Category Archives: sewing

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!

Selvedges, scraps and stash

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Selvedges, scraps and stash

I had a bit of fun today, making a mask from some of my saved selvedges.

I used a lightweight fusible interfacing to build the new fabric from the strips, layering them and then ironing them down.

There was a bit of white zone on one strip so I added a teeny flowery circle from the same fabric as the lining.

I have a larger sewing project on the go: a table runner and placemats for my dining room table. I got as far as cutting, layering and quilting the pieces together, but when I reached the point of double-checking how many strips to cut for the binding I realised I may not have bought quite enough of that fabric. Doh! I’ll show you that project when it’s finished.

I did make a small dent in the yarn stash this week. I crocheted a slouchy granny beanie. I started out using a round blanket pattern and after the first seven rounds I stopped increasing and just made a hat rather than a blanket. After a few different attempts at a well-fitting brim, I went with a “ribbed” brim using front post and back post double crochet. (My Ravelry project page is here.)

The grey heather yarn is Red Heart Super Saver. Turns out I have lots left in the stash from the time I knitted a super bulky sweater. The bright colours are from various manufacturers.

I rather like the way the pink round looks like little hearts. Totally unplanned.

The weather forecast for this week is telling us to expect a cold snap. We’re looking at a minimum on Wednesday and Thursday nights of minus 23 Celsius and a daytime high of minus 13!!

It’s temporary, though, as more normal seasonal temperatures will be back the following week. I’ve been mulling over the idea of a temperature project. In 2013 I knitted a garter stitch scarf, using the daytime high to dictate which colour to knit into the scarf every day. I actually completed it (I think I amazed myself)!

With the huge drop in temperature expected this week, I wish I could come up with the right project to make. I don’t want to commit to a year-long blanket or scarf, but maybe a February hat or cowl is doable. I certainly have enough yarn to choose from. Hmmmm……..

Intense sewing session

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I apologise for the poor quality of these photos. I grabbed a quick photo with my iPad after laying this quilt on the living room floor, then tried to get some more pics with my phone after it was hung up at work.

I was pleased that the quilt came together pretty much as I envisioned it. I made the heart first, sewing a type of crazy quilt onto a large heart shape cut from batting. I used silver metallic thread for the stitching over the seams, which went far better than I’d hoped. Thanks to YouTube, I found out that metallic threads need a larger-eyed needle and a looser tension, so I put in a 90/14 Universal (didn’t have a topstitch one) and dialled my top tension from 6 to 3. It worked!

After that, I sewed the heart to the cloud fabric, first using a straight stitch around the shape close to the edge and then adding a wide zigzag.

I had a couple of packages of silver trims to make the heart look like a balloon, with a string coming down and continuing off the edge of the quilt. The free motion quilting says “Love is in the air”, and the flowers are just strips of fabric gathered along one edge and fastened down with buttons.

It took me a few hours each day from Friday through Sunday. On Monday, it was hung up at work and my manager gave me another project to do. We have some metal purse frames that aren’t selling, so I brought one home and checked out YouTube for how to make a bag with it. The instructions that came with the frame were not very helpful!

I ended up using a Rockstars and Royalty video, mostly following what she did except I made darts rather than boxing the bottoms of the bag.

Well, the air in my sewing room must have been blue by the time I finished sewing in that handle! Talk about fiddly! My needle kept coming unthreaded, the fabric kept moving out of the frame and I had to redo stitches, and at one point the thread snapped when I was only halfway done one side.

It’s done now and if I make another I think I’ll go back to a Debbie Shore video I watched that constructed the bag differently and may result in a neater junction at the hinges.

Yes, I’m a Wool Warehouse fan!

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Welcome to Wednesday! Yeah, a very unappreciated day. For many, it’s too far from the weekend! With my shifts, that doesn’t mean a lot. My work days this week are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, then Saturday and Sunday. It was a very low-stress day at work today. Not too busy, time to put out new quilt fabrics on the shelves, nice customers.

I took photos of a couple of finished objects tonight and realised there’s a lot of Wool Warehouse product being used. The New Delhi quilt cottons in the cuff (top) are from there, as is the tortoise fabric by Lewis and Irene. And when I put the ribbon in the casing for the drawstring I used a bodkin that I also bought from Wool Warehouse. This kind of bodkin (pinch or pincer) is one I saw a lot of YouTubers using for tutorial videos and it makes putting in drawstrings so effortless.

Do you like the Bollywood Elephant button on the cuff? I originally used a silver button but when I saw those elephants at work I knew that one of them belonged on that cuff!

The Wishing Well shawl has grown fast. I zoomed through the first yarn cake and since taking that photo I’ve started on the second. I won’t use all of the second cake because the shawl is quite large already but I’ll see how it goes.

It’s going to be an early night for me tonight. No Netflix to drag me in for multiple episodes. I. Can, Resist.