Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Sew Confident- Weeks five and six

A third post today which has been waiting to be posted. It got rather lost in waiting for me to snip the stray threads from my week six makes and to photograph them. I've managed to get a patch of sun today but all I think it has done is add shade rather than light!

Week Five
Oh, dear Lord, it all went a bit horribly wrong in week five and was all my fault! Flushed with the success of the make up bag the week before I was so looking forward to making the piped cushion. I hadn't managed to be out of the house since the last class due to my knee injury and had even missed my glass class on the Saturday so I was raring to go. I tried ordering the piping cord online but due to some slow deliveries I was probably best not to chance it. To minimise walking I went to a local Remnant Kings and got some on the way to the class as it was a small one and had parking right outside the door.

Once I got to class I realised I had forgotten the other essential - the zip! My heart sank and I was so annoyed with myself. Jenny was great and suggested completing the cushion cover the next week as the zip was one of the later stages which did make me feel a bit better. However, I then managed to very carefully measure out my fabric and cut it, before realising my square was....a rectangle, and even worse neither of the sides was anywhere near the size I'd intended. Jenny very kindly suggested that sometimes stripy fabrics can be deceiving but when she measured it even she was a bit lost for words. I've still no idea how I got it so wrong!!!! However Jenny retrieved the situation and reckoned it was still ok and I just needed to alter my piping length to fit and could subtract some stuffing from my cushion inner. I'm glad I was doing this in a class setting as if it had just been me at home I'd probably have given up as the piping was supposed to be the hard bit NOT cutting a square!

Things went slightly better from here on in. I did have to be shown how to use a seam unpicker for a little section before re-sewing but I managed to finish the cushion cover. In the end I decided I just wanted it over and done with and to get finished rather than do the zip next week so I chose to slip stitch it closed later. Getting the inner in was quite some deal as I hadn't really left a big gap so it was a bit like midwifery in reverse! The cushion is now really plump which is actually how I like them as I cannot stand limp useless cushions. Despite the trauma over its creation I really do like it and it matches the summer cushions perfectly, tho' I may have to trade the wee ginger boy in for a coordinated all cream cat!

Week Six
Week Six and the culmination of our talents to date. I was really excited about this as this was the freestyle week where we could make whatever we wanted with support on hand. I wanted to make my own knitting needle wrap in the blue vine fabric and researched online for ages to find a pattern or ideas. Part of the issue is that I have 18 needle sizes and most available do not have enough storage. I debated doing one with lots of pockets for all needles, Tunisian crochet hooks and standard crochet hooks and notions but realised I'd never be able to roll it up, so a single wrap would be best.
The plan was to have everything cut and pinned so that I could make the most of my sewing machine time but I realised it needed done in stages and I'd only end up getting muddled. When I got to class I decided to design it without additional pockets. The large one for my knitting needles took me 2hrs, most of which was doing the pockets, and the small supplementary crochet hook wrap only about 30mins as I knew what I was doing by then. I am so pleased with these and delighted to see my yarn craft tools housed in matching holders sewn by my own fair mittens! It also makes it easy to spot them as they are all in the same print.

Objectively, my stitching could have been neater but it is vastly improved from some weeks earlier. The long pockets are a bit too long for 10ins needles but they are still kept safe. I could have put the bias binding round the edges if I hadn't left it at home, though I quite like the plain edges.
All in all, I have loved this class and Jenny's calm reassurance. We did tease her a bit though as her catchphrases were "No, its ok" and "its alright, that can be fixed" however, it was ideal to have her on hand and I think all of us wanted to take her home. Clydebank College is a great venue as it is new, clean and well appointed. It even has good access if you have a gammy knee and helpful staff. Six weeks is not a lot of sewing time and we badgered Jenny to run some more courses as she was great to work with. When I look back I am amazed at what I've achieved but am very much still a novice and want to keep going.

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