Crochet Hook Pouch

At the February Frocktails in our goodie bag we were given a panel from Next State to make a simple zipper purse. I had it sitting around on my desk waiting to be made up. I decided ahead of Spring Frocktails I wanted to get it made so I felt like I had used things from my goodie bag from last time (I had used the vouchers and other things we had received) Thinking about things I needed, if I was going to make it up I wanted to use it. My crochet hooks were living in a zip lock bag so they needed a proper home.

The panel comes with simple printed instructions on how to make a purse. If you have never made a purse or a bag before it gave you excellent guidance on where to start to transform the flat panel into a 3 dimensional object. Crochet hooks obviously have a hook on one end which can snag on exposed zig zag stitching so I decided I would make a lined pouch. I raided my stash finding some leftover white calico scraps and a zipper that matched. They were only a few small items but a great way to use them up. For the thread I just looked through some half bobbins and spools of thread I had near my machine and used them, again using up stash items.

If you have never made a line purse or pouch before just google or YouTube as there a heap of free tutorials out there. I used a zipper that was shorter than the panel which meant I didn’t have to cut down my zipper and then cover it with zipper tabs. I don’t mind the small open gap at the end. My crochet hooks generally live on top a cart I have so they don’t get moved around a heck of a lot where they may fall out through the end. Eye love the finished pouch!

This was a pretty quick project to do. We received another purse panel in our Spring goodie bag. Instead of making another zipper pouch I’m going to make an easy drawstring pouch for my knitting. The size will be perfect to hold one ball of yarn, needles and a folded pattern. I have one already this size that I’m forever switching projects in and out of when I’m knitting on my travels so I need more this size.

Cassiy

 

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Infinity Scarf

I haven’t posted yet how I went with my “I love My Fabric Party” but during it I did find a piece of leftover fabric which was a white knit from when I made my Derwent pants. I really wanted to make an infinity scarf from fabric so I thought that was the perfect use for it. I followed the tutorial by The Craft Gemini. It was super easy to make.

The fabric was a stable knit and very plain. I decided to add interest to it by doing machine embroidery. I was originally going to do free motion stitching on it but it didn’t work when I first attempted it. Even though it was a stable knit the fabric was too lite and I hadn’t put stabiliser under it so it just wasn’t happening. Plan B using my open toe walking foot I did a couple of different decorative stitches down the length of the fabric. The flipping ♥ is my favourite stitch design to do on my machine.

I roughly divided my fabric into columns and just did the lines from stitching by eyeballing it from my chalk marks. I love how the stitches turned out. The fabric was very long and I got lazy so instead of using the foot control I used the Start/Stop button on my machine to power it. It is feature on my machine that I rarely use but made the task so much easier than having to hold my foot down for the length of it time.

This is so soft and cozy. A black and white scarf was a piece that was missing from my wardrobe so this was the perfect use for this scrap piece. I have worn it a lot since I made it. Now I want to keep making infinity scarves!

Cassiy

Black Dolman

When I was at the first Cashmerette workshop last year I did a little fabric shopping and purchased some silk which I had no idea what I would make with. Jenny aka Cashmerette suggested I could make the Cedar Dolman top. You can either make the pattern with knits or wovens. I purchased the pattern and brought some cheap polyester black satin to make a test version. At the second workshop and with Jenny’s help I traced out the pattern on to trace and toile. That was February last year. I finally got around to making up my test version.

As the fabric was very sheer I decided I would try french seams for the first time. Why not try a new pattern and a new sewing technique on only your second time working with slippery fabric. Yes I thought I was a little nuts but doing french seams on this was actually easy to do. I cut my front piece on the fold so really I only had the shoulder and side seams to do. With a lot of pins it was easy enough to do. With the leftover fabric I made continuous bias binding and used that for the remaining raw edges around the neck, sleeves and bottom hem.

Modifications To Original Pattern

  • Cut the front piece on the fold
  • Added 4″ to both front and back pieces instead of doing the bottom band
  • Did french seams on the shoulders and sides
  • Used binding around the neckline instead of the neckline facing
  • Finished the hem on sleeves and bottom with binding

Yes it is polyester and I’m unlikely to wear it in summer but I love this top. The fit is really good. If anything I may bring in the shoulders in by about 1/2″ at the neckline but that is only a maybe. It doesn’t look to big and baggy but it is comfortable. Even in the polyester I was ok.

Will I make this pattern again? Absolutely!! I’m going to attempt it with the silk I brought. Woven cottons in summer, knits for winter. I’m sure it won’t be the last time you see me making this pattern.

Cassiy

 

Overlocker Back From Repair

I think I mentioned I finally got my overlocker serviced. I’m in Sydney and I don’t drive but luckily there is the Sewing Machine Warehouse at Penrith which has a pickup and delivery service to repair sewing machines and overlockers. Over the years I’ve had my machines serviced 3 times there.

The reason I sent it for a service was that my machine was playing up on me. No matter how many times I rethreaded it and changed the needles it was giving me issues and to be honest putting me off sewing. I was going insane as to why it wasn’t working for me when it worked before.

When I got my machine I did learn a couple of things which were causing the issues that I was having.

Wrong Needles Inserted

My machine is a Janome My Lock 664D and the needles that you are to use are HA-1SP. I have changed the needles on this before and had no issues at all but apparently the needles that I had in at the time of service were the wrong ones. I remember running out of overlocker needles and buying some at the shop but not taking much notice. Thinking back now I think it was when I starting using the new pack that the issues started to occur.

Whilst writing this post I happened to find my old empty pack of needles which were sitting by the computer reminding me to buy more online (lucky I don’t clean my desk much) I pulled out the pack that were in my overlocker tool kit. I usually buy the Klasse needles cause you can get them pretty cheap at Spotlight and I knew I had to buy the orange packet. Side by side they look similar but I didn’t know there were different types. By chance previously I had brought the correct ones (Type E) but the ones I picked up last time were Type A. It has been suggested that I use a different brand but if I do have to go back to Klasse at least I know now which ones to buy.

Set To Incorrect Thread Serging

Apparently I had my machine set to do a 2 thread serge or overlock stitch but I had threaded the machine as a 3/4 thread serge. So when I was doing my stitches that’s why they weren’t forming properly.

Ok so I might sound like a total dummy but I have looked at the inside of my machine before and I have seen the little diagram that says 2 with the arrow and dot but I didn’t really know what it meant. I certainly didn’t realise that it could be flick up or down. Yes I have read my manual but that bit never sunk in. When I tried rethreading it I must have pushed it down to the 2 setting and not noticed.

As my blog is here partly as a memory trigger for myself so I can refer back to things as I forget I took a photos of the thread settings so I know the ideal number each thread should be on.

I also took a photo of the dials on the side. I generally don’t touch these dials. I don’t get fancy with my overlocker. I use it to overlock the raw edges on wovens or maybe even make an entire garment in knit fabric. I’m sure my overlocker can do plenty more but I only use it basic and I’m happy with that.

Since my machines return I have used it. I’m in the process of making my blue velvet York Pinafore and I tested it out on a scrap piece before overlocking the edges of my fabric. My machine is running so well, it is so lovely to have it working again. I use my overlocker a lot and I love this machine. It does everything I need it to do…. That’s when I have the correct needles in and have it set to the right settings. I’ve had this machine for a few years and it was interesting to learn these basic mistakes I had made using it. Next time I can think about all these things and check for them before I end up in tears as the blooming thing won’t work.

Cassiy

Upcycled T-Shirt Pillow

Upcycled T-Shirt Before

In the decluttering that me and my best friend have been doing she found an old t-shirt she doesn’t wear and asked “Can you make this into a pillow?” I had never upcycled a t-shirt into a pillow before but thought sure of course I can.

Upcycled T-Shirt Front

I didn’t follow any tutorials I just looked at the shirt and thought of it as a piece of fabric. I started by cutting off the neck area so it was straight at the top. I didn’t realise the shirt had no side seams, it was one of those tubular shirts. I ended up slicing down the shirt straight on either side which removed all of the sleeve area and gave me 2 squares of fabric. At the time I was making this I had no overlocker as it was away for service. I decided to keep the bottom hem as is because the edges were finished and I could install a zipper into it without too much issue. I used the method where you mark out where you want your zipper to be placed then sew a standard seam with regular stitch length either side of the marking but have a long tacking stitch in between the marks where you then place your zipper and sew around it. As I was sewing 2 flat pieces of fabric it was easy to lay the seam open flat to place the zipper. The first seam I did I didn’t leave enough room for my zipper to lay flat so I unpicked it and redid it.

Upcycled T-Shirt Back

The rest of the outer pillow construction was very basic. After ensuring I left the zipper open I just stitched around the big square. As I mentioned I had no overlocker so to finish the raw edges I used the overlocker stitch on my machine. The stitch eats a lot of thread and is a slow process but it is worth it.

Upcycled T-Shirt Side

I am actually super happy with how the outer pillow turned out. The same image is repeated on both sides of the shirt so I didn’t have to be exact with my side seams but they matched pretty well.

Upcycled T-Shirt Bottom

Instead of trying to buy a pillow insert to fit I made one. I just measured around the finished shirt and using those measurements I make one from white calico. I tend to make my turning/stuffing gaps too short so I made sure it was large enough to get my entire hand in. I have plenty of stuffing in my stash and this pillow ate about 500g. I made sure all the stuffing went down into the bottom corners and worked up from there. Before I finished stuffing it completing I put inside the pillow casing to ensure it was going to fit but also so I didn’t over stuff it. It fits snuggly. I ended up sewing the stuffing gap closed whilst still in the pillow as I was too lazy to pull it back out.

Upcycled T-Shirt Home

Now that I have rambled on about all the technical makings of this pillow I’ll let you in on a little secret. This pillow was more than just upcycling a shirt. It was sewing as therapy. I generally don’t get emotional, particularly when sewing. I might be happy sewing but I don’t put emotion into it. Creating this pillow made me feel connected to my best friend who had gone through a tough week after the death of her mother in law. The death brought back emotions for both of us as we both no longer have our mums. Creating this pillow I was sewing for my mum, her mum, her mother in law. My friend and I don’t live near each other so I couldn’t give her a hug but this pillow was my way of giving her the hug I couldn’t physically give. Once it was finished I messaged her to tell this and I explained this isn’t a sad pillow but a happy pillow. To be honest this is probably the best thing I have ever made. It turned out perfect. I am super happy that the most perfect thing I have ever sewn was for her.

Cassiy

 

To Sew List Jul 19

Another 6 months has passed so time to update my to sew list. In January my list was

  • Turner dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Pembroke dress – Cashmerette
  • Cedar dolman top – Cashmerette
  • Concord t-shirt dress – Cashmerette
  • Scrundlewear – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Bunzies – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Calista curvy bra – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Quicker knickers – Little Finch
  • Poppy bralette – House of Morrighan
  • Robbie pants – Tessuti
  • Black Winnats top – Wendy Ward
  • Black hoodie/cardigan/jacket (no pattern yet)
  • Hollings Circle skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Finsbury  Bubble skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Fallowfield  pencil skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Roehampton culottes – Wendy Ward
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt – Wendy Ward

Ok so I have only managed to get one item off that list made. To be honest I just haven’t been sewing much this year. Even though in my January post I said I wasn’t going to put pressure on myself to sew for myself I did kind feel pressure to sew – I’m my own worst enemy

I have made a couple of clothing items this year. At the time I wrote that post I hadn’t been to Melbourne where I picked up some lovely fabrics including the denim which I turned into a York Pinafore. I have been wearing that dress almost weekly since. I wear it with sneakers, my work shoes, it is the best dress. I did make my Sesame Street skirt too which has been fun to wear at work.

I have acquired a few new patterns as well as fabrics since January. Recently I purchased 2 Helen’s Closet patterns so I am adding to my list.

  • Turner dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Pembroke dress – Cashmerette
  • Cedar dolman top – Cashmerette
  • Concord t-shirt dress – Cashmerette
  • Donovan skirt – Helen’s Closet
  • Winslow culottes – Helen’s Closet
  • Blue velvet York pinafore – Helen’s Closet
  • Scrundlewear – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Bunzies – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Calista curvy bra – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Quicker knickers – Little Finch
  • Poncho – Beginner’s Guide To Dress Making magazine
  • Poppy bralette – House of Morrighan
  • Robbie pants – Tessuti
  • Black hoodie/cardigan/jacket (no pattern yet)
  • Bomber Jacket – McCalls M1700
  • Paisley Granville skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Hollings Circle skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Finsbury  Bubble skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Fallowfield  pencil skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Roehampton culottes – Wendy Ward
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt – Wendy Ward

I must admit the items I want to sew first are the ones with newly acquired fabrics. The only reason is they are winter fabrics and I would love to wear them this winter if possible. They are also mostly patterns I’ve made before and I am comfortable with, however I think I might go down in the sizing of the Granville skirt. I’m not neglecting fabric that I have in my stash, the lining I’ll use on my Granville is from my stash. I want to make a trial of the Donovan skirt from stash fabric first before attempting it in the Rose Liberty fabric I got during my Voucher shopping trip. Spring Frocktails is approaching in September and I do want to get my Appleton finished for that as I didn’t for the one earlier this year.

My overlocker is back from getting serviced so it is time to start sewing!

Cassiy

My Earbud Pouch

I made my friend an earbud pouch years ago but I never made myself one as I never needed one. I have been using ear phones at work for about 6 months and it suddenly occurred I need to make myself one!

The pattern is the Circle Zip earbud pouch by Dog Under My Desk. In my stash I found a couple of pieces of my favourite fabric. I don’t have much of this left now but I found just enough for this project. This like all of Erin’s patterns is super easy to make. I literally made it before work one morning (I do get up early) it only took about an hour to sew and maybe 10 – 15 mins the day before to cut out. This size holds regular ear phones but on the DUMD Facebook group others have said they have enlarged it to hold larger cords so you could make it to hold other electrical cords.

I am super happy I have a little something me made that I see each day at work in my favourite fabric. I don’t sew a lot for myself other than clothes so this is nice.

Cassiy