Tuesday, 17 January 2012

IPad/Tablet PC cover

 My boyfriend/partner/lodger (to use a Sean Lock joke) got me a tablet for Christmas and I am totally addicted to it already, I think the screen will do my head in a bit though- I hate seeing finger prints in it so I constantly want to wipe it down!

I already take it with me everywhere; I have a Kindle on it so it's really useful to have when I'm doing a sleep-over at work (for those of you who don't know what that is and am wondering how I can get away with skiving off, sleeping and reading - I'm not on shift, just an extra body in the building in case the waking night staff need a hand.) The problem was that I don't have a carry case for it so I have to lumber it about in the HUGE box it came in. Being a hoarder I have plenty of things kicking about the house that I can use to create a case, so I went about it.

The materials I used were; fabric, wadding, thread, lace edging, velcro. The tools I used were scissors, sewing machine and darning/quilting foot, sharpie, pins.
I measured three times the width of my tablet and the length adding about 1 1/2 inches allowance. Be very generous with allowances as this will get whittled down quite a bit throughout the process.
Cut two of these rectangles out of your fabric and one out of the wadding then arrange the fabric right sides together with the wadding on top and pin

Sew the two short sides and one long side together. I used a quilting foot on my machine, this sits above the fabric rather than pushing it down as a regular foot does which is really helpful when using several layers as they don't bunch up. Trim the sewn edges, cut the corners off to help with turning back out. trim the wadding on the open side about 1/2 inch. Turn right way out and iron (be sure it's on a low setting so as not to melt the wadding!) Press and sew the last side closed. You can top stitch all the sides for a neater finish if you want.
Make sure everything's fitting well, work out where the velcro will need to be, pin in place. You can also decide where any other embellishments will go on the final design. Sew these on first then sew the pocket up. Be careful when sewing the pocket - there are loads of layers here and your machine may not like it, you may need to hand crank the thickest bits.
These are the two embellishments I chose, as you'll see in the end result I decided to draw on the bird as well as I liked how it looked on the flower. Now, a word on applique - traditionally these are hand sewn so you can't see the stitches but I quite like seeing the zig-zag stitches, it adds a rawness which I think is a nice juxtaposition against the floral fabric I used. I'm into seeing the working (just like a maths teacher, but that's where the similarity ends!)

Lastly it's neatening up the loose threads. To do this I thread these loose ends through a needle and sew them in between the layers of fabric. Here's the end result. I think the bird side needs something else, but I'm not sure what. Maybe a sketch or something? But yey! now my tablet has somewhere to go!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Colour my world

Boyfriend and I spent the weekend trailing through furniture shops (which is actually a bit of a hobby of mine - we have one or two really cool outlet shops near where we live where they sell end of range, shop floor models and smaller retailers. It was a pretty fruitful weekend - we've picked up a chest of drawers for the bedroom - two chairs for the conservatory and a sofa for the front room. So, 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon the boy say's, "I want to paint that wall". We live five minutes from B&Q so I said we should just go for a look. Off we went, had a look round - he'd said he was thinking about a blue-grey kinda colour. We found what we thought would look good, bought it and set off back home - the time was now about 3.20pm. As soon as we were back we got about painting, we were done by about 5.30 - neither of us are particularly quick decision makers usually, but I think for once spontaneity did us a favour. I really like it. It needs another coat because it went on silk paint (I really hate silk paint, but everyone seems to have it so I guess I'm in the minority)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Garland/bunting project

So I said this would be the first project I'd post - and here it is.

Before I get into the actual project I'd like to set a bit of a background to how this came about. As the previous posts mention, I've just moved house and was severely broke this Christmas. On top of that, I hate the idea of  'stuff' cluttering up the world, both within the home and the planet. I don't like how you can go into any house anywhere and we all have the same things, mass produced, designed months previously without individuality in mind. I like to reuse and recycle.

Now let me be a hypocrite for a second, I do buy this 'stuff' from time to time, I just don't like to give it as gifts - it doesn't seem to be in the spirit of things to spend a few hours shopping for everyone in bulk when I could make something with love.

For this project I used fabric scraps, thread, cusion filling, metalic string and ribbon. The tools I used were pins, scissors,  hand needle and sewing machine. Without further ado - Here's how I did it;

I drew some simple shapes on card and cut out - adding about 1/4 inch stitch allowance around the edge.
I traced and cut out four sets (front and back) of each shape
I sewed around each shape, front sides together leaving a gap for turning out. During this process I also attached a loop of string to the shapes. Just have the loop sandwiched between the layers with the loose ends facing out and sew over. You can attach a pin for security.
Turn shapes the right way out and stuff with filling (I used the filling from an old cusion). Sew up gaps and you're ready to hang on ribbon.
I knotted the shapes in place. These could be used as Christmas garlands or baubles, but I think I like them enough to be up all year round as bunting. (Don't mock - I'm British, we love bunting). This project could even be a baby's moblie with a little tweeking.

This project cost me the price of the string (about £2), everything else I had already


Sunday, 1 January 2012

new year

Well, seems like all i've been doing lately has been working- just come off the shift from hell which topped off the working week from hell. I really pick my timings well; just moved house and not had a single day off since then! Whats christmas or new year? Not seen either yet!

But enough bitching about work- i do really enjoy it, just can be heavy going being part of a 24-7-365 kinda service. On to happy thoughts...

This year i resolve to really try this blogging thing- i stared because i wanted to re-discover my art/craft roots and document my journey, so far i have been a bit lacking. But in my defence i have had a lot on recently. I love to say i hate excuss but it seems i have plenty!

First off i'd like to put up some hand made christmas ornaments i made for my family- partly i made them because i was really short of funds but also because i have a bit of a philosophy on christmas gifts- but i'll talk about that more in the post.

There are a few other projects i'd like to put up but again, i'll put them up later. In the mean time, hope everyone's new year is filled with joy and hope!