Sunday, 21 October 2012


I have been busy today.  I have never previously been overly interested in 'home decor' and I don't think that I am ever going to be 'overly interested', but I have a few things which I have been working on lately and have  posted here, such as  curtain panels.

Having put up the three Amy Butler curtain panels in  our bedroom I wanted to  jazz up the bed linens a bit.  Today saw the first of (many) pillow cases.  This was relatively simple but....there's always a but...when I was sewing one of the long hems  I managed to get a hole in the main body of the  case.  A bunching up of the fabric occurred and the knives on the overlocker just went straight through. Lucking  I realised this while  there was 'only' a  hole of a few inches length.     This meant a repair before it was even finished. If you look at the bottom right-hand corner of the blue fabric you  will be able to spot it. I ironed interfacing onto the back for the piece with  the hole and  I put a new piece of fabric on the front and then did three rows of concentric stitching to hold that baby down.

Next came the trimmings. The two  were also sewn down securely. I don't know  if the pink 'bobbles' will be too bobbly and therefore uncomfortable,  but it is going to be severely tested with much sleeping tonight :0) The original pattern had the contrasting fabric  at the end folded over and sewn down. This does make for a nice luxurious feel, but it is useless in terms of keeping the pillow in the case. Therefore I did a minor adjustment which means that the folded over part now forms an envelope in which to stick that end of the pillow. I hope it is deep is deeper than the front red section.

I am going to keep my eyes open for more fabric which appeals and also for trimmings- a relatively low-cost way of adding some  luxury to   sewing projects

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Fast'n'dirty Pinny Porn

Yah, boo! Suckers! Go find the  kinda blog you hoped you were getting!

Edit: Le Sigh...should of course be 'waist band' but I can't be bothered looking for all of the typos tonight...
Edit: and I just found the wrong 'so/sew'...and a grocer's apostrophe.....ACK!
In the meantime:

There has been some sewing. This apron idea was not mine...if you Google 'Fat Quarter Apron' you will get lots of results. Unfortunately I can't find the link which I used.

But.. basically...get a fat quarter and cut enough from one of the slightly longer sides which can be folded in haf with a seam allowance sewed under. This forms the waist band.

 Use a plate or  whatever circular  object  is of the correct proportions and  mark a curve at two bottom corners. Cut following this line. You can see the desired effect above.

Next I formed a pleat in the middle and hand basted it in place- takes a few seconds and just makes life a bit easier

I then  used Bias Tape to cover the raw edge of the fat quarter, along three of its sides. The great thing about Bias Tape is that it goes around corners like there is no tomorrow :0)

When I attached the waste band, which covered the ends of the  Bias Tape, I slipped more of the  Bias Tape around the front of the waste band, since I liked the effect. I also  remembered to tuck in the tape which I was using for apron ties into the  open ends of the waistband.

Sewed it all in place ..oh, forgot to mention, I also made a hanging loop which you can just see peeking out of the top left corner of the picture. This was my one 'design' feature ;0) This was pinned in place and sewn with the waistband

This was real fast and dirty sewing. I didn't have any orange thread. Not  one. So I went with the blue which I had in the machine because I was being lazy. I could've taken time to  lovingly find  the perfect contrast.. but this apron is a one-night stand, not the love of my life...even sew, some of my sewing was appalling...looks like a drunk has taken my sewing fo a walk.

But....there's alway's a but...this took an hour to make from getting the fabric out (pre-washed!) to cutting the last threads. Can't say better than that.

See what I mean about that sewing???

Monday, 1 October 2012

There's always a 'but'

I really have the crochet bug at the moment. I have stalled in the middle of a crocheted jumper, simply because it will not fit properly until I have lost a few more pounds....which shouldn't take that long, really, but it has been enough to halt me with simply one sleeve left to finish.

In the meantime I am crocheting a blanket...or should I say, another blanket. I think that makes four in various stages of creation. The top and this blanket are both by Doris Chan.  I think Doris designs some beautiful things. But...and there is a  but... her 'crochet mind' works differently from mine. That means that  when I am following her instructions for garments I do a fair bit of frogging (that's ripping out completed work to the uninitiated ;0). As you can imagine, this is very, very frustrating  But...because there is a but....when my crochet mind aligns with Doris' crochet mind, I can really appreciate the elegance of the design. And here I mean not the finished garment, but by the actual design of the garment. She has some sophisticated solutions for design problems  The kind that appear to be simple solutions but in reality have a lot of thought behind them.

But...back to the blanket. I had in my mind jewel colours separated by a pale grey. A somewhat mottled grey, not solid, but icy-white with the edge taken off with wisps of cool grey. I did not want white. I did not want cream. The yarn also had to be acrylic. Again for the uninitiated, it is generally a bad idea to mix different yarn bases together since it affects the laundering process. As the blanket was mainly acrylic, for    hard-wearing indestructibility,   the yarn for which I was seeking also needed to be acrylic. But ...because there is a but...I simply could not find a grey acrylic yarn which even came close to what I had imagined. There wasn't even a wool yarn which came close to what I had imagine. know where this is going, right?...because ....I am impatient I thought I would grab some superwash yarn  which would 'just do.' Well, it just won't. The 'superwash' label means that it can in theory be machine washed. Not that I  planned to, but this at least meant that when I hand washed it I shouldn't have too much of a problem with it. It wouldn't behave wildly differently from the acrylic. But sucked, big time. Sucked all that beautiful jewel-toned vibrancy right outta that blanket. And that just wouldn't do.

I hand craft because I love both the process and the end result. There is no point in continuing with something if you don't love it. What I am asking myself is: Why the hell didn't I listen to that voice in my head telling me that the grey yarn 'wouldn't do'? Voices in the head are worrying. But when they  are giving crafty advice they are generally best listened to. I've been here before. I'll probably end up back in this place again. Hopefully not for a while.

I went back to the shop. Took a long, long time looking for a cream yarn. Again, somewhat surprised (nay, amazed) that  I could not even find cream 'baby yarn.' (How cool is that, eh? Knitting a baby.) Right next to it was some grey yarn which came fairly close to what I had imagined. But I decided not to take the risk. I didn't want to spend any more money on even one ball of yarn which might not be right. So cream it is. Again it is superwash wool. This time, though, it is very soft superwash wool, much closer in 'hand' to that of the acrylic, so I am also much happier with that.  I bought one ball of the yarn and rushed home and completed a few motifs to see how it would look. Here it is:

I think you would agree, the cream is much, much better. It looks very white here, but trust me, it is cream.

The blanket pattern, should you be interested, is the All Star Blanket, Doris Chan. Again, the design of the star motif is elegant. Just what I expect from Doris.

And the grey yarn? I have a short-sleeve jumper pattern all lined up. I plan to wear it with a  scarf  at the neck, to deal with the colour-sucking properties of the yarn.