Monday, February 28, 2011

Singlet / Tank top tote bag

I finally finished my 'upcycled' tote bag. It has been in my craft room for some time and my daughter has needed a bag for her dancing things for some time - but now all finished!

I started with an old singlet or tank top and some matching ribbon. The stripe pattern proved to be quite handy when sewing and cutting this bag!

Cut the top arm holes and neck away from the body.

Pinned the ribbon (both sides) to make the handles, being careful to match the placement of the ribbon on both sides.

As you can see I cheated quite a bit - the thin stripe on the ribbon provides the perfect stitching guide! After sewing on the ribbon handles I decided that the bag had too much of a 'waist' in it - so I re-stitched the sides and made the bag a bit narrower and straighter than the original tank top. Then stitched the bottom closed being careful to match up the ribbons at the bottom.

Using the left over material from around the sleeve and neck holes - I cut some strips of fabric. Then I gathered the strips of fabric and some left over ribbon to make three rosettes.

I hand stitched the gathered strips in a circular fashion to make the rosettes and sewed to the bag with a red button.

My daughter is very happy with her 'upcycled' bag for tap dancing! She even recognised it as my old top.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Vintage Pattern Cup Sleeve

I recently updated my mugs to these beautiful 'beakers'. I love the shape and the pattern but they can be a bit hot to hold when full of tea or coffee.

So... inspired by jodie court's cuff... I made these cup sleeves using feeling stitchy's Vintage pattern from the February Stitch along.I plan to make a few different patterns so I have enough for all my beakers... I think the floral pattern contrasts nicely with the stripes - so may be some more organic patterns.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

February Vintage Pattern Stitch Along - Finished

Well I finished my first ever stitchalong and I am proud to say it was even pictured on the feeling stitchy website. Can't tell you the thrill that gave me!!!

I also really liked the embroided cuff from jodiecourt. It is my inspiration for my next embroidery project using the vintage pattern from the stitchalong. Stay tuned....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February Vintage Pattern Stitch Along

Have you seen the feeling stitchy website? They are currently running a February Stitchalong - so much fun. This is my first stitch along - but essentially you download the pattern and then over the month post pictures on the Embroidery Flickr Group of your work (either in progress or completed). Feeling Stitchy is also a great place to find free patterns, tips and tricks and of course lots of beautiful pictures of inspirational embroidery work. As you can see I'm still pretty new at this :) ! I had the most trouble with the petal stitches - keeping them even and not too loose was my biggest challenge.

Last week I had the chance to pop into the new Calico & Ivy store in Balmain. It is so beautiful I could have spent hours in there just looking. They have the most gorgeous collection of fabrics, yarn, patterns and books oh my! The hardest (but also most fun) part is choosing the fabric... this is what I came home with.

It is a bit of an eclectic mix of Amy Butler, Liberty and Japanese prints. For one reason or another these prints jumped out at me - I'm not exactly sure what I am going to do with them yet. I have a few ideas... but this space! Whilst there I also met Amy of badskirt blog fame. She is so lovely and helpful (even though I knocked over a shelf of patterns... oops!). I really recommend you stop by her blog or pop into the store in Balmain - you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chicken Scratch Embroidery Valentine

I was recently reading Alicia Paulson's beautiful book 'Embroidery Companion' and came across the section on Chicken Scratch embroidery. I have never seen it before but was intrigued by the effect. The stitching is quite simple (double cross stitch and woven circle stitch) and uses the checks of the gingham fabric as a guide. Have a look at these other examples of Chicken Scratch Embroidery on Flickr - you can see how changing the thread colour gives a completely different look.

Anyway... I was itching to give it a try... Valentine's day is around the corner... we have a bit of trouble with pantry moths... so here is my Chicken Scratch Valentine Pantry Sachet!! I filled mine with a mixture of cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon & bay leaves (apparently moths find these smells completely unapealing!) - but you could also fill with lavender for your linen cupboard or closet or with a cotton wool ball spritzed with your favourite essential oil.

I did the embroidery first, then using a heart shaped cookie cutter as a template (easy to centre your embroidery in the shape) cut out two hearts. With a sewing machine I straight stitched around the two hearts making sure to sew a length of matching cord at the top of the heart and leaving a gap (to fill with herbs) along the straight edge (I started and stopped in a red check / square so the back stitching and join would not show so much.) Then I filled the heart and machine stitched the gap. Finally I cut along the edge of the material with pinking shears.

I hope you give this a try - it makes me smile everytime I open the pantry!

Happy Sewing

Friday, February 4, 2011

Embroidery Project Finished

Here it is... my first ever embroidery project finished. It is a bit wonky in spots... but overall I'm pretty happy with the result. The pattern is from Corinne's September House shop on etsy and is called Scandistitches Embroidery Pattern set. I was even brave enough to upload the picture to her Flickr group.

I'm thinking that I might make some more hoop projects to decorate a wall in my craft area? Hmmm... now which pattern next?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

School time again

Well, school has started this week which I am happy and sad about. I have been looking forward to having a bit more time to myself during the day - but we all enjoyed the holidays so much it seems sad they have to end. The kids have been happy to go back to school and catch up with friends they haven't seen for a while and I am busy writing plans and thinking of ideas to fill my time!

This year I am going to spend a bit more time here and learn more about blogging including some of the widgets, analytics etc (all a bit baffling right now!)

This is my current work in progress. It is a pattern by Corinne from September House (store or blog) - she has so many beautiful patterns available including some freebies, it was difficult to decide. My stitching does not do it justice.

It is my first ever embroidery project and there is nothing like actually doing something to learn about it.

Two most important things I have learnt so far

1. Make sure you transfer the pattern as carefully and accurately as possible and so it is easy to see (easier than it sounds!!)
2. If you have straight lines make sure they line up with the weave of the fabric. I guess it is important that the pattern is aligned correctly with the fabric anyway - but after sewing the bottom vertical line on this flower I realised my pattern was not straight and had to rinse out the transfer and re-trace - very fiddly and frustrating!!

I'll let you see the finished product when I get there. I'll see how it looks before I decide whether I will post it to her Flicker account!!