This month hasn’t been quite as productive as January sadly, most likely due to the fact I didn’t have a whole week with nothing to do apart from sewing! Projects this month have mostly happened in the evening after dinner or when I’ve given up on work and decided to get the sewing machine out…
I started February making small pouch bags, mainly to practice putting in zips but also to to practice covering the end of zips to reduce the bulk (see photos). The pouches have boxed in corners to give them a base and help them to stand up. I tried two different sizes – 6″ zip pouch and a 7″ zip pouch. This was partly to find out which size would be the most suitable to make in the future for make up, sewing stuff, cables etc. I made both the pouches from one fat quarter. Unfortunately I couldn’t get two 7″ zip pouches from one which was my origional plan… I lined them with a plain cream lining fabric which I put interfacing on to give the bag a bit of support so it would stand up by itself. Both pouches went quite well once I mastered the covered end on the zip and they didn’t take that long at all to make! It probably took me longer to work out where to cut the fabric to make the best use of it rather than make it up!
Next up was experimenting making my own labels for my products. I originally wanted to buy some because I thought it would be easier but they are so expensive unless you want hundreds – some I found were close to a pound each… I looked online and there were a few instructions of how to do it but i ended up doing it by trial and error. I decided to buy two different types of ribbon/tape, the first was a 1.5″ wide cream satin tape (shown in the photo below) and the second was a 1″ wide cotton twill tape. I designed labels to fit the two different tapes on Publisher. Flipping the text so it was inverse for printing was quite challenging as I didn’t have the option to do it on my printer. I found a few other options but they meant re-doing all the text which I didn’t really want to do as I had already spent a while formatting it. I finally found a way of doing it on Photoshop but that was after trying out my new Affinity Photo software which confused me a lot… After printing the text on photo transfer paper I cut out the text and pressed it onto the ribbon. On the back of the photo transfer the instructions said to press it for 30 seconds so I did this on the twill tape which resulted in me burning the tape and my ironing board cover… It wasn’t a blacked burn but the tape went an orangey browny colour as did the ironing board cover. So after that little incident I didn’t press it for as long on the satin ribbon or the next twill tape label! The satin labels came out better than the cotton twill tape labels, I decided they looked more professional than the twill tape but I could use the twill tape for different things (e.g. labels inside bags rather than on the outside seam). The red polka dot bag in the photo below was the first thing I put the label in and I was so happy with it! What do you think?
My next project was tote bags. I had made some tote bags a while ago roughly following a pattern I got online but it turned out a lot smaller than I thought it would.
I decided I wanted to try and find some more instructions to make some bigger tote bags! I got the butterfly fabric for these bags from HobbyCraft in their sale a few weeks ago and the dark red was fabric I had at home. I made three in total, the first was a test one to see how big it would actually be and whether I liked it and then the second and third I made up in a mini batch production style session! The handles took the longest out of everything, this was because I had to fold the fabric in half, stitch it and then turn it through, this is different to how I usually make handles. Usually I fold the edges of the fabric into the middle and press it in half hiding the raw edges but it does leave a seam on the side of the handle but this is usually hidden. The bags ended up being a really good size for shopping or carrying a few books etc around, plus they fold down small enough to put in a handbag!
The final project for February was a cushion cover for my bed at uni. My boyfriend gave me a really cute fat quarter bundle from HobbyCraft for Valentine’s day and I decided to make some patchwork cushion covers from it! When I went home I went through all of mum’s patchwork square books and chose a design for two cushion covers. Matching these fabrics was really hard because while they went together they didn’t contrast amazingly so we went to Dunelm and bought some spotty fabric to incorporate in the patchwork, the piping and the backing. I cut out all of the squares and triangles at home and made two of the squares and I made the other two later on that week back at uni. I quilted the patchwork front to add some texture however it was after I quilted it that I realised the two of the smaller squares were in the wrong place and the purple fabric was upside down… Now I decided to unpick those two squares and swap them round even though I knew that no one else would notice they were the wrong way but I would… This proved to be far more challenging than I thought it would be. It proved to be impossible to stitch them back in using the machine without unpicking even more which I didn’t really want to do so I ended up hand-stitching them in by pressing the seam allowance really well and with right sides together matching the edges. This worked well but I didn’t get the really well pressed seam lines like you do when you stitch it with the machine. However, this was hidden when I quilted the seams again! Lesson learnt here: be careful with one way fabrics when patchworking! I tried something a little different with the piping this time – when making the piping instead of stitching as close to the cord as possible I stitched a little further away from it meaning that once all the cushion cover was stitched together there wasn’t as many stitches showing around the piping! This did however make the corners a little bit more fiddly as the fabric could move around. Overall very happy with it and I’ve already started making another one to go with it which you’ll see in March Projects hopefully!
Hope you all have a productive March!