Monday, 31 August 2015

Mending Monday #2

A different sort of mending is going on here at the moment.

Its nothing to do with sewing, and all to do with repairing flesh. I fell on Saturday and shredded the palms of my hands - along with nose and chin - on a gravel path. I was doing some running, as you do - and suddenly I wasn't running but flying. And, then I landed. 

O U C H.

It wasn't pretty. 

Crafting has taken a back seat.

Excuse me while I put my feet up. I might be here a while, okay. Just talk amongst yourselves...

[I am okay btw, just flesh wounds and severe bashing of pride and confidence]

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Mending Monday #1

My active children, who love climbing trees and doing sliding tackles on the lawn and lots of other rough and tumble things, can be quite hard on their clothes. The jelly bean in particular seems to have an ability to shred the knees of a pair of leggings in no time at all. 

I don't mind at all (and feel a little bit proud when I am shown a hole that happened during whilst climbing a tree) - but I do seem to have a never ending mending pile. I have thusly declared that Mondays will henceforth be Mending Monday, when I dedicate whatever small portion of the day remains after everything else is done, to the activity of mending. 

Some recent casualties, here awaiting triage. 

Today, then is about patches. 

These trousers belong to the bean - but need a swift repair before 8 year old fingers make that wee hole a lot bigger and turn the trousers from mendable to binnable. 

As the trousers are lined (see that blue lining peeking out?), I didn't want to sew patches on with my machine. The potential for wonky/twisted and uncomfortable results was too high, so out came the bondaweb. 

I went for a patch on each knee, rather than just the one that was holey - and used a cute cotton fabric I picked up in a remnants bin last year sometime. I eyeballed a suitable shape, and then whizzed around with the overlocker to finish the edges. 

I might have slightly overlooked the fact that the overlocking would affect the stick at the edges of the patches. However, after ironing the patches onto the trousers, I hand-stitched the edges of the patches down. It was a bit quick and dirty, but I figured the stitches would be lost in the overlocking and noone will ever know. 

The bean put them back on at the first opportunity, and tested the newly restored knees/patches by slide tackling his way across the lawn. Those cute patches stood up well to the rough and tumble, but who knows if the grass stains will ever come out... sigh. 

Feel free to join in with the mending thing y'all. What are you mending today?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


The sewing stars are aligning, at last. The jelly bean will be 6 (?!!) in a few days, and I am making her a top (or two) for her birthday. 

I snaffled this viscose jersey the other day, from the splendid stitch  (with splendid customer service - a very quick turn around and a couple of free swatches in with my parcel) and got to work last night tracing the pattern (from Ottobre 4/2015).

I bought a goodly length (2.5m) so there will be plenty left for me to make myself a thing or two. Just don't tell anyone I bought more fabric, okay.... 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Upcycled baby wipes (or whatevs) FO

I've been having fun playing with my new overlocker. And, since Zoe started the whole thing off with her comment about making washable wipes for her daughter with hers, I thought I would make some too. 

An easy first project :-)

Fortunately I had stashed the cut-off sheet edges after making the muslins a couple of weeks ago. I cut the remnants into pairs of squares (eyeballed rather than measured) and serged rounds those edges, using Winnie's tutorial on scarves to work out how to turn the corners (although I notice that I didn't actually follow her instructions at all really, but things turned out okay).

A few minutes later, I had a gratifying stack of 5 smaller, and 5 larger washable wipes to go with that pile of muslins.

The overlocker thing is going really well so far. I even managed to rethread one of the loopers when the thread broke. It was a bit fiddly, but really not too bad. I will just gloss over the small accident that befell one t-shirt that I was trying to repair.  Corners are tricky, it seems, and I managed to make a much bigger hole than the one I was trying to close up.  Oops!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Shiny. Happy. Gadget

Confession time.

Today I bought a new gadget. A new sewing/crafting thing that I really *need* (cough) so that I can do stuff, and more effectively use up. The. Stash.


Cos, obvs I am on a stash diet, so I cant spend any ££ on yarn or fabric, but it's okay to buy a new toy, because that is Not Stash. No. Sir. It. Does. NOT. Count.

Actually, I blame Zoe. She made me do it. I had been idly thinking about buying a new sewing machine, cos the one I have got has been with me since I was 21. And that was roughly (cough) 20 years ago, I was wondering about replacing it. And then Zoe commented about using her overlocker, and a light bulb went on.

That's it.

That's what I need. An overlocker. 

I googled. I waited. I thought. I googled more. I googled all of the overlockerz and all of the overlocker tipz. 

I casually mentioned to my husband that I was thinking of buying myself a birthday present (as noone showered me with lovely things this year, and I got to eat my birthday dinner at a service station in Exeter, but I am over it now). You know, just to see the reaction.

I thought more. I googled more. I slept on it. 

This morning I rang up a shop, gave them the long number on my credit card, and a few hours later I dropped in to pick it up. It's sitting here, in front of me. All shiny and white and full of promise. 

Wish me luck as we get to know each other. Over and out. 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Upcycled muslins (FO)

Howdy chaps. 

The other night I got a little bit of sewing time and decided to mop up one of the WIPs on the 'pile'. A wee while ago I found a threadbare sheet softened from many washes, but too narrow for any of our beds. I decided to upcycle into some muslins (or burp cloths for those of a North American disposition).

Easy peasy. Here's what I did:

1. Cut the sheet into squares about 22 inches square (I think).

2. Because the sheet was worn - and had a few thin patches, and because I wanted to end up with something that has a bit of life left in it and can withstand quite a lot more washing, I used two squares for each muslin. I lined two squares up, whizzed around the edges with the sewing machine, leaving 3 or 4 inches open for turning.

3. Turned the two layers, so that the raw seams are on the inside, and finished the muslin with some top stitching to close. 

4. Inspected for thin patches, and darned using a zigzag stitch on the machine. 

5. Tidied up loose threads and press. Folded and admired. [Take pictures for blog*]

6. Gift to expectant friends. 

* optional, obvs.

Clearly, these could have a number of uses, and small ones (about flannel/washcloth size) make good washable baby wipes, or window polishers, or dusters or whatevs. You know it.