This week I’ve been sewing some cushion covers for our new house – nothing like the impending deadline of a move to kick me into gear! I’ve had these fabrics for a while now
I did intend to do a mixture of easier envelope closures and zippers, but in the end I made them all zippered – it really is easy, and finishes of the cushions nicely. You may notice mine are not ‘plump’, this is because our family prefers flatter cushions on the couch – in fact there has been more than 1 sibling war about who gets to use the flat ones!
The geometric print and the floral are both from the Carnaby Road collection of fabrics by Pat Bravo – the geometric is ‘Go Go London’ in Powdery and the floral is ‘Ladylike’ in Green Tea. I love them – and only wish I’d got more, I had just enough for a cushion each. The fabric is lined with a thick fusible interfacing so hopefully they will hold up well to the rough housing of small children.
The doily print is ‘Snowflake Lace’ by Robert Kaufman that I was lucky enough to snap up from Sarah Fielke when she held a recent destash on Instagram. I also purchased a bag of scraps from her which even included some Liberty of London and some already pieced strips!
The other rectangular cushions are decor weight fabric from my local fabric store.
Today, in the interests of a smooth move, I should really pack the sewing machine away and make a start on some packing!
Have you been making anything this week?
I’m not sure if I remembered to warn you last week about granny stripe overload photos, so be prepared
I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself now that’s it done, but luckily I am crocheting my mood blanket in the same yarn so I get to continue indulging in the bright and happy colours.
After all of this crochet of late, I’ve also been itching to do some knitting again, and I have more than a few of those WIP’s laying around.
Now for some particulars if you’re interested:
Pattern: Granny Stripe from Attic24
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK in 17 colours (the special ‘Lucy’ pack from Deramores) with a 4mm hook
Size: 1.2m x 1.5m wide
Stripes: Random colour order, 72 colour changes (144 rows)
Time: Each colour stripe took approx 30 mins = 36 hours not including the border and darning of ends! I started it back in July 2013, so it’s still taken me over 6 months to finish
Considering it’s such a large blanket, it’s probably one of the cheapest I’ve made thanks to the Stylecraft Special DK. It’s only $2.80 per 100g ball if you buy the colour pack, which is great value for money. It’s also quite soft and easy to work with even though it’s acrylic.
Because acrylic can take a beating and it’s easy to wash, I’ve decided it’s new home might be on our old (but ridiculously comfy) 3 seater sofa. I’m planning a little reading nook at the new house with this couch – just over 3 weeks now until we move.
Didn’t take long for the cat to try it out of course!
Have you finished any long lost works-in-progress lately? I recommend it – it’s a great feeling, and it means you can start a new project guilt-free!
It feels like I only posted my January update last week! But, here we are – the first day of March, and time for a mood blanket update.
It’s still progressing well – 59 squares so far. I try to make an effort to do one a day, but sometimes I need to do a little catch-up.
Now that my Granny Stripe blanket is almost finished, I’ve added in a few extra colours here and there using the leftovers. I’ve dubbed these the ‘just-because’ colours, which is especially helpful when it’s a moody kind of day and I find it hard to pick a certain colour/mood.
I’m thinking I may have done my initial sums incorrectly as the blanket is already a good size – perhaps I may have to make it a 6 month project instead of a year, I’ll see how it goes!
Well, it’s a long weekend here in Western Australia, and the weather is beautiful, so off to enjoy some time in the great outdoors Have a lovely weekend. do you have any exciting plans?
With my granny stripe near completion, it’s never too early to think about the next project is it?
Continuing the crochet theme of late, here are links to 25 fabulous crochet blankets – and no offense intended to any nannas reading, perhaps one day crochet won’t be considered by the masses as just a hobby for more mature ladies!
1. First up is the vibrant Granny Stripe by Lucy of Attic 24 – the bloggy crochet queen
2. Pip from Meet me at Mikes has a super tutorial for crochet hexagons – you’ll have a blanket whipped up in no time!
3. Solid Hexagons look fabulous too, I love the Circus Patchwork Blanket from Coco Rose Diaries
4. This Mixed Stripey Blanket is amazing and a fun way to try different stitches – from Little Woolie
5. Maaike from Crejjtion has some beautiful fresh patterns, her Miami Beach Baby Blanket pattern is my favourite
6. Granny squares don’t have to be dull – check out this colourful blanket over at According to Matt
7. Michelle from Poppy and Bliss has an eye for colour, I love her vibrant & modern half square triangle pattern
8. If softer hues are your thing, you might like this Clamshell Blanket by Sandra of Cherry Heart
9. Dottie Angel has a tutorial for a beautifully simple but effective crochet blanket - beginner friendly!
10. If you’re up for more of a challenge the Wool Eater by Sarah London might be just the ticket!
11. Sarah also has another textured blanket pattern called Apache Tears, worked in double crochet (UK) resulting in a super dense fabric!
12. A popular choice for ‘Crochet Alongs’ is the Groovyghan by Tracey St John which you can download for free from Ravelry
13. This roundup wouldn’t be complete without a crochet ripple. The Neat Ripple Pattern by Lucy is tried and tested!
14. If you prefer your chevrons to have sharper points, Pip has great tutorial for her Zali Zig Zag Chevron Blanket
15. Prefer flowers? You can’t beat this beautiful African Flower Crochet pattern from Yvestown – who also has the prettiest blog in all of blogland (in my opinion!). Easily adapted from a cushion to a blanket.
16. The Starburst Granny Square is another popular choice for blankets, there are many variations but this one at Nittybits has a great accompanying tutorial
17. The colour sequence of the Diamond Stitch Blanket by Happy in Red is sure to cheer anybody up
18. Wondering if it’s possible to crochet a ‘manly’ blanket? I love this Starburst Baby Blanket from Creative Jewish Mum
19. Circles are another great option for boys, this Retro Circles Blanket from Three Beans in a Pod fits the bill perfectly
20. The Purl Bee never fails to think outside the square, their super modern Granny Stripe Blanket is super simple – and also very ‘manly’!
21. And The Purl Bee did it again with their Giant Granny Square Blanket - a perfect pattern for beginners
22. Blankets don’t have to be square or rectangular, this Little Star Afghan would be perfect for a new baby
23. This pretty Vintage Crocheted Blanket has been on my to-do list for a while, via Ravelry
24. If you’re after something a little more whimsical, the Owl Obsession crochet blanket is just so cute
25. And last, but not least, if you would like to learn new stitches and techniques, crocheting a sampler blanket is a great idea. Shelley from Spincushions ran a crochet along during 2013, you can find all of her square patterns here.
Now to decide which pattern to pick for my next project
Do you have a favourite crochet blanket pattern I may have missed? Let me know if you do!
Apologies for more photos of my Granny Stripe blanket, but I’m trying not to get distracted by other works-in-progress so I can get this finished – so close now! Just working up the border, but it’s a loooong way around each time
I’m not reinventing the wheel with this one, using the same border colours and almost the same pattern as Lucy did. At least I know it will look good when it’s finished, she’s the colour queen after all.
Are you working on any WIP’s on this Wednesday?
Our third assignment for Blog with Pip!
Our Saturday had all the makings of a perfect day:
An outing with the kids to the fantastic interactive exhibition ‘I think I can’ (where you get to place a ‘resident’ into a model railway scene and decide on an accompanying story which is then posted online) // a walk and an ice-cream in the sunshine // some time for crafting // some homemade goodies to finish off the day – recipe from here
Did you get up to anything exciting on Saturday, or was it a potter around at home kind of day? I love those days just as much
The week before last, I offered to sew 30 calico drawstring pouches for the computer lab at school – for laptop mouses and cords.
This is the technique I used to sew the bags – using one piece of fabric – easy and very quick. If you can sew a straight line on a sewing machine, you can sew one up in under 15 minutes. Perfect for gift giving, or storing odd bits and pieces. Make them small for gifts, or large for toys and sleepover sacks!
1. Decide on a size for your finished pouch
Add 2cm to the width (for side seam allowances) and 14cm to the length (to allow for the folded section at the opening). You must be able to fit the opening of your pouch around the throat of your machine
My finished pouch measures approximately 15cm wide by 21cm high. I cut my fabric 64cm (25″) by 18cm (7″)
2. Fold fabric in half right sides together. Sew each side seam using a 1cm seam allowance as shown below
Finish raw edge with an overlocker or zigzag stitch if desired
3. Fold down the opening approx 1cm (1/2″) and press. (This is to enclose the raw edge inside the bag)
4. Fold down the opening again, this time approx 6cm (2 1/2″). Press and ensure side seams match
Match those side seams and press!
5. Place opening around the throat of your sewing machine as shown below. Sew a straight line around the bag approx 1cm from the edge
When you reach the point where you started, back stitch a few times to secure your stitching
6. Repeat Step 5 again, this time around 1.5cm from your initial stitching
Your drawstring will be threaded between these two stitching lines, so do not sew them too close together
7. Trim threads and turn your bag inside out, poking out the corners if necessary. I use a knitting needle – pointy yet blunt = perfect!
You have a bag!
8. Using a sharp, small scissors (embroidery scissors or thread snippers are perfect) cut two small slits on the outside of the bag between your two stitching lines. Be careful to only cut through the top layer of fabric
One on each side of the side seam. See below for more detail:
9. Cut 2 lengths of ribbon approx 50cm (20″‘) long. Attach a safety pin to one end and insert through the slit on the right hand side of one of the side seams
Continue around and when you reach the opposite side seam, exit on the left and insert back through the right. Continue again until you reach your starting point. Tie the two ends in a knot
10. Repeat with the other length of ribbon, but begin on the opposite side seam to before. It can be a bit tricky to wriggle the safety pin around the second time
11. And you’re finished! Now feel free to marvel at how easy that was!
If you’re up for more of a challenge, the customisation options of the drawstring bags are endless! Here are 3 others that I whipped up:
If you would prefer a lined or more fancy version of a drawstring pouch/bag I recommend these two tutorials which I’ve used the in past, using different techniques:
Hobo Sack at MADE
Pretty Drawstring Pouch at A Spoonful of Sugar
Let me know if you have any questions, or if there’s any glaring errors in the tutorial, I thought about getting my husband to test it out, but decided against it
Last Saturday I decided it was high time for a ‘just for fun’ sewing project, and this was a result – a mini hexie hoop!
I have wanted to try some English paper piecing with some of my Liberty of London scraps for a while and I came close to printing out some hexagon shapes last week to make a start. However, on a walk through Spotlight last week I spotted a set of Hexagon templates, and because I had a 40% voucher I snapped it up – $13 for the set!
I used the smallest template (1 inch) to cut out the paper shape on some thick paper, and the next size up to cut the fabric hexagons (1.5 inch).
Then it was time for some paper piecing. Surprisingly it went rather quickly because the hexies are so small. Just a simple flower shape – with teeny tiny stitches!
Now to decide what to do with my ‘flower’. I ironed a square of fusible pellon onto the back of some linen and attached the hexagon flower in the middle using the needle-turn applique technique. It’s virtually invisible, and I love how it gives the hexagon flower a slightly puffy look.
Finally I added two rows of running stitch around the hexagon flower using 3 strands of embroidery thread. I thought it looked rather cute in the hoop as I was stitching, so I decided to leave it in there!
To finish the raw edges, I cut the excess fabric around the hoop – into a circle shape. Using a needle and thread I sewed some long running stitches around the entire circumference and then pulled it tight so that it gathered into the centre (see photo below).
You could stop at this step and have a removable project but I chose to make mine permanent so I cut a circle of felt to fit on the back, and using some fabric glue I attached it to the hoop and then sat a heavy pile of books on top until it dried. Nice and neat!
A cute little hoop, with some of my favourite Liberty of London fabrics. A perfectly enjoyable way to while away a few hours on a Saturday. It will be finding a home in my craft room.
Did you get up to anything crafty over the weekend? If you did, did you ignore the other 100 more important things that you should’ve been doing, like me?!
Today marks 4 years since my first ever blog post! An excuse to eat cupcakes. Funnily enough, if I’d have timed it better it would have also been my 400th post (this is 398…soooo close!)
Over the 4 years I have: changed my blog name 3 times (sorry about that!); moved from Blogger to WordPress and finally; very recently made the move to my own self-hosted site. My archives only go back to the beginning of 2012 here, but my original blog Sewing Belle remains live due to quite a few Pinterest link-backs.
There have been times over the years when I lost my blogging and creative mojo and didn’t blog for a while, times where I blogged more regularly – and still other times that were a combination of both.
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned a ‘blogiversary’ in the past, but now that I’m into Week 3 of the Blog with Pip course, I’m more clear about what my intentions are for my little space in this big ‘world wide web’, and in what direction I’d like to head.
As always, I have far too many ideas than time, but, at the end of the day I blog here because I enjoy it and hope you do to – please stick around! I love that you’ve taken the time to pop in and see what I’ve been up to, and I hope I can offer up some inspiration for you too.
Thanks so much for reading xx
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