Simply Sewing Magazine : the next instalment

Having found the last issue of Simply Sewing magazine quite inspiring I decided to invest in Issue 6, not least to see the next stage of the instructions for the tulip skirt even though I’d already pressed ahead with it regardless.  In fact these primarily covered the addition of belt loops and piping at the waistband, neither of which I needed!

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The free gift with Issue 6 was a piece of faux suede fabric.  I have a major aversion to the feel and smell of real suede but the faux version is much more acceptable, feel and smell-wise.  There was a small supplement with some suggestions for using the fabric including patch pockets and an embellished collar.  I decided to tackle the Japanese knot bag.  The instructions were easy to follow, although top stitching around the  edge of the shorter handle (through which the longer handle slips to secure the bag) was a bit fiddly.

I lined the bag with some cotton fabric and was really pleased with the result. The bag is a great shape.

I made another zipped purse from some silk fabric I bought at a fabric sale in Petworth.  This one was for my goddaughter’s birthday and the fabric would also be perfect for a glamorous evening version of the knot bag (my sister’s idea).  I’ve held off making a garment from it because of its ‘crispy’ finish but I did find that ironing softened it up a bit so it might be OK  – and I won’t sound like I’m wearing a paper bag!

The red lining was a scrap from a pile of old fabric given to me by my mother.

I am turning into a bag lady … I’ve now made this cover for my new notebook/tablet.  All I did was draw round it onto some paper and extend the rectangle by 2 cms all round to allow for a 1 cm seam and a further centimetre for manoeuvring the tablet in and out.  The stripy fabric is lined with some chambray and I incorporated some wadding on each side for added protection.  I cut this to exactly the same size as the tablet.  The wadding did cause me a bit of a headache when I was turning the bag through the lining because the tacking I’d used to secure it temporarily to each side came adrift.  I managed to resolve the problem by sticking my hand through the turning hole and smoothing it out.

Going back to the magazine, it was almost worth it for the knot bag idea.  There are some nice home accessories using lovely fabrics – including some useful storage boxes. There is also an article about The Makery in Bath, an interesting item on sewing bloggers and some cute embroidered bunny building blocks.

I’ll go for anything rabbit-related!

My Sewing Space

We were busy at the weekend and the result of this was no sewing time.   I did manage to make another zipped purse on Monday night as a present for my sister because I can’t stay away from the sewing machine for too long.

I think this might be my favourite one so far,  but it is in the post so too late to keep it for myself.   Now the lined and zipped purse is on my list of achievements I’m thinking of making a large one for carrying round my new notebook/tablet on which I write this blog. I will incorporate some wadding for added protection.

Last night after sustaining a kitchen related injury which I blamed entirely on W at the time – although it wasn’t really all his fault – I decided to flounce upstairs and launch into a tidying-up operation in my sewing room!

I know I am really lucky to have my own room in which to create.  The room used to belong to one of W’s girls but now they are grown up they no longer need their own rooms at our house and so I claimed this one for myself.  It is fairly small but I also have the big table in the conservatory to use for cutting out, subject to the limitations previous referred to (extreme temperatures, bright sunlight in the middle of the day and piles of dead and toasted insects during the summer).  I also have a pile of Selvedge magazines in another room.  I’m beginning to understand why W thinks sewing is taking over the house!

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I am quite an organised person but sewing and craft stuff can very quickly get out of hand and I am inclined to keep all sorts of bits and pieces, including tiny scraps of fabric, just in case they might come in handy.  Yesterday evening anything that really wasn’t ever going to prove useful in the future was cleared away and I emerged with three large bagfuls of rubbish.  Everything is now where it should be and easy to find.  The very tidy pile of fabric on the shelf consists solely of large recently purchased and pristine pieces of fabric which have not yet been turned into garments.  There is a LOT more hidden away in baskets under the table and elsewhere.  The table is from IKEA and is just a top supported by two trestles which are great for providing extra storage.  It doesn’t usually look this clear on top!

Also under the table is a large basket containing knitting and crochet needles and a half-finished cardigan which I am fairly sure I don’t have enough yarn to complete (this was started YEARS ago and the yarn is no longer available).

The weather was quite gloomy first thing this morning so the pictures aren’t great but they give the general idea.

When it comes to yarn-related activities, I love crocheting squares and I have knitted quite a few bags in the past.  This strawberry one was my own design and when I look at it now I have absolutely no idea how I managed to do it!   However, larger knitting projects are really beyond my abilities and having adapted one of the cardigan sleeves to make it shorter I now have no recollection of what I did to it to enable me to repeat the process on the second sleeve.  I did spend some time last night untangling everything so perhaps I’ll have another look at it on a quiet evening.

Doris insisted on wearing her favourite skirt for her photo (have I mentioned my tendency to anthropomorphise?).  My Janome sewing machine is a relatively recent addition which I’m really pleased with and the storage baskets, tins and boxes have been accumulated over the years and are great for keeping things organised – and I’m determined to keep it this way.

I’ve still not finished the hem on the starfish skirt, although the lining is hemmed.  I’m having trouble getting it straight and turning it up the same amount all the way round leaves it dipping at the front.  W has agreed to help pin it up.  If that doesn’t work I’ll take it round to my mum at the weekend and stand on the coffee table!