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Friday, October 30, 2009

Felt cozies

More stuuuuff for the craft fair - only 2 weeks and a bit to go! These are mobile cozies and they are, in my very humble opinion, naturally, really cool. I have been using a similar one for the past few months and I just love it. And I have been tweaking the design as I went a long.

That yellow cozy is my one, and it shows one of the designs that don't work so well; covering it in fabric. The core idea of the cozy is that there can't be any exposed edges that can fray, but covering it in fabric there is raw edges, although it's on the inside, so it doesn't fray too much. But it just doesn't look properly finished to me. So I've abandoned that idea and stayed with the 'naked' felt. Also, that picture should give an impression of how it works; the top sort of pops open, but it's a snug fit, so the phone won't fall out. Which is the other idea I wanted to 'include'; it has to cover the phone completely, but without any buttons or whatever. And it works!

But I have a question for you. I am not completely sure about the flower + leaf decoration on the one on the right - what do you think? I think it might be better to go with the simple no leaves solution.. I'd love to hear your opinion. :-)

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scribbled by Carina 10/30/2009 06:30:00 PM


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pouches with little Red

I was sewing up a very small storm yesterday. These will probably be going to the craft fair in November. Don't they look happy like this, all together? :-)

There is something quite satisfactory about a small pile of finished 'objets'. Even if there is a slight annoyance - how do you get the end of the zippers to be straight? I have never been able to make a pouch like this that doesn't 'slope' at the ends. Any tutorials or suggestions for how to straighten things?

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scribbled by Carina 10/28/2009 01:22:00 PM


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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tools?

Hey, can I just pick your brains? Or, rather, can you help me with some recommendations:

Are Olfa the best rotary cutters?

I think I need a daylight lamp for when I work on embroidery - what's a good (and affordable) one?

Scissors - I think it is time I get a really good pair. I've been looking around; is tailors shears the way to go? Keeping in mind that I don't do *that* much sewing/fabric cutting... What brands are ace?

And if you've got links to places to buy these, please add them. UK only, please! ;-)


Thanks!

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scribbled by Carina 10/24/2009 10:38:00 PM


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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Diaster in the creative space

I've been finishing up some loose sewing ends today. Like these trousers. I am short so pockets that go half down my thigh is not the best look, so today I faced my fears and ripped open the seams to move the pockets up. You can see in the (crummy, sorry about that) picture how much I moved the pocket. It actually went ok. The stitching isn't perfect, but hey-ho. But I only got one side down, because, you see, my sewing machine is broken.

I needed to add some extra strength to the carry on bag I made a while ago. And I was almost done, I was literally mere centimetres from the finish line, when, horror of HORRORS, the needle somehow got loose and went straight into the [insert proper sewing machine term] wheel that holds the bobbin casing. At first I thought it was ok, just pull the needle out and carry on. But no. The needle has somehow dented that wheel thingy, so it keeps catching on the needle.

So. Broken sewing machine. I am currently looking for repair places in the vicinity*, although I won't be able to do anything until we come back from Denmark. But I am considering maybe getting a new machine - depending on what repair would cost.

No more sewing for me. Well, I'm bringing the trousers with me to Denmark so I can finish the job on my mum's machine.

More (happier, I hope!) creative spaces over here.

*If you know of a good sewing machine repair guy or gal in the south Essex (UK) area, PLEASE get in touch!

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scribbled by Carina 9/03/2009 06:47:00 PM


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Friday, July 17, 2009

Sewing machine exercise

Well, whaddaya know, I actually do make something else apart from embroidery from time to time. Here is the proof! A softie version of my Little Red Ridinghood. It's only taken me a month to get her all sewn together. Pretty fast, huh? ;-)

And more sewing! A custom order for a slim pencil case and a phone cosy. A phone cosy that is closed but has no closures. It's like magic! ;-)

I also made a potato bag. A what? Well, Tony's dad has an allotment and from time to we get potatoes from him. And it'd be a darn shame to stick them in a plastic bag, don't you think? Come to think of it, even if you buy your potatoes in a bag in the supermarket, it might be an idea to transfer them to a fabric bag or a basket (with a lid). I think potatoes would be happiest like that. :-)

So, yes, not everything is embroidery around here, but of couse most of it is. There's a new pattern afoot and I'll show you a bit later. For now, back to tuning our honeymoon pictures.

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scribbled by Carina 7/17/2009 05:42:00 PM


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cozy phone

This is what I was making in my creative space. A cosy for my mobile. I did make one a little while ago, but I felt it could be improved. And so I have. Among other things it is in 2 colours. Why have one colour when you can have 2? ;-)

There will be a couple of these in the shop(s) very soon, but we're kinda busy all of this weekend (and Monday is a bank holiday here). Hopefully, no later than Tuesday, then!

A this is 'just' a prototype, the ones for the shop will be slightly different. They won't have the stitching at the top for one. I am going to make 2 sizes, a 'one size fits most not too big phones' and an iPhone sized one for all you iPhone phanatics. ;-)

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scribbled by Carina 5/21/2009 08:09:00 PM


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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sewing for hooks

Look, Nicky! I finally made something with the things you sent! What do you think? It is a new case/bag for my crochet hooks. Better than that plastic, made in China, crap one I had until today.

I think you will recognise the things you sent me? But just in case: the zip, some of the fabric in the 'patchwork' and the lining.

It was also an opportunity to try out a new zipper technique for small bags / pouches like this. But more about that when I've 'perfected' it. ;-)

I just want to say sorry if you are waiting for an email or something from me. Since Sunday and Monday (especially) were computer free days, I have a wee bit of a bottle neck going on. The bottle neck being me and my procrastinating ways. But I am slowly getting it all done. Slowly being the operative word. We're going to Denmark at the end of next month (for my birthday, yay!) and I've got a few projects that have to be done by then. Secret projects that I can't possibly talk about. Har, har.

Anyway, I am also working on that eraser stamp carving tutorial + a translation of the crochet bicycle seat cover pattern that I posted about a little while ago. So, yes. Emails etc will come, they will just be a bit slow.

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scribbled by Carina 3/26/2009 07:29:00 PM


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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oh new bag, I love you so!

Here's my new bag! Isn't it a beauty? I love it so much and I can't wait to take it out and about! The fabric is the leftovers from the cushion covers I made recently.

It has snap closures - I've never used those before so I wasn't sure how to do them (despite it being incredibly simple!), but a call to my mum and I was able to do them without a hitch.

The strap is adjustable, so it can go across the body or just hang off the shoulder. I had to use the tutorial I made for the adjustable strap slider, and even then I wasn't paying attention, so I had to unpick it. Well done, huh?

And will you take a look at that label? Made it meself, I dids. With the gocco. So easy peasy! And I just love that colour combination of red and apple green. So happy!

Here you can get a better view of the strap.

The lining is bright pink (which makes it really difficult to photograph because it is so vibrant it just sorta burns the pixels! Anyway, there are 3 pockets inside, one for the mobile phone, one for keys and one for, well, who knows what.

I love my new bag, I am so happy with how it turned out. And a wee part of me can scarsely believe that I actually made that! It just goes to show that with practice you can do or make anything. I couldn't have made this 3 years ago when I started sewing. I have learnt from doing. And if I can do it, so can you. Seriously.

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scribbled by Carina 3/21/2009 04:53:00 PM


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lavande in French

What do you do when you have a supply of dried lavender? Why, of course you make lavender sachets!

And with a lavender stamp for decoration, well, you'd be excused for thinking you were in the south of France.

They are so simple to make it is almost embarrassing! But I think sometimes the simple, instant gratification, projects are the best.

And it makes me happy that these are now in my fabric drawers so my fabric will smell lovely.

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scribbled by Carina 3/18/2009 07:00:00 PM


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Monday, March 09, 2009

Happy sewing

I've actually made something! Something that involved the plugging in of my power tool: the sewing machine! (Get your sewing machine power tool tees here!)

I usually don't treat my mobile phones very well. My idea of protecting it is to put it in a small side pocket in my bag. But most of the time I just end up chucking it into the bag. But times they are a-changing. My new fancy mobile needed something better than that, so this morning I made a cosy for it. I love it! And I think I can actually manage to use it. It is made from two layers of felt and the fabric was part of the beautiful swap with Ms Happy Squirrel. Finally got round to using some of it. Yay!

Oh and, speaking of, you should totally check out what she has been making with some of the bits I sent her: Beautiful pink pillow, little bag. Aren't they great?!

PS: do you want a tutorial for the cozy? It is very simple to make, so I am only going to (happily) write up the tutorial if you will find it useful.

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scribbled by Carina 3/09/2009 11:55:00 AM


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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tutorial - Cushion covers

This is what our sofa looked like until yesterday. Well, the sofa looks exactly the same, but the cushions have changed:

Not at all goundbreaking (it's really just an envelope style cover) but a little bit different anyway. Now, before we get started can we just get over the fact that I so couldn't be bothered to iron the fabric for the back of the cushions? 'Coz I'm lazy like that. But of course, YOU should totally iron your fabric if you want to. But it's cool if you're lazy like me. Ahhh yeah.

Anyway, on with the show.

What you need: the cushions you want to cover. 3 pieces of fabric (1 for the front, 2 for the back) the size of your cushion for each cushion. You can use the same fabric for both front and back or do different ones like I have. Plus one piece of contrasting fabric which must be about 1/3 longer than the longest side of your cushion and about 10cm / 4" wide.

There aren't any exact measurements that I can give you, because it depends on the size of your cushion. You'll just have to wing it. That's what I did. Right now I'm just pretending that I know what I'm doing. I won't even mention that I had to adjust the size (was too big) of the cushions after sewing them and turning them right side out and putting them on the cushions... ;-)

Put one of your back fabrics on top of the front one. This is just so you have something to 'measure' the back against, you won't be doing anything with the front piece just yet. Fold over about 1/3 of the fabric and pin it.

Sew across it a few times, either with a matching or contrasting colour, whatever strikes your fancy. It doesn't have to be terribly neat either, it will be covered anyway.

Turn it over and cut off any excess fabric.

Place the back piece on top of the front piece again. Then place the other back piece on top of that and fold it at an angle. Not too steep an angle, though. And not from a corner either.

Cut off the small folded bit (if that makes sense..?) and measure the diagonal: this measurement + about 5 cm / 2" will be the length of your small piece of contrasting fabric.

Cut that piece of fabric and pin it to the diagonal edge. Sew the two pieces together. If you are using fabrics with right and wrong sides, please make sure that you sew right sides together...

Trim the seam and fold the contrasting fabric to where it almost meets the seam. Pin in place.

Stitch on top of the contrasting fabric. Use the same colour. Or a different one. But you might want to try and do as straight lines as you can to make it look all nice and neat.

Place the front fabric with right side facing, place the back piece with the contrasting edge on top with right side facing down.

Then place the other back piece on top of that. Again with right side facing down. Please note that the two edges must be towards opposite ends! Pin everything together and sew all the way around your fabric sandwich. Trim the seams and snip off the corners - without cutting the corner seam! Turn inside out (maybe a quick iron as well?) and place your cushion inside. Job done! Repeat for as many cushions as you need.

As you can see below, I used 3 different contrasting edgings that all go with the front fabric (I think so anyway!). This way there are LOADS of possibilities for mixing things up. I DO like multi-function!

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scribbled by Carina 2/12/2009 07:27:00 PM


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Monday, February 02, 2009

To make things just that little bit tidier

Apart from the slightly creased fabric, you can't tell exactly how quick and dirty a job this bag actually was. But nevermind. The fabrics are cute - and it's even reversible for those days when I feel less in the mood for HOT PINK.

It is exactly big enough to hold the yarn for my current crochet project, which is its intended purpose! So the yarn colours will be foreverly changing. Loverly.

- no, I can't explain it... But I bet you would have done the same. Right?

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scribbled by Carina 2/02/2009 08:35:00 PM


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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For carrying small things

Small totebag for one of my friends. Birthday present that is a bit late. Oh well. I hope she likes it. Orange is perfect for a January birthday present, eh?

They are pretty quick to make. But the patchwork band makes the process a bit longer. It is worth it, though, I think. It is lined with the same yellow fabric that is in the large square on the left hand side of the stripe.

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scribbled by Carina 1/27/2009 02:03:00 PM


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Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy basket case

Before Christmas, we got two (er, secondhand) wicker baskets. This one had lining but the other one doesn't. And one of the handles on that one is broken, so need to fix that first. Anyway, the lining looked pretty grubby, so I decided to give the basket a makeover.

And this is the (poorly lit, but what can you do, it is January efter all) result. I am pretty happy with it, I must say. It fits the basket better and it is really cheerful as well! I don't know if you can tell, but there are flamengos on that fabric (from my sister, yay!) and I just love the combination of the pink, green and turquoise. Happy!

Making it should have been pretty straight forward. Atleast it was in my head when I got the idea for how to construct it. And mostly it was, apart from me being silly and getting some of the measurements wrong + sewing things together wrong. But I got there in the end and that is all that matters, right?

If anyone is interested, I'll try to write a tutorial that actually makes sense of the construction of this. I am sure it will be helpful when I make the next one; I'll have actual directions to follow!

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scribbled by Carina 1/23/2009 08:37:00 AM


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tutorial - Bag strap slider

Right, finally getting my act together and writing this tutorial for using/attaching a bag strap slider. It is easy, easier than it might look anyway! One thing worth mentioning before we begin: make sure your strap will actually fit in the slider. This may be self-evident, but there we go, I said it anyway. Oh and, in case you're wondering, I got my slider from U-Handbag.

Take one end of your strap and pull it through the slider. Then stitch the end onto the strap. Back of the strap end to back of the strap. In this picture the front of the strap is the blue side and the orange is the back. The strap end after the slider can be as long or short as you like, but I find that if you're using a sewing machine to stitch it, you need room to move.

Now pull the strap though the loop on the bag (I used a D ring but you could have a round one or a leather loop or whatever), with the back of the strap (orange side here) facing you and the front (blue) facing the bag.

Pull the unattached end of the strap through the slider with front side facing you.

Finally, pull the unattached end through your other loop and attach like you did with the first one. And that's it. You're done!

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scribbled by Carina 1/21/2009 11:44:00 AM


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