Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Granny Square Cushion

You may remember, a few posts ago, I started making granny squares for no particular reason.  Such a simple thing to make, but great because you feel a sense of accomplishment every time you finish one.  Then I realised that a friend of mine loves granny squares and I could whip them into a cushion cover for her birthday.

When I figured out the size of the cushion I was making I made a cover out of calico and cotton demin (no zip, just one of those foldover backs for easy removal when needed).  Then I stitched my granny squares together and stitched the one big square onto the front of the cushion.  Stitchy peeps out there are probably thinking "why didn't she stitch the granny squares onto the calico before making it into the cover?"  I did think of this.  But I was worried that the granny squares might not sit right if I put them on first, so that's why I left it until last (Stitchybritt logic - sometimes not the same as everyone else's logic).

Another well received gift!  Onwards to Christmas crafting!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hump

Have you ever run into to a hump in your sewing project?  Maybe you started out all excited, choosing fabric and patterns and thread, winding on the bobbin, making those first few easy stitches.  Everything was flowing smoothly and you thought to yourself "I'll have this finished in no time!".

Then some difficulty sets in.  Some seams don't match together quite right.  You run out of bobbin thread halfway through an intricate stitch.  You accidentally cut a hole in the item while overlocking (don't talk to me about it).  Then you're at the hump.

Say it ain't so: a hole accidentally cut in the front of my shorts
The hump is usually characterised by a project sitting idle for some time, the owner trying to avoid it, resigning it to the 'too hard basket'.  It's going to take some effort to get back on track, and you just can't find that amount of effort inside you.

It's about here the instructions started making no sense whatsoever

That's where I was at with my Bella shorts at the beginning of the weekend.  I was having a hard time trying to bring myself to look at the next step of the instructions, let alone tackle any unpicking or fixing that needed to happen.  But I did, and little by little, I moved towards a finished pair of shorts.

The shorts are still not completely finished, but they are getting close.  They have pockets.  They have a hems.  They have buttonholes (no buttons, mind you, but that's not such a difficult step).  They are probably going to need a little taking in at the back, which could be tricky, but not the type of tricky that makes you avoid picking them up. I'm glad to say that I'm over the my shorts-sewing hump.  And soon, very soon, I will be able to show you the finished product.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crafty coasters

Around the end of September I set myself a goal of finishing two new items of clothing by end October - my Jersey Dress, which is now finished and even has non-gapey neck binding thanks to Beth's instructions (see the comments below the Jersey Dress post), and my Bella high-waisted shorts, which are still not finished.  I've run into a few hiccups along the way - my sewing machine and overlocker were both in the repair shop for a good 3 weeks, and the shorts themselves have been problematic - some vague instructions, some dodgy stitching on my behalf, and as they came together I began to realise that they are too big, even though I used the Burdastyle sizing chart.  Anyway, I am persevering, and hope to have them finished for you to see (and me to wear!) soon.  It's getting hot in Sydney, you know, and jeans just won't cut it for much longer!

Then the other day my friend Lucy came around for a spot of stitching and she was making these very cute fabric coasters for Christmas gifts.  I was dying for a quick, easy project that I could finish in one sitting, so I joined in.

Cutting out the birdies

The coaster pattern actually comes from Pip Lincolne's original Meet Me At Mikes book.  There is a sweet looking birdie stitched on the front of the calico side, and the same fabric that you used for the bird is used to back the coaster.

You sew the cut-out bird body on (with rough sewing lines to give the cute scrawly effect) and then stitch on legs, a wing and an eye.  Here are our first ones...

And here are my finished coasters.  These will make a great Christmas gift for someone, though I'm not sure exactly who yet.  I really need to get organised and write my Christmas make list!

The finished coasters - a nice matching set!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Closing down the Stitchybritt store

That's right, you read that correctly, I'm closing down the Stitchybritt Etsy store.

I've got a number of reasons for closing down the store.  The main one is that I've recently started a new full time job with lots of responsibilities.  That is a good thing - it's a great job and I love what I do (for those of you interested, I work in workplace diversity, which basically means I help make workplaces more fair and accessible for everyone no matter what your gender, culture, age etc).  But this means that my spare time is more precious, and I'd rather spend it stitching and crafting for myself and my friends.

The second reason is that I'm a bit bored with tea cozies, despite the fact that they are pretty and I still (and will always) drink numerous cups of tea every day, there's only so many tea cozies a person can own, right?

Thirdly, I'm becoming more and more disillusioned with Etsy.  I believe that the quality of the site is slipping due to their lack of action on re-sellers (if you don't know what I'm talking about, see these examples) and copycats (like these).  Of course, there are still many talented crafters selling gorgeous stuff on Etsy and I will continue to be a buyer, but I am just a little more scrutinising these days.

Regardless, this means good things for you, because I am having a MASSIVE CLOSING DOWN SALE between NOW and 4 DECEMBER to get rid of all my stock.  Everything in the Stitchybritt Etsy store is marked 50% off.  What you see is what you get.  There will be nothing new listed, and once it's gone it's really gone.

That's not to say that my crafty adventures are over.  Hell no.  I'll still be blogging here as normal, and I have a few plans up my sleeve for crafty fun in 2012.  Stay tuned.  It's gonna be big : )

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another birthday, another Sorbetto

It was another friend's birthday recently so I decided to make another Sorbetto top - but this one was a refashion!  This top began life as a men's business shirt - one that was barely worn by a male friend but was headed for the bin after a he had done a big wardrobe cleanout.  Of course I snapped it up, planning to refashion it in some way.

The 'before' shot
That was 18 months ago.  The shirt was still hanging around in my 'to refashion' pile until recently, when I knew my friend's birthday was coming up and that the pale blue colour would suit her complexion and auburn hair.

The 'after' shot
I traced the Sorbetto pattern onto the shirt with the button-up front in the centre of the front of the shirt.  I wanted to keep the front pocket, so I had to unpick one side of the pocket to put in a dart underneath (and then put one on the other side), then stitch the pocket back on.  I finished the neckline and armholes with pale blue bias binding.

What do you think, Snorky?

And it was a hit! My friend really loved the top, and I know that it will be well worn. One more shirt saved from landfill!

P.S. Buy Nothing New Month is now over, and I am pleased to say that the only new 'things' I bought were the tickets to see Circus Oz and a roll of kitchen paper (recycled) that I accidently bought alongside some groceries one day.  No new clothes, shoes, books or anything else.  It was not actually that difficult, but just required a bit of conscious decision-making (as my buys both happened without thinking about it).  I'm not sure if it has changed my shopping ethic, as I already try to buy second hand where I can, but it was good to have the challenge.  I'd happily do Buy Nothing New Month again.  How did you go?