Monthly Archives: May 2010

A Bundle of Pretty

I picked up a little bundle of pretty fat quarters the other day at Jarrolds.

Fat Quarters

They had 10% off so they’re a little bargain too. :)

I’m planning on making small bags, probably sock project bags. I’m not sure what pattern yet, but I’m having fun browsing blogs for tutorials. I like the pink and brown spotty fabric best so I’m going to use the other fabrics as trial runs to practice the techniques and try out designs first.

The green fabric on the far right is the odd one out as it’s a whole meter which I bought just because I liked the print (and it was also reduced!) Not sure what I’ll make from that yet, maybe another bag?

In addition to these goodies, I also got a free bunting kit consisting of template, instructions, cotton tape and tailors chalk. I’d show you a picture but I gave it to my mum as she’s been talking of making/buying some bunting for the summer house in the garden.

I also picked up some fat quarters at Sew Creative this weekend.

Stripes!

Lovely colours and bold stripes that I think will also make some great bags.

Yes, I do seem to have a one track mind at the moment. Everything I see I think will make good bags! I’ve decided I’m not going to buy any more fat quarters (no matter how pretty they are) until this lot is used up and maybe with the next fabric I buy I’ll be inspired to make something other than bags… :)

Advertisements

Ta-dah!

My weekend bag is finally finished! It took a few more days than I was expecting but I got there in the end.

Bag

It’s the first project I’ve made using my sewing machine and while it’s not perfect it’s really not that bad either. There are only a few wonky seams and I’ll probably sew the handles on again neater at some point but the main point of this project was to learn and that was a complete success.

I’ve practiced doing bias binding, interfacing, seams and getting the tension right amongst other things. Plus, I can now change threads and wind bobbins without looking up the instructions. Oh, and I’ve learnt it’s a good idea to check the pockets before you sew things together, before you do something silly like sew the liner in upside down…

I’m planning to use the bag for my knitting, I can use it as a stash basket or alternatively it will easily hold everything I need for a WIP (or two!). There’s 8 balls of yarn underneath the WIP in the picture below and still room to spare!

Inside the bag

I put pockets on the inside and outside as the bag is reversible although I’m probably going to keep it patterned side out. There’s also an additional mini pocket on one side.

Handy pockets with pretty needles

The worst of the wonky stitches was on the handles as I struggled to keep it straight whilst sewing with the bulk of the bag. I’m quite pleased with the handles themselves though.

Wonky stitches

I’ve got so much more to learn but I think that’s a pretty good start! :)

Bag

Now I need to decide what to make next…

Not Sew Good

It’s not easy learning to sew. My first seam looked like this:

Wonky Stitches

That got unpicked swiftly! Thankfully it didn’t take me long to figure out how to do neat, straight(ish) seams.

Other things I’ve learnt:

1. Checking your tension is as important in sewing as it is in knitting.

2. Pretty stitches are pretty cool.

Pretty Stitches

But they take 10 times as long to unpick!

3. The Sewing World pattern is not a good one. Not because it’s difficult because it is full of errors. A 30cm circle does not have a circumference of 107cm (30cm x Pi =95cm, and you can’t tell me the 12cm difference is the seam allowance), and if you cut a rectangle to be the same length as the circumference you will not have enough fabric because you need a seam allowance. I could be missing something as I’m a beginner but I doubt it.

I won’t mention all the other wrong numbers.

I wish I had pictures of a bag to show you but I’ve had to unpick several times and haven’t quite achieved it. I hope to have something better to show you tomorrow.

Sew Far So Good

I’m not a person who sews, but I’d like to be. I think it’ll complement my knitting nicely, probably even make me a better knitter and I really like the idea that I can finish a sewing project far quicker than a knitted one.

The best bit is that I can start sewing without having to spend a fortune, the sewing machine was bought with birthday money and most of my sewing supplies (including fabric) have been inherited from my nannys. I know both of them would like that I’m putting their supplies to good use and learning to sew and there’s also something really nice about using notions passed down from grandparents.

Here is my shiny sewing machine:

Shiny Sewing Machine

Gratuitous close up:

Close up

And here are my materials for the day:

Materials

I’m planning on making the bucket bag in the May issue of Sewing World (I got a free 3 month subscription to the magazine with my sewing machine). It’s fairly simple and would probably make a good bag for knitting projects so with a bit of luck tomorrow I’ll show you the fruits of my labour (but it’ll probably be more like evidence of how much I need to learn). But we all have to start somewhere and I’m feeling pretty good about my starting point. :)

Frugal(ish) Shopping Trip

I only intended to buy a magazine and some stiffener today. I didn’t go overboard but a closing down sale and a bargain bin meant I got a little bit more and best of all it came to just under £15. :)

Frugal(ish) Shopping Trip

I have lots of interesting projects planned with these. From the left:

  • Stiffener for a bag I’m going to try to make at the weekend.

  • Sunflower yellow dye for some sock yarn. (I wanted white yarn but what I unknowingly ordered was un-dyed off-white, rather than return it I decided it would be sacrificed to my first attempts at dying).

  • Ribbon for finishing off my Ambrosia cardigan.

  • Sparkly black thread! I probably would have bought it anyway as I love anything black and sparkly but I do actually have a project planned based on some artwork I saw at The Forum last week. I’ll tell you about it when it becomes less awesome idea and more awesome reality.

  • Teeeeeny tiny hook for placing beads in knitting.

  • Homestyle sewing magazine, lots of interesting projects inside and came with the materials to make a red spotty bag. I don’t think I’ll be doing the one printed inside, but I like the generous 50x100cm of material to play with.
  • That lot should keep me busy for a little while… :)