Friday, January 30, 2009

The heatwave!! and a little stitching

We arrived back from our holiday in Warrnambool yesterday and I wish we could have brought the sea breeze back with us.. We had a great time and the kids loved Lake Pertobe Playground!! especially the flying fox.

It is 46 degrees at the moment and the forecast says lots of 40+ weather yet to come.
Even the Yuccas are char grilled from the wind.
I had a little sew up this afternoon.
My youngest daughter is starting school on Monday and because she suffers anaphylaxis I need to provide the school with 2 epi-pens.
These need to be in an insulated pouch, so that was this afternoons task..
I pondered on cutting up a few stubbie holders but then after googling how hard it was to sew neoprene, I decided a new sewing machine motor wasnt worth it..
Dear hubby popped in to the local surfy/outdoors shop and came home with a piece of wetsuit foam.. A little test sew and it was just like sewing timtex stuff..
I sandwiched the foam between two pieces of fabric. and stitched it down.
Then disaster struck.................
The damn walking foot had vibrated the screw loose that tightens the needle in place, the needle fell out and on the downward stitch the shank hit the needle and broke it... I thought I had killed the poor thing.. I thought I was in big trouble..
I put in a new needle and put it all back together and it wouldnt sew, there was a funny noise that wasnt there before!! Oh dear what to do???
Then looky what I found under the bobbin case!!!!!!!!!- the middle section of the needle... Thankgod, no damage done (I hope), so whilst mid surgery, I thought a de-fluff might be in order.. and yes it was.
I turfed the walking foot back in the draw and used the standard foot, all that clicking and clunking of the walking foot was making me nervous..
A loop on the back to hang it up in the classroom
Then some tape binding on the edges..
(I really like this look, It is telling me "Make a satchel")

Pop in the all important epi-pen

And we are all set, I am pleased with that. But I still have to make some more. I am off to sewing group in a moment, so if I dont chatter too much, maybe I can whip up a couple more..

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sandcastles and Fat Quarters

We are off to the beach, yippee!!!!!!! So what am I doing this for when I am supposed to be winding down the Campervan?? Well cos I had to unload the camera before I could pack it, thats why... So here is whats been happening here over the past week.Firstly the postie delivered some seriously yummy fabric in the mail from Kelani..

Then some from the US..I am still mixing and matching, changing my mind constantly on the quilt fabrics... Maybe I need to make another quilt completely?? theres an idea.. maybe 3 or more..

Then after lurking in on a fantastic quilting lady, she mentioned a sale on here.. So I snapped up a few more bits...
I also have a new preppy in the house... So there is an art smock and a library bag needed, so into that job.. I wanted very much to do an appliqued owl , but NO she wanted them just like her big sisters... so I embroidered the Jumbo GirlPower design of her choice, all 40,000 damn stitches or something crazy.. It took about 2.5 hours, during stops for coffee, child dispute resolution and toilet stops from too much coffee..

Here is the design she picked, we changed the colors, because every cool chick needs a PINK CAT!!, I sent it over to the embroidery machine and off we went..Many stitches later.... Then whilst this baby is humming away, I was busy beside it making a big personalised pocket for the art smock...
Onto the outline, this is where things really come together, Or not... Some not so great stabilisers can certainly ruin an entire embroidery, when the outlines just do not line up, although these days that is probably quite cool..
Now we have 2 matching Library bags..

And also the neglected folding from the clothesline.. Oh well. One mans mess is another cats treasure..

Monday, January 19, 2009

A one peice box pouch bag doo-dad..

Pouch Bag Tutorial
(Fully lined-one piece panels)

Firstly, I am not making any claims to have invented this little fellow, but this is certainly MY version of it. Please feel free to make them for yourself or as gifts, but I certainly didnt spend hours working this out for anybody else to profit from it.

I have just made my very first little box pouch/pencil case/makeup bag...It is fully lined and has NO join in the base... I had been tearing my hair out trying to work out how to make them this way and after a few extra coffee's, It hit me.. "Undo the zip you idiot!!"... So I made one and spent hours photographing and jotting notes and then uploading this for everyone to share..

At first it was just the case of conquering the unknown then I had 2 little girls wanting homemade pencil cases instead of the Roxy ones I had offered them.. Wow. i was stunned.
First I picked up some yummy fabric by Sandra Banava from the Potpourri Range, this is the Mystic Woods Colorway., co-ordinating zipper and a lining fabric with some substance like a real sturdy denim.. Firstly I cut two rectangles 28cm X 33cm ( size isnt that important, you can make all shapes and sizes)
I used a medium weight interfacing on the outer fabric and the lining was sturdy enough.
The main issue is getting a zip longer than you need.
My zip was a 30 cm zip and it is just easier to have a few cm to play with..
Mark the zip at each end with a wash out fabric pen, this will help keep everything square throughout the process.

Pin one side of the outer fabric to the zip, with the right side of the fabric at the zipper edge with the zip facing down. (See Pic above) . Using your zipper foot, stitch along the edge, keeping an eye on the needleplate guide to keep nice and straight.Make sure you go back and forth at each edge to keep it nice and secure. This will avoid stitches pulling out later on.

Using the mark on the zip, line up the other side, pin and sew. Dont forget the back and forth..

You will end up with a zippered tube like this..

Open it up and you are ready for the lining fabric.
With the zip teeth facing down, pin the lining fabric on to the opposite side of the zip with the right sides of the fabric together. Line it up with the blue mark on the zip edge. Place your pins on the interfaced side..
Sew over the same stitch line as before * remember to go back and forth at the edges.

Now you have a zip sandwiched between both fabrics.. Repeat for the other side and you will have a fully lined tube.

Turn it in the right way (zipping it up helps to square up the fabric)

Swap to opposite side of zipper foot , finger press the zip edges and topstitch, using a longer stitch than normal.
Topstitch carefully using longer stitch length..
And lovely...

Turn inside out and flatten out, use your hand to press a crease down the bottom centre line.

Using a marker mark the centre of the bottom..
this new White marking pen from Clover came highly recommended and didn't disappoint. You can even buy one here.. Although I should have waited for the line to appear before taking the photo...ooops
Line up the centre bottom with the centre of the zip.

Then I made some flat contrasting loops to sew into each end of the bag I cut a strip 9.5cm wide and ran a piece of interfacing down the centre to give it strength. I stitched it and turned it right side out and ironed it so the seam was centred.
I folded them and marked them 4cm and 5cm from the edge. (Yep using that great Clover pen again)

I centred the loop at the bottom edge and stitched them to the bag, going back and forth to ensure they were strong. Then I trimmed them

Fold the bag back in half and re-align the centre bottom with the zip.

You can see the loop end sewn in, Pin across the end and sew.

Be careful when crossing the zip, sometimes it is cruisy other times disastrous.. I like to use my hand wheel and just manually sew a few stitches. I also like to go back and forth each side of the zipper for extra strength.. The extra stitching isnt needed at each end as they will be trimmed off soon anyway.
A really good pointer is to ALWAYS OPEN THE ZIP!!! before sewing across it... (I was a wee bit distracted jotting notes and just plain forgot..
But there aint nothin this baby can't undo!!

Now to mitre of the corners so we can give our bag its shape.. , following the crease down the bottom centre line. Put your thumb inside the bag and poke it into the corner then fold the seam down onto the centre crease forming a triangle. (There are probably better ways of explaining this, but most people who have made bags, will know what is going on here anyway)

The centre bottom crease should line up with the stitching line at the front forming a nice triangle. Each side should be the same size..

Mark the line with that magic Clover pen..

Now because I am a bit of a clean freak, I decided to bind the inner seams and this is totally optional, It just looks really nice and tidy.. I just used some navy bias binding. You could use cotton tape, or ribbon even. whatever is laying about..

Once the binding is on, lay those corners flat and stitch across the lines marked. making sure to lay the bound seam down, facing away from the zip end.

Now it looks like this!!

Trim off the corners about 1cm from the seams
Pop another bit of binding over the raw edges.Pin and sew down, going back and forth at the corners of course..

Now it looks like this.

Turn it out and whacky doo!!!!!!!

We added a yo-yo and button, I also made a spaghetti strap to loop through the zipper pull, just to make it easier for little fingers..
I think it looks a bit like a dinosaur but I have one very happy customer!!!!!