Tag Archives: fat quarter

Child’s drawstring backpack

22 Dec

I wanted to make my nephew a small backpack with some cute teal elephant fabric I got from Goldhawk road a few months ago – but obviously, at the time, I had no idea what I would use it for I just loved it so bought some!

Joseph's bag.png

The photo on the left is closest to real colours – terrible winter light!

I used the tutorial from Hobbycraft’s blog, but make  sure you read it through carefully and slowly before you start – it is an easy process, but they have made it fairly confusing. I wanted to use the Hobbycraft one despite the many good ones out there because I REALLY wanted to use the eyelets. Here’s the changes I made:

  • I used 4mm drawstring (because then I could get it in grey, and it’s comfier too).
  • I used Prym’s 11mm silver eyelets as the 5.5m ended up too small to fit the drawstring.
  • I didn’t use the quantity of fabric they said to use. Instead I used 4 pieces of 14×12 inches to make this a little bit smaller.
  • As the bag was smaller, I only needed 2m of drawstring, which is great because that’s all I had received despite ordering 3m!

I then filled it with lots of chocolate coins – I don’t expect a 2y old to be particularly delighted by a bag so this is to make sure he still loves his Christmas present!

I still have two sewing Christmas presents to finish off – I hope yours are all going well! :)

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Laptop cover: Sew Selfless September

7 Oct

This is the last of my SSS items! I didn’t actually finish it in September, but that is due to a combination of: making the beanbag cover from my last post when I should have been doing this, then being ill, then my sewing machine going haywire after I’d only sewn about a quarter of it. Anyway, my sewing machine perked up again on Sunday so I decided to finish it and hope that it could still count.

Sew Selfless September_bigger

Click to go through to Sometimes Sewist’s SSS intro

My boyfriend has decided to replace his 8-year old laptop (surprisingly) with a shiny new, fast, smaller one since he is starting his PhD. He got a MacBook Pro 13″ (normal, not air). Ages ago he chose this zig-zag fabric without us knowing what to do with it, and when he got the MacBook I hoped that the single fat quarter which we bought would be enough for – and it turns out that it definitely is!

I decided to opt for an envelope-style, as he wanted it to be waterproof and I felt that needed something which was covered on all six sides. So this needed a FQ of outside fabric, a FQ of batting (I used quilting cotton batting), and a FQ of waterproof fabric (mine was navy nylon).

Laptopcase_bottom

Here’s the stripes all lining up next to the flap:

Laptopcase_tom

And a close-up of the binding which I used to close the edge where the case opens to let the laptop in/out – it is not perfect by any means and I think the envelope style makes it a little harder to have neat edges – I wonder if somehow a zipped-up case might have actually made it easier to have all the raw edges enclosed and everything a bit neater? Anyway, I made my own bias binding for the first time! It was only about 25cm worth but still.

Laptopcase_binding1Laptopcase_binding2

I haven’t written out all of my instructions but I kept all of my measurements and doodles, so feel free to ask, though there’s so many out there already that unless you are as fussy as me I am sure you can find what you want.

He is really happy with it and it kept his laptop dry when he and the contents of his bag got quite wet during a cycle in the rain (yay British autumn) so it serves its purpose!

I didn’t have any sew-on Velcro and my metal snappers/fasteners risk scratching his laptop so it doesn’t fasten for now, but the flap is just long enough to get away with that until I can get to Hobbycraft / John Lewis.

If that is allowed to count in my Sew Selfless September, then I managed to complete my task successfully! Though if it doesn’t I don’t mind much, as I was able to make plenty of things for people and three people have benefitted well from it :)

Mini sewing kit, a lingerie bag, and more fabric!

18 May
2014.05.18 EllisSewingKit_upright

See below for link to tutorial (and the inside!)

I’ve had a busy week! Yesterday I popped down to Ilford lane (a little bus ride from where I live)

I managed to get the below, plus 3 yards of black 0.5″ bias binding and some thread, for £10! 1.5 yards of each fabric, with the big floral pattern being 60″ wide and the others 45″ :)

Image

I think I might make a blouse out of the fabric on the right, and bag of the one on the left. The white is for a quilt but it is more sheer than I thought in the shop (maybe she picked up the wrong roll!) but I’ve found some cream fabric at home which might work anyway.

Well, now my main stash looks like this, but I have just as much again waiting in plastic bags…

2014.05.14 Fabric stash

At gone midnight last night/this morning, I decided to do something about it. I bought those mesh bags to keep my tights in in the wash, however the pack of three have now all broken. I salvaged a zip from one, and  hit my stash to find a fabric I didn’t mind if only I ever see, and in about 30 minutes made the following (including french seams). I rushed as nobody will ever see it apart from this blog, and it is already half full!  The lines are inches, for scale :)

2014.05.17 Lingerie bag

But that used only a little bit of fabric… so today I tried a new project; a mini sewing kit! My boyfriend often asks me to lend him supplies to fix his clothes, so I thought I could give him his own set. There’s a great little tutorial at ‘roseycornercreations‘, which was really easy to follow. I didn’t have any felt so I just used that pink velvety fabric, which does work well but is hard to handle in a machine, resulting in a slightly wonky finish, but not too much I think :)

2014.05.18 EllisSewingKit_closed

All I needed was 13″x7″ of one fabric (the tutorial recommends 9″ of one and 4″ of another, but I didn’t have manly coordinating fabrics), 4″x7″ of felt/velvet, a button, and an elastic hairband.

2014.05.18 EllisSewingKit_materials

I’ve sewn buttons before, but I’ve never actually followed any method. So today I decided to use the instructions from ‘theartofmanliness‘ which was really easy to follow and has made it really strong with less thread than I usually use, and a lot neater!

Then I loaded up some cardboard pieces with the colours most dominant in his wardrobe (plus a few empty spares), added some pins, needles, and buttons, and it looks nice and full (the lines are cm, for scale):

2014.05.18 EllisSewingKit_open

From find the fabric to taking the finished photos took about 1h20mins – I really hope he likes it! I will see him next week to give it to him :) I am clearly loving my new rotary cutter and mat :D

Next up: I am working away on my quilt, hope to make a blouse, I’ll be making some luggage tags, and I am about to finish off my father’s day cross stitch :)

 

His and hers: passport covers

9 Mar
Dad's and Mum's wrapped

All wrapped up and ready to be gifted!

For the last two years, I have been wanting to send my parents on a holiday in New York (since then I’ve graduated and got a job, which has made reaching the savings target a lot easier!) And I decided: what better way to give them the news than with some personalised, hand-made passport covers?

Dad's and Mum's

The finished products :)

I used a different approach for each, and started with the floral one: It was easy to pick the fabric for this, as I fell in love with it on eBay (it also comes in gorgeous red and blue, for only £2.59+P&P for a FQ from ‘thefabricfrieze‘ – click here), and I had some leftover pale yellow cotton with white polka dots which matches nicely for the lining.

Mum's closed

The finished product :)

I started using a pattern which is for an American passport. Although the internet assured me that this is the same size as a UK passport, I realised it was too big when I pinned it together. The pattern is from Unify Handmade and was really easy to follow but do adjust the height and width a bit. Including allowances, you need:

  • 15 x 22 cm of both your main and lining fabrics
  • 15 x 22 cm of fusible interfacing, two pieces
  • 15 x 6 cm of the main fabric, two pieces
  • 15 x 6 cm of fusible interfacing, two pieces

Then follow the pattern as it is – I used a size 90 needle to assist the machine through the tough bits. I am pretty happy with the finished product.

Mum's open - redacted

With a UK passport inside

Now for the male version – my dad is awful to buy presents for so you can only imagine how hard it was to choose a fabric! Luckily, ‘thefabricfrieze‘ also had some lovely shirt fabrics available as FQs,  so I snapped up this one for just £2.95+P&P.

Looking manly

Looking manly

You can imagine how much of a nightmare it would have been to match up those stripes with the above 3-section design! So I went for a simpler design, measuring the necessary fabric size myself and checking this tutorial by 1hungryhippie to make sure I wasn’t going to make any big mistakes along the way. Again, size 90 needle! I enjoyed making this one but matching the lines up was difficult! I must consider getting a rotary cutter to make cutting more accurate, to make it easier in the later stages :)

The dimensions which I used (UK passport, remember) are:

  • 15 x 26 cm of both your main and lining fabric
  • 15 x 26 cm of fusible interfacing, two pieces
Not perfectly lined up - but I tried!

Not perfectly lined up – but I tried!

 

Have you made passport covers before? I’d be really keen to see some more designs, I might make one for myself :)

Also I am keen for recommendations on rotary cutters in the UK! Is it necessary to use one of those boards? I imagine it is?

First machine project complete! Floral coin purse

23 Oct

I finally found the time to do some sewing! I have been working extra hours to finish my project on time, and also decided to start an online course… bad timing! Anyway, I needed something to do to de-stress while I had a migraine, so out came the sewing machine and this cheap fabric I bought ages ago for sewing practise :)

image

I used this great tutorial from sewmehappy, which has step-by-step instructions with really helpful pictures.

I had some problems, mainly with the zip – I didn’t have the right needle, I didn’t use the recommended 8″ length (6″is not enough!), I couldn’t sew in a straight line around it, and eventually the zip pulley fell off… twice!

I am glad I persevered with this zip though as I love the contrast with the light green of the fabric :)

image

Ta-da! Pattern from sewmehappy.blogspot.co.uk

I really enjoyed making it and, even though it is far from perfect (not so good at straight lines around a zip yet!) I am feeling encouraged and hope to get set on my next project soon!

My mum asked if she could have it to store her tissues in (those handbag tissue pouches never stay closed!) so even though I feel quite attached to it as my first completed project, I was too flattered to say no. She is very happy with it and I have an excuse / motivation to make something new :-)

What I learned today:

  • how to change a needle
  • which needle sizes are appropriate for different fabric types
  • how to change the machine footer
  • I really enjoy machine sewing :-)

A thwarted attempt at sewing

20 May

There’s a good reason this week’s post is so late, I promise! I failed to complete a project this weekend :( BUT I learned a new technique – paper piecing- which I am keen to try again sometime.

I was browsing sewdaily.com and found a guide entitled “Tips on how to sew by hand”. You can find it on this page, though you have to register (for free) to download it. I thought it was perfect, as I like sewing but don’t have my machine at present.

As a nice, small, project, I chose the Hexagon coaster. It is also a really good way to use up scraps!

00_original

Photo taken from sewdaily.com

So I find some appropriately sized scraps hanging around my house, and set off. I I always make sure I have everything before I start, ‘mis en place’ being something I learned to follow religiously through cooking!

Everything (supposedly) that I would need.

Everything (supposedly) that I would need…

An hour and a half of paper piecing, bastes, whip stitches, and pressing later, I’ve finished step 9 and am feeling I have made ok progress considering it’s my first paper piecing ever.

08_abstract

You can see my sloppy piecing here :(

Step 10: “machine stitch…” AAAAARGH I didn’t pick up on that when I skim-read the steps! So much for mis-en-place :(

It’ll have to stay like this for a little while! I hope to get a new machine really soon. I have an ever-increasing backlog of items to finish off when I get it :S

What to do with a (vintage floral) fat quarter…

3 May

So, I’ve been quite naughty and started late-night fabric hunting on the internet. Picked up this lovely vintage fat quarter (£1.79 which isn’t that much of a bargain but look at it!!) which is 100% cotton 130gsm.

The result of late-night eBaying!

Anyway so I have been trying to work out what to do with it. While I’d love to do something without a sewing machine, by the time I get round to using this I hope to have a new one anyway so can do something super neat and speedy :)

Current possibilities are:

  • coasters: 8 from one fat quarter (!) from ‘Made-by-Fabi’ here,or one with a cute quote from ‘Saltwater-Kids’ here
  • a sunglasses case, like this one from ‘Create Craft Love’
  • line a purse that I will *definitely* make in the future
  • maybe a camera case would be possible?

What do you do with your fat quarters? The simpler the better but I can keep any more complicated ideas for future!