Monday, 26 July 2010

A Weekend Project

Another weekend gone and another project completed.

On Friday night when I got home, I originally started cutting out bits and pieces for another project but just as I was about to start sewing everything together, I realised that I haven't got enough material to complete the project so I had to postpone it and I then started making something else when I woke up on Saturday morning. Somebody did warn me that this sewing thing is very addictive and yessss, I completed yet another project while listening to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows audiobook on my ipod dock, over the weekend. Mind you, I didn't exactly spend my whole weekend glued to the machine. I have decided that waking up early on Saturdays and Sundays is the best way to squeeze some sewing time in before you have to do other weekend chores. And I love it. 

So what exactly did I make this time? I'll show you with a series of pictures.
I had a very happy model holding it up for me. So what is it? Let's look at it closely.
It's a quilted wallet. I found the pattern here but didn't follow it strictly coz I modified it slightly to include a coin pouch.
It's got 6 credit card slots and a zippered coin pouch and I especially love this label I attached with it as well.
In the past I've always completed a project at night and the pictures were always taken at night so doesn't really look natural. This morning, I managed to take another picture of it and this one shows the real colours of the wallet.
Again, this is not a perfect project and I'm still learning lots from sewing it but overall I am quite satisfied with it and so is my Dear Sweet Colleague, who is now the proud owner of this quilted wallet, although she insisted that it is more like a jewellery pouch than a wallet :P . Ever since I started sewing, I've always wanted to make something special for her and today, I did. 

On another note, Monday is always a happy day in the office because there are quite often exchanges of gifts. I found this on my table when I got into work this morning.
A rock candy from Devon, a cute little froggy card wishing me a 'Hoppy Monday' and a lovely ,lovely gift tag the shape of a bird with a really cute button on it. I love Mondays !!

Okay, let's hope that there will be more post waiting for me when I get home so that I can resume the project I started on Friday.

These came for me last Friday and how cute are they?!
Alright folks, till the next post, take care now.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Less exciting but practical.

My BlackBerry vibrated once at half an hour to midnight and the LED light started flashing, indicating that there is a message waiting for me to open. I know very well that it would be non other than Fely 'pinging' me... through gritted teeth I said to myself, she'll have to wait a while... I have a more pressing and urgent matter at hand. For the hundredth time, I was ripping a seam...and it was not going well because I had just made a hole on the fabric...

When I finally calmed down slightly, I responded and declared to her that I had lost all will to live... She commented -- "This is madness"... referring of course to the fact that at 11.30pm I was rigorously ripping a seam and she on the other hand was rolling out pastry. 

The reason I was still toiling away near midnight despite a longggggg day tomorrow was the fact that I was so close to completing yet another project. This has got to be a record project as I only started it yesterday at around 3 in the afternoon and had it not for the fact that I had to wait till today to get a stronger elastic band, I would have finished the project yesterday night. 

So after work today, I dashed to Fabricland and got what I needed and as soon as I can slip away from dinner, I continued with the project with the aim of finishing, by hook or by crook, tonight !! 

But a few hiccups along the way meant that I only managed to complete the project at 12.30 midnight ! Madness indeed. It was the same time Fely had finished rolling out her pastry too. 

So what is it, I can hear you ask...
Well, it's nothing exciting but it's definitely a very practical project. When I saw that Steve's old chef trousers were 'disintegrating' slowly, I announced to him that I would make him a new pair. And I did.
Using his old chef trousers as a template, I unpicked the stitches, took them apart piece by piece and used them to cut out different pieces from the new fabric.  I then stitched the pieces back together like a jigsaw puzzle to form the trousers. 
After that hole was mended, the pair of new trousers are now ready for the chef tomorrow morning. Can you see his old trousers next to it? Grubby, faded and limp?! Actually he prefers the smaller checks on his old trousers but because I had difficulty finding that material in smaller checks, he will just have to live with bigger checks then :P

Well didn't I tell you it was a less exciting project?

Hopefully the next project will be something a bit more exciting and colourful than this?

PS: I'll try and take a picture of the chef trousers worn by 'the model' when I get chance...

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Addiction of the highest degree.

Having been assured by Fely on how fun and easy it is to do this project, I started on it last Saturday morning as early as 8.00am. This new hobby of mine has seen me act in ways that I've never acted before, jumping out of bed at 7.45am on a Saturday morning is one of them.

If you have been following Fely's blog, you would have seen the completed project but I thought I'll share with you some step by step pictures anyway.

So this is what we're aiming for...
But the end product looked somewhat different, and I'll explain how.
The first step done and already I was bursting with excitement.
The pack of pre-cut fabric didn't actually come with any lining and also it was optional according to the instruction. But I thought it would be nice and also would make it thicker to have a lining so I went in search for one and found this piece of bandena lying around and thought it was PERRRFECT !! Of course, I have loads of other fabric sitting in the drawers that are also suitable but I was very reluctant to cut into any of that and this piece of bandena came free with a pair of Chef trousers that Steve had ordered years and years ago and so it will be happy that it is finally being put to good use.
It is ironed, cut and stitched into becoming the lining for the bag.
And then the bag itself is made with the lining sitting inside snuggly.
By this time, I was absolutely dying to stitch everything together and quickly proceeded to attaching the two pieces of fabric that would make the top edge of the bag.
Oooooo, it is all coming together nicely and I was so pleased. And then I continued to tidy up the top and even created an inside pocket on the lining.
Beaming with pride I took this picture after stitching the top neatly and nicely.
And then it suddenly hit me.... wait a minute.... something seems to be missing....... !!! Upon checking the instruction again, I then realised that in my haste to start stitching everything in place, I had missed out one CRUCIAL step and proceeded to taking everything apart when I realised that I had no other options. One thing you learn with sewing is lots and lots of patience and resilience and in Fely's words - Breathe in, breathe out... breathe in, breathe out........ And then the missing crucial bit was added and finally the picture looked right.
You see what I mean? The missing bit was rather important, wasn't it? 

While I was doing all this, a certain creature was being quite cute and I couldn't help but take a picture of her.
After this, I proceeded to making the strap and stitching it and making buttonholes and sewing on the buttons and because they were rather a pain in the bum I didn't take any pictures. Just wanted to get it done. And walaaaa......
 With Fely, she's got Princess Nia to model the completed project for her.
In my case, I have this...
Not quite as lively, but it'll do, for now. And what I did differently from the instruction was that instead of stitching the buttons attaching the strap on the outside, I decided to hide the ends of the strap inside the bag because I do not like the look of the end bits sticking out. So it looked like this close up.
Overall, a REALLY, REALLY satisfying project and there was a mixture of happiness and regret when I came to the end, happiness for the completion of the bag, regret for I had enjoyed making it so much !!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Addicted to stashing...

The Internet is a dangerous place where one can get easily out of control and lose perspective...

In my quest in enhancing my newly acquired hobby (SEWINGGG !!) it is with a mixture of embarassment and a  sense of pride that I announce to you that I'm officially addicted to Ebay and 'Online Shopping'. I have heard of the word 'stash' before and I have had a 'stash' for a while now consisting of balls and balls and balls of colourful yarn mainly because I always start a new project and then another and then another, before I have seen the first one through till the end. Hence, a stash has been built, through no fault of my own.

This time round, a 'stash' has a brand new meaning to me.

There is a constant invisible voice in my head that says 'BUY! BUY! BUY!'. If you have been following my blog, to date, I've only managed to complete two projects and am in the middle of making the third. So there is hardly the need nor the excuse to embark on a crazy fabric buying frenzy !! But I did.

It all started with this...

  A perfectly innocent bundle of 4 Fat Quarters (1/4 of a meter) which cost me £2.75 to buy.
But then it very quickly spiralled into this....
and then this....
and this....
 and also this...
 and lately this...
 and something of similar pattern but different material...

Bear in mind that this is just the collection that I happen to have on my mobile camera. There are others which I have not yet photographed. This activity is pure indulgence of the highest degree. At the moment, I'm just contented knowing that they are in different bundles of plastic bags, tucked away in different drawers of my sewing table (Steve has promised to take me to Ikea to look for a cabinet for them this weekend. yay!). I do have a few projects in mind for them but I am in no hurry to cut into them. No one can understand this feeling better than Fely, who has recently completed a whopping 6 cushions of her own in just two days flat. A record speed if you ask me. I wished I had more time to sew.

Only this week Fely and I had this conversation about sewing time and work.

Back in the days when I wasn't working full time as well as a part time job on the side, I wish I had known sewing then coz I would have had plenty of time to indulge in this highly satisfying and addictive activity. But then, I probably would not have enough money to buy myself a sewing machine to start with....

Always the way, isn't it? Sods law.

Ah well, juggling is what I'm very good at - work - sewing - spend time with bf - work - chatting with Fely - sewing - spend time with bf - work - sewing ........ and the cycle goes on.....

I am a happy, happy person (and a very poor one) this month...

Next pay day, come quick pleaseeeee !!

When I came into the office yesterday morning, I was greeted by a really pleasant surprise. A very sweet and dear colleague of mine went to the Victoria and Albert Musuem in London over the weekend and got me a stunning and beautiful button made of ceramic !!
Don't you think it's beautiful?

I have been warned again and again to handle the button with care because it is quite delicate and it breaks really easily so I'm not sure if I'll ever use it on any project but it is such a nice thing to look at. 

I can get used to surprises like these on a Monday !! haha....

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


I have been working non-stop and trying to squeeze in as much time as possible to sit down at my sewing machine and to finish off the second project that I started more than a week ago.

Last night, I finally managed to do that and am happy to announce that I'm pleased with the end result. Again, it isn't perfect but it was a great and fun learning experience, while I had the opportunity to explore and to discovery more and more the capacity of my lovely sewing machine.

Now what could it be?
The reason I included this picture is although it makes no sense as to revealing what it is, I really love the contrast of the two fabrics.
Is it becoming clearer now? They are not brilliant pictures I'm afraid because they are snapped with the basic camera that came with my mobile.
There, you can finally see what it is. It's a rolled up pouch for my knitting and crochet needles, plus my circular needles for knitting, scissors and a ruler as well with space for more. Although it looks simple, it was actually quite time consuming, trying to get the lines straight and the column width equal and if you click on the picture you'll see the decorative stitch which is in the shape of tiny stars and I'm pleased as punch with that (simple mind, I know). I didn't follow any particular pattern for this. I looked at a few different sample projects online and then decided on what I wanted for myself and proceeded to create this from Steve's old pair of jeans and some fat quarter fabric when I first bought fabric for the sewing machine three weeks back.  The top flap is so secure that I don't think I'll ever lose any needles from this pouch :)

And more shopping for me, trying to get my sewing corner more and more equipped! Coincidentally John Lewis was having a clearance sale so I managed to get some really good bargain with all these half price !
Right! Totally unrelated... Now that it's OFFICIALLY summertime (woohoo) Steve and I have been swimming in the sea a few times and it was absolutely refreshing !! We would finish work at 6pm and we'd drive straight down to the beach (5 minutes) and within seconds, we were splashing water at each other in the sea. Of course, each time there is always the initial shock to the body when you first get into the slightly cool water, but once your body gets used to it, it's amazing! That's why I'm finding it extra hard to find time to sit down at my sewing machine because we're really making the most of Summer. And not only that, we have taken to parking the car at the car park overlooking Studland while enjoying a spot of dinner and appreciating the sunset after our swim. I took a picture from the car during one of those evenings.
That's the chain ferry that takes passengers and vehicles from Sandbanks across to Studland and back.  And of course there are sailboats and luxury mini yacht and kayaks and jet skis and people fishing too. Lots and lots to see and we always enjoy these evenings.

Okay, it is now 1am and if I don't go to bed now it will be so difficult waking up tomorrow morning.

Thanks for stopping by and I really can't wait to start on my next project !!