Archive | Sewing

Subscribing to my blog and a new laptop bag!

Thank you to Julie for letting me know that the rss button on the right of the header wasn’t working for some reason.  2 hours later, and by dint of deleting my Feedburner feed and creating another, it does!  I upgraded WordPress on 7 July and I think that must have caused the problem, so if you have tried to subscribe and couldn’t, I’m sorry but it’s now fixed!

If all the above is gobbledegook to you, I’ll try and explain a bit what ‘subscribing’ to a blog means.  The difference between blogs and conventional websites is that their content is continually being updated by something called an ‘rss feed’.  You can find out when a new post is published on any blog by subscribing to their feed.  You do this in two types of ways. 

  1. You can either go to a website such as Feedblitz, register and then enter the URLs of any blogs which you want to read regularly.  They then will send you any updates each day by email. 
  2. You can register with a web based feed reader such as Google Reader, again fill in the URLs (the web addresses) of any blogs you want to read and they find any new posts for you.  You then go to your Google Reader page whenever you feel like reading new posts from any blogs you are subscribed to.  You can sort them into categories and then just scroll through them by pressing the spacebar.  This is what I prefer to do, myself.  The good thing about Google Reader is that if you are already registered with Google you can just login using your Google username.  And if you click on the little ‘rss’ button on the top or bottom of any blog you want to subscribe to, you can just do it with one click usually if your preferred blog reader is listed there.  Another popular web based feed reader is Bloglines.

If you already subscribe to my blog and haven’t had any new posts since early July, you may find that they all arrive in your reader with this one!!

As we are going on holiday pretty soon, I decided this afternoon to make a bag for my laptop.  I usually leave it at home but this year I thought I’d better have it as I now have my shop on Etsy and the Print Gocco machines for sale here on my blog, if only to tell people that I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth!

I wanted a felted bag, so I decided to use some old felted sweaters and a woollen dress which I felted here a few years ago.  First of all I thought I would stitch the felt from the woollen dress to the one shown in the link above to make it firmer and give it more protection but after some thought, I decided to make an inner bag from the woollen dress and an outer one from the felted sweaters.  Then I decided I had better line the inner one as it was a bit linty and I didn’t want any nasty lint clogging up my precious computer!    The advantage of having two layers is that for carrying it around outside I could just use the inner one and when it needed extra protection such as on the journey in the car, I could augment it with the second!

Here is the inner one:

felted laptop bag

It needs buttons or fastenings of some sort.  I bought some gorgeous raku buttons from Pearl of Fehustoneware and these are going to be a strong contender!   Here is one of them:

raku button

Here’s my laptop snug inside!

laptop in bag

And this is the outside bag:

outer laptop bag

And the other side of this:

felted bag

This one doesn’t have a flap on the top – I think I am going to put some poppers or something to fasten it inside.  Not sure what I’ll do for a handle yet.  Any suggestions for fastenings or handles gratefully received!!!  I’m very pleased with them as a whole – I am sure I’ll use them much more than I wore either the sweaters or the dress!  The woollen fabric was too thick for the style of dress I made and it made me look awful when I was stick-like.  I dread to think what it would look like now!

Altering a silk wholecloth wallhanging….

I think my design process goes in fits and spurts and sometimes emerges over several months and years

I made this hanging from a piece of hand dyed silk… I started quilting it a year or two ago without much idea of where I was going or what it was going to become.  I eventually saw a sort of fantasy garden emerging..

This is how it was half finished:

silk wallhanging

I added the red scrim to unite the pink at the bottom and the flowers at the top but wasn’t really sure where it was going.  However, I finished off the quilt (or so I thought!).  It hung on my wall for a few months like this:

spring silk wallhanging

But I was never really happy with it as a piece of work.  So yesterday I went mad!!! I have some Tsukineko walnut inks and sprayed the pink bit and around various other parts with it.  I could then see a tree trunk emerging from that piece of scrim… I’m a lot happier with it now.  But I do leap in without thinking!!! I have no idea if the walnut inks will be fast on fabric and I think I’ll have to rinse it to get rid of the excess… watch this space!  Anyone know about the properties of these walnut inks?    Anyway, if it all rinses out, I know what to do now, but I’ll do it with silk paints instead…   What is that they say about fools rushing in?

Here it is at the moment:

silk wallhanging

I cut into the scrim a bit to emphasise the tree trunk idea.  Here is a detail:

detail of silk wallhanging

I will keep you posted on its progress!

Tyvek is catching on!

I’m sitting here reading the Guardian magazine at the moment. And there in the middle was a feature about a jacket made of Tyvek! You can read it online too.

Quilting is obviously the wrong branch of fabric design to be in… the jacket, which looks like nothing more than a glorified cagoule, is £260!

Wall tidy

I thought I’d put a picture of the only thing I’ve sewn in the last few weeks (apart from turning up the hems on umpteen pairs of trousers and mending DS2’s coat).

It is another sample for the ladies of the sewing studio in Zambia for Health Help International.  Ron is there now and took it with him.  It is one of those wall tidies which you can hang on the wall and use to store small items in pockets. 

wall tidy made from Dutch wax prints with elephant motif

I have been busy this week, tidying and organising my studio yet again (well, I prefer to think of it as continuing the tidying rather than reorganising everything Yet Again….).   Instead of organising my cotton fabrics by colour, I decided to do it by value.  Reading Lisa Call’s blog inspired me.    I ironed them all and folded them into approximately the same size.  Sorting them was relatively easy after that.    Looking at them, I have come to the conclusion that I have far too many in medium values and not enough at either end.  

After that I was energised (inspired, no doubt, by all the fabrics I had forgotten I had!) into sorting all the other sorts of fabrics, which previously I had organised by colour, into each type of fabric… the rusted fabrics have a container to themselves.  I enjoyed stroking the silks and rediscovering the shiny fabrics, the velvets, the scrims, the sheers….  now I just need to use them in something and not just return them to the shelves….

Photos to follow….

Indian silk sari fabric!

It’s half term this week so I haven’t had much time to post.  Haven’t done much else either because I’ve been down with DS2’s lurgy from last week and I haven’t felt like doing much…

So let me titivate your senses with photos of the silk sari fabric which DH brought me back from India.

silk pashmina

Actually this is a pashmina …

blue and green sari fabric

I love the gold edging on these..

burgundy coloured silk sari fabric

This one is very fine, almost chiffony.

green and red sari silk with tie dyeing

This piece is my favourite.  It is mostly green, with that red tie dyed piece at the end.  I love the way the red and green dyes have been allowed to merge into one another at the edges.  Here is a closeup of the tie dyed piece:

red tie dyed piece

another closeup of green/red fabric

I’ve been looking at websites of how to wear sari fabric now… I think it’ll be a while before I dare to cut any of this lot up!!

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