In my last post I talked about fabrics that I thought might be a skirt but I know won’t, the denim fabric used on this project bag falls within the same category. I picked the piece up at a charity shop last year. It measured about 50cm wide x length of fabric, I wanted to make a skirt from it but there was no way I could unless I added other fabric to it. When I was rearranging my storage area and culling fabric I came across it. I couldn’t let it ago so I decided to make a bag from it.
The pattern I used was Essential Wristlet by Dog Under My Desk. I have made this pattern a lot now. I used the enlarged size that I made my rose bag and toiletry bag with. It is a nice size and holds a lot. Because of the thickness of the denim I didn’t use any lining in this bag. It does have a few dimples but for the most part there is enough structure in the denim for it to hold its shape.
On the inside I used some leftover fabric I again found in my stash. I used this fabric on the binding on my first ever blanket. As well as liking hearts I am a big fan of stars so I really like the combination of this bag having both. It is a stiffer quilting cotton so again works well to hold its shape. This fabric does soften a lot once it repeatedly washed and used but in a project bag you are not going to wash it a great deal. I added a simple little pocket that wasn’t lined or interfaced. The purpose of the pocket is so you have an easy place to stick a crochet hook or row counter, small notions you don’t want to lose in the bottom of your bag or get caught on things.
Within minutes of this bag coming off my sewing machine I was already using it. I am delighted that I have used the random piece of heart fabric that I came across in a practical way. No more sitting in my stash it now holds my little projects with a purpose.
As much as I like the idea I have come to the realisation I am not making myself a knitting needle skirt. Months ago I cut out all the pieces, overlocked the edges than never touched it again (except to shift it about out of the way on my craft table) The fabric is Sewing School by Jodi Carleton (Ric Rac) It is so cute and whimsical but I know in my heart it won’t be a skirt. Part of me is feeling like it is a waste of good fabric but from this, the piece I cut it from and another couple of fat quarters of it I have there is plenty of fabric to make bags from. In hindsight this fabric to me is more calling out bags rather than skirt.
This week I brought another piece of knitting themed fabric. I think I had seen it before at the shop but as it was reduced to half price so it took my attention more this time and I brought what was left on the bolt so just over 3m. I’m not a big yellow person but it is yarn so how could you not adore it. My first thought was bags than hours later I thought maybe it could be a skirt… No I am going to squash that idea now. As a skirt I won’t wear it but as a knitting project bag or tote bag I will use it all the time. If I am going to spend all that precious time sewing I need to make stuff that I am going to use and not just sit in the cupboard because in my heart the fabric is working for me in that project.
Stay tuned to see what I do actually make with these fabrics.
It is not very often I do this but I have made an item of clothing from scratch in one morning and couldn’t wait to put it up on here. A top in a morning.
So a little background story. Last weekend in Sydney we experienced some unseasonally warm weather for September and it made me start thinking back to how hot the nights were last summer. If we are getting high temperatures at night in spring then we are in for another hot summer. I sleep in cotton knit t-shirts and in summer can go through several a night as I have don’t have air conditioning and don’t like to sleep in damp shirts so I am changing them all the time as I wake up sweaty (I’m being brutally honest here)
I was going to draft a pattern from an existing shirt I had but instead in my stash found a pattern that I am in the process of making another item from (the dressing gown) Kwik Sew K4088 is a men’s pattern but who says females can’t wear the items. Again being honest I don’t sleep in a bra and I am not tiny I need big comfortable baggy shirts to sleep in. From this pattern I view B but used the neckline of C, I wanted short sleeves with a round neck. This pattern was super easy to make this style with as the pattern pieces are the same for both views you can just choose the neckline or sleeve length you want from each pattern piece. I made size XXL, I thought it may be a little bit big but it is perfect for me.
I was worried about the neckline being too big but I am really happy with the fit. With the exception of joining the 2 ends of the neckband to form a circle I constructed it all on the overlocker (serger) I have a couple of tiny puckers in my neckline but I am not bothered by it. I found it fairly easy to attach the neckband whilst using the overlocker.
To reinforce the shoulders the pattern said to use fusible tape, I had a looked at one of my current shirts and it only uses a scrap of fabric so that is what I used too. For me as I am really fussy I would start scratching if I had fusible tape on my shoulders so the fabric is perfect. I pinned the fabric scrap to the back of each shoulder and then stitched the shoulders together as per the pattern.
Once the top was all stitched together I wasn’t sure if I would bother hemming it or not. I decided to just overlock the edges but instantly hated it. On one sleeve I have started removed the stitches the other I will do in the next day or so.
The bottom hemline is the same I am not happy with it and will remove the stitching. The stitching seemed to distort it and stretch it all out. On the arms I think the stitching would annoy me and you don’t really need it. This isn’t a fashion item this is a I want to sleep comfortably item.
I am over the moon with how this turned out. The fabric I used was a cotton knit I found in my stash and I have already pulled out extra fabric from my stash to make more this weekend. This is a great fitting top for me. I think in a nice print I think I could even use this pattern as a regular summer t-shirt pattern for me. It doesn’t necessarily look like a PJ top it is essentially a t-shirt pattern. This was a really easy and quick top to make and I literally did everything in one morning (traced out the pattern, cut the fabric, stitched it up) Don’t you just love it when you find a great pattern like that.
Last weekend I talked about how I have lost my sewjo and maybe what I needed was to spend some time at my sewing machine working on something simple, well that’s exactly what I did.
There was so many projects I thought of doing but I ended up making a drawstring bag. Drawstring bags are very practical for me as I can always use them. In my stash I found some fabric already washed and ready to go. Earlier this year I brought what was remaining on the bolt of this button print fabric. I had no idea what I would do with it but I knew it would get used somehow. The bag is a little longer than originally planned as when I was cutting it out I forgot to trim the length down that’s ok because it still very usable.
The bag is fully lined in the same fabric as are the casings and drawstrings. The casings and drawstrings were very easy to make. For the cases I folded the raw edges in 1/4″ and slip stitched them closed by hand. I attached them to the bag with a triple stitch to add strength. To make the drawstrings I folded the raw edges into the center to enclosed them and top stitched together.
I am going to use this as a project bag for my knitting. It will easily fit a couple of balls of yarn, needles and a project in there. I can see myself making a lot more drawstring bags for knitting on the go bags in the future. I think I mentioned it before but I use a canadian crutch (forearm crutch) to walk with, when I am knitting out and about I often hang my project bag off it or if I have a backpack on I hang my project bag via a clip I have. Drawstring bags are perfect for this. Next time however I don’t think I will make fabric drawstring instead I will just use ribbon. Also I may not bother lining the bags instead just doing the seams on the overlocker. These two changes will make the bags lighter.
I actually feel like sewing again so I think my sewjo is back!
I will be completely honest and say over the last few months I have
Over the 4-5 months I have been doing a lot of knitting and crochet. I don’t think it is to do with the winter months I think it is because I have been avoiding sewing. I have done some sewing in that time. I’ve done a few toys and I am happy with them but not happy enough to get that sewing spark back. You know when you start sewing and you don’t want to stop so as soon as you finish one project you dive in to the next or in fact you have half finished the next project whilst still on the last stages of the first and you don’t break between them. I’m missing that spark or drive.
I have had a few projects that haven’t gone to plan or I have just lost interest in them. I have 2 skirts half done, one is the cutest knitting needle fabric in a skirt in a pattern I have made many times before. It is all cut out but I just don’t feel like sewing it. I have a dressing gown which I got half way through then I couldn’t work out a section in the pattern so it has been put on halt. I’m actually going to take it with me to my sewing guild meeting next month and ask the other members for help in the hope I can finish it and get motivated to then make another one.
Have you ever lost your sewjo? What did you do to get it back? I have tried looking through my stash for new patterns (toys and clothing) I have looked at all my notions and supplies and nothing is saying play with me, create with me. I’m now starting to worry about the my Christmas gifts. I have started sewing a heap of fairy wings for some kids and I have a heap of mermaid tails I cut out earlier this year but I just don’t feel like sewing them.
I think tomorrow I am just going to have to bite the bullet and get on my sewing machine for a few hours. Find a simple pattern that I have made before that isn’t a toy or clothing and just go from there. Maybe all I need to do is “A little less conversation a little more action please” and just start sewing
Ahead of making miss 5 a gift this year I asked her mum what she liked at the moment and the answer was Rainbows so this is the gift I have come up with.
The theme rainbows could take any direction, if you do a google search the ideas are endless. Sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming so I started to think about the patterns I already had in my stash and remembered the Kawaii Felt Purses pattern from One Thimble Issue 13 had a rainbow version of the bag so that is what I went with. The rainbow panel is done in applique, the hardest part was deciding what colours to use, yes I was singing “I can see a rainbow” as I making this.
With the exception of the handles which are made from cotton drill the bag is made from 100% wool felt. Wool felt is stronger than acrylic felt and so I thought for a bag it was a must. I followed the pattern to make this bag but put a twist on it. I turned the front rainbow panel into a pocket on the outside of the bag. When I attached my layers to together I stitched the rainbow panel into the bottom seam and part way up each side. I did hand stitching on the arc part way on each side to attach it to the main section of the bag. As a result you can see a small amount of hand stitching on the inside of the bag but I am not worried about that.
For my handles I used some drill I had in my stash. The pattern didn’t have these types of handles in it so I made it up. I folded the width of the fabric in half and cut a 3″ strip across it. I then trimmed down this 3″ strip until it looked about long enough for a small handle, as it was folded I ended up with 2 handles. I folded each strip into quarters to enclose the raw edges and finished off the short ends (must write a tutorial on how to do these) I only did a single row of top stitching on each handle but they are narrow so you don’t really need more. I stitched the handles to the outside of each bag because I thought it helped the bag sit better.
I cut all my pieces out from sheets of wool felt. To give my gusset piece a nice neat finish where I joined two strips to make the length I opened the seam flat then top stitched around it. Now you hardly even notice it. All my machine stitching was done in mono poly thread so it less visible.
I am really happy with how this bag turned out. It ticks the rainbow box. I enjoyed making this bag. I hadn’t sewn for some weeks and it was a great project to start back on.
Last weekend a friend sent me an SOS she was desperate for some sort of bed covering that could easily be laundered and possibly waterproof as she has an elderly cat who keeps having accidents. Challenge accepted.
By chance I was off to Spotlight which was incredible timing for this fabric emergency! After a quick discussion with friend I decided to do a polar fleece top with a vinyl backing. The cat only sleeps on soft things and the covers needed to be quick to dry. For the vinyl backing I picked up these mattress protectors. I could only get a SB size so I thought I would sew 2 together. When I got home and started to remove the elastic that holds them in place around the mattress I discovered that there were not going to work. The vinyl just shredded in my fingers. I’m very doubtful that these would stand up to any type of washing including hand. I had to come up with plan B.
Plan B. I decided to order some PUL (polyurethane laminated) instead. In hindsight I should have just thought of this from the start but my brain was more thinking of items I could purchase at the shops that day. One side of the PUL fabric has a waterproof coating and the other side feels like regular fabric, you can easily have it against your skin if you wish as it is breathable. I decided to make the covers with the fabric side facing out and the PUL side on the inside of the covers, this is the way you do it when making cloth pads that have a PUL layer. If any liquid gets through it won’t go all the way to the back of the fabric making the underside waterproof. For the top layer I used some anti pill polar fleece that just happened to be on special so I was able to buy it for $4m instead of $15m. I checked the care instructions and the fleece can be washed in warm water as can the PUL. Polar fleece dries relatively quickly and doesn’t generally don’t absorb liquid making it like a waterproof layer itself. I am going to take back the remaining 3 mattress protectors I purchased for a refund.
The finished size of each one is 2m x 1.5m. They fit on my queen size bed nicely. Green Beans sells PUL in 210cm widths so 3m made 2 covers. The polar fleece was 150cm wide so I only need to cut 2m lengths of that. I pinned the 2 layers together than went around the edges with the overlocker to join them. I’m really happy with these as my idea worked. The fabric is soft (happy cat) it can easily be laundered (happy owner) I do love a challenge. Maybe I need to set all my sewing up as a challenge as I might jump in and get it done instead of procraftinating all the time 🙂