Saturday, 29 October 2016

Rubbish week ...

My week off has turned out to be a bit rubbish really. The weather was reasonable, I managed to meet up with friends for lunch, walking, shopping and more lunching. I did some sewing but couldn't really get into it and do as much as I wanted. And I definitely didn't unwind and relax. Bummer.

I did make a couple of little dresses using the fabric the lovely Sheena of the Fat Lady Sews sent me. It was the sort of fabric you could actually use either side, so I did one of each to start with - plus there are two more all cut ready to go. But I haven't cut out the teenage size dress yet, never mind start sewing it... sorry Sheena... 😔

I hardly did any crochet this week. I made up a sample of the Circle of Friends Square which I've admired for a while but that was all. The pattern was in US terms so I had to translate as I went - grrr - but I got there eventually. There was a fair bit of unpicking amongst the translating though. Not sure if I will make a blanket with this block - it would be very good for using up scraps though.

Well that's all for now. I'm off for a glass of wine with friends...

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Pencil Cases and autumn photos

Hello again!!
I was chatting with the lovely Fat Lady Sews this week as she had offered to send me a copy of her pattern for making teenage sized peasant dresses. As I've bought absolutely loads some fabric in the sales recently I wanted to have another go at making a larger size dress and she said she'd refined her pattern so it was a more comfortable fit. (I'd tried making my own pattern back around Easter but I wasn't overly happy with it...) She also very kindly offered to send me some buttercup yellow fabric to make some toddler size dresses - they'll look so cute in yellow!
She mentioned she had been making some pencil cases for DAGUK as well, and I thought, I could do that. So I hunted out some zips I had bought for goodness knows what, and some leftover cut up denim jeans from bags I've made and produced these -

To be honest I could have done with longer zips - I had 8" ones - so my pencil cases may not be quite wide enough to get a brand new pencil in but they should be ok. 

I came across a good tutorial recently for making a zipped pouch without a seam across the bottom edge. A simple construction method once you know how - it simply hadn't occurred to me. Find it HERE. It doesn't show you how to do the really neat zip ends though - try THIS SITE for a truly neat finish - although I opted for a very quick zip install this time rather than fiddly and pretty. I think it probably took me about 20 minutes tops to sew each pencil case. All the fabric was leftovers and the zips were no more than 50p each. Bargain.
(While I'm sharing links to good tutorials, try THIS ONE if you want to make a pouch with a "flat bottom".)

I'm on holiday this week, so hope to get some more dresses made. And maybe another pencil case or two. I know I've got a handful of zips somewhere - just need to find them...
I also want to get out and see some autumn colour. I went to Hilliers today while the sun was shining and it was looking glorious, with lots more colour still to come.
Here's just a taste -

Well, that's all for now but I'm sure I'll pop by again before the week is out! 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Bits & bobs

Last week was so busy at work that I felt as if I was going quietly mad!! (Although I daresay my colleagues would say I did it quite vocally!) It was so busy that by the weekend I didn't even have the energy to pop by and say hello. This week is no better either... Plus my computer decided to die on me so I packed up and left a bit early, hence my brief hello today.

I'm going to share one final picture of my Peacock Tail Bag now that it's finally finished, strap and all!! And it's also for sale, should you be interested - just email me.

There were so many things buzzing around my head that I wanted to make over the weekend but I just couldn't concentrate on making anything really. So I just bought a couple of charity shop magazines instead and look what I came across from 4 1/2 years ago -

Yes, an article about Dress a Girl UK!!! Fancy that!! I really must make some more dresses - I have the fabric, it's just the inclination and the time I lack at the moment.

Tina's Allsorts, Bargello Alliums

I thought it time I showed you how my Bargello Alliums piece is progressing. It's coming along rather slowly to be honest... I do seem to recall saying it was going to be a labour of love with quite a bit of stitch counting and I wasn't wrong!! There are 2 whopping great mistakes - well, they are to me at least! - and I haven't managed to get much done in the shop as I keep going wrong... But it's getting there slowly. Very slowly!!
Do you like the mouse cushion?? It was a birthday treat to myself from the fabulous Fiona at Marmalade Rose. She makes the most amazing pictures from wool tops and she's self taught too. As well as selling framed pictures, she also has a good selection of prints on fabric, cushions (they're faux suede and really nice quality), and lots of cards too. Go and take a look through her gallery - you really won't believe her pictures are made from tufts of wool with a little machine stitching. There's so much detail they really do look like paintings. Amazing.

Finally, before I go, did you see the sunset last night?? It was a cracker! I am blessed with living in a house that faces west, so always get to enjoy the best of the sunsets but I haven't seen one this good for a while. At 6pm it looked like this - 

It made me think of an oil painting where the artist has used a pallete knife to spread his paint in broad strokes. Half an hour later the sky was on fire, as they say.

The weather is supposed to hold for the next ten days or so, so hopefully I'll managed to get out and enjoy some autumn colour and fresh air - I could certainly do with it!

Have a good week yourself!! T xx

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Lots to do

A busy day today and it all needs to be squeezed in before I head out for a visit with a friend for an early dinner and a trip to the cinema. We're going to see Deep water Horizon - the trailer looked good and we're hoping they didn't put all the best bits in it!

But before then I need to take up a large pair of lined curtains for my sister (they will be followed by a second pair next weekend, then make a matching roman blind).
I also want to finish the strap for my peacock tail bag. I crocheted the strap yesterday and need to back it with fabric - I'm now thinking I'll make the length adjustable which means I need a "buckle". But I didn't buy one and I doubt I have one tucked away somewhere that's big enough.
I'd also like to start the gusset on the purple and pink crochet bag - did I show you that? I know I put it on fb. ... anyway, here's a quick pic -

That's the strap laid around it. The bottom section started with free form crochet which I've never done before - great fun until you try and join the "arms" and get it flat. That was a fiddle! It'll do though.

I had a lovely email this week from Lucy of Attic24. Yes, The Lucy. The actual LUCY!! I'd sent a message to the Yarndale team to say thank you for sending the little sheep (now called Lucy in honour of The Lucy) and got a reply from the Crochet Queen herself! She has also now published a list of all the people who made the flock of sheep - I only just got mine in in time, I'm almost last!

My Lucy was made by Angela in Lincolnshire - Thanks Angela! And chosen for me by Roma of Martin's House Hospice - Thanks Roma! 

She's now very at home in the office with Geoffrey the Cat and his friends. 

Oh, and I need to do the supermarket run too. I've just hung the washing out - it's Cold outside! - I may have to run back out and rescue it as one of the neighbours said they're having a bonfire today. Joy...
I'd better say goodbye and make a start really. Need to jump in the shower first! 

Have a good day yourself!!

Friday, 7 October 2016

CAL Part 7 - the lining

 FOR SALE   - click the link to go to my Folksy Shop 

It's taken me a few days but here it is at last - how I lined my Peacock Tail Bag, and added a recessed zip. (That is, a zip that will sit at the base of the band, out of sight, rather than at the very top of the opening.)
I made sure I took plenty of photos whilst making the lining for my bag. I know Tatsiana has already done her own excellent tutorial but I just couldn't resist doing one myself. It's mostly photos (and I have resized them as there were so many!) with basic text, so I hope it makes sense. Here goes.

Firstly, gather everything you need.

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

I found a very small piece of turquoise fabric in my old patchwork stash that exactly matches the yarn to line the band. Then there's the pink lining fabric and zip. Iron on interfacing. Stiff interfacing for the band. D rings and bag clips. And chocolate!

I laid the bag on the iron on interfacing and cut round it, allowing a small seam allowance. The "nicks" at the bottom will add a little shaping later. Here's a close up -

I'm using a muslin type interfacing. Never tried it before but thought it might add a little body to the fabric, plus someone on Facebook suggested interfacing the whole of the lining,not just the band, to make it more durable. Iron it really firmly onto the wrong side of the pink fabric, then cut out.

Make a slip pocket to go on one half of the lining. Decide what size pocket you want and cut one in pink fabric and one in any other fabric. Stitch all the way round leaving a small opening to turn through.

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Carefully push out the corners after turning through and press. Pin in place and stitch to the bag on 3 sides, leaving the top open. If you want to, add a line of vertical stitching to make two pockets rather than one big one.

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Now I must apologise here... It's been so long since I fitted a zipped pocket, I had to cobble it together. So I'm sorry but I'm going to say "now insert a zipped pocket". But not tell you how... Sorry. There are loads of tutorials online that will tell you how. This is how mine looked after a bit of cobbling!!

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

When I put the lining into the bag, I want this zipped pocket to be against the "back side" of the bag.

Now stitch those little dart shapes on both pieces, then pin the front and back right sides together, matching the darts and stitch round the curved edge, leaving the top 2 or 3 inches open so you can attach the top band easily later.

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Can you see how those darts give a rounded bottom to the bag lining?

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Lay your bag on top of the lining to see if you need to adjust the shaping maybe. I clearly needed to.

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Don't forget to eat some chocolate now and then to keep you going. (I haven't had one of these for years. They're not the same anymore...)

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

 Fold the top edge over and slip the lining into your bag and try it for size. Looks ok so far.

Now prepare the top band. Tatiana cut hers on a curve but I had such a very small scrap of fabric (in just the right colour) that I had to cut it straight then make a tiny dart in the middle to give a little shaping. It would look better if cut on a curve.
Add a layer of the iron on interfacing but start a quarter inch down from the top edge. Cut a piece of stiff sew-in interfacing that is double the height of the iron on interfacing but a little narrower - you don't want to catch it in the side seam as it will be too bulky. Fold this in half and stitch it to the band lining along the top edge of the iron on interfacing. Turn down the fabric to the wrong side and press firmly. Did that make sense??

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Turn the lining right side out and lay one of the band linings right side down, on top. Stitch through this layer with a narrow seam, keeping the stiff interfacing free. Turn over and repeat on the other side. Press this seam up, then let the stiff interfacing drop down to cover it. Now stitch the top of the side seams (you left them open earlier), then turn through and press again.

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Make a cup of coffee and eat some more chocolate!

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Turn it through again (sorry!) and pop it in your bag - shake it about a bit to get it just so. It should look like this. 

Now make the D ring loops. Cut 2 pieces of lining fabric, fold the edges into the middle, then fold in half again and press. Put it through the D ring, fold in half and stitch to hold it together. 

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Line it up with the side of the bag and stitch firmly in place through all the layers of the bag lining and stiffening. I forgot to take a photo, so the one above has the zip inserted as well. 
(If you want to, you can still crochet 2 pieces and slip stitch them in place later to cover the fabric.)
If you're not going to add a zip, you can skip ahead and stitch the lining into the bag now. 

Otherwise, prepare your zip.
Lay your bag flat and measure the width. (I bought a zip which was that measurement plus at least 2 inches.) Cut two pieces of lining fabric to cover the zip. Fold over all four edges and press. Make sure your folds are absolutely straight. 

Enfold the zip in this piece of fabric and stitch close to the zip teeth, trimming the "head end" of the zip and pushing it in to cover it as below.

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Make sure you leave the "foot end" free.

Now, I forgot to take a photo as I did it but you need to cut a little piece of fabric, fold in all the edges, fold in half and cover the zip foot end. Trim the very end of the zip fabric first. It should look like this -

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Now you're going to place the zip centrally on the band lining - I opted to insert it in the same direction as the zip on the pocket. Put it a quarter inch up from the join with the main fabric but parallel to the top edge. (Remember, the lining is still not stitched into the bag.)

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Pin it in place, then stitch close to the top edge of the zip, making sure you stitch through the stiff interfacing as well. Do Not turn and stitch parallel to the side seam!
Turn the bag lining through and close the zip to make it easier to line up and pin the other side of the zip, then stitch. You see that gap between the end of the zip and the side of the bag in the photo above?? That's very important. Make sure you leave a gap. If you want to be precise, measure the full width of your zip (with fabric added) - the gap needs to be half this width, plus a tiny bit.

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Here you can see the bottom edge of the zipped stitched in place and the top edge pinned ready. And that gap at the end of the zip? It helps the sides of your bag form a gusset shape.

Ooh, I've just remembered that I meant to say that I learned a new crochet stitch this week!! Woo Hoo!! Can you see that textured edge??? That's crab stitch. I've tried to do it before but just couldn't make sense of the written instructions I'd seen. 
I saw someone else's bag on facebook and they'd done a crab stitch edge which looked really good, so I found a you tube video by Moogly of how to do it and OMG - not only was it dead simple but it looks FAB!!

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Ok. Back to the sewing. Once you've stitched both edges of the zip, give everything a final press and then insert the lining back into your bag (with the right side facing in of course). Line up the D rings with the side seam on the bag and pin the lining a fraction below the top edge.
Now STOP here and think. Which shoulder will I carry the bag on? Where do I want the head of the zip to be when it's zipped up?? Hold the bag against you and make sure you've got everything the right way round. No?? Then turn the lining around and pin again. So much simpler than stitching, getting it wrong and unpicking...

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Here you can see the back of the bag towards you, with the open end (or head end) of the zip to the left, pinned ready to stitch. Working from the right side (that's the crochet side), work a very straight row of stitches along the bottom of that top row of crochet (crab) stitches. If this were patchwork, you would "stitch in the ditch", so the stitched line isn't obvious on the right side. (I haven't taken a photo of that. Sorry.)

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

You see the end of the zipper stuck up here? If you don't like it, you can push it inside so it doesn't show. 

And if you decide you don't want it zipped up all the time, then unzip completely and the zipper will hang freely inside the bag like this - 

Tina's Allsorts - PeacockTailBagCAL, The Lining

And that's it!! Apart from the strap of course. I still need to make the strap.... maybe this weekend. Maybe!!

I hope you've managed to follow what I did and apologies again that I chickened out of showing you how to insert a zipped pocket! I must look for a good tutorial and give you a link to it.
(And if I made any mistakes, please point them out so I can correct them.)

UPDATE :  The strap is now completed. I crocheted it and backed it with the pink fabric, with a little stiffening added,then finished it off with a slidey buckle to make it adjustable. 

Oh yes and it's FOR SALE! Pop across to FOLKSY for details. 
(If you're interested but not in the UK, then email me and I'll get a price for postage.)