Category Archives: Sewing

Peg bag

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A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine smashed a hole in my concrete garden and put up my washing line. I got all excited about being able to hang my washing outside again – then realised that I had no pegs! I hurried out to buy some and greatly enjoyed hanging my washing out in the sunshine. However, my beg bag looked like this:

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Not pretty! I woke up this morning wanting to make something and, with several piles of washing to get through, a peg bag seemed like the perfect Saturday morning project.

I had a little look on Pinterest and found a pattern for this bag:

photo of a peg bag

I was going to adapt it slightly by adding a long strap and had some fabric in mind. But as I was rummaging for said fabric, I came across a pair of pink shorts.

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I’d bought them in a sale several years ago because I liked the fabric!

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I think they were super cheap (probably about £1) and have been stuffed away in my fabric box ever since. But they suddenly seemed the perfect thing for a peg bag!

I started by cutting the bottom off to make it straight.

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I also cut a section out of the back because they were a bit too wide.

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Then I got out Granny’s old sewing machine to stitch the edges. And this is where the process became a whole lot slower! I’ve not used the machine for a long time (in fact, the last time was probably when I was a teenager and Granny was sitting next to me explaining what I needed to do) and although I have the original manual, the language is slightly old fashioned and it takes a while to work out what it all means.

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Eventually I managed to wind thread on to the bobbin, attach it correctly (it took a few tries!) and get the thread ready for stitching. It coped surprising well on even the thickest parts of the fabric, but I found that the thread kept breaking – so frustrating. It ended up looking pretty messy! If I was giving this to someone else I’d probably have lined it to hide the mess – but since it’s only for me I decided not to bother. Anyway, I adjusted the tension and, even though I made it worse to start with, I managed to get it right in the end.

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I trimmed the bit I’d cut off so I could use it as a strap. I also cut some plain fabric to back it, then stitched both sides together before turning it the right way round.

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I hand stitched the strap in place. At this point Maisie decided to ‘help’ me. It’s actually really hard to sew with a cat in the way – she kept twitching and trying to catch the thread.

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Anyway, when the strap was attached I filled it with pegs and put it to use straight away.

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It’s a slightly different pink to the other things on the back of the kitchen door, but I figure the more pinks I can get in my kitchen, the better!

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Today I have…

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…enjoyed working on my chunky granny blanket.

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…unpacked two more boxes of books…

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(…but it’ll still be a while before the room is properly sorted out!)

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…found two friends hiding in boxes.

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…enjoyed my favourite flowers in colourful vases.

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…curled up with a good book.

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What have you done today?

A cosy hudl

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Just after Christmas my friend came round with her new tablet and I immediately fell in love! That same afternoon I ordered a hudl of my own and it’s just brilliant. My laptop is slowing down and it’s a bit of a pain for daily use, so my tablet is great for things like checking email (and playing on facebook and wasting hours on pinterest!)

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I have a protective shell, but this doesn’t protect the screen. Even the screen protectors (which do a great job against scratches) don’t offer much protection against big things knocking against it. This is a bit of a pain for the times when I want to throw it in my handbag with my keys! So I decided to make a cosy case for it.

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It’s a simple design, very much like my ribbon bag, but with the addition of extra padding to keep it nice and safe and secure.

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Of course, I needed to decorate it with pretty buttons!

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And I added a big button and a loop of ribbon to keep it closed.

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Even though I sewed it by hand (I still haven’t moved my sewing machine to my new house!) it only took a couple of evenings to complete.

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I’m really pleased with how it turned out and it’s doing a great job of protecting my hudl 🙂

Pretty and practical

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One of my favourite parts about Christmas is wrapping presents. I love getting out all my many rolls of wrapping paper, yards and yards of ribbons and pretty bows and steadily creating a pretty pile of presents. Unfortunately, most of the ribbons and bows I have are pretty Christmassy, so I’m unlikely to use them the rest of the year. I need a place to keep them where a) they’ll be out of the way and b) I’ll be able to find them again next year!

Now, I’m going to go off on a tangent, but I promise it’s related (in a round about way) and I’ll get back to the point soon.

I mentioned in my last post that life was pretty busy last year. One of the things causing busyness (and a fair amount of stress) was house buying! Yep, I’m now the proud owner of my first home, a lovely old terraced house. (One day I’ll show you round, but things are a bit of a mess right now, so I’ll tidy up a bit first.) Anyway, one of the most exciting things about my new house is that I have a craft room! And in one corner of my craft room I have a pretty bin holding all my wrapping papers. It’s squeezed in to a gap beside some shelves. The shelves are super useful, but will be pretty full (when I finally unpack everything). So I thought, why not make use of the sides of the shelves. I have some fabulous hooks (command hooks) which I used to hang a lot of my Christmas decorations. I stuck one on the side of my shelves, hung up my carrier bag full of bits and pieces, was pleased everything was tidied away but still in a memorable place – but the bag was very ugly! So I rummaged through fabric, ribbon and buttons and came up with this little beauty!

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The fabric was an off-cut from a curtain which was way too long for the space. I stitched the lacy trim on first, then sewed up the back and bottom of the bag.

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I added buttons (just because they’re pretty and I love buttons!) along the lace, plus one for closing.

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I made three loops along the back edge – one in the middle for looping over the button at the front and one on each side for hanging it up.

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My cat (she’s another fairly new addition to my life), Maisie wanted to get in the photos too!

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And it was this little bag that got me excited about making things again.

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I had to sew it all by hand (I haven’t got my sewing machine here yet) and the gentle stitching rhythm was just very lovely. In fact, I loved it so much I sewed something else just a couple of days ago – but I’ll show you that another time 🙂

Holiday time!

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Hurrah, the holidays are here! I’ve been counting down to this pretty much since the end of the last holiday!

The holiday started with a hen weekend. We stayed in an amazing house in Bude – there were so many doors and stairways I felt sure I would find Narnia at any moment! (Sadly I didn’t find it – think I might have to go back and look again.)  We visited some gnomes…

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They were really quite friendly…

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… and seemed to be having lots of fun!

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We then moved on to Rowan Tree Studio, a place that I’m convinced is just like heaven! From the moment we walked through the doors there were pretty things everywhere!

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The old sewing machines were my favourite – and she had over 30 sewing machines altogether!

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We started with lunch. Some really yummy sandwiches, tea in pretty cups…

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… and delicious cakes.

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We were there to make a quilt for the Bride to Be. We each had a square of fabric to decorate. I think some of us were a little ambitious in what we could do in the time. I ended up bringing mine home because it’s not finished yet!

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We had a lot of fun and everyone came up with great designs.

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Being there made me realise just how much I’d love to do this sort of thing myself. I’d love to have a big space to work in, run classes and workshops and generally spend all my time making things with other people! Maybe one day…

Early cross stitch

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It’s the last night of the holidays before I go back to school tomorrow. I really don’t feel ready for it! I feel like I could easily fill another two weeks with all the things on my to do list. But I suppose if I want to be paid at the end of the month I’d better go back to work!

I’ve really enjoyed all the blogging I’ve been able to do over the last week, but I know that will come to an end again for the next few weeks. I don’t even have any free weekends until half term! I’ll still post when I can, but in the meantime I wanted to show you one of my earliest projects.

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It’s one of the many things I made that ended up at Granny’s house. Mum found it as she was clearing it out. I’m not sure how old I was when I made it, but think it was probably the first cross stitch I did on fabric without holes. However, the pattern was printed on the fabric, so it probably wasn’t too difficult!

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I’m not going to keep it here, but not sure where to put it yet – so it’ll probably stay here for the next few months!

Christmas 2013 – garlands

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A couple of months ago I saw a pattern for this star garland in a magazine (I can’t remember which one – I buy too many!).

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I posted it on facebook for my crochet buddy to see, but another friend saw it and requested that I make a Christmassy version for him. I didn’t really need much persuasion! I used Red Heart Miami yarn in Jeans, Light Blue and Nature. It was lovely yarn to use. The stars worked up quite quickly, especially after the first one. I made a lot of them during my lunch breaks!

The stars were quite curly around the edges, but nothing that a bit of blocking couldn’t sort out.

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And here it is in it’s new home…

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I was pleased with how it turned out and my friend likes it too – hurrah!

This is the mini garland I had over the fireplace this year. I made it a couple of years ago and have had it out at Christmasses ever since.

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It was super easy to make – simply cut out 2 star shapes from chosen fabric (probably best to use pinking shears as the raw edges will be on the outside) and start sewing them together. Sew in the string/ribbon as you go along. When 4 points of the star have been stitched fill will a little stuffing then sew up the remaining point. Repeat with as many stars as you fancy!

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