Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Peg bag it is

Although it's not going to be your average peg bag. None of that twee girlie craft business for me, no siree. My old jeans (the most comfortable and delicious jeans I ever owned) have volunteered themselves to be reincarnated. I'm thinking strips of material, with some zig zagging madness; a bit patch worky but with unstructured shapes. Confused? So am I.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Oooooh that's nice that is...

Even though I say so myself. Chuffed to bits with how this has turned out. (Although there have been some cock ups along the way; the lining is showing the wrong side etc etc). However, my finishing is OODLES better and I say pah! to mitred corners.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Who'd have thought a delayed plane would be a good thing?

So it has been a whole week since my mad spurt of zigging. The day job has been properly mental and so I haven't had much time to get the machine out. BUT, I did get stuck in Geneva airport on a work trip and had oodles of time to kill and found myself idly fiddling with my passport cover (gawd knows why I own one of those). It is only EXACTLY the same design as my sketch book cover, but has a much better system for the edges and folds and what not (of course it does, it's a properly made thingy) so I've copied it (sort of) and finished my second cover. Super excited about this one, it is far better than the last and thus my sewing report this week would say "Much improved. But could do better".

It's too late and too dark to take photos now, but will do toute suite and whack 'em up when I've got a mo. The big question though is, what to try next? Hmmm... a bit of reverse patch work methinks.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Zigazig Aaah

I think I've worked out a way to get round my impetuous impulses. Instead of trying to be all rad and gung ho with the type of sewing that really requires proper technique and practice (like mitred corners and a million other things I need to learn) I thought it might be an idea to focus the gung ho-ness on some embroidery type stuff. And then take those experiments and make stuff from them (like my sketch book covers) that forces me to practice proper technique.

So in that spirit, I had a play with zig zagging, and zagging my zigs: widths and lengths and all sorts of exciting things seemed to happen and it made me have an idea to use for a cover. A sort of Medussa-esque zig zag explosion with a button in the middle that will be the closing device. I know I'm a bit nonsensical, I'm in the zone and you're just going to have to go with me on this one. It's going to ROCK. (But only if I get my hands on some interfacing, I think)

Buying useful sewing kit online

You know how it goes. You find yourself obsessed with a new hobby but that pesky thing called The Day Job prevents you from finding groovy back street shops and looking at buttons and ribbon all day. I've been thinking I need to find some online resources for buying cool stuff that I need (and all the not so cool, pretty boring, but absolutely essential stuff too). The Magnificent Mum mentioned somewhere near John Lewis that was great for Bernina stuff and I happened to stumble across it today ONLINE. Oh great joy of joys. This is the badger:

And The Magnificent Mum says it's the best place ever. It looks like it quite possibly could be. Until I get to actually step foot in it and have a good rummage (looking less likely due to some killer deadlines at the ole office) then I shall be rummaging on their lovely looking website instead. Macculloch & Wallis

I do hope they like beginners like me that ask inane and endless questions. If anyone has any other great London stores or UK online resources I'd love to know.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Sketch book cover

I doodle quite a lot. You know, worky stuff, ideas for things, lists of things to do (a virgo does love her lists) and so I have a lot of sketch books hanging about. Cheapy cheap ones from Cass Art, a quid a pop, A5, half decent paper, not too big to be overwhelming, you know the ones. But the covers get properly mashed up in my bag. So the dodgy table cloth stripe experiment found itself a purpose - a simple sketch book cover.

Not too bad. The next one I make may have a claspy closing type device and maybe even a pen holder inside. But boy, did those corners give me grief. Check them out, talk about novice. Typical me, I sort of went for it, had troubles, and then checked out the book of sewing afterwards when it was a tad too late. Ho hum. Lesson learnt. Or rather, not - not entirely sure I understand how to do them even now, mitred corners they're called, seemed like there was an awful of material to somehow conceal. Hmmm.

I have to say though, I do like the warped stripey thing that's going on.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

How it works

Never really thought about how a sewing machine works, but this lovely piece of info graphics explains it beautifully. (It's an animated gif but it's clearly not animating here! Go and have a look, I think it's wicked.) Source Wikimedia.

And so it begins

Found an old stripey table cloth in the back of the wardrobe (what on earth was I thinking when I bought it? It's, er, not my usual minimal style) and have started to play with folding and creating patterns. Suddenly the nasty old table cloth seems a tad more interesting. I'm quite into this folding (pleating?) business, tried it on a canvas here (staple-gun tastic) and maybe it's because Mum was so obsessed with Issey Miyake when I was younger... Still, liking what it's doing to the stripes. Nice.

The best Christmas present I've ever received

So my darling Mum and HusWife Lukey bought me this little green beauty for Christmas after a casual conversation over some fine red wine one night in November. "I want to start making more stuff!" I declared. I've dabbled in a bit of craft malarky here and there; you know, made some cards, done a bit of "art", messed about with chairs, and played with fabric, but sort of always feel like there is more to do. And I'm so fed up with all the rubbish on Freeview that I want to get cracking on some projects that keep me gainfully occupied and fulfill my desire to make stuff that actually exists (12 years of being a digital designer takes its toll)

I have never paid much attention to sewing (despite Mum lecturing in fashion and constantly making stuff for people - gorgeous, beautiful and detailed pieces) and I haven't really got much clue as to where to start. But I have the desire, a copy of the Readers Digest Book of Sewing and having just spring cleaned the wardrobe, got some bits of material to play. Brace yourselves - lets go!