I’ve been pushing my sewing comfort zone a bit the last few days (i.e. away from sewing cushions and simple quilts). It started with wanting to make something handmade for two of the three birthday parties Girl Lacer is going to this half term holiday. One of my favourite things on Twitter is the Craft twitter feed, it links (obviously) to their blog and it always comes up with some great craft ideas and one of them was a personalised birthday present idea, which I can’t seem to find now (mmm maybe it wasn’t on Craft then, one of the other great things about the Craft feed, following links from their blog can find you in all sorts of wonderful places). Anyway, it was basically a plain notebook with a fabric monogrammed letter sewn on the front with some buttons to decorate. I can’t remember if this blog post recommended making a bag to put the book in as well, sort of a travelling art kit for kids or whether I’ve seen that on another blog, but I wanted to make a little bag to put the adapted book in, as well as a tube of pencils I’d found in Muji (the plain notebook was also from Muji to).
Now little bag tutorials are all over the place, several of my craft books include them and I decided to follow the instructions in Weekend Sewing, changing the dimensions a bit to suit the size of the book and the pencil tube. It went well until it came time to create the opening for the ribbon to open and close the bag, now I don’t know if I was being dense or the instructions weren’t that clear but I obviously did something wrong and I mucked it up (and this was the last stage before the completed bag as well). So I had to try again, flicking through some of my other craft books, I found something similar to what I wanted in Zakka Sewing, took the hint to zig zag the edges of the fabric first to prevent fraying (first sewing boundary pushed, I’d never taken my sewing machine off the settings it came with before!), I then sewed the channels for the ribbon first and then sewed the rest of the bag. The final result is not perfect, I still wasn’t 100% happy with the ribbon channel openings but it was ok. I concluded that if I was going to make the bag again (which I have to, for the other handmade birthday present for later on this week), I needed to do a button hole opening and I hadn’t done button holes before (sewing boundary number two).
Thinking about button holes made me think of a Clothkits skirt kit I had brought for Girl Lacer, a long long time ago, where I had opened the instructions, saw that you had to make button holes (for the skirt cord) and then promptly put the instructions away and closed the box and left it in the cupboard, for months. So I decided I was going to tackle buttons holes and you know what? They’re really easy! Now what’s more tricky is sewing a skirt with an elastic waistband (sewing boundary number three), that was tricky, but not too bad.
So over the last few days I’ve made some drawstring bags, personalised a plain notebook and made a skirt, feeling quite productive!
The first, as it turns out prototype bag is on the left, it has since found a good home as a teddy bear’s sleeping bag. The fabric on the K is the same fabric I used to make the second (successful) bag (all from a single fat quarter I should point out, with some fabric spare). The card, I can’t claim credit for, is Girl Lacer’s birthday card to her friend K.
As for the skirt, here it is. Girl Lacer is wearing it as I type and it hasn’t fallen apart (yet).