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Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

I have a little holiday coming up (in fact I fly tomorrow!) and as a treat I got myself a nifty new bag.

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It’s great, it turns from a shoulder bag into a rucksack with just an easy pull of the straps.  It’s also the perfect colour for me, I like the classic khaki and tan.  However I did want to put my own personal mark on it.  So I bought some patches.

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I removed the logo patch that was already on the bag and then sewed these two beauties on.  It was a lot fiddlier than I had anticipated (I’ve never sewn a badge onto a bag before) because I didn’t want to go too far and sew the patch to the lining.  Got it done though, and I love how it looks.  The Hogwarts alumni patch was from eBay, and the Sunnydale High one from this seller on Etsy.

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A little nod to TBBT there, but that’s basically what I’ve been doing.  Last week I bored you all rigid telling you about my spring cleaning, and mentioned that I had put aside a load of assorted fabric to use in a project straight away.  Well, when you have lots of random fabric (ranging in size from scraps to whole half metres) and you want to use them up quickly then the two options that come to mind first are probably quilts or bunting.  I opted for the latter, given I already have one quilt that’s still unfinished and languishing in a box somewhere.

I’m going to ramble a bit now so bear with me.

One of the reasons I have so many half finished projects (or, dare I say it, ones that never got off the ground) is that I like to wait for optimum conditions.  This bunting is a really good example.  Of course the most efficient way to sew bunting is by using a sewing machine.  My sewing machine is still in need of a service and I daren’t use it until it’s been checked out (because of the alarming burning smell when it runs…).  All well and good, but that sewing machine has been gathering dust for well over a year now.  Which means I’ve been putting off various other things that require the use of a sewing machine.

You with me so far?  So ideally I would get the machine serviced and then use it to sew the flags.  However we know that the likelihood of me getting it serviced soon is very slim.  I could cut the flags and then keep them safe until the machine is fixed…but that’s not a good idea because things get lost.  Somewhere in this house is a bag full of quilt squares (and not from the half-finished quilt mentioned above!) that I cut out and then put safely to one side.  It gets slightly more complicated when I tell you that my mother has an industrial sewing machine – so she could sew it for me (her machine is super fast and scares the bejeesus out of me), but she was on holiday last week.

What’s a girl to do?

Suck it up, buttercup.  That’s right, I sewed the flags by hand.  BY HAND.  All ninety of them.  Possibly a little crazy, but a) it got the job done, and b) I was ill last week so not in a fit state to do anything other than sit and snuffle on the sofa.  Sewing flags killed the time between naps and doses of medicine.

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They look good eh?  So I got them all sewn and pressed, and now I will do the sensible thing and ask my mother if she’ll sew them onto the bias binding for me.  Of course I have no actual immediate use for bunting, but I figure it’s bound to come in handy at some point and in the meantime it means I have reduced my stash and turned dead fabric into a potentially useful ornament!

Tl;dr – I had spare fabric and made bunting.

PS.  In the spirit of using it up the sewing was all done using thread I had picked up on sale a few years ago.  I got suckered in by the cute jar and it was cheap, but I already have plenty of thread so it’s just been sitting there gathering dust.  Now it’s all gone, huzzah!

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I’ve spent a lot of time bookbinding and painting recently so I thought it was time for a change.  This week I decided to repurpose the cardboard from some old shoe boxes to make some pretty book-style storage boxes.  I’m really pleased with how they turned out, and it gave me the opportunity to use some of the gorgeous fabric that I’ve got stashed away.  They’re now available in my Etsy shop.

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You don’t really hear much about darning socks in this day and age because they’re usually so cheap to replace.  I’ve always been curious about it though (too much reading of classic literature), and recently my interest was revived by Katy of Misericordia.  I’d actually got halfway to starting some darning last year when I saw a ‘how to’ in a magazine, and my partner gave me some of his much loved socks to repair… but then I put them away in a cupboard and forgot about them.

I came across the socks again this past weekend and as I’m off sick at the moment and not supposed to be doing anything too strenuous I thought I’d finally give it a bash.

It was surprisingly easy, and oddly relaxing!

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The first job was to find some suitable thread.  As the socks are quite thick I wanted to use yarn, but none of my yarn was quite the right thickness.  So I found some grey acrylic that was a reasonably good match colour-wise and then split it (as you would do to embroidery thread) to get three strands.

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Pretty big hole, eh?  I got the sock positioned over my darning mushroom (second hand/vintage, from a car boot sale) and started by working across the hole in one direction…

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…then started going the other way, weaving in and out of the threads I’d just sewn.  If you’re giving this a go then remember to start your threads a decent distance from the edge of the hole so that they’re anchored firmly.

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Not bad, even if I do say so myself.

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And here’s how it looks on the inside.

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So there we go, my first attempt at darning socks!  I will definitely be doing this again (there’s already another pair waiting for me…), but I think I’d only bother with expensive socks as it really isn’t worth it for bog-standard cotton ones.  Matt’s worn these already and says they’re comfy and he can’t feel any difference so I think I got the thread thickness right, which is especially satisfying.

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Work in progress…

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Another commission, this one an embroidered letter.  This customer purchased one of the embroidered letters from my Etsy shop – the ‘A’, as both she and her husband have the same first initial.  She then decided she wanted their last initial too, in colours to complement the other one.  I was very happy to oblige (in a strange, slightly masochistic, way I do enjoy embroidery!), and I’m chuffed to bits with the finished piece.  The original letter was pink with turquoise highlights, and this one is the opposite – the shades used on each are slightly different, but they complement each other nicely.

Fun fact: I lost count after the first hundred, but I estimate that there are around 1,000 French knots in this piece of embroidery.

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Yes, I know I said no more embroidery for a while but someone requested a particular letter 🙂

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