social spark Aisling Beatha: Sewing Projects

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Sewing Projects

Yesterday and today I have been doing a lot of sewing. No dresses or other clothes this time, just household stuff.

I had some fantastic fabric from IKEA that I used to make a few tote bags. I followed a tutorial that I found online but altered the size of the bags so that I could get two bags out of each metre of fabric that I had.





I am quite pleased with them. They have gusseted bottoms, which makes them look wider at the top when they hang, but every piece was just a simple rectangle and all the stitching was straight lines. I have an overlocker and I used that for the seams on the main bag, but everything else was done on my standard sewing machine with either a straight stitch or a triple straight stitch where needed for extra strength.

I also made a huge tablecloth to either use when I want a really long hang around our normal table, or when we put our two tables together to make one big one. I had some pieces of fabric left from when we bought some IKEA curtains years ago that were a good deal but too long for our windows. I had cut a same length piece off each of 4 curtains, so today I put them together in a line using a flat fell seam each time. Each piece was made of 2 pieces that themselves were connected with a flat fell seam. So there is a nice long flat fell seam that now runs the length of the tablecloth and 3 that go across it. I'm really pleased with that and can't wait to see it on the table.
Hmmm, maybe we'll have to invite friends round for dinner so we have an excuse to put the two tables together.

Finally I pulled my over-locker (serger) back to the front of the table. I had been looking for some flannels (face cloths) to use as napkins at the table. We use too many paper napkins and when in America recently visiting a friend, I noticed that they used flannels instead of paper napkins. I thought it was a brilliant idea but wanted to use some that were distinctive enough that my teen boys would not be able to mix them up with ordinary flannels when sorting laundry.

This week I found a solution. I found some fantastic, really bright coloured tea towels (dish towels) in a really soft, fluffy fabric. So bright there will be no mistaking them!
I took each on, laid it out on my cutting mat and cut it into 4. I then took them to my over-locker (serger) and went all the way round each piece to edge them. I think they will work well, be really absorbent and easy to toss in the laundry and get cleaned and dried again. There were 4 tea towels in the pack, so we now have 16 of these washable napkins.

I'll get a photo of them later in the week and share it, also one of what happens when you cut really fluffy fabric on a self healing cutting mat with your rotary cutter. Oh dear.

I have a little bit of mending to do and then my machines will have to go away again. Maybe next time I get them out it will be to make some clothes and maybe one day I will have a dedicated sewing room, or at least a multi purpose craft room for all my different craft activities.

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