Dog Tote

 

Hello!

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

The weather has been glorious this weekend, so it was a bit of a shame that I chose this weekend to finally use my dog fabric Christmas present. I still made sure I spent plenty of time in the garden though, so I don’t feel liked I missed out on the sun too much!

I saw this dog print fabric on the M is For Make website before Christmas and instantly fell in love. I am totally dog crazy, so this had my name all over it!

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I created a pattern from some old paper, and made the design 41cm high and 36cm wide, with a 1.5cm seam allowance all the way around. The fabric was slightly frustrating as the print on the fabric is not inline with the weave. It took me AGES to work this out, as the dogs weren’t lining up as I wanted. In the end I decided to use the line of the pattern as my straight edge, which seems to have worked fine. I’m a very inexperienced sewer, so I have no idea if this is right/normal!

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Once I had cut out the fabric pieces, I used the over locking stitch on my sewing machine across the tops of the two pieces and then folder them down again to make the edge neat and sewed it in place. After looking at a bought tote bag I realised this was a mistake as I needed to fold the top down after the sides were stitched together, so I had to unpick it. I’m glad I did though, as I’m really proud of the finish across the top and where the sides join.

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In hindsight I wish I’d allowed for a greater seam allowance at the top, as I folded it down twice to make it look neater, and this could have made the bag too short. I decided to use the seam and overlock stitch on my sewing machine though to sew the sides and bottom, which is only about 0.5cm wide so this saved the day. I also did a straight stitch to strengthen this seam.

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For handles I had bought some navy blue webbing, but once the bag was made up I didn’t like it, so used some black, thicker webbing I had in my stash. I stitched 3cm of the webbing to the fabric to make it really strong, and sewed the webbing in place in three different areas. I have no idea if this is the right way to do it, but I liked it! The fabric is natural (I think) and I was really pleased that I managed to get some thread which completely matches so from the right side you can’t really see where the handles are sewn in place.

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Overall I’m so pleased with the bag! It did take me about 4 hours, which seems an incredibly long amount of time, but I feel like I’ve done a really good job and I’ll be using my new favourite tote at every opportunity!

Crafternoon Sewing Machine Embroidery

Hello!

Happy August everyone! Can’t believe this year is over half way done, it’s going so fast!

I’m really enjoying the move we made back to the Midlands, although I don’t feel I have a slower pace of life yet! J and I have agreed no more booking things in, we’re going to try and leave our weekends open so we can be more spontaneous! The last four weeks have been completely manic, finished off by the start of a really important project this week at work, so I’m really looking forward to some quieter weeks ahead and the chance to do some crafting.

I feel this weekend kicked that off with a really good start, as mum and I treated ourselves to a Saturday Crafternoon with Create It Samantha. We chose the Sewing Machine Embroidery class and it was AMAZING! Samantha has worked in the industry for years and so knows all of the tricks and secrets to getting more out of your machine and crafting. I had seen sewing machine emboirdery at the Knitting and Stitching show, but had no idea where to start and also that you needed a fancy embroidery sewing machine, which is completely wrong! Samantha showed us that by tweaking your current machine and buying the right foot you can do sewing machine embroidery on even basic machines with minimal effort. So cool!

 

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The workshop was held in the beautiful Silk Museum in Derby, with lovely views across the river, and an old silk weaving loom in the room too, how appropriate!

We started with Samantha talking us through the basics and then mum and I each having a go on the different machines. We then picked our templates and fabric and got started.

 

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It was so much fun! The possibilities are literally endless and Samantha’s haberdashery really fuelled the imagination.

 

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Two and a half ours was enough time for mum and I to have sewn our templates onto the main fabric and I can’t wait to finish it off. This weekend I will be thinking about my next steps and also sourcing the right open toed foot for my Husqvana machine.

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Oh did I also mention, that Samantha provides tea and cake for the Crafternoon, so not only did I get to learn an amazing new skill, I also got to drink tea out of pretty china and eat amazing gluten free cake!!!

And this is my half finished piece!

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I bought some sequins and rayon thread this week and will update you when it’s completely finished!

 

It’s Been A While….

HELLO! Can’t believe it’s been almost four months since I last wrote. Quite a bit has happened since then, which might explain the silence.

I have a new job, hurrah! And then we moved from London back to Derbyshire, hurrah. We went on holiday to Northumberland and to the music festival Primavera Sound in Barcelona, and now three days later, I’m here in Denver, Colorado with work.

I have been knitting through all of these changes, not as much as I’d like, but it’s still been happening. Although I am WAY behind on blogging about the projects I’ve completed so I’d better get a wriggle on.

For now, I thought I would write about the craft shop I visited in Denver. It’s called Fancy Tiger Crafts and it’s AMAZING! I have known about my trip for a while and so made sure that I researched craft shops in the area. Fancy Tiger Crafts stood out as a modern, well equipped craft shop with LOADS and LOADS of amazing stuff to buy and look at, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

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I’m not sure if the photo really does it justice, but the shop is really big, and really well stocked. I had previously seen that they sell these really cute embroidery kits, which surprisingly appealed to me, even though I’m really rubbish at embroidery. I had my eye on The Great Outdoors embroidery kit, but when I arrived at the store I changed my mind and went for Walk In the Woods cross stitch kit and the most amazing Meowby Dick embroidery kit.

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These two kits are right up my street; quirky and a little bit weird. I didn’t realise that embroidery could be the things that I like (which is completely ridiculous!) so I’m REALLY excited to start these, although I have to finish my current knitting projects first!

I also bought this beautiful crepe de chine silk fabric in Watermelon, by Rimmon & Co. I’m going to use it to make this Kimono Top pattern. As this fabric is sooo beautiful, and I’m not a very good sewer, I’m going to first create a toil to get the fit right, and then create the top in a slinky black fabric I bought about a year ago and then create the top in this fabric, so it could be a while before I get to wear it!

So far my trip to Denver has been amazing. The people are really friendly and the scenery is incredible. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into work tomorrow and meeting the colleagues I’ll be training with.

I hope you’re all well and have lots of lovely, crafty projects on the go!

J