Monday, 14 July 2014

Sewing Machine Makeover – Another Modification

I have a mini sewing machine that is light enough for me to carry it to Liverpool Sewing Club and Leeds Modern Quilting Guild. However, whilst it is good that that it is light in weight, it is not so good that it is light on features. 

Back in January, I gave my mini machine a makeover which allowed me to use my spare Husqvarna feet on it and I found a tiny light that could be attached to it. However, each time I used the machine I would find myself reaching for a non-existent thread cutter. While sewing blocks at a Leeds MQG meeting, I realised that the machine had a handy gap in the casing which was ideal to secure the threads prior to cutting, but I still needed snips or scissors to cut them. 

However, all it took was 5 minutes, a craft knife blade and some washi tape and this gap became a thread cutter. I wrapped washi tape around each end of the blade, leaving 2-3 cm of the blade exposed.

I then secured the blade to the machine with more washi tape, positioning it a few millimetres below the gap. I’d like to pretend that I chose the pink leopard print washi tape as a safety feature so that the blade was highly visible, but it was just what was to hand. 

I’m very pleased with this cheap and cheerful upgrade to my mini sewing machine. The blades were £1 for ten from the market and the washi tape was £1 for three rolls from The Works. My next challenge is to find a way of covering the feed dogs and maybe making a lightweight extension table so that I can do small pieces of free motion quilting!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Slow Writer

I have finally finished my first foundation paper piecing project - it has only taken me 51 weeks! I started this during a class at Fat Quarterly Retreat last year and was determined to get it finished before this year’s retreat. I thought I had made quite good progress in the class by managing to get the central section completed, but then it was pointed out that there were three pieces that needed unpicking.

It was packed away in disgust and didn’t see light of day until April’s Leeds Modern Quilt Guild meeting when I restitched the incorrect pieces and managed to complete the lower section. The final section was completed at Liverpool Sewing Club this week. 

I’m not sure that foundation paper piecing is for me, though perhaps this was rather a complicated pattern for a first attempt. I’m glad to have finished it and maybe I’ll try a simpler pattern before making a final judgement on foundation paper piecing.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

This week, for the first time in a very long time, I made something for me to wear. It was only a pair of pyjama shorts but it made a change to swap 1/4” seams for French seams.

The pattern was from Lekala and I lengthened it by a couple of inches. I downloaded it (along with many others) a few years ago when their fixed sized patterns were free to download. The fabric remnant cost the grand sum of £1.50 and the elastic was in the goody bag from last year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat. The little ribbon bow (so I don’t put them on back-to-front) was made from one of those ribbon loop hangers found in knitwear which I always cut off as I don’t hang my knitwear. So, all in all, a very cheap and cheerful project.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

i-Padded: an updated tutorial for a mini iPad case.

Hello if you've found me via the Sewing Directory. Have a look around and I hope to see you again :-)

A few months ago, Fiona from the Sewing Directory sent me a few FQs of Art Gallery fabrics and asked me to write a tutorial for a case for a mini iPad. I paired the FQs with some fabrics from my stash and revised last year’s iPad case project into a fully illustrated, step by step tutorial with a full size pdf pattern.

The new and improved tutorial is now on the Sewing Directory so why not head over and take a look (and check out all the other information that is on this fantastic resource). The updated pattern and instructions can also be found in my projects/tutorials section of this blog.

Friday, 16 May 2014

What a lot in a little box!

Earlier this week I found out I was a lucky winner of a cushion kit giveaway run by VerryKerryBerry and Seamstar. To my delight, the prize arrived at my desk yesterday, but when I saw it, I wondered how on earth a cushion kit could fit into such a small box. (I didn't try, but I'm guessing it is sized so that it fits through a normal domestic letter box.)

I resisted the temptation to unpack the box at work as I thought my repacking skills might not be up to the job. When I got home, I was amazed that so much fitted into such a small box. In all, the box contained:

  • 6 charm squares
  • A piece of natural linen blend for the cushion back
  • A piece of natural linen blend for the patchwork squares
  • Calico
  • Wadding
  • Dotty bias binding
  • Embroidery thread
  • Piping cord
  • Invisible zip
  • Instruction card


As expected, I wasn’t able to get the box to shut when I put everything back.

The cushion kit was part of Seamstar’s monthly craft club and they have a special half price box offer until the end of May. There is also the chance to win a box of your own via Twitter or have a look at their Facebook page for more competition opportunities.