this time) and, as it was only 9pm  when we got back, there was enough time to make a little drawstring bag to go with the tote. I have a selection of different coloured ribbons from my farmer’s market days (can’t believe that was two years ago, crocheting my fingers off to make stuff for the stall).

I used the instructions from my Weekend Sewing book, but didn’t use the exact dimensions of the bags in the book as I wanted it to work with the fabric print.

Love it, love it, love it! My family has had to put up with me showing them my handiwork today.

I also spent the last four days working on a crochet commission – the Double Layered Braided Cowl. It uses Half Double Crochet in the third loop to push the top loops of the stitches to the front, hence the interesting texture – one set of four shorter strips, which are braided and have single crochet sections added to each end, and one set of four longer strips, braided and constructed the same way. Then the two sections are joined and a button tab and buttonhole tab added. It looks impressive, and more complicated than it actually is.

So you see I haven’t broken my yarn ban, because I didn’t have to buy this yarn – my manager at work provided the yarn and printout of the pattern, and I got some paid crocheting time. No button yet, but I’ll take it to work in the morning and she can choose an appropriate sized button and I’ll sew it on in my break.

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And now I must turn in so I get my 8 hours of beauty sleep (yes, I do need it)!