Posts in Category: Sew

My Sewing Room

My new sewing room is complete, so as promised, I had to share. I had my new table delivered on Friday and I put it together all by myself!

As you can see, it’s not a fancy schmancy crafting table, but just a generic office table. I didn’t want anything special, primarily a metal frame and simplicity. My old table was a wooden, assemble out of the box deal, and after a few house moves over the years, was not going to make it up the stairs here.

My new table is longer, 1.8 metres instead of 1.5. I’ll be able to use the free end for some small scale cutting and crafting, and hence keep it off our dining table. My plastic drawer set even fits perfectly underneath. I love it!

My Singer overlocker (which I actually haven’t used yet, due to my lack of sewing last year) and my Brother BC-2500 sewing machine are all set up and ready to go! Got my pattern and fabric pieces for another soft toy which I might start to tackle tomorrow morning.

This used to be our main bedroom, but we’ve moved the bed to a smaller room downstairs which is a lot cooler and hope to survive this summer. So now I get to claim it as my own.

Behind the door and beside our dressing table that won’t fit downstairs, I have appropriated the space to store my fabric and yarn boxes.

I’ve also taken over the top of the dressing table. I have my patterns in the blue boxes, my craft books and my knitting box which needs a serious tidy up, tripod and iron.

My very tiny selection of craft books, and a folder I popped in some loose craft sheets I found in my sewing room mess. I’ll have to go through them and see if there is anything worth making. I know it’s got some quilting patterns, but that will be a dangerous  and expensive road if I decide to take it 😉

Oh hey, I just noticed you can see me in the mirror reflection!

Finally for the rest of the room, I have turned it into a little exercise corner. It’s so nice to get this gear out of our lounge room! At the moment those two boxes that hold my professional cake pans are there until I can figure out where to move them.

So there you have it, my new sewing room setup! I’m very excited to sew up here, it’s so light and open and if I need a distraction I can peer out at my little balcony garden. It will get hot in the summer afternoons but that leaves me with mornings to craft.

Outside of building tables and sorting out craft supplies, I’ve been knitting and am on target to finish that project in 7-8 days. As well as that, the Epic Pokemon cross-stitch has been getting some love during the evenings. Hope to share updates soon.

Until next time, have fun!

Monkey and Nut

Just a quickie post today. Monkey made it to the US on Christmas Eve. I was pretty impressed that the package did make it in time especially at Christmas, though I was severely disappointed by the tracking. It arrived before I was even told it had left Australia. But it got there so that’s what matters.

We popped onto Discord, a gamer chat program and Nut, Lona’s nickname for her little boy, gave me a gasp and a “monkey!” before the faintest call of “thankyou” as he had run off to play. Wonderful manners though, I highly appreciate a thankyou!

Check out this cuteness!

Oh my gosh, it’s almost as big as him!

Thanks for sending through some pics Lona, I love seeing him play!

Until next time, have fun!

Patrick the Monkey

Meet Patrick the Monkey – a gift for fan Lona’s little boy. Randomly one day during late November or early December I asked her what her boy likes and she said trains or monkeys. I was investigating my sewing room and came across one of the books I had bought, but of course, not yet done anything from.

Who was on the front, but a monkey! Apparently his name is Patrick.

While I’ve had experience sewing toys before, I must admit this was very easy to follow, which is what the book promised. It has instructions and pictures to help you along, with all the patterns at the back of the book. I just used some freezer paper to copy the patterns and pinned onto my pre-washed fabrics.

This was my first foray into appliqué as well, which is sewing or sticking pieces of fabric on to (a garment or larger piece of fabric) to form pictures or patterns. While there’s no picture, it’s still the appliqué technique. The inner ears, eyes, nostrils, tummy and belly button are all attached in this manner.

Unfortunately, I did not read my pattern quite so well and forgot to get some fusible webbing, which makes appliqué a breeze, by sticking the fabrics together so you can stitch them in place without fear of them slipping. To get around, I tacked them in place with a few large hand stitches, then either hand-sewed the black felt or popped onto the sewing machine to narrowly zigzag the beige pieces on. Pretty good for my first time!

Here’s Patrick just chilling out on the couch and picking up lots of cat hair. I’m not sure why he ended up wrinkly around his edges though, I stuffed him pretty firmly with hobbyfill but it just couldn’t seem to smooth him out like the book.  I’m wondering if the fabric was a bit too firm, maybe if I got a cotton blend next time it might have a little bit of stretch and provide smoother edges. Still, I’m certain Oliver isn’t going to notice that at all and it just adds to Patrick’s quirks – his slightly titled head, one hip that juts out more than the other side, his tail not quite centred, his ridiculously large head (that one’s the pattern, not me!).

I had to make one change to the pattern, and hand sew in the arms, The arms and legs were placed in holes left when the body was sewn (inside-out), but after placing the legs in, there was just no room to add the arms. I had to turn the body right side out and stitch in the arms. Luckily, I’m a pro hand-sewer so it wasn’t an issue, it just takes a lot longer.

The tail was also sewn on by hand, which was a bit fiddly because you are trying to keep a stuffed tail attached to a stuffed body and stitch it on.

I enjoyed this pattern, and plan to make some of the other toys, there’s one planned for my new nephew Ethan (yay!) but it’s a secret what it is 😉 and there’s a cute cat that would make an awesome door stop that I want for myself.

Why don’t have you have one final photo of Patrick? Cheeky monkey, already hanging about!

Until next time, have fun!

Tote bag and knitting update

Thought I’d take a break from the cookies and share with you a work in progress that I actually finished about a week ago. The afternoon was hot and in our house, the upstairs can get a bit unbearable. (I mean a lot). I am so not looking forward to summer.

To escape the stuffiness I went down to the spare room, AKA the sewing room and cleaned up. I was feeling unmotivated but sometimes just moving about and doing things can get me going again. What a mess! I couldn’t even see my sewing machine beneath the bags of yarn and newly purchased fabric and who knows what else.

I remembered some half finished tote bags that I had started quite a while ago and decided to find them. Baby blanket number 1 is getting quite big and I can’t just go leaving it on a table. Cat’s gonna get his claws into it, I just know it.  You should see him eyeing off the yarn sometimes. That evil and mischievous glint in his eye.

So the aim became to finish off one to serve as my blanket knitting tote.

Here it is! Oh it’s divine! And blue, yay! And so spacious!

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In regards to the blanket, I’ve hit 65cm and I’m on my fourth yarn ball. After a few times through the lace pattern I memorised it, which makes it go faster. Oops, did I say lace…? 😉 Hint hint, nudge nudge, that’s a little teaser. It’s crazy to me how your knitting speed can change each day, just based on your comfort level and your mindset. Last night I was knitting away and I could barely do one row per 30 minutes, and the other day I was zooming and getting a row done every 15 minutes.

Most of my time knitting lately has been while watching Empire. Guilty pleasure viewing for the win! I love a show with singing in it and this incorporates it really well. Add a whole lot of drama, themes of racism, homophobia and mental illness, and it’s pretty damn good. It’s described as a powerful drama about a family dynasty set with the glamorous and sometimes dangerous world of hip-hop music. <3 <3 <3

Unfortunately, it’s on hiatus until next week, so I have to wait for new episodes so now I’ve started Nurse Jackie. I figured with seven seasons, it had to be alright. It’s comedy…but with a scary look into nursing.

Until next time, have fun!

Stash Add 25/10/16

Today, the first line of the song “Criminal” by Fiona Apple comes to mind. It goes like this:

“I’ve been a bad, bad girl.”

I may have gotten some more much-needed (hah, not at all) fabric to add to my stash!

Spotlight had a sale that was actually extremely good. I couldn’t say no when I saw their Aida cloth (special cloth for cross-stitch with holes in it) was reduced from $35 a metre to $14 a metre.

While you can’t see the detail of the Aida cloth in the picture below, it’s the white stuff at the top. It’s 16 count, meaning there are 16 little squares per inch. I normally go for 18 count if I can, but this is only slightly larger. The online information didn’t state how wide it was, so I grabbed two metres, and OH. My. GAWD. It’s HUGE! I’m set for white Aida cloth for at least the next ten years!

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You may notice two foxy fabrics above. Bargain plus adorableness and I just must buy! I’ve wanted some fox fabric for forever and now I have two. From left to right, I got 3 metres of the flannelette to make pretty pajamas for next winter, a metre of that sweet cherry cotton, 2 metres of calico, and 3 metres of foxy cotton poplin that just looks and feels divine, in hopes of sewing up a summer dress.

I still have another metre of a cotton with flamingos on the way but it’s stuck in the postal system somewhere. For some reason, I got 6 materials sent in 3 different parcels. Oh well, I only pay the one postage!

Until next time, have fun!