Monday 31 December 2012

Last Bit of Sewing-Related Shopping for 2012...

... these last few bits I picked up today in town on the last day of 2012 (haha can't keep a girl from shopping when she needs to :)!!)...

Shopping 02

For holding water - bottles/soap dish (from 'Superdrug')... so I can save time running to the sick when I need to erase the wipe-off marker, iron-on edge tape (v. light weight) for staying curves, some general purpose scissors, some anti-moth lavender sachets to protect the fabric stash (all from 'John Lewis'), and a pretty coaster with a Liberty-print on it (from you guessed it Liberty) :)
Shopping 01

An A3 cutting mat (420 x 297 mm = 16.5 x 11.7 inches) only £3.45 - bargain! A Lino cutter printing kit set + pieces of lino (to try more at home following my visit to Crafty Pint in November where I got to try out fabric printing in one of the short workshops). Plus, a set of brushes... which I shall use not for painting - but to apply liquid fabric stabiliser to seam allowances on knit fabrics (to see if that helps me sew them a bit better !!).

Ohhh... and do please keep your eye-out for a special post from me on New Year's Day... as my little blog turns 2 year old, so I shall again be celebrating the anniversary with a GIVEAWAY. The giveaway details to follow... and it will be open to both UK and overseas entries :)

Little Bit of Christmas-Pressie Sewing...

So, I was pleased to be able to squeeze out a few me-made Crimbo-pressies for loved ones in time!

For my Mummy (who has recently decided to take up knitting again) I made this storage roll to neatly keep the set of x18 pairs knitting needles I bought for her off of Amazon. I made it from some lovely soft pink 'n' red floral cotton drill, plain red cotton quilting fabric, cotton wadding (all pre-washed) and some shop-bought bias binding. It was straightforward working out the measurements - and I custom-sized each little "pocket" to fit the different sized pairs of needles (which run from 2mm up to 10mm in diameter). In places the fabric was 6 layers thick + 1 layer of wadding - and my faithful Novum coped very well.

Knitting Needle Roll, 02 Knitting Needle Roll, 01
Knitting Needle Storage Roll - made for my Mummy :)

I was also able to use my Prym Turning Set (the same as this one here) which is a set of 3 different sized plastic tubes along with matching rods/sticks that along you to very, very quickly turn tubes inside out. I used the 'S' for tunnel widths from 9.5-16mm to make the ties for the needle roll - and it was dead easy to do with that handy gadget :) I think you could very easily DIY this gadget at home (perhaps I should investigate and do a blog post?).

For my Aunt (who's a keen and excellent cook) I made some hot handle covers - which will keep you from burning your hands on saucepans on a hot hob. I made a little cardboard template, and quilted layers of calico with x3 layers of cotton batting (per side) along with a cream/red/green floral cotton on the outside. Then I bound the edges with a forest-green bias binding.

To get the sizing correct, I based the self-drafted pattern (if you can really call a 1-piece rectangle with rounded corners a "pattern" ?? LOL!) on some worn out handle-covers I already owned that I bought years ago from Lakeland Limited (they now sell a slightly different style). The covers should slip over the handles easily - but not slide off unexpectedly... after all you don't want to burn those mitts eh ;)?

The handle covers were a big hit + I'm now commissioned to sew her some pot holders too ;) (Luckily and frugally speaking too - the fabrics for these all came from my stash apart from the binding - yay!).

Hot Handle Covers for Saucepans, 01 Hot Handle Covers for Saucepans, 02
Hot Handle Cover for Saucepans - made for my Aunt

For both projects I used a self-made cardboard template to help me pre-press the curves in place into the bias-binding; thus making it much easier to sew into place :) Nevertheless, there were a few occasional uses of the seam-ripper and a bit of re-stitching going on LOL! I also found Wash-Away Wonder Tape to keep the binding in position a fab time-saver (easier than a zillion pins ;) !). Plus, using the fine-tip of a sewing awl very handy to keep the edges of  bias-binding from twisting out of place under the presser foot on my sewing machine... as my fingers are a bit too big to manage this task alone.

I had tried to use a bias-binding presser-foot for my machine with very little success. The foot couldn't cope with the masses of layers - and made a real mess of the test-sample I tried. People - always do a test when using a new foot!! (You can see the book The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible by Wendy Gardiner and Lorna Knight that I first blogged about back in February this year in the left-hand corner of the photo above to help me get the best use out of the foot... and I shall try again on something far less bulky soon hehe!).

Ohhh... and do please keep your eye-out for a special post from me on New Year's Day... as my little blog turns 2 year old, so I shall again be celebrating the anniversary with a GIVEAWAY. The giveaway details to follow... and it will be open to both UK and overseas entries :)

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Christmas Comes But Once A Year...

... and when it does, it brings good cheer!

Merry Christmas
Festive Signage on Oxford Street, London
Hello everybody! *Long time no post. I'm feeling pretty relaxed and cheery - tucked up watching the telly and eating my turkey 'n' chocs (not at the same time I might add LOL!) ... and I hope that you are all having a lovely time with family and friends too :)

Father Christmas has been most kind again to me this year - he helped guide the hand of my Husband and his wallet towards these pretty lovelies (lucky me :) !).
Cath Kidston Sewing Charms Bracelet
Cath Kidston Sewing Charms Bracelet
Poster - "Make It Sew"
"Make It Sew" Poster (à la cathphrase of Jean-Luc Picard)
I also had the privilege and pleasure to take part in VickiKateMakes's Sew Very Merry Christmas Swap and KraftyKat's Sewists Secret Santa.

For my fellow swapee's I sent out the following items (both were international swaps with US living ladies). I shan't name the ladies who received these packages of sewing-lurve (in case they've not opened them yet - so I don't ruin the surprise hehe!!):

Sew Very Merry Christmas Swap 2012
Items I sent out for the 'Sew Very Merry Christmas Swap'
Above, is the bundle of goodies I sent out to the recipient of the swap that VickiKateMakes sorted out for us. 4 lovely pieces of fabric direct from my own stash, a couple of cute sewing / sew-on fabric patches (badges?), a copy of the December 2012 issue of Burda Style Magazine, a me-made wrist pin cushion, and a lollipop for good measure! (This was a direct swap, so we knew each other's names, i.e. person A posts to B, and vice-a-versa.) My return package is as yet to arrive from the US (I'll post a pic when it gets here) - but hey... this way the festive fun lasts a wee bit longer than usual :)

Below, for KraftyKat's "secret" swap we knew the name of who we were posting our mystery and surprise £5 pressies on to... but not who was sending a surprise gift to us (I do luv a surprise!). For this, I decided to make some lovely things to post out: so I sewed up a me-made wrist pin cushion, a pressing ham, and a scissors holder, to this I added a cute sewing-kit in a tin (which I supplemented with some 'Betweens' hand sewing needles), 2 sew-on fabric patches, some sharp thread-snips, and yup another lollipop ;)!
Sewist's Secret Santa - Christmas 2012
Me-Made Items + a few shop-bought bits I sent out for the Sewists Secret Santa
Here's the lovely purple knit fabric (very thoughtfully pre-washed, yay!), special Chocolate and made-for-me pin cushion... all the way from New Zealand no less.

Sewists Secret Santa 2012 - Gifts I Received

Oh, and here's a lovely short video-clip I made on my phone of the fab Ebony Steelband that were playing an excellent rendition of the Christmas ditty 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' on Oxford Street, London when I went shopping for sewing supplies earlier this month :)...

(*So sorry about that folks. Things have been extremely sparse sewing time-wise lately, as I've been crazy busy at work *sad face*. That only makes me daydream more about sewing projects - the imaginery future-hope-to-make kine, and the unfinished kind in equal measure *sigh*).