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tea pot rests

22 May

Sewing is really allowing me to embrace colour and pattern, in a way that I might not normally in say bedlinen, or clothes.  I love colour, but am not always that adventurous in my day to day life.  I’ve been trying to work out of late items that I’d like to make, and it always comes back to homewares…I can’t see me making clothes anytime soon!  I suppose the easiest starting point is to make things that you would look at in a shop or at a market, that way I figure I will enjoy the creating process more. 

Today I sat down with just that intention, and starting making a pile of tea pot rests.  With winter upon us I think they are a nice, comfy little item to nestle a tea pot on.  Ideally I want to improve my sewing to a point where I can start selling things, maybe on etsy, maybe at a market down the track, so I am trying to make several of the one thing to practise and work out better ways of constructing things.  Here’s the results!

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cushion

14 May

After a couple of madmadmad weeks at work, today it was time to take off the organised hat and put on the creative hat.  All tension disappears as my hands get busy…even if I make mistakes or can’t quite work out the next step..my hands, my head and my heart still rejoice! 

My first attempt at a cushion with a centre zip…

iPad sleeve

26 Apr

I recently made a very exciting purchase…an iPad!  I jumped on board and bought a discounted first version just before the second version was released.  I wanted to bring it along on our weekend away to Sydney, but was worried it would get scratched.  So what should any good crafter do?  Well, make a cover of course!

I used some beautiful Ink & Spindle fabric I had been given as a birthday present, some padding and a plain linen for the lining.  The construction of the inner and outer sleeves where fairly straightforward, but I do need to figure out a better way to finish the flap.  Overall though, (and I do think having lovely fabric helps!) it looks pretty good…and most importantly protected the iPad a treat.

lesson two

3 Apr

Just last week I completed Basics 2 at Threadden.  This class was buttons and zips…wow!  Buttons were easy, zips more challenging. I thought it was going to be a tough three hours, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Sure, my zips weren’t perfect but I followed the instructions and they work like zips should! 

I’m definately someone who needs purpose to achieve things.  Going to class always inspires me, but I still need purpose to sit down and craft away.  I thought about my efforts in class, and how everything felt easier than when I was at home.  It got me thinking that maybe it’s not the super duper sewing machines, and more to do with being around people and having to show what you’ve created – there is a sense of purpose, and also I suppose a sense that you could “fail”. 

It was with this in mind that I sat down with the purpose to make a gift for a friend’s little girl, who is soon to turn 2.  I figured if I was making with the purpose of giving, and therefore showing my creation, that maybe…just maybe, I might have more success.  Here’s what I made…

I must admit I was pretty chuffed with my efforts!  Maybe I put in more effort…took my time..thought about what I was doing more, that made the end result better.

folded purse

19 Mar

I’d been messing around with some sketches for a folded purse, just simple design of a rectangle folded inwards at both ends to form some pockets.  Easy straight lines on the sewing machine….but maybe I need to practice sewing straight lines for a while longer as my stitches are zigging and zagging, pulling fabric and making for a messy finish!

lesson one

14 Mar

I’ve recently inherited a sewing machine, it’s about 30 years old.  It still seems to work ok and probably suits my skill level at the moment.  I’ve been wanting to sew for a long time, but horror images from high school textile class keep popping up in my mind, putting me off.  But it’s a goal for 2011.  Before jumping in head first, and potentially ruining the machine, I signed up for a basics course at Thread Den which was a brilliant idea as I learnt lots of little tips and tricks to get me on my way.  One of which was how to thread the machine, might seem easy for some but was a daunting task for a novice like myself! Once we’d learnt some basic stitches and some more complex seams, it was time to complete our project for the evening which was a small bag, kind of like a clutch.  I lost my way a couple of times but it was a great sense of achievement to actually make something that looked a) reasonably straight and b) like it wasn’t going to fall instantly to pieces.

So it was with much confidence that I sat down after the class and threaded my sewing machine for the first time.  All seemed to go ok until I started doing some practice sewing and this happened…

Not a great start!  Half an hour later, with the help of some scissors, tweezers and a chopstick and I was ready for take two!  I’m someone who likes to try and finish something straight away, rather than just practising, so I set myself the challenge of making a heat bag.  I figured this would be fairly straightforward considering I really only needed to sew four straight lines!

I’m pretty happy with the end result!  I used a printed cotton for the front, and a natural linen on the back.  There is also some interfacing to give it a bit of cushy-ness.  The only trouble was how to close the end once I had filled the bag.  I tried to tuck the edges in and sew quite close to the edge, which was difficult because of all the layers.  It’s not the neatest finish and is something I’ll have to do some reading on, but overall I think it looks quite good!