Category Archives: sewing

More dodgy bags

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More dodgy bags

The beach fabric with the camper vans, surfboards and beach houses has been put to good use in two more bags for the #dodgybagmal2021!

This zipper pouch is bigger than the owl one I talked about a couple of posts ago. I increased the height of the denim base by one inch and did the same with the upper exterior fabric. It made for a more roomy bag but maintained good proportions.

The inside has a couple of extra slip pockets just because.

That was Sunday’s project.

Today’s was a bag from Erica Arndt on YouTube.

Rather than piece a patchwork pocket (how’s that for alliteration) I used a single piece of the surfboard fabric and as I had fusible fleece inside I didn’t bother doing any quilting.

The handles are quite narrowly positioned but I wanted to avoid covering certain parts of the print. If I make this bag again, I will definitely add zipper tabs to avoid that pulled in look at the ends. And I would use my best fabric for the pocket as that’s the main feature.

Sew much fun!

Paisley wallet

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This wallet is another Yoan design.

There are lots of parts but she walks you through it in detail and it comes together quite easily. Even the thickest seams towards the end went well, though I wouldn’t attempt it without a walking foot.

It’s not perfect but it is pretty!

The four fabrics I used are from one collection so they coordinate with each other.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, whatever you’re doing. Happy crafting!

Dodgy bag MAL 2021

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Dodgy bag MAL 2021

As I was sewing my Flower Power bag, which I told you about in my last post, I was listening to Ali of the Little Drops of Wonderful podcast on YouTube.

How fortuitous that she announced the start of her annual Dodgy Bag Make-along during that podcast!

She has a group on Ravelry and there is a chatter thread for the MAL. I posted a photo of my bag in there, of course.

And today, I have another bag to add to the event. I followed her zippered project bag tutorial and made this…

I had this fabric in the stash, bought on a whim because it’s cute. Ditto the lining.

The base is denim and the handle is part of a zipper, the working part of which has previously been used in another project.

I love the name “Dodgy Bags”—so named because she is not accurate in her cutting and if a seam doesn’t get sewn properly the first time she doesn’t mind turning the bag through to redo it. (When I see her using a ruler, set square and scissors it makes me want to send her a rotary cutter, mat and gridded ruler on the mail!)

It’s very freeing to see that even if your cutting and stitching is a bit wonky and your bag isn’t perfect, it still comes out looking pretty good! It’s easy to get caught up in ideas of perfection rather than just having fun with it.

Of course I left it until late in the day to start mine. I’ll make another on the weekend, I think, when I’m less tired.

Flower Power bag

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Happy happy happy! A day off sandwiched between a bunch of workdays turned into a sewing day.

A friend sent me a link to the Blooms bag by Yoan Sewing Studio on YouTube and it’s so pretty. I was won over and abandoned the backpack plans and made this instead.

It has a long strap for wearing over the shoulder or across your body, and handles too. Rather than sew the straps, I used lime green belting. I also used upcycled jeans for the base.

There are two sets of D rings so it can have a foldover top, or not. I had to use a coordinating fabric for the back as the camper fabric would have looked upside down.

There’s a zipper pocket with a slip pocket behind, on the front, and inside there is a magnetic closure, slip pockets and another zipper pocket.

I love it!

Two other small projects were finished last weekend. More scrappy zipper pouches.

The pompom trim was a last minute fix to cover a spot that was lifting and exposing the batting!

Fun with dye

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The store where I work has a monthly DIY idea and this month it’s a rope bowl.

My boss has been making these for ages and she uses cotton clothesline which she buys in bulk online. But the fabric store obviously wants to promote their own products so they used cotton piping cord for theirs, plus they dip-dyed it in Rit dye.

I brought home 8 metres of cord, some 100% cotton thread (so it would take up the dye) and some Coral Rit. I already had a scrap of vinyl at home.

Above photos are after sewing and before dyeing. The top diameter is about 7″.

(Spoon for scale.)

I was pleased with the result, but I did just go back and add a bit more stitching to the final loop to make it look neater.

When I was dipping the bowl into the dyebath, the water was barely soaking through so I scooped some water into the inside and then had to hope it would drain out, or I’d have had dye up the side and over the edge!

There was so much dye, I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I grabbed a couple of balls of white cotton Drops Safran and tossed them in as is. They instantly went a vibrant orange. After they’d had a chance to dry a bit, I used my swift to make them into hanks so they’d dry faster.

I got a nice tonal effect. In real life, it’s coral, not as bright as the photo suggests.

I’ve had a satisfying day today, cleaning and airing the house.  Soup is cooking and now I’m going to make a couple more earsavers for myself. This is one I made last night.

Daylight savings

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I saw a humorous meme on FB earlier. Something about the day after the clocks “springing forward” an hour being National Napping Day.

I must confess to being rather sleepy this afternoon. Saturday evening I went to bed extra early because I had work at 9.30am Sunday. But Sunday evening I stayed up late watching The Coroner on Netflix and then slept in this morning.

After a slow start to the day, I baked a couple of fruit cakes (one for us, and a GF one for a coworker) and while they were cooling I went for a 45 minute walk in the sunshine.

Scoffing a large piece of cake may have contributed to the sleepiness!

I never tire of the views around here.

Rather than buy a birthday card for my great-niece I made this from a piece of scrappy fabric I made a while back when experimenting with scraps and stitches.

I used Heat ‘n Bond to fuse it to a plain backing, pinked the edges, and stitched in a piece of paper for the handwritten message.

Now I just need to mail it off with her gifts.

Well, I said I was sleepy and obviously a little brain-dead because I just published this prematurely. Sorry if you get two versions in your inbox.

There’s no place like gnome

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I am really happy with these spring gnomes. From their pastel fleece hats to their flowery skirts to their variegated faux fur beards, they look pretty much as I visualised them.

I started with this…

…styrofoam cones, cotton fabric, fleece, yarn, a little faux fur trim, some felt and some blusher…oh, and a lot of hot glue sticks…

…in progress shot so you can see the braids and skirts…

…and ended up with a fun finish with some flowers attached to the mini watering can and garden tools.

Now, when I set these up on a table at work, I intend to add more accoutrements, such as a grass green fabric base, maybe some blue yarn inside the watering can, and ideally some seed packets ‘n stuff. I was hoping to find seeds at the dollar store this morning, but only managed to acquire the terracotta plant pots, watering can, tools and flowers. Why the plant pots? Well, they make a perfect sturdy base for the gnomes and they will also look very similar to the gnomes on the quilting fabric at work which will be part of the display.

After my outing to the dollar store early this morning, I hit the sewing room, finished the gnomes and then did a good tidy-up because there were bits everywhere. Then the sewing machine came out, Netflix went on (New Amsterdam) and I made these masks for Mr Fixit. He does like his batiks!

Mid-afternoon I finally had some lunch and tested out my new Vava milk steamer/frother (from Amazon on the recommendation of a friend and happy user) with some matcha powder, coconut sugar and Earth’s Own unsweetened vanilla oat ‘milk’. Yum! Two exciting packages in one week! Our new phones arrived today from Samsung. Mr Fixit and I now have a Samsung A71 each, though we need to get micro SIM cards for them and set up a data plan. What a game-changer this will be for me, who’s been limping along with (a) an ancient iPad Mini, (b) a basic Android with no data and (c) a slow Windows laptop for years. I know I know, first world problems!!

Another bit of sewing this week was an experimental mask for ds2 who usually sports a full beard and was finding the mask I’d made him at the beginning of “the disease that shall not be named” was too restrictive. I looked online and saw one that’s available commercially that I felt I could use as inspiration. I took the Sweet Red Poppy template that I use for my other masks and redrew it. The first version was huge – I had a brain fart and added seam allowances and also made it too long – but the second version is much better. It basically flattens out over the beard area rather than cupping the chin.

Sadly, I cannot return to my sewing room just yet. It’s coming up for dinnertime and we have to eat. And then we have yoga. But we will be done with that by 8pm so I think there’s a strong possibility of some napkin sewing, which is pretty mindless, and then I can move on to planning the quilt project.

Ta ta for now!

Finished Frozen Frame Purse

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This is my third purse using a metal frame and they’re getting easier. This time, I used a tutorial by Debbie Shore. She sews her bag differently from the one I made recently out of the sewing print fabric, and I prefer her method. However I did tweak it, in that I added seam allowances to the paper pattern before cutting it out. I backed the outer fabric pieces with fusible Thermolam, trimming it so that there was less bulk in the seam allowances.

The thread that I used to sew the frame in place is a Coats Heavy thread and I think this will be much more sturdy than the first one. When I get that first version back from the store, I’ll add more stitching to the handle, because I don’t think the all-purpose polyester thread will hold up to much use.

Did you notice that this fabric has a theme? It’s from the Frozen 2 range. I like the colours in it, and that it’s not overtly Disneyish.

The finished purse is 5.5 inches across at its widest point and 4.5 inches top to bottom. Perfect for the little girl I’ll be sending it to.

A spring look to the dining room

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A spring look to the dining room

February 12th I showed you my placemats in progress. They sat in my sewing room for over a week, neglected, as I had work and other things on my plate, but today I dedicated a block of sewing time to them and they are done!

Ta dah!

The fabrics I used are more expensive than I’d usually buy, but I did have a gift certificate to spend. Even though the two main designs were from different groupings at the store, the selvages showed that they were designed by the same person which is why they coordinate so beautifully. I used the geometric pattern on the back to guide my quilting.

It feels good to get these off my To Do list (and onto my Ta Dah list – ho ho!).

What else have I been doing? Well, work of course, about which I have been feeling more relaxed lately, which is good as the acid reflux has subsided, thank goodness. And some play with colourful yarn…

Don’t ask me what these three-round granny squares will become. I haven’t decided yet. I’ve made about 40 of them and will see what ideas come to me when the bag of that yarn is almost gone.

I am excited to say that I am getting a new phone very soon and it will be sufficiently advanced that I should be able to get the WordPress app and post easily and quickly from that. That’ll save me a lot of faffing about. Also I will be able to have Facebook and Instagram on it and a bunch of other stuff, so it will basically replace my current Android AND my old and clunky iPad Mini.

I hope you’re all having a great weekend and staying warm (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere).

PJ day!

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PJ day!

Or perhaps, more accurately, “Hello Kitty fleece onesie” day!

Woke up to -20C and snow this morning. Didn’t have to go anywhere, so I pronounced it a onesie day. Washed and dressed in thermals topped with a onesie and after my usual computer stuff I headed down to the sewing room.

I had already started on my new table-runner and placemats. Last weekend, I cut them, spray basted them, and quilted them. I then realised, after doing a bit of math, that I was probably going to be short of binding fabric. I put the project on hold until I could pick up another 20cm of the quilt cotton at work. Today, I was ready to continue.

These are such pretty fabrics. I cut and pressed all the binding and got it all sewn on to the right side of the mats. Only one placemat was actually finished on both sides, by which time I had been at the sewing machine for long enough. It’ll take at least one more sewing session to finish the job, maybe two, as I need to pin the binding over the edge just right and sew it carefully.

After baking chocolate chip cookies, I sat down to check Ravelry etc and found someone in one of the groups who was having a hard time with an instruction on a pattern. So I decided to crochet up this little hedgehog to see if I could help her out. The pattern is called Diddy Hedgehog and you can find it here (non-Ravelry link). In the end, she figured it out herself.

I didn’t know I was going to make the whole thing or I’d have used better colours. I just needed something light to photograph the steps easily. Those bobbles are tiresome, and I’d hate to have a large project with lots of them.

Last time, I showed you a granny stitch beanie. Tonight I finished a cowl to co-ordinate (though the ends aren’t woven in yet). The colours don’t exactly match as I had to use scraps that were big enough to work a whole round (11 grams). The hook is a 6mm this time, and once the tails are tucked away I can wash both items. The cowl is folded in the photo below – it’s actually long enough to double up around my neck.

The cowl and beanie side by side – as you can see they are fraternal, not identical!

I’ve been enjoying the Our Planet series on Netflix narrated by David Attenborough. Makes a change from fiction and I’m learning new things. And now it’s time to hit Publish and get ready for bed, as I am working tomorrow. Take care, keep warm!