Activity Go Case

The Activity Go Case by Love ME Patterns was a pattern I got in a Sew Box. It looked a good pattern so I put it on my to sew list for 2017.

activity-go-case

How to put this elegantly… some patterns you succeed at others you don’t. Now I firstly must stress this has nothing to do with the pattern. The pattern is well written and Mel has made a great video explaining how to do the binding on it as well. It was the execution (ie me) that didn’t work.

zipper-fail

The case has vinyl pockets on the inside. In the past I have worked with vinyl when making the luggage tag but that was onto fabric, sewing it on to zippers is completely different. Me and vinyl are not friends. It kept sticking even when I put tissue paper under it, I couldn’t get my stitches to look nice. With clear vinyl you can’t hide wonky or ugly seams. It wasn’t a matter of throwing a tantrum but I decided to scrap the vinyl pockets, I wasn’t happy and I didn’t want to waste my time getting stressed out because I couldn’t get it to look right (sewing is meant to be fun) I came up with an alternate plan.

activity-go-case-finished-inside

Instead I decided to a fabric centre pocket and a netting side pocket in place of the vinyl pockets. I used netting from my stash, the binding pieces are pieces from the original pattern pieces I had cut out. I attached the binding pieces to the netting then attached the piece to the lining fabric.

activity-go-case-centre-pocket-stitching

For my centre pocket I used the original centre pocket zipper but shortened it. I used leftover fabric to create the lined pocket (it is basically a zipper pouch) I used one of the original binding pieces to cover the centre join and attached my zipper pocket over that doing a couple of rows of stitching at the bottom of the pocket to hold it in place.

activity-go-case-zipper

Then we came to the external zipper…. I used a sleeping bag zipper and shortened it. I couldn’t buy one long enough at my local stores and couldn’t afford near $20 to order one online. The zipper has 2 zipper pulls on the zipper head (one on each side) I almost cut the bottom one off but decided to leave it. When it came to attaching the zipper I accidentally put it on the wrong way. When you’re looking at the zipper open and it has zipper heads on both sides it is easy to confuse which way is the right side of the zipper tape, particularly when it is nearly 1m (90cm) long. Next time I will mark the right side of the tape with a pen. When I realised it was wrong I noticed I had stitched it pretty well and cut my binding to fit neatly so I left it. With the dual sided zipper I got away with it (really glad I didn’t decide to cut off the zipper pull)

activity-go-case-ditch-stitching-fail

My next disaster was securing the binding. I hand finish my bindings normally but you couldn’t on this, you had to stitch it from the top side in the ditch. I have never stitched an actual item in the ditch before so this was a first for me. Some areas I did really well… then there was the section that I caught centre pocket . I unpicked the entire lot and started again. I was careful the second time to pin my pocket out of the way

activity-go-case-ditch-stitching-fail-edge

Also on my first attempt I didn’t leave an even amount of binding around the entire edge so on some areas I didn’t cover the internal raw edges. On my second attempt I kept an even amount of binding but I accidentally caught the zipper tape in one of the corners so I unpicked that section only and re did it. I did hand finish off a small section where my binding ends joined.

activity-go-case-zipper-tab

You learn something new from every pattern and I did learn from this. Labels are awesome (blog post coming) I learnt a new way to do zipper tabs and finish off binding, I’ll be using this technique again.

activity-go-case-handle

Despite all the little set backs I had I actually really like this. I quilted the front which was optional. Grid stitching is simple but effective. I love the way the handles turned out using the technique the pattern describes.

activity-go-case-centre-pocket-open

I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with alternatives to the vinyl pockets. It made me stop and think about the sewing construction, made me think of what my sewing strengths were and how I could use them in this situation. I’m proud that I have the sewing skills now to be able to do that.

Cassiy

Pillows – E, N

mccalls-3274

I do love a pattern whether it be PDF or paper packet that is multi use, by that I mean that you can make it multiple times for different people or for the same person but in different fabrics each time. That is certainly the case with McCalls 3274. The pattern has all the letters in the alphabet as well as 3 additional shapes.

pillow-e

On this occasion I made the letter E just from some fabric I had in my stash. In the past I have used this fabric in baby blocks but I wasn’t sure what I would make with the remainder but it is perfect for this letter.

pillow-n
This is meant to be a letter N, I’ll admit it looks more like a H. To me the diagonal middle section doesn’t have enough definition but I didn’t discover that until I had stuffed it fully. It isn’t the end of the world I’m sure the little boy who is going to get it will still like it as it has fabric that he likes. I’m planning to make another one later in the year (it is already cut out) but this time I’ve cut it so the diagonal section is more prominent.

Soft toy letters had been on my to make list for some time so I’m really glad I purchased this pattern last year. I’ll be making a lot of them this year

Cassiy

Fabric Covered Headbands

fabric-headbands-1

Last year I got a pattern to make fabric covered headbands and this year I have finally made some.

fabric-headbands-2

The pattern is by Arjay Creations. I made the slim line version of these so my fabric covering was the same size all around the headband. You can make them so they are wider in the middle. This is great scrap busting project as all of the fabrics used came from my scrap stash. To stitch them I used a mauve coloured thread as it was contrasting to all the fabrics used. These will be added to the gifts of four girls, on 2 of the headbands I have used leftover scraps from previous projects I have made the same girls. I like it when I can repeat a fabric in a different gift for the same child, they might not notice it but I do.

fabric-headband-inside

Even though the pattern said to measure your pattern piece against the headband as some are of different lengths I didn’t so my fabric tubes were too long. Easy fixed once the fabric was on the headbands I top stitched the opening gap closed then folded over the excess fabric and hand stitched in to the inside of the headband. Your hair covers that part of the headband so you only see it if you take it off.

As a kid I was a big headband wearer so I really like these.

Cassiy

Giant Laundry Bag

Recently I’ve had to purchase new pillow and mattress protectors as my washing machine destroyed the linings of the old ones I had. Each time I washed them it would rip more of it off until finally it did it so much you couldn’t use them anymore. The new set of manchester I have brought have an even thinner lining to the previous lot which I know my machine will kill. The lining of them in paper like almost like trace and toile just a little thicker. It says to wash on a gentle cycle but I know my washing machine will still agitate them too much. My solution was to make a giant laundry bag like what you wash your bras in and wash the items in that.

giant-laundry-bag-fabric

Originally I was trying to find a mesh fabric but I couldn’t find anything suitable in the size that I needed. In the end of year Lincraft sale I stumbled across this polyknit fabric which is similar to a store brought lingerie bag that I have. The fabric was half price so I think cost maximum $5/m, I purchased 2m of it and the longest zipper I could find which was 55cm.  To make the bag I simply folded the fabric in half and cut it to have 2 pieces of 1m x width of fabric. I overlocked each of the cut ends which were the long ends. I installed the zipper along on the selvage ends which was the shorter ends and then stitched around the remaining 3 sides to form the bag.

giant-laundry-bag

I wanted the bag as large as possible so that the item/s in it could move around within the bag and wash as normal. I can easily fit 4 pillows protectors in this or 1 queen size mattress protector. It will also be useful for other things such as fabric which can shred in the machine. The knit fabric is lightweight so will easily dry fast hung over my clothes airer. I’m really glad I stumbled across this fabric it is perfect. Now I can get many years of use from my new manchester.

Cassiy

Art Caddy

This was the last of the birthday gifts I made for 2016.

art-caddy-open

The pattern is Art Caddy by Miquita of Damaya Designs and can be found in One Thimble magazine Issue 5 It was one of those patterns I was instantly drawn too. You can buy back issues of One Thimble and I actually brought this issue just for this pattern as it was published before I discovered the fantastic magazine. The pattern has spots for both crayons and pencils as well as 2 extra pockets, perfect for putting some accessories and a notebook. It is smaller than most art caddy patterns I have seen but the compactness makes it more portable and perfect for travel.

art-caddy-closed

The alphabet fabric I used came from a Sew Box. The peach colour fabric is one I painted myself, originally I was going to use it in another project but the colour was too light but by chance it matches in with the alphabet fabric. The red fabric is some scraps I had which again worked in with the alphabet fabric. Instead of snaps you can use Velcro as closures but since I got my snap press I want to put snaps on everything.

Cassiy

To Craft List – Jan 17

The start of a new year and so many things I want to do this month / year. My January plans are:

rose-skirt-in-progress

  • Finish off the hems on a skirt
  • Make my February birthday gift
  • Attend a workshop through the Knitters Guild and learn Viking Knitting
  • Have a day out with the Sydney Spoolettes
  • Make a giant laundry bag
  • Make a new girly handbag

Ok so the last thing on my list is maybe if I have time thing. I’m going to an event in March which is what the skirt is for and I’m thinking of making a new handbag to go with it if possible. The Spoolette day out should be fun, I think it is coffee and fabric shopping so of course it will be fun. The laundry bag I need to do ASAP as I will need it soon, I have all items there I just need to cut it out and stitch it up.

I have a few extra days off work throughout January so yippee more craft time!!

Cassiy

 

 

2017 Gift Plans

activity-go-case

My 2017 gifts are organised.

kits

I have already finished my first gift for 2017 as it is due at the start of January. I have sat down and worked out every gift I am making for both birthdays and Christmas for each person. Pattern wise I need to finalise a few things but at least I know what I am looking for. When making my gifts this year I realised it worked better when I had things already cut out and ready to go, kind of like kits that you buy at the shops or craft shows. Why are kits so popular in the shops? Because everything you need to make item is right there in front of you ready to go. I have spent most of my Christmas holidays making up kits for as many gifts as possible so I can just grab and sew them throughout the year. When I go to my Sewing Guild meetings I’m often stumped as to what I will work on that day but by having things in kits I can easily see what I items I can work on. I have certain projects I like doing on certain sewing machines. Anything that has a lot of curves to it I only like doing on my big machine as it has the knee lift.

instructions

I have added notes to some of them such as what colour thread to use if I had multiple coloured items in a packet. On others I have written the way I want the fabric to be used in the project. Making up the bags was a great way to go through my fabric stash as I pulled out all the fabrics I needed from it for the required projects. It made me really look at the fabrics and think of creative ways to use them.

interfacing-stash

In the kits I have included the interfacing they require. It was a chance for me to pull out my entire interfacing stash and sort it out. I now know what I had plenty of and what I was running low on. It was a real eye opener as I didn’t realise how much I had in my stash. I was able to use a heap of odd shape and small pieces in projects which has culled the stash a lot.

2017-gift-pattern-plans

I am now feeling the most organised about my gifts I have ever felt. I’m going to be trying to some new patterns and some old favourites. Some gifts are going to be more complicated than others but if I just do one stitch at a time I will get them all done with love as I always do.

Cassiy