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Friday, February 06, 2015

She sews again

You may have noticed there's been very little sewing content in the last 6 months. Or actually since last August when I stalled on the two quilts I'm making for my parents. The quilts are still waiting to be basted and quilted. I just haven't felt up to tackling it and every time I've thought of sewing I've felt I had to finish the quilts before I do anything else. I've finally decided to tackle but since I haven't  sewn for so long I thought I'd practice on a few small projects first, just to get back into the swing of things.

First up is a Box Tote by Very Shannon. I've wanted to make this for a while and earlier in the week a couple of versions popped up in my Instagram feed. I cut out the fabric on Tuesday morning and started sewing Tuesday evening. I chose 4 fat quarters - one for each half of the outside and one for each half of the lining. The pattern has pockets on both inside and outside but I only put pockets on the outside. 

I used a very stiff interfacing and it was quite a challenge to sew with. I've no idea what size needle was in my machine or how much sewing it had done. I probably should have put a new needle in before I started but I didn't and half way through the needle broke. I used spray glue to stick the outer fabric to the stiff interfacing. Like most of my sewing, it's far from perfect. My seams still need a lot of work, especially the top stitching around the top.

But I did enjoy making this and it was fairly quick.

 The lining looks a bit loose and floppy but it's actually the right size. 

I've got some knitterly fabric from Betz White to make another one. I cut it out yesterday and I may start it tonight. I'm using a slightly thinner stiff interfacing for this one. Hopefully that'll make the sewing a bit more pleasant.

Another bag I've wanted to make is a Japanese Knot Bag. I searched for patterns and downloaded a hand-drawn template. The instructions were in a blog post and I'm not going to link to it because I didn't think it was that good. The instructions were split between three blog posts with no link to the other two blog posts. It should have had a circular base which I didn't bother with. I used two Liberty fat quarters. I love the purple fabric. The lining fabric, which I forgot to photograph, was a fabric I wasn't quite so keen on. I used fusible fleece on this bag which is a bit too thick, I think. The Liberty fabric is thinner than quilting cotton and I found it a bit difficult to work with. The outer fabric that was fused to the fleece was fine but the edging was a handful. I would have been better off fusing both fabrics to a lighter interfacing. I struggled with the handles. They were a bit fiddly. I'm happy with the result though. I will use it for teaching. When I teach I often walk around to demonstrate knitting techniques to students and I've nowhere to put my yarn while I'm showing various knitting techniques. Now I can pop the yarn in this bag and carry it on my wrist.

Yesterday, I made an impulse decision to try to make another bag for a swap I'm involved in. I used two fat quarters. The lining is the same fabric but with light blue dots on a white background. I fused each fabric to a lighter interfacing. Sewing the bag together was fairly quick and easy and I tried a different way of doing the handles. It was all okay until I had to top stitch around the smaller handle. It was really fiddly and ended up looking really messy. I was probably rushing a bit too much. I decided the bag was too messy to give away. So I'll keep this one for workshop use too.

I think these bags are big enough for a sock project if you use the magic loop technique but I prefer 20 cm dpns and I think they will stick out of the bag, so I want to make a slightly larger one. Maybe I'll try it this weekend. I will definitely make an effort to make more time for sewing in the future. I do feel guilty sometimes as I feel I should be knitting but knitting is all work and I deserve some time off from work knitting. I'm definitely planning some sewing this weekend. I also want to make an open wide zippered pouch by Noodlehead. I have lots of similar bags which I use for knitting projects but most of the are fairly small and I could do with a couple of larger ones for sweater knitting.

1 comment:

Lynne said...

A good pattern is Grab Bags from I have made lots and they take 50cm of fabric and lining and will take a 100gm ball of sock yarn and dpns easily.