What do you mean, it’s not a bag?! But yes, it is reversible again…

I finally branched out again, away from reversible bags, and towards a reversible notebook cover!  I followed a pattern online from Lara Cameron – here’s the link – highly recommend it, really easy to follow for any size of notebook, and includes idiot-proof pictures diagrams 🙂

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DSC_0427Liquorice allsorts on one side, white polka dots on a yellow background on the other.  Almost had a bit of a disaster, as I managed to cut the allsorts fabric about 1cm narrower than I should have done…so I just had to sew very close to the edge.  I’m obviously now just waiting for the book to pop out of one of the seams at some point!

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And another reversible bag…

This bag was for my lovely friend Tracey – the one who saw my own reversible bag (when I waved it around in front of her and said “look at my reversible bag that I made, isn’t it amazing?!”) and asked if I would make her one.

When I gave it to her, she immediately put things in it and showed me how useful it was already proving to be – what a fabulous friend!

Apparently her daughter has already tried to commandeer it, another sign of success 🙂
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I’m back, with an obsession for reversible projects apparently…

I’ve made a few projects since my last post, so I’ll get myself up to date over the coming days!  I’ve also noticed that I keep making reversible things – I think this is driven by the enjoyment of getting 2 new things in 1 go 🙂

This bag was a present for my sister-in-law (the very talented one who made my knitted birthday cake!) – same pattern as my own reversible bag.  I do still need practice, I have to say – sewing in straight lines still seems to be a challenge.  However, this does make my projects entirely “unique” – no one else can have a bag with quite the same wavy lines of sewing!

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The fabrics were chosen from my stash by my husband – and I love the way it turned out (and fortunately, so did my SIL!)

Does my bum look big in this?!

I took on my most challenging sewing project to date this weekend…and discovered that there are a number of essential skills I probably need to develop alongside my actual sewing skills, namely measuring and cutting accurately!  It looked ok from the front, but the back…not so much 🙂

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I found a simple skirt template that I could use from Sew 2 Pro, so I made myself some templates, and sensibly decided to try this all out with some material from old bed covers, rather than diving straight in (this is a major achievement for me – I’m extremely impatient, and usually just get on with the real thing, and occasionally regret it later).  It looked pretty good from the front (I just did one of the seams inside out, whoops :))

And things had started well – I bought some lovely fabric to make my skirt from:

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But it seems might have got the “hip” measurement wrong (because my “hips” are not the widest part of me…my bum is!)

Hahaha, this is still making me chuckle – #EPIC FAIL!  Saying that, the waist was about right, as was the length – and these were my first darts too, so I’ve learned a lot….I just have a lot more to learn too!! Still, I’m feeling pretty good about life – the only way is up from here, surely 🙂

An amazing present…a blog award!

I was checking into my email this morning whilst at work, as you do, and was absolutely bowled over to have been nominated for the Super Sweet Blogging Award by knitxpressions.  It really cheered me up and totally made my day – so a MASSIVE THANK YOU for taking the time to nominate me and for thinking of my blog.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

It is so lovely to know that there are people out there in the real world who enjoy my blog – it still feels a bit scary putting things out there sometimes, so I’m so grateful when you let me know you’re there by liking my posts, following my blog, and especially nominating me for awards, which takes time and thought.  And I hope that I’m having just a tiny positive impact on a few people – I know that I get lots of pleasure from the blogs I read, so I do hope I’m giving some of that back to the world!

So, I now need to follow some rules…never my strong point… however, I think I can manage:

THE RULES:

Copy & Paste This Whole Post and Replace All Your Information — who awarded you, for example.

1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you. 
2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions. ✔ See below
3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post. ✔
4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers ✔ Also see below
5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog 

THE 5 SUPER SWEET QUESTIONS:

1 – Cookies or Cake? Hmm, usually cookies, but overall, the chocolate cake my husband’s family made for our wedding cake would win every time

2 – Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla ice cream with chocolate pieces please

3 – Favorite Sweet Treat? Ooh, tricky…I do enjoy a squidgy chocolate brownie

4 – When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? In the evening, when I’m chilling out 🙂

5 – Sweet Nick Name? Kitty

And here’s my Baker’s Dozen – I’m sure some will have been nominated before, though I did my best not to nominate blogs where I’d seen a really recent award, as I want to share the love as much as possible!  But regardless, I think you’re all fab and I really enjoy reading your blogs – thank you!

1. My Makey Makey

2. Allspice Abounds

3. She Sews Stuff

4. girl with a skillet

5. feelgoodknitting

6. BumbleSews

7. Mrs. T at Home

8. Knitsamadworld

9. Knitted KnowHow

10. Knitigating Circumstances

11. Knit ‘n’ Knibble

12. Not Just a Knit Wit

13. Courses & Wales

Congratulations & thank you to everyone for having such amazing blogs, and thank you again to knittingxpressions for nominating me for my first ever award!

🙂

The most complex (and soft) so far…

This weekend’s project has been (drumroll please)…

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…a patchwork cushion!  I argued with my sewing machine a couple of times, but I made up with it eventually, and also discovered the joys of a rotary cutter and pinking shears with this project.  And now that it’s finished, I keep looking at it with a large amount of pleasure and a modicum of surprise at how fab I think it turned out!

It was the most worrying project so far though – having cut up and sewn together all the little squares, bodged the pattern (from The Impatient Patchworker) a bit because the piece of material I had for the back of the cushion wasn’t as big as the pattern wanted, and generally invested a lot of time, energy and love into this cushion case, I was just a little concerned that the cushion wouldn’t fit inside!  Fortunately, it did, so we’re all good 🙂

P.S. Cutting small squares of fabric is an excellent Eurovision activity!  Makes you feel productive whilst leaving you free enough to enjoy the annual Euro-pop-fest (for anyone who isn’t from Europe, you’re really missing out – I’m sure you can find it on YouTube, but don’t blame me for the consequences…).  Greece and Malta would have had my vote, if only I was the Eurovision-voting kind…

This one’s reversible

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DSC_0419My 3rd sewing machine project, and my favourite so far – and I did this one over the course of 3 evenings after work, officially migrating this away from being a weekend-only hobby (where it had resided whilst it was brand new and required huge levels of concentration not generally present after a day in the office!)

As the basis, I used the same pattern from danamadeit that I used for my last bag – I clearly didn’t follow it precisely, as usual (!) but it’s really useful for covering the key steps you need to follow.

I was so pleased with this one that I took the bold step of showing it off to a number of friends at work – one of whom even asked me if I might make her one!  I wondered whether this could be dangerous – setting a precedent of “taking orders”, which could lead to either sewing a load of stuff I don’t want to, or having to say no to some people having said yes to others – however I’ve decided it’s a brilliant way to get more practice without filling up my house with an enormous number of tote bags (I think a girl can genuinely have too many tote bags…).  And for the time being, I’ll take payment in cups of coffee in the office, or perhaps a glass of something stronger down the road…

Sewing machine project #2

Yesterday, I brought out my sewing machine for its second full outing – together, we created an apron!  Surprisingly, I didn’t follow a tutorial or pattern for this – I had planned to, and expected that I would very much need to, as my sewing machine skills were completely non-existent up until about a month ago, and my general hand-sewing skills weren’t much ahead of that.  However, I couldn’t quickly (I’m very impatient!) find a pattern that I liked / that would work for my plans (using 2 fat quarters of fabric that I bought online a couple of weeks ago).  So I figured I’d give it a go myself – and am pleasantly surprised with the results!

On an entirely unrelated matter, I wrote this post on a Mac, having always been a Windows girl before, and I’m finding things a little confusing.  Even just typing the name of the post caused issues – I couldn’t find the # button, and had to search on Google to discover where it was hiding!  (In case you’re wondering, it’s alt and 3, and the symbol isn’t actually shown on the key, which it is on an English Windows computer  – so I wasn’t just being dim!).

Spring cleaning my blog?

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As some of you will see, I’ve changed the WordPress theme of my blog (again!) and have also changed the name – so let me explain myself.

On the theme – I was using Spectrum before, and while I liked the swirly pattern and colours at the top, the text always looked too big for the page and I didn’t really like the layout.  My new theme is Crafty, which is both appropriate and much nicer!

On the name – I was previously Blogger in Training.  The fact that I have changed this does not indicate that I am now a fully qualified blogger, by any stretch of the imagination.  I chose that name when I first started, when I had no idea what I would blog about, or even if I’d manage more than a couple of half-hearted posts.  I still have occasional periods when I just can’t get started on a post (even when I have ideas about topics, I sometimes just can’t find a way to write about them in an interesting way, and so days go by in silence without anyone meaning that to happen), but I’m getting better at it, and the whole thing doesn’t seem quite so alien.

I never really loved the name though, so fancied a change in title to go with the change of scenery.  My blog has undoubtedly evolved into a place for me to share my increasingly regular and broadening variety of craft projects, which I don’t tend to share much in my day-to-day life.  I’m not really sure why I don’t – I guess I like to keep my personal and professional lives a bit separate (I don’t think my career has ever made an appearance on here, and I don’t expect it ever will a great deal, despite me spending so many hours of my life at work!), and craft projects seem pretty personal to me, not something to be shared with just anyone.

As I write that, I discover that my logic is a little flawed – by sharing my craft on my blog, of course I am sharing it with anyone out there who chooses to come this way!  But somehow it’s different – it’s great to be able to put things I’ve made out there into the great wide world and to know that other people are taking time out of their day to look at them, and even make lovely and generous comments about them.  It’s amazing what a few “Likes” can do for the self-esteem, and because there’s no “Dislike” button, or a “Hmm, what a strange person you are” button, or a “What a massive waste of time / huge eyesore / pile of rubbish” button, you get all the upside without risk of the down 🙂

So here we are…it’s all about the craft, it’s a little bit secret (very few of the people in my life know that I have a blog!) and it’s becoming a nice part of my life.  I hope you enjoy it when you pop in!