Thursday, 22 November 2012

Sewing niggles...

This is one of the many things that annoys me about sewing and it all comes back to the same point - I don't know what I'm doing.  I don't know what I'm doing with the machine this time (as opposed to not knowing about patterns) and so things like this happen.  Can anyone out there shed any light?  Or has anyone else had these problems?


This first one was a good learning experience - the people in your local sewing machine shop are AMAZING.  I had my machine serviced and about 2 weeks later this started happening.  I don't know if you can tell from the photo but the end of the needle has broken off and when you lower the needle it hits the foot, hence why it broke in the first place.  I was so annoyed at the time, thinking it was something to do with it being serviced, maybe they'd set the foot wrong or something.  Nope, turns out I'm an idiot trying to do a zig zag stitch through a regular straight stitch foot.  That's right folks - there are different feet for different stitches.  Who knew?!  Certainly not me, as the broken end of the needle went whizzing past, a hair's breadth from my cornea.  I need goggles to sew, it's a high risk activity.  The lady in the sewing machine shop spent a patient 20 minutes explaining this problem to me, my goodness I felt like an idiot...


This one I have yet to fathom.  From time to time, apparently randomly, my machine decides it wants to cause this little mess at the back of my sewing.  It's always where I've started sewing, there's a horrendous 'GNNNNN' sound, the needle refuses to move then all of a sudden it shoots away like the man Bolt, sewing every which way but the way you want and occasionally across my thumb in the process.  When I finally get it under control and turn my work over, there's this nice little bird's nest awaiting me.  Fun times.  It's at this point that I pour myself a large glass of wine and take up my knitting instead.

Anyone else got sewing woes to share? 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

(Almost) finished project!

It's so nice to be able to post an (almost) finished project, I feel like I constantly have several large projects on the go that seem to go on and on forever (the new house blanket being a case in point) and the only things I ever finished are small projects that can be done in an evening.  I have so many unfinished objects (or UFO's for the non-knitters out there) lying around the house, hopefully now I have a craft room I can start mopping them up a bit!


This is my second owl jumper and it was just as quick and simple to knit as the first.  I finished it while I was on holiday last week and back in Edinburgh, so I blocked it and left it to dry on the floor in the box room.  When I'm back up in 2 weeks time I plan to sew on the eye buttons and then that's one Christmas present ticked off!  I'm pretty certain my Mum doesn't read my blog, otherwise I'm in trouble...


Drying on the floor in the box room

In other knitting news, I've started my next Christmas project, Vicky's cable knit skirt.  I'm actually further along than this photo implies so I'll be showing my work in progress soon.  I love chunky yarn, it knits up so quickly!


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Zippered pouch and a sneak preview!

Remember the dinosaur zippered pouch I made, way back in January?  It's nothing special really, just a zippered pouch, though to me every zippered pouch is a MASSIVE TRIUMPH since I epically suck at putting in a zip.  I don't know what it is about zips, I follow the instructions carefully and use the right sewing foot but somehow they always come out slightly wonky.  This one didn't though, I'm very proud, it represents one small step for a sewing nerd, one giant leap for...hmm, well, me.

Does anyone else find that when they make photos smaller in Flickr, they somehow become less focused?  Is that a thing?  Or is it my crappy photography skills?  It happened in the inside shot of the vest top in the post below, and just happened again with this shot.  Weird stuffs.

This one I made for work, to hold all the kit needed for the blood machine.  Sexy right?  That 99p pillow case from the charity shop has served me well!


This little dude is hiding away, I can't show you him until after Christmas but he's pretty damn adorable!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Recycled t-shirt to vest

I recently inherited a whole pile of t-shirts from a friend, each with an awesome print on the front.  Since most of them were too big for me and some had stains in funny places, I thought it would be a good opportunity to finally have a bash at So Zo's free t-shirt to vest pattern.  I've been meaning to try this pattern for ages, since reading it on Zoe's blog and seeing successful 'upcycled' (to use the disgustingly trendy term) versions on Did you make that? and Scruffy Badger Time's blogs.


Please excuse the blotchiness, this was a straight-out-of-the-shower shot

They were not lying when they said this pattern is easy!  Zoe, I tip my hat to you, my fear of sewing patterns (recently mentioned over here) is somewhat abated, at least for the moment.  I only managed one of these on my week off (so much for 5 tops in 10 days, ha!), I did lots of non-clothing sewing too.


Don't mess with those arms, BEEFY ARMS WILL EAT YOU!

I love the recycling aspect of this project, that I can now buy charity shop men's t-shirts and turn them into something I would wear on a daily basis.  This one is going to be a sleeping vest, to go with a pair of pyjama bottoms I have yet to make.  


Look at that neat elastic sewing!  I'm so proud

The elastic was the best of a bad bunch from my local fabric store so is sadly of the type that reminds me of old lady bra straps.  You know the ones - functional, wide, comfortable but not at all sexy.  I know I can get nicer, cheaper versions online but I wanted a quick fix, I wanted it in my sweaty little palm right then and there.  I got duped, though it works for a sleeping vest.


Obligatory inside shot.  Sewing elastic is strangely satisfying

Next time I'm going to grade up a size from below the bust downwards.  Although this one technically fits me, it's a bit tight to wear outside (hence sleeping only).  It's comfortable, don't get me wrong, it's just that it clings that bit too much to my muffin tops.  Or after this week of holiday, cheese-take-out-and-wine-tops.  I'm on a health food kick this week, I have no holiday regrets but feel my arteries and liver have taken a pounding...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

I have a craft room!

I can't believe it's been 2 and a half weeks since my last post, where is the time going?  I think of things to blog about all the time, I guess I need to start writing them down otherwise clearly I don't get round to doing it!  A Beautiful Mess recently posted 2 really interesting and inspiring articles about creating blog posts and planning them properly.  I actually already carry a little notepad round with me wherever I go, I use it for to do lists, shopping lists, things not to forget, it would be very easy to start noting down blog ideas.  We've also already got a massive whiteboard in the flat, so again, it would be easy to start organising the blog a bit better.  Hmmm...ideas to percolate on...I'm in no rush at the moment, just enjoying having a job and a real life for the first time in 8 years!


Which brings me nicely on to my topic of choice...I HAVE A CRAFT ROOM!!  This is something I've been dreaming about for years now, a room of my own to fill with fabric, wool and notions.  To have my sewing machine out permanently so I can sit down and sew for just 20 minutes if I want to, without having to go through all the faff and hassle of unpacking everything I need, then repacking it at the end.  To have my fabric and wool out on display, so I can be inspired by a particular print or colour. 


This all hinged on the fact that I don't need a study anymore, yay!  The box room was my study, meaning we couldn't use it for storage as much as we'd like.  A day spent dismantling furniture and moving boxes around and suddenly the box room is for storage and the spare room is an empty blank canvas to fill with craftiness!


What exciting things lie within?  Patterns, clothes to alter, batting, stuffing, embroidery hoops...

Andrew has his computer set up in one corner, which means I can sew and he can play computer games, 'together alone time' we call it!  The fireplace is now uncovered as well, so in the winter we can have the fire on while we craft and play.

Even the dog got involved, helping me sort which fabric was staying in the trunk and which was going on the shelves.


Ah, is there anything more satisfying and inspiring than a day spent organising your craft room?  It made me super productive too, I finished a So Zo t-shirt to vest and 4 stuffed hearts for my Etsy shop.  More on those to come...