Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Picture Day

Okay, so I am trying really hard to keep going on my research, but with my impending move to Newcastle (only one week left in Canada!) I am finding that my ability to focus on work has become almost non-existent. Especially today, which dawned super sunny - and freezing cold! -
and has actually made the snow outside look really pretty and inviting... not that I've been outside yet, but I'll get there. :)

so, as preparation for my hop across the pond, I decided to wind into balls all the skeins of yarn that I plan to take with me (yeah, I know i said I was going to do this the other night, but I ended up spending all that evening working on the baby cardigan - only one sleeve left to attach and then its ready for its bath)... but look at all my pretty yarn cakes!
Can you see my 2 sweaters in here? (more about those another day) Winding these skeins took far longer than I thought it would... good thing I had a knitting podcast or two to listen to along the way (so loving my new walkman phone!). Once this was done, I figured it was time to finish the last few seams on the sewing project I've been working on for Mike...

Ta da! a custom-fit laptop case for Mike's new computer (currently absent from home, so it missed the photo shoot):
I'm quite proud of this sucker, despite its flaws... its made from upholstery fabric and lined with black polar fleece - all of which we bought at the fabric flea market a few months ago for a mere $6, including the long zipper. yay for flea markets!

I can't explain how I put this together - I kind up made it up along the way. But its basically two side pieces and a long strip around the middle, with a zipper on one half of it. The fleece lining is made the same way, and attached to the outer fabric only by way of the zipper... which of course meant that the 'one' long strip of fabric around the middle is actually three (k, well 6 if you count the fleece side as well) - one for the bottom, and two skinny ones for either side of the zipper. then you have to join them all together, remembering that you have to hide the ends of the zipper under the bottom strip of fabric so that its not exposed, while at the same time attaching the front and back panels. yeah. that was not fun to put together...
but at least it looks pretty...
although we picked the fabrics based on colour alone, they actually were a really good choice - both the fleece and the upholstery fabric are resistant to fraying along their cut edges, so I didn't have to make all those extra hems to prevent the whole thing from coming apart (and, if you really want to, you can even Scotchguard the outside!) of course the downside of the fabrics was their bulk, especially at the joins shown above, where there were about 6 layers of fabric to go through... who knew that sewing machine needles could be so very bendy...
I went through three of these, but this was the only one that didn't break after it bent. Oops, sorry Tara.

This sewing foray, by the way, was inspired by my last attempt at being a seamstress, which was 2 summers ago*, shortly after I bought my laptop, and realized that I needed a case for it. So I made this:
Chinese (very likely faux) embroidered satin with quilting batting in the middle, and lined with red silk. That case was much easier to make... its just a big envelope, really. There used to be a second button on the front of it, the idea being that I would close the case by winding the cord around the two buttons, like on an inter-office envelope... but then the button fell off, and although I did manage to keep track of it for several months, it has now vanished off the top of my desk, so I can't put it back on... hmm... I think I may have an extra one down in my stash box...

While I don't think I'll be taking up sewing as a regular project, I do envision a time when I will live in one country long enough to actually justify the acquisition of a sewing machine and thereby stop borrowing Tara's for months on end. Until then, I suppose I can be content with my recycled cottage cheese container full of needles and spools of thread... but I really must get my hands on one of these:
enter the stitch-ripper, my new best friend in sewing! (okay, my re-discovered best friend... I had one of these back in Home Ec when I was 13 and my grade depended on sewing some really awful shorts and a pretty decent apron... which I still have and use all these many years later!)

now I guess I should go clean up all those little bits of thread and fabric that have taken over my dining room!

* I just remembered that I also attempted to sew Halloween costumes this year... but I'm not sure if sewing two straight seams down either side of a piece of a bed sheet actually counts as being a seamstress

1 comment:

Knitted Cupcakes (secret pal) said...

With one week to go you're perfectly justified in spending your time working out what yarn to take with you.

Nice work on the laptop bag - it looks great.