May 29, 2015

(Mis)Adventures In Sewing

As I finally made up my mind to make a pretty padded cover for my daughter's tablet (I bought all the fabric, lining, interfacing, wadding back in January or February from my favourite craft shop in Galway;-), I told myself there was no way I could go wrong if I took my time and followed the instructions very closely (I am still a little scared of my sewing machine:).

Of all the things that could go wrong:

1- The interfacing I got was fusible (iron on): well of course I had to iron on the wrong side of the interfacing and since I didn't think of using a tea towel to protect my iron, the iron ended up with a sticky layer of goo stuck on it!

Luckily enough I called Google to the rescue and grabbed an old towel, wet it and started ironing it, which took a bit off but not all, so I grabbed a bottle of white vinegar and sprayed a bit on the towel, which was successful (remind me next time to put the slightly shiny side against the fabric, not the iron!)

Then I thought what a genius I was for buying extra fabric (the fabric wasn't damaged, but I wasn't finished yet...), lots of interfacing and wadding, so I could afford wasting a little of that interfacing.

2- Of course I had to to sew the loop the wrong way: right on the inside! I blamed the instructions for not being adapted to sewing dummies like me and assuming I would know I had to sew it on the inside of the inside (so it comes out on the outside of the finished thing, if you know what I mean), so I pulled the whole thing inside out again to undo the stitches and inserted the loop inside out this time so that it would come out on the outside when I put everything the right way out again: this is a very useful mistake to do, one I'll remember every single time I have to sew a fastening system on a sewing project and that illustrates perfectly the old saying that wants me to learn through my mistakes;)

3- the tablet fits snugly in the cover, but I could have made it an extra cm deeper, but this will have to stay like this now because I don't have super powers that allow me stretching fabric yet: I was careful to add an extra 3cm to all 4 sides, as indicated by the pattern, but maybe an extra cm on the top would have made it look better; nevermind, once it's cut, there's no going back:(

In conclusion I'm glad to say that sewing machines aren't all that scary after all, especially once you know stitches can be undone, you can fix your mistakes, and in the end I came out with a lovely padded tablet cover for my daughter:
Finished tablet cover for my sweetie-loving daugther
Now I really wish I could clone myself because there's a lot of knitting and crochet I need to do (I'll show you my knitted socks in my next post), some studying, more listings to add on Etsy (that's not going to happen for some time now, I'm after listing 6 items this week:), and more sewing and cross-stitching projects calling my name: I'm wondering how would my teenage daughter like a marketing job experience this summer helping me out with promoting my stuff online - if only I could afford to pay her (maybe I'll bribe her with a knitted scarf and a laptop cover;)

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May 12, 2015

Studying And Cross-Stitching With A Fury

I've been busy with the accounting course I started over the past 4 weeks, and, because I can't seem to focus on it for more than an hour at a time, I need to take breaks.

I could be reading, watching "House Of Cards" on Netflix, knitting or crocheting during these breaks, but one thing that seems to work well for me is cross-stitch. I think it's the fact that once I have a chart and cross-stitch fabric in front of me, there's no much thinking required, just fill these little squares with little crosses using the colours indicated in the charts.

Of course one thing I'm guilty of is turning my breaks into hour-long sessions of cross-stitching, but as long as my children are picked up from school on time and fed and that I'm not behind in my online course, who cares? (I could do with a clean house during the week but I'm trying to keep the same routine as if I had to go out to work and most of the housework get done on Saturday mornings - life is too short to spend too much time on things I hate doing;-)

I did crochet a top last week for my daughter (I still need to shorten the shoulder straps and crochet a decorative pink flower on the belt), losely following this pattern as I was doing it for a bigger size in a different thickness yarn and I was a bit confused by the XStitch instructions (I got a little bit of help from Google again:) and finished knitting something for a new baby due to be born soon in my neighbourhood (sorry, I'm not posting the picture until I've given it to the mother), but since I've taken out the kit for an embroidered purse that came with a Cath Kidston book I've been given last year, I've been mostly studying and cross-stitching - I'll have to be careful not to put the assembling of the purse on the long finger like the tablet case I'm supposed to sew for my daughter - that reminds me...

Cross-stitch motif finished, before washing leftover soluble canvas out

Crochet top with stretched out shoulder straps that need to be shortened

In other news there's been a delay for my headband knitting patterns because I accidentally stretched them out too much when blocking them! I've washed them and pinned them again on my foam mat this morning; hopefully they won't take another week to dry and I should be able to take some decent pictures before I'm able to list the headbands and the corresponding knitting patterns in my Etsy shop.

Re-blocking 3 headbands

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