Tag Archives: hand sewing

Embroidery Thread Purse

 

I was lucky enough to be given a big box full of fabric bits and pieces recently, one of which was this gorgeous piece of thick woollen fabric (it would have made a gorgeous coat!).  The piece in my box had one straight end which had obviously been cut, whilst the opposite end was the natural selvage and it had a beautiful ruffle effect to it.

The shape and size of the material lent itself beautifully to a small bag or purse, so I set about finding some suitable lining fabric and a couple of buttons.

 

 

I hand stitched the lining in place so that it wouldn’t show up on the front of the bag.

 

 

 

Once the lining was done, I used 2 strands of embroidery thread to sew up the sides using a large, decorative blanket stitch.

 

 

All that was left was to sew on two buttons for decorations, and then pop some press studs under the buttons to close the purse.

   

I think this purse could very well be the new home for my embroidery thread stash!

Quilted Laptop Cover

I was lucky enough to get a Chrome notebook for my birthday in April.  It’s the perfect size for taking with me to do my writing when we go out for coffee, or on longer trips further afield.  However, I was conscious that it didn’t have a case and worried about damaging it.  The only thing to do was to make a case myself!

A couple of years ago I’d bought a duvet set in a charity shop only to discover it was a single and not a double when I got it home!  As a result it’s sat in the cupboard upstairs since then, but I really loved the colour and the pattern so didn’t want to part with it.  The pillowcase turned out to be the perfect size for my notebook case!

The case is basically a sleeve with a velcro flap to secure it.  You can find the full tutorial here, but I’ll take you through the various stages involved so you can see what I did.

To begin with you need to measure the height and width of your notebook adding an extra 1.5 inches to both measurements to allow a little wiggle room.  You also need to know the depth of your notebook.

 

Cut out 2 identical fabric pieces, one for the front and one for the back, plus 2 pieces the same size again which will be for your lining. (4 pieces the same size – 2 for the outer cover and 2 for the lining).

 

You need to pad the cover which requires some kind of quilting batting.  The batting I had in my stash wasn’t adhesive so I had to stitch some freestyle quilting stitches to secure the exterior pieces to the batting.  I just used one of the quilting stitches that was available on my machine to do this.

 

Now you’ve got the front and the back pieces fixed to the batting you can trim off the extra batting and it’s time to focus on the flap.  You’ll need to attach the front of the flap to a piece of batting and work some quilting stitches on it just like you did with the main cover, and add one half of a strip of velcro onto the back portion of the flap about 1.5 inches down from the top.

  

Put both pieces of the flap together, right sides facing, and sew up one long side, along the top edge (where the velcro is) then down the other long side leaving the bottom open.

Trim the seam allowances, snip the corners and turn the flap back to the right side.

 

Now you can pin the flap to the back panel of the cover and attach the second half of the velcro to the front so that both pieces will line up.

 

Next place the front and back of the cover together with right sides facing and sew up both long sides leaving the top and bottom open.

 

Repeat this with the lining.  Slide the padded cover inside the lining so that the right sides are together.  Sew across the top joining the lining to the padded cover and through the flap too.

 

Turn the cover right side out and top stitch all the way around the top.

Turn the cover back inside out again and hem the bottom.  Turn back the right way and there you have it – one padded notebook cover ready for action!

 

 

 

And Here’s One I Started Earlier …

When I came across this piece of sewing the other day, I realised with shame that it was almost four years since I started it!
I was going to make a label for Coco’s food jar and I started it whilst on holiday down in Wiltshire.  I’d bought some scraps of fabric from a charity shop and hand embroidered ‘Coco’s food’ on a piece of cream linen type fabric before hand stitching that to the larger patterned piece using blanket stitch.

Since then, the sewing has lived at the bottom of a basket until the other day when I decided it was time to finish it!

As you can probably see from the photo above, I’d managed to sew the cream linen on lopsided so the first job was to cut the patterned fabric nice and square.  I then set about finding a suitable backing fabric that I could attach the patterned fabric to and that was long enough to go almost around Coco’s food jar.  I ended up with a rather nice purple material that had small flowers on it.

Once I’d cut this to size I folded over and ironed a small hem all the way around, before sewing all the hems down on the machine.  I’d made sure that the fabric almost joined at the back of the jar, but not quite.  This was so that I could add some elastic that would enable me to pop the label on and off the jar easily in case it needed washing.

 

After that I placed the multicoloured fabric in the centre of the purple fabric and sewed it in place.

 

All that remained now was to attach 3 pieces of elastic to the back.  Because the pieces of elastic were so small I just hand sewed them in place on the inside of the label.

And there you have it – one finished piece of sewing and a much prettier food jar for Coco!

 

Bee Happy!

At last year’s Yarndale festival in Skipton I was lucky enough to attend a workshop run by the amazingly talented Jaki Bogg, learning how to make what she referred to as ‘rip and stitch’ brooches.  I’d seen quite a few of these kinds of brooch on Pinterest and was keen to have a go myself – you’ve probably seen them – they tend to feature little sayings or quotes on them and feature a lovely decorative kilt pin.

Needless to say, I didn’t get my brooch finished during the workshop, but brought everything home to finish off at my leisure.  I’ve come across the bits on several occasions over the last few months and I every time I saw them I thought, ‘I really must finished that brooch off’ but somehow never quite got round to it!

 

This is what I brought home with me – the basis of the brooch, along with a small selection of old cotton fabric, a button and some bits of embroidery thread.

 

 

 

When I spread everything out on the table, I remembered that I wasn’t entirely happy with what I’d done so far which is possibly why it’s lain in my basket for so long!  Basically, the brooch consists of a firm-ish piece of wadding cut to whatever shape and size you fancy and then covered in fabric.  I’d attached my fabric using a series of running stitches but I hadn’t stretched it out carefully enough and the bottom section of my brooch wouldn’t lie flat.   To rectify this I simply unpicked the stitches along the bottom and made a better job of spreading out the fabric this time before I sewed another row of running stitches to hold it in place.

During the workshop I’d attached 2 small pieces of ripped cotton on the top section of the brooch using a small running stitch interspersed with cross stitch, and I’d sewn on a button.   Now it was just a case of deciding what to put on next!

I experimented with some ribbon from my stash but decided that the neat edges didn’t really go with the ripped, more rustic style of the brooch (when you rip rather than cut fabric, you get a lovely rough edge). Instead I decided on a piece of rather lovely tie dyed effect fabric which I ripped into a narrow rectangle.  I pinned this in place and popped one of my remaining bee charms on to see what that would look like.

While I was making up my mind about the bee, I decided to stitch my wording onto the brooch and it didn’t take me long to decide on ‘Bee happy’!  Using small stitches, I back-stitched the letters through all the layers of the brooch so that the bottom half of the tie dyed fabric was secured in place too.  I then tried placing the bee charm at the top and a button at the bottom to see what that would look like, and was suitably pleased with the result.

Once I’d sewn both the charm and the button in place, the tie dye fabric was nice and secure without the need for any additional stitches which was great.

At this point, the front was all finished, so it was now a case of fixing the kilt pin in place before tidying up the back.

I wrapped a piece of plain cotton over the hook side of the pin, then sewed a row of small back stitches all the way along as close to the pin as possible.  Once I’d secured the fabric to the pin, I could place it on the back of the brooch, right at the top and pin it in place.

The final step was to back the brooch to hide all the loose ends of thread and to secure the pin in position.  I placed the largest piece of cotton under the brooch and cut all the way around leaving a good sized hem allowance of about 2cms.  I then folded the hem over, and held it in place as I worked my way around attaching the backing to the brooch with a series of tiny stitches.

And there you have it – one ‘Bee happy’ brooch to brighten up a coat or a bag maybe, or even to hang on the wall as a little mini pendant – the choice is yours!