Posts Tagged hexagonal sewing box

Funny What Can Bring On An Attack of Nostalgia

Back in the misty mists of time when I was a teenager, I used to commute to school as my parents decided to move out of London and I wanted to keep going to the same school so I took a train every day.  As a result, all my friends were up in London and I also had a Saturday job so every weekend I would again take the train to London to work in the Kings Road in a trendy perfume and cosmetics shop and then, after work, I’d  pitch up at my friends house (smelling amazing) and we would start getting ready for the night life.  Sunday morning we would lie in and then, more often than not, we’d take ourselves off to Petticoat Lane market to spend our Saturday job money on new clothes.  Sunday afternoon we would lounge about watching old black and white films on the T.V. being horrible about the actors before getting ready to go out on Sunday evening, arrive home at all hours and then be almost impossible to turf out of bed on Monday morning for school .   Her parents must have had the patience of saints.  God bless you June and Harold.  I always sat at the back in French class on Monday so the teacher wouldn’t see that I was asleep.  If only I’d known where I’d end up living.   All this was done with my belongings packed in a carrier bag – usually a Sainsbury’s one although I must have purloined that from somewhere else as my Mum was more of a Tesco shopper then  – and I can’t think now why I never had a proper overnight bag at any time during this period.    Still, at least nobody could say I didn’t re-purpose before it was even fashionable.

Which brings me,  in an extremely roundabout, rambling and not even really relevant way, to this mini suitcase I’ve just made.

Another pattern I bought from Jodie at ricac Sews when she had a sale recently.  It’s called the ‘Small World Suitcase’ and I’m still trying to forgive her for planting that Disneyland ride song in my head again.  A particular form of torture inflicted on many parents and children over the years

Anyway, this is a pattern with slightly more to it than those little dogs, whales and stars that I bought –  a doggy further down to jog your memory about that.

It was fun to make but does involve a lot of interfacing.  Each exterior piece has two layers of mediumweight interfacing plus a layer of fusible fleece.  While the interior pieces have two layers of interfacing.  The cutting out of all those is a bit of a chore but worth it for the strength and solid feel it gives the resulting case.

The constructed exterior and interior turned inside  out to show their interfacedness (made up word).

The lining is hand stitched in and,  after I’d treated myself to an unexpected acupuncture session, I resolved to use those little pegs (aka wonder clips) next time instead of pins.

It turned out much bigger than I was expecting and I think this would take a couple of sets of undies, some cosmetics, a toothbrush, a nightie and a (smaller) teddy very nicely.

Much better than a carrier bag be it Sainsbury’s or Tescos.

It would make a project bag with a bit of a difference or a very cute bag for a little girl (or a big girl) – which is why I have another on the cutting table as we speak.  I have a Liberty fabric one in mind too which will come as no surprise to regular readers.

I’ve also made another ‘rabbit’ sewing box for my bunny loving client who commissioned  another two for Christmas gifts.  I’ve finished the first one and have the second one in production.

The wildlife enthusiasts amongst you will notice that these are actually hares but I love this fabric so much and I thought she wouldn’t mind a bit of artistic license.  I have promised to revert to bona fide rabbits for the second box.

Here’s the inside

Talking of Christmas gifts – which I sort of was – don’t forget that Sheila over at Sewchet is obviously bonkers  very kind and has decided to organise us again in another exciting Stitching Santa event this year.  Whoopee!  I don’t know what I like best – sending a parcel full of sewing related goodies (or knitting/crochet related if you prefer) to the recipient Sheila pairs me with or receiving a parcel myself.  If you haven’t signed up yet and want to participate this year, there’s still time – just click on the image below and it will take you to where you can sign up.  I sign up for the sewing and the knitting one because I like both and can’t choose – so I don’t.

Advertisements

, , , , , , , , ,

30 Comments

‘One Day I Will Get Organised’ Maybe – Probably Not and ‘No More Rescue Dogs’ Maybe – Probably Not

Occasionally I am inspired by my blogging friends who set themselves challenges and goals for the day, the week or even the whole year ahead.

But not for long.

This ‘to do’ list scrawled on a bit of torn out paper is about as organised as I get.

However, I have managed to work through some of those (although it is Thursday and I wrote it on Monday).  I’ve phoned my Mum and my friend Maureen although she isn’t crossed out yet.

I’ve booked a restaurant for lunch tomorrow with some friends.

The ‘Box’ entry is because the customer who ordered a little etui box like this ……..

…..liked it so much she wanted a sewing box in the same fabric.

I didn’t have enough blue bunnies so she settle on pink which I hope she will like.

I wanted to practise some freehand machine embroidery so I made her this card using a piece of the fabric from the interior of the sewing box.

The ‘crochet’ entry is because I’m running out of time to complete my two identical sections of Jane Crow’s ‘Sunshine and Showers’ crochet along before the next section is released.

So I’ve managed one and now have to do an identical one.

The lurid greenish colour in the background is a yoga mat.  Obviously!

I’m worried about wavy edges because there are so many different stitches and colour changes and I’m thinking I’m no expert yet so my tension may well wander so I’m blocking it as I go along – hence the yoga mat.

I  don’t think it’s too bad but I need to have a clean slate before next month’s section is released as some Ravelry users who did this last year say they almost gave up at that point.  Even the designer confesses it to being difficult but rewarding.  Ooer.  Stand by for a row of individual flowers on top of what I’ve already done.  Maybe.

I’ve crossed out ‘Collars’ but really I should leave them on there because, since tagging my Scottie Dog collars as Westies I have been inundated with orders from a French Westie fan club on Facebook.  I know they are a little square jawed for Westies but then most Scotties are black so I consider it to be a generic design.

Talking of dogs, mine are driving me to distraction at the moment.  As happened last year, they graze like cattle on the fallen plums and figs in the garden and, also like cattle, deposit the results in great pancakes.  Then they scent our evenings with their gaseous offerings.  I’ve tried clearing up the fruit as it falls but we have so many trees that it’s a virtually impossible task and the slightest breeze (or dog nudging at the lower branches) releases another load.

It’s just as well really because, knowing my love of German Shepherd type dogs my friend sent me this photo of a pup that has recently arrived at the dog rescue.

Then, when I foolishly investigated further, I saw this handsome fella

I’ve also heard, separately, of two young Pyreneen Mountain dogs who need a new home.  Mr. T says it must be a sign but he’s not here all the time so I’m just going to go out in the garden and shovel up some more fallen fruit – both undigested and digested – to remind me that three dogs is already plenty.

I haven’t forgotten the  ‘hatboxes’ entry and must do something with the hatbox quilt blocks before the end of the month as that is supposed to be a monthly ‘challenge’.  See, I do try.

The ‘Conservatory’ entry is sort of housework related so we won’t worry about that –  ‘after all, tomorrow is another day’

 

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

35 Comments

Some More Practice, A Bit of Tidying and Some Sadness

 

F2F Quilt Label

As you will know, if you come here often, I have just finished putting together my quilt from the F2F Block Swap and I have inexpertly written out a label in permanent ink on fabric and attached it to one of the back corners to prove it.

So, that’s done then.

I was the first out of the hat to receive blocks for the next round so I decided that, before getting going on the next nine months of making three blocks for each participant, I’d better get my house in order.  Well, the part of my house that is my sewing room anyway – the rest of it lies sadly neglected as usual although I do have to do a bit of ‘damp dusting’ this afternoon as my Mum’s coming to stay.  Her eyesight isn’t what it used to be though so she won’t be able to see the rugs closely enough to know that one of my dogs is severely in moult at the moment.

Despite the fact that I’ve made any number of fabric storage boxes and bought shedloads of Ikea’s ‘fold this bit of floral card up into a box shape’ triple packs, I have come to the realisation that nothing really does the job like a bit of see-through plastic and a label.  So, I bought some, promptly filled them, then had to go and buy some more.

Plastic Storage Bins

These are most of them, but not all – there are two large ones labelled ‘Liberty Tana Lawns’ off camera :/  A fabric that I rarely use for anything but one that I can’t resist when I see it, still less when I feel it and at least I can get it out every now and again, Golem -like, and indulge in some stroking.  Still it all looks more ‘accessible’ now and is mostly divided into colours so when I’m reaching for the specific tones that people have asked for in their F2F blocks, I will know exactly where to find them.

In a slight digression – wouldn’t be my blog without at least one would it? I share my workroom with lots of vintage haberdashery items.  I’m not always sure why but, when I see them, I can’t resist adding them to my collection (are you noticing a trend?).  Anyway, you may or may not remember the fabric I bought that screamed ‘Hexagonal Sewing Box’ at me – well, I listened and it has come to pass.

Hexagonal Sewing Box - Haberdashery

See! I knew I’d need an old printers’ drawer some time.  I actually have another one mounted on the wall downstairs with which I amuse myself by trying to find teeny tiny things to display in those teeny tiny compartments.

Anyway, back to the patchwork blocks.  I have been practicing my paper piecing and behold my second attempt.

Paper Pieced Star for F2F 2016/2017

In case it turned out O.K. I made it in the colours I’ve chosen for my next quilt and I’m pretty happy with it.  There’s something about designs like this one – where it looks as if the square is threaded through the star – that make me absurdly happy in a childlike kind of way.  I can’t draw or paint but I love the fact I can achieve this effect in fabric.  I know, I’m easily pleased but there are no grilled, salted almonds or alcohol involved so I count patchwork porn as one of my lesser vices.

In a sudden change of mood I have had some sadness lately.  My lovely cat Beau, plucked from the refuge as a kitten with his sister Betty and bought home to live with us for the past nine years, has been missing for four weeks.

Beau - chat perdu

He is identified with a tattoo in his ear (which they do a lot in France) and is sterilised.  His photograph and details are on Pet Alert on Facebook, the Chat Perdu webiste and all the bins, bottle banks and poster sites in the village.  There is no sign of him.

He has always reminded me of the fish ‘Dory’ in Finding Nemo who had a short term memory of about 30 seconds.  He would start eating, get distracted by something and wander off, only to forget he’d been fed in the first place and come back to ask for food.  I’m hoping he’s just sort of forgotten where he lives and, any time now, he’ll remember and come back.

If you see him,  let me know 😦

 

, , , , , ,

40 Comments

Confessions of a Failed Fabric Faster

Forgive me fellow bloggers and readers for I have sinned.  I have fallen off the fabric wagon (again) and, this time, I’m off to stay.  I have passed the point of no return.  I pledged to buy no fabric at all, for any reason, for one whole year.  I made it to four and a half months during which time I gorged myself on yarn and gadgets instead.  My fabric stash has decreased somewhat but I now have so many  knitting projects lined up I may have to move back to the U.K. so that I can wear woollies all year round 😉  Plus I have gadgets for patchwork, sewing and knitting that I probably have no need for and can’t even remember what some of them are supposed to do – the exception being  a 12.5 inch square patchwork ruler which makes me wonder how I ever lived without it.

Four and a half months isn’t so bad though is it?  Maybe I was too ambitious and, if I’d said six months at the outset as some of you wisely suggested, I might have been able to stick to it.

Like any addict, I will attempt to tell you ‘it’s not my fault’, ‘I was led astray’, ‘I needed it’, ‘it was for a good cause’ and some of these are true but, after managing to avoid Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Silly Sunday or whatever other day they have made a day to spend money, I gave in to temptation and shall list my deviations from the path of frugality, self control and discipline so you can come to your own conclusions.

Temptation No. 1 

(previously confessed)

 

Vintage Red Riding Hood Fabric

Offending Article:

A length of vintage French fabric featuring Little Red Riding Hood images.

Excuses:                      

It was too good to miss.

It only cost 2 euros.

It is vintage.

It was bought at a charity event

This has already been confessed to in an earlier post (2 months into the fast) and I was granted forgiveness by my kind readers due to all the above excuses and some they made up for me themselves (bless you all)

Temptation No. 2

backing fabric F2F quilt

Offending Article:  

One metre each of marbled and batik fabric for making the backking of my F2F block swap quilt which I am putting together using the quilt as you go method.

Excuses:

I had already committed to the F2F swap before my fast began.

If I don’t start putting the blocks together now, I will lose interest and it will fester in my ‘to do’ pile.

My local fabric shop had a 50% sale on and I had to make the most of it.

I like to support local shops (when it suits me!!).

As I am ‘quilting as I go’ I couldn’t do anything before I had the backing.

Temptation No. 3

Gelato Ombre Bundle

Offending Article:  

A half yard bundle of Gelato Ombre fabrics at a good price from Massdrop.

Excuses:                    

 I’ll let the Massdrop blurb explain  –  “Gelato by Elite is an ultra-gradual ombre pattern with vibrant coloring and a dramatic appearance. The 75 x 75 cotton sheeting changes color from the selvedge edge to the center, then back to the opposite edge. For a gorgeous finish for your next quilt, the Gelato Ombre Half Yard Fabric Bundle is a sleek collection of unique prints.

                                          Sort of like this

Gelato Ombre

and, if you need any more excuse, I am very short on plain fabrics.

Temptation no. 4

Tialys

Offending Article: 

Cotton canvas fabric adorned with Eiffel Tower and other French motifs.

Excuses:                

A customer wanted me to re-make a sewing box that I had previously made and sold but I had no fabric left and had to order in some more.

 

Temptation no. 5

(or ‘while I was there on that same website’)

Fabrics

 Offending Article(s):  

Cotton canvas fabric adorned with Eiffel Tower and other French motifs – in a different colourway.  Little fleur de lis on green.  Gorgeous button fabric.  Beautiful sprigs of oriental blooms on fresh blue background and adorable little baby clothes hanging on washing line held by little birdies.

Excuses:                           

Absolutely none!

 

I could have lied to you and kept my failure to myself but, what’s the point?  I managed four and a half months and reduced my pile of fabric somewhat.  Maybe I’ll try again next year but aim for 6 months instead of a year – I think I could probably do that.

On the plus side, my version of ‘Dry January’ – ‘Firsty February’ – where I am abstaining from alcoholic beverages for the month, is still on course.  However, another confession – it was nearly derailed last night when I could barely countenance my roast pork dinner without a glass of something dry, white and containing around 12%.  Unfortunately  Fortunately. the house was devoid of such a thing as I had shocked the staff of my local supermarket (and probably put several of them out of a job)  by leaving without any bottles of wine in my trolley in preparation for the miserable month.  Again, unfortunately, fortunately, a deranged (if you listen to my daughter) phone call to my neighbours to pretend I wanted to borrow a bottle of wine to put in the cooking, was thwarted as they weren’t in!  So I had a glass of coconut water instead.  I will, again, confess all if I don’t manage to stay the course.

Nobody can say I don’t try.

White Wine

Salut!

, , , , , ,

32 Comments

Seeing Hexagons

After much cutting, gluing, sewing, photography, scribbling and testing, I have finally produced my Hexagonal Sewing Box Tutorial.

My two trusty testers, Kate and Lucie,  have given me their feedback and have made lovely sewing boxes for themselves.  I’ve made (most) of the changes they suggested and now it’s ready.

I’ve been making these for years – I love them – but I know lots of crafty people would rather have a go at making their own so I took photos of of all the steps as I was making this one

HexagonBoxToadstools (3)

and wrote down notes with sticky fingers as I was making this one

WritingHexTutorial

When you’ve been making something for a long time you forget the steps that need more careful explanation which is why testers are so helpful because they can remind you that things that might seem obvious to you after umpteen years of doing them aren’t necessarily obvious to the first timer.  So, after some tester cursing and unsticking – I’ve now made it clearer that those sides have a short and a long edge and won’t work if you try to put them up the other way – sorry ladies 😉

newsprinthexbox (6)

Also, don’t use wadding that is too thick otherwise you will have a bit of trouble making things fit instead of just ending up having softly padded, lightly luxurious feeling lids and inners – sorry again!  My lovely testers made those mistakes so nobody else has to 😉

hexagon sewing box

Anyway, if you like assembling things, getting a bit gluey and sticky, can do a passable teeny whipstitch and fancy having a go at making your own sewing box, my tutorial is now ready in my Etsy shop here.

Cover Page Hex Tutorial

and, in case you decide to give it a try, put this code in for $2 off the price BOXCLEVER.  It’s an instant download so you can get started straight away.

If you do make one, please send photos and I’ll make a little gallery.

, , , , , ,

29 Comments

Trying To Make Sense

Last time I made one of my hexagonal sewing boxes I took photographs at each stage so that, as requested, I could produce a tutorial.   I even asked for testers.  Then I sort of forgot about it for a bit but, when I started making another box I got out my notebook and began writing the instructions that will, quite soon hopefully, be married up with the photos to form a tutorial which will eventually be available in my Etsy shop.

WritingHexTutorial

Because I have been making these for such a long time, it’s difficult to think like a cartonnage ‘virgin’ so that’s why I needed people who don’t usually make them to give it a try before I release my instructions to a (hopefully) wider audience.

So, Kate and Lucie, if you are still up for it, get your glue sticks and cardboard ready and choose your fabrics as the day draws closer when I will ask you to ‘get sticky with it’ and try out my instructions.  I am sure you will be able to give me lots of constructive criticism and I just hope I can remember which file I put all the photographs in and how to put a PDF together.

What do you think of the latest combination of fabrics by the way?  I like the Parisian theme going on – you can’t have too many Eiffel Towers, French typography and handbags can you?

This morning, I woke up really early – 5.30 – and couldn’t get back to sleep so I cut the fabric out for another box with a slightly different feel to it using this Michael Miller fabric as I thought it would make a change from the more ‘traditional’ fabrics and be fun maybe for a young sewing enthusiast.

-Michael-Miller-retro-comic-fabric

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

 

, , , , , , , ,

7 Comments

Taking It Outside

Now the weather has cheered up immeasurably, I followed my blogging friend Kate’s advice and took my grey looking duck egg blue blanket outside for another attempt at a photo where, voila, it is now showing its true colour.  (have a look at my last post  if you want to see the difference)

Huge Cable Blanket

I’ve finished another hexagonal sewing box but not just any old sewing box because this one has been my model for the tutorial I’m thinking of producing.

HexagonBoxToadstools (3)

I thought these lovely bright colours would show up well in the gazillions of photos I’ve taken of each cutty, sticky, teeny stitchy step.

HexagonBoxToadstools (1)

  I love those toadstools and, even though the interior check made my eyes go funny when I was working with it, the good matching cannot be denied.

Hexagonal Box Toadstools

I couldn’t resist a ‘nature’ shot.

So, Kate and Lucie, start girding your loins, saving good bits of card and stocking up on glue because I might be taking you both up on your offers of being tutorial testers for me before too long.

I have stopped procrastinating – well, a bit anyway – and removed the two lengths of  fabric I bought to make trousers for Mlle Tialys the younger from the carrier bags they have languished in since I returned from the U.K. and, whatsmore, I have actually washed them.  I just need to decide now whether to use Sewaholic’s Thurlow pattern

sewaholic thurlow

or this vintage(ish) Burda pattern.

Vintage Burda Pattern

Which one do you think would be better for a ‘generous’ hip and thigh area?

I could have shown you a pup photo again today because I found two Husky dogs in my garden this morning but a friend recently mentioned my blog was getting a bit ‘doggy’.  I know I talk about sewing and knitting and crafting and dogs (nearly said dogging! :o) and other more general things on my blog but, I don’t want to become too much of  a ‘dog botherer’ so I’ll keep that story for another day and show you a picture of my old cockerel instead.  I think he’s about 8 years old.

Cockerel 8 years

He is still staggering around, despite the fact that, when I thought he was on his last legs a couple of months ago I Googled ways of humanely euthanizing him.  I was quite traumatized by the experience. I found various ways of dispatching him including the usual neck wringing, chopping off of head and snipping the throat stuff.  In some methods guns were involved  😮   An ingenious one seemed to be standing him in a sealed container on a tray with bicarbonate of soda beneath whilst trickling vinegar in and lastly, and possibly the most interesting for any curious passers-by,  putting him in another sort of container and taping it up to the exhaust pipe of the car.

Needless to say, he is still with us and I just hope that, when his time comes he will go peacefully in his sleep which is all anybody can really wish for.  Now, I bet you wish I’d shown you the Huskies instead 😉

, , , , , , , , , , ,

28 Comments

Back With Some Boxes

In case you were wondering, I haven’t suffocated under a pile of dogs and cats but have been over to the U.K. for a workshop, some long overdue visits, some successful and not so successful fabric shopping and some fish and chips by the sea.  My Mum came back with me for a week so I have been spending some ‘quality’ time with her and have not back into my usual routine – such as it is.

Just to check in, I thought I’d show you those finished sewing boxes I was making even though you will see that I ignored all your advice about which fabric to match with which and stuck with my original plan but at least I asked!

Cuppa Sewing BoxSo, I matched the little teacups with the buttons

CuppaHexagonalBox (3)

and the birds and sheet music

Birds&MusicHexagonalBox (3)

with the teeny scissors

Birds&;MusicHexagonalBox (5)

Did I do wrong??

This lovely toadstool fabric will be the exterior of the my next sewing box as you can see by the progress pic below.

Toadstool Box WIP

I am photographing all the stages as I complete them because I am thinking of turning it into a photo tutorial along the lines of the tute I have already produced for the small boxes I make.

Small box tutorial

If I ever get it done, I will be looking for a couple of testers to make sure my instructions make sense.  Just let me know in the comments if you like messing with cardboard, glue,  fabric and can manage teensy stitches and would like to be considered.

, , , , ,

13 Comments

Spots Before the Eyes

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , ,

8 Comments

Scissors!

Hexagonal Etui Sewing/Treasure Box - Scissors

I love this fabric from Moda and, as soon as I saw it, wanted to make it into one of my hexagonal sewing boxes.  I bought two different colours, the red scissors on cream and cream scissors on duck egg blue.  I made the cream and red one first because I had some fabric which coordinated really well with the, slightly pinky red of the scissors.  I am finding it very difficult to find fabric the same bluey green colour as the other one but I will get there in the end.  Hope you like it.

Inside the Box

 

Here’s a photo of the problem colour – any suggestions for a coordinating fabric that I might not have come across would be welcome? 

, , , ,

1 Comment