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Odds and ends

I need to go and actually shoot these two shirts I sewed recently, but in the meanwhile, I thought I'd do a post on stuff I sewed that is not items of clothing - I have three things to show for now. The sewing projects below were pretty cool because they took very little time to sew - I was done fairly quickly, so quick wins :)

First up, the baby blanket I mentioned in my last post:

 This is a Rainbow Ripple Blanket, free pattern on Ravelry, and my finished project is here (no notes though). I used a cotton yarn that I bought locally in Manor called Maddison Bio, in shades of blue. I also used some of this Starry Night yarn from a seller on Etsy.

This was a very long project in the making - I traveled a lot when I was pregnant last year (mostly for work) and it was my "airplane project". Then the baby came and it was nowhere near done, so I started working on it at home while I was on maternity leave. I'm not sure if it's actually as big as the Ravelry pattern suggests, but it was big enough and I was done with this project.

I then made a laptop sleeve for Mr Ts new laptop. I made the old one in 2011 and I had no idea about sewing with leather then. I had little idea about sewing in general, so that sleeve was pretty terrible. Now I know more, although sadly I'm missing a lot of leatherworking tools that would have made this a bit easier. Unlike last time, I didn't try to sew and turn the thing - I left exposed edges in the leather, I think this will be the biggest difference:

A very simple design, the only bits of embellishment I put on was some decorative stitching and the cut-out corners. I used a leather needle size 100/16 (this material is fairly thick) and topstitching thread. I used normal polyester thread for the decorative stitching though.

In order to help the laptop slide in and out, I lined this in some remnants. I didn't have enough of the cream wool that's visible above, so I also used some wool double knit. I basically chose the thickest fabrics I could find in the remnants box!

I used fabric glue to attach the lining, and double-sticky tape (this one) to hold seams together when I sewed them. I also used these clover clippy things to hold the edges I turned up (the lining was eventually caught in the edges, but here I just kept the edges folded with the clippy things for a while so the fold gets imprinted in the material and it's easier to handle later:

I wish I had had a skiving tool for trimming down the seam allowances, but it worked out well anyway in the end (I went really really slowly!). It's also the first time I used the clippy things without becoming annoyed - I got them because everyone raves about them but honestly I find them useful exclusively for long, straight seams - so I guess they're better for quilting and crafts, not dressmaking.

Speaking about long, straight seams, I'm going to just go to the next project, a new towel for the baby:

Before I had the baby, I thought it was ridiculous that one would buy special towels for the baby (surely normal shower towels would be big enough?), but actually the squareness makes sense, and the little triangles to put over the head also make sense. You can use a normal shower towel too - and I did, for a few months, until I made this to have 2 again - but big, square towels with the head triangle are just easier.

Anyway, enough baby talk  - I had this toweling yardage in my stash, having asked my dad to buy it for me a while ago, so I thought making one of these would be straightforward enough. I made the thing a bit bigger than the other towel he has, so he can use it for a bit longer, and used seam binding to cover the edges - the store bought towel also features this.

Instead of one triangle head thing, I put two (on opposite corners and sides) since that might come in useful (maybe, not very sure about that yet). I did some machine embroidery - first time ever! - for a bit of fun. The designs came from this book - I also have the main stitching book and could never be bothered to transfer the designs manually so I thought a transfer pack would work. It has loads of designs, although most are kid-oriented so not sure how useful. But I did find one I liked for the dress I'm currently working on, so there are some gems in there!

So here we are, the three projects!


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