I was feeling like some mindless crochet this week so I whipped up another dishcloth. This is the same pattern that I did last weekend which really wasn’t a pattern just some playing around I did. I think I chained about 15 stitches then just did rows of trebles until it looked squareish. I then changed colours and did 3 rounds of trebles as a border before the final edge in crab stitch. This is my new favourite pattern due to how simple it is but how effective it looks. I’ll be using this as a dishcloth but something like this would make a great facecloth (think easy Christmas gifts) or an easy thing to make in batches for events like mother’s day stalls at schools or fetes. Don’t just think ladies, make it in more masculine colours and it’s an easy father’s day gift. As it is 100% cotton yarn it won’t scratch metal surfaces so can be used on cars and appliances.
In the July Sew Box we got a great tutorial on how to make a luggage handle wrap. A friend is travelling soon so I had someone to make it for.
This was a very quick item to make. For the vinyl insert mine is a little smaller in width than the tutorial says. The tutorial says to have it the entire width of the fabric piece. Even though we received vinyl in our box this month I already had a small piece I’d received in another sewing kit / project so I used that piece instead of cutting up the larger piece of vinyl. This enables me to use the larger piece in other projects. The results still end up the same giving you a hidden place to put your contact details. I had no trouble sewing with the vinyl and I will happily try sewing with it again.
One thing I did learn with this is to think about your sewing lines before you start sewing. For the Velcro you reinforce it down the centre with a line of stitching after you sew the sides. It was only once I started sewing I realised instead of starting on a long edge I should’ve started sewing it in the middle of a short edge so when it came to do the centre stitches all I had to do was turn my piece and sew. I instead stitched around again until I came to a short edge forgetting that my stitches were visible on the other side and of course the first piece of Velcro I stitched on was the one visible from the outside of the wrap. Lesson learnt. On the second piece I started on the short side and had no issues with messy stitches.
The exciting news is that I’ve almost finished my Pamuke blanket and desperately want to get if finished by next weekend even though I’m not giving it as a gift until September (in my mind I want to get it finished before the couple fly out overseas) I decided for the final edge I would do crab stitch but I wanted to try out first on a smaller project just to get my head around it. A dishcloth is the perfect project to try out new stitches on plus I haven’t made any in a while so I need more.
Yes I know my centre square is a little off as I descreased some of my rows by accident by not going into the final stitch. I’m thinking it has butterfly shape to it.
The other exciting news is that I’ve now got a set top box connected to my TV and it lets me watch YouTube on a large screen. Yep life will never be the same again. It is perfect for all those sewing and yarn tutorials. Finally I’ve found things on TV I want to watch Previously I’d watch a couple of clips on crab stitch but yesterday morning I sat there and watched clip after clip as I worked on my dishcloth.
With crab stitch you work your stitches backwards along the row. For a right handed person instead of working your stitches right to left across your row, you work them left to right. I found this fairly easy to do. It is a very quick stitch to do. Normally I like flat edges on borders but this gives a bit of texture to the edge but in a even sort of way. I really like it I may be wrong but from what I’ve read / heard unlike other forms for edging you can’t do any other stitches on top of the crab stitch so the crab stitch is your final stitch on the item. You get a fancy edge without a lot of effort.
Back in October 2013 (yes that long ago) I made myself up some fabric yarn. I had no idea what I was going to do with it but I made it. Well I never came up with any idea what to do with it. Today I was doing a bit of clean up and decided I would try and crochet it up into a cleaning cloth or something. Sadly as I tried to work with it I didn’t have any success. The maroon item I cut up had some many seams in it that it was too bulky. I could do a basic chain but little else. The fabrics weren’t a soft stretchy fabric and sadly over the last couple of years the fabric has become very brittle so the strips were tearing easily. I couldn’t salvage them so I made the decision to bin them. These fabrics were very old to begin with before I even cut them up. The navy ball had been a shirt I’d worn rigorously for 10 years, the maroon fabric was skirt that was at least 10 years as well. The idea of fabric yarn works but I think you think need softer fabrics to begin with. I will try the idea out again but I won’t leave it so long between cutting the yarn and making it up. I actually have ideas now for them that I didn’t 3 years ago.
I finished my tea set. I hand painted all my fabrics using Liquid Radiance. I used various techniques to create patterns and prints on the fabrics. This has to be the most planned out tea set I’ve ever made. Once again I used the pattern I used was Ric Rac’s Tea Set. It is a great pattern.
On the cups for the outside fabric I used the piece of I created via heliography. The stars are randomly placed on each panel of the tea cup. I could have fussy cut the pieces if I wanted to but instead I just folded the fabric in half right sides together and pinned my pattern pieces so I was cutting 2 pieces at once. What each panel got on then became random. When piecing the cups together I tried to get a variety of star coverage so one cup didn’t end up with heaps and another with very little.
On the inside of each up I used the pole wrapped fabric. Each cup has one darker piece in it and the rest light fabrics which were the various layers of the fabric wrapped around the pole. For the inside bases of the cups I used the spotted fabric I created by heliography and air exclusion. I did 2 pink and 2 purple.
On the handles and the bases for all the items (plates, cups, teapot) I used the stripped fabric I created by folding the fabric. My original plan was always to use this for the handles but by chance I got all the bases done from it too which ties all the pieces together.
I also used the spotted pieces as the centre of the plates again 2 pink 2 purple. For the top side of the plates I used some of the fabric I salted to create patterns. Again keeping with the them I did 2 pink 2 purple.
The teapot lid is made from the mop up fabric piece I had. On the spout, handle and main section I used the 2 fabrics which I created using the scrunch and fold technique. Each piece of fabric had different colours and marble lines through it so I alternated the pieces on the main section. The spout and handle have one piece of each fabric on them.
Sadly I forgot to take a picture of them all together but as you can see they all match and make a lovely set. They are mostly all the same tones pink and purples but the different amount that of paint I put on each piece and the other colours which I added to it slightly changed the appearance on each piece of fabric. I loved trying out the different techniques of heliography, air exclusion, salting that created the different patterns and textures on the fabric.
I have bits of fabric leftover from cutting out the various pieces. I have no idea what I will use it for yet. I’m finding it hard to let go of these scraps as I made them.
The July Sew Box has been revealed and this month the theme is Getaway.
In the box we got
- Luggage Handle Wrap Tutorial by Sew Boxes
- Hang About Toiletry Bag pattern by Two Pretty Poppets
- Jet Set Document Wallet pattern by Little Moo Designs
- Wayfarer Bag pattern by RLR Creations
- 1 m Winter Floral Flowers fabric
- 50cm Co-Ordinate Winter Floral fabric
- 8 Bag tassels in black and pink
- Clear Vinyl 30cm x 40cm
- 4m pink cotton piping
- Long length wonderclips
- 6 D Rings
- 2 Bag Clips
- 2 Strap Adjusters/Sliders
- Black Velcro
I wish I was travelling somewhere nice so I could make all the patterns. They are very useful items that you could make even if you weren’t travelling anywhere. The toiletry bag would make a great portable sewing kit (I’ve been using one a mobile sewing kit for years) The wonderclips, Velcro and bag findings have all already been filed away in my stash. I have never worked with vinyl but this is a nice size piece to try out and play with. I really like the fabric and I’m not normally a pink person. The 1m piece of fabric is black and white and is a floral without looking like garden. I love the piping but I have no idea as yet what I will use it on but I’m sure the perfect project will come along for me to use it on. Once again Leesa who owns Sew Boxes has come up with a fantastic theme.
Cloth pads may not be for everyone and I respect your decision if you don’t like them but they are something I have been wanting to try for a while. Last weekend I made my first batch. I knew that there were some people making and using them but I had no idea of that there was an entire community of online people making, selling and even doing swaps of them.
I joined a Facebook group which is focused on making them. It is really friendly group who are a super supportive of new comers and answer every queen you have imaginable. They have a file section which has heaps of useful patterns, links and general information. If you Google cloth pads you will also find heaps of websites and patterns.
Constructing a pad isn’t dissimilar to making a quilt in the fact you have 3 sections and each section has a function. I found this website very useful on what to use for each layer but to sum up a pad has a
Topper – This is the outer layer closet to the skin so you want soft comfortable fabric
Core – This is your absorbent layer and does all the work so you want absorbent fabric which you stack in layers
Backer – This layer faces out against your underwear so you want fabric that is water repellent if preferred fabric that won’t shift around
When I made these I had no idea if I would even like them or not. I didn’t want to go out and purchase special absorbent and waterproof fabric if I didn’t know if I would even like the feel of them so for my first ones I raided my linen closet and my fabric stash used what I had on hand to try them out. I used this free tutorial by Blue Dinosaur. For my outer layer I used some fabric that I had used before in other projects and just happened to be sitting my fabric basic. For my backing I used some scrap polar fleece fabric. I tested it to see if it was water repellant by doing water droplet test (if you pour water on it and the water beads on top it repels water)
For my cores I cut up some old face washers that had seen better days. Each pad has a core of 3 layers. On the smaller ones I got 3 layers from one face cloth per pad. For the longer ones I had to use separate face cloths.
I have tried these out this week and I’m really happy with them. I’ll admit to only using them at home as I was nervous as to how they would go. The smaller ones which I wasn’t sure would even fit were comfortable however I’m thinking I prefer longer. That’s the great thing about cloth pads is that you can make them to any length or shape you want depending on what you like and what size your body is. Sewing wise from all reports I hear the first ones you make always turn out the worse as you have no idea what you’re doing which is certainly the case with these. I know I haven’t sewn my core in correctly so there is a chance the core may fold inside them once I wash them but that’s ok they will still be usable. If you’re wanting to make these I urge you to have a go at them as they are pretty simple to make. Watch a few YouTube videos, view some tutorials, download a free pattern and grab some supplies you have around your house. To care for them they don’t take as much work as you would imagine – rinse them out, soak them for a few days then machine wash and line dry.