Friday, 20 July 2012

Summer is here

Well, the holidays are anyway (3 hours and counting). And the sun has been out (interspersed with cloud) for nearly two days now!
However, in our final mad dash before the end of term Matthew and I finished our projects for his TA (teaching assistant). I am not normally a gifts-for-the-teacher kind of person, but Matthew’s teacher left at Easter and they have had about a million supply teachers since then, so the TA has been really important to the class (besides being lovely, and really good with the children).
Out came the reversible shoulder bag again, just in a different colour way.
Reversible Bag - Black & Yellow Reversible Bag - Yellow & Black
And Matthew made a Thank You card too. (Shown tied up with string to the bag).
Thank You Card

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Button It!

Or be careful what you wish for…
This whole doing sewing for other people and getting paid for it notion seems to be coming together, which is brilliant, but frankly terrifying.
I made Sue's tea towels a couple of months ago, which was a good and non-complicated start. But now somebody to whom I am not related (and is also my husbands boss) wants work done!
Mostly it is all straightforward, and essentially things I have done before… straight lines to adjust a tablecloth (Done!), and some cushions (which I made LOTS of for Christmas). Except that these ones need buttons. Which means buttonholes. And that is all new to me.
So I spent a lot of time reading about buttonholes. And being told how an automated machine does this really easily. And then looking at again for completely manual instructions. After reading lots – some of which made sense and some of which was a bit of a reach – I found this photo tutorial which really brought it all together!
So then I started practising:
Buttonhole 1 Not bad for a first go, but a bit rough and far too wide
Buttonhole 2 Quite a good fit, but not enough stitching and my spatial awareness with the direction of the zigs and zags was completely off.
Buttonhole 3 Again, not too bad, but too close to the centre line so I managed to cut the stitches while opening the hole.
Buttonhole 4 The tension was utterly wrong for this one – which is why the white bobbin thread is visible all down one side.

I am blaming the small money who insisted on sitting on my lap for this stage.
Buttonhole 5 Better… apart from the really wonky bit. Time to try with the “real” thread (i.e. NOT PINK).
The key improvement here was that mum suggested making the bar tacks (the long stitches at the top and bottom) first, and then the side stitches. It all balanced much better after that
Buttonhole 6 Better again! Spacing is right; just needs a little more practice and refinement. Also not sure it is the right colour thread. Hmmm.
Buttonhole 7 Nailed it! Now I just need to stop procrastinating and make the real ones.

(Oh, and learn how to take photos that all look the same colour when finished.)