I’m really into Totes this Christmas and this was the first one that started me off.
I made this tote after doing a present count and discovering one child was getting less gifts than a younger sibling (a big thing when your 5) I thought a nice quick and simple but practical item to make would be a tote to hold a colouring book and crayon pack. This project took no time to make. The pink fabric was left over from another Christmas gift I was making. The dragon and princess fabric I found in my stash which ties in perfect as I found a princess colouring-in book in my spare room. It was a good project to use this fabric on as its not a print I would normally use. I did all the seams for this on the overlocker to cut out some of the work as the overlocker stitched it and finished the seams off in one hit. This project took no time at all to make.
I like the simplicity of this tote bag and I’m sure I will make it again in different fabric. I think I have a tote addiction but they are so practical how can you not love them.
Buttercup is another Melly and Me softie and she will be given to a 1 year old this Christmas.
Buttercup is actually a fabric panel that you cut out, add interfacing, stitch up and stuff. Admittedly Buttercup is meant to be wearing a dress and have a bow on her ear but I decided she looks so cute she could get away with being a nude bunny. This is a great softie for a small human as she can be chewed and sucked on without the worry that bub will choke on something as all her features are printed onto the fabric. Toss her into the washing machine when she is dirty and Buttercup is ready for action again.
I used washaway stabilizer for the first time on a few pieces I was going to embroider. After I finished all the needle work on the pieces it came to removing the stabilizer. Before I used it I read the instructions but when it came to actually removing the stabilizer I didn’t refer back to them. When I placed the pieces in the machine I left all the excess stabilizer on the back of them and didn’t remove it. Not a good idea I discovered. When I open the lid of the machine it was very much an Uh Oh moment as in front of me looked like I had washed 10 tissues at once. On the bottom of my machine was also big chunks of stabilizer. The piece of stabilizer remained on the back of each piece it was just a lot thinner than before it went into the machine. I peeled off all the stabilizer I could from the pieces than put them through the machine again. This time they were a lot better. The good news is that the washaway pen I used disappeared in the first wash.
So lesson learnt, I need to remove the excess stabilizer from the items before I wash them. This will be a mistake I shall only make once.
I love this softie pattern. Polly is my go to dolly. She is from The Big Book of Softies This one would be the 4th if not 5th one I’ve made over the years.
I’ve never made her the exact same as the book ever (she has ears in the book) When I was looking for fabric for this Polly instead of searching my stash for new fabric and prep it, I looked through the fabric I was about to put away back into my stash from making the skirts and meerkat. The fabric had already been prepped so it was one job done. Where possible I used smaller offcuts of the fabric so I didn’t have to cut into any larger pieces.
This is the first Polly I have ever made with yarn hair after learning how to make it this year. Also I’ve satin stitched the eyes. Even though this is an old favourite pattern I’ve continued to challenge myself to make it.
I decided to join a few people in an Instagram / Facebook craft-a-long this week and Pimp A Tote Bag. Debra from Stitching Rules kindly provided us with a basic tote pattern and a few ideas and told us to go forth and pimp our totes in our own creative ways.
I stuck with the basic bag pattern however as I’m used to working in inches I simply cut all my pieces to the nearest half inch. The fabric is off cuts from previous sewing projects. To pimp mine different I decided to do free motion embroidery on the bag pieces. It was a good project for me to attempt free motion embroidery for the first time as all the pieces were simple rectangles. I used a metallic embroidery thread to do the free motion. The handles I stitched in regular polycotton using a simple serpentine stitch on them. This gave them a little more strength which was a way of reinforcing them. Originally I was going to use a yellow thread for the free motion as there is a gold print in the fabric but I’m glad I decided to do purple. I keep running my fingers over the stitching as I love the texture of it.
This will be given as a gift this Christmas so not only did I get to take part in a craft-a-long but I also got a bonus gift made.
Last weekend I gave free motion embroidery a try for the first time.
This was the first time I have ever stitched without feed dogs so it was a new experience. At first it felt very strange and I kept thinking that I wasn’t sewing as I could move the fabric freely but after a few minutes I got the hang of it. Due to the fabric print I couldn’t draw lines to follow so instead I just went with the flow doing squiggles and random swirls. There are a few wave shapes in there and towards the end I even managed a couple of stars and hearts (I adore hearts)
I really enjoyed doing free motion I know that I will do it again as it was really fun and it transformed the look of the fabric. Next time I will use a different bobbin thread. This time I used the same thread I use when doing machine embroidery which is a finer thread. When I pulled out the stabilizer from this some of the bobbin threads pulled so I think for this I need a thicker thread.
After my jewellery boxes didn’t work out I needed a plan b to present the jewellery I’d made.
I went to my scrap fabric stash and looked at what I had on hand and came up with the idea of tiny tote bags. Each side of the tote is a 9 patch made of 2.5″ squares and a 7″ cross grain ribbon handle. The bags were all done on the serger. After deciding on the pattern I stitched up my rows then assembled the rows to form the block. I serged across the top of each block to finish the top edge of the bag. By chance I have purple and pink threads on my bottom serger loops so it looks a bit decorative. Once I had the 2 blocks assembled I serged them together to form the bag. The handles are simply hand stitched into place.
These took no time to assemble and look great. I can see the idea being used as a larger bag by either doing more squares or just larger squares. By doing them on the serger you don’t need to line the bag as all seams are finished. For larger bags I will do a stronger handle.