Blocks and More Blocks

I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t enthused about sewing this summer.  I just couldn’t find a project I wanted to really work on, I kept pulling out fabric and patterns and then putting them away again and pulling out something else.  Then last week it hit me, I really don’t need any more clothes.  I only have a small wardrobe and it’s stuffed full (even with cascading hangers).  I literally have over 20 shirts, I  have 2 large drawers full of t-shirts and a drawer plus two under bed storage boxes full of knitwear and sweatshirts.  Also, although I’ve taken a break from the diet for a few weeks this summer, I intend to get back to it next week and I don’t want to spend time making clothes that I don’t really need and hopefully won’t be wearing for long.

So, I’ve given myself a break on the clothing production,  unless it’s something like the tunics that really caught my attention (I have the Alma pattern sitting there, just can’t decide which view or which fabric, when I find a mix that I’m excited about I’ll give it a go) and have been working on other kinds of sewing.

Something I’ve had sitting about for a while is fabric for a laptop case. The local library (we’re lucky to still have one!) is on the way home from the school run and as I get so easily distracted by stuff in the house and the internet I’ve decided to spend each morning there doing my research, so I will need to transport my laptop.  Another added bonus to the library is that they have heating, I spent all of last winter freezing my ass off in my house because I can’t afford to have the heat on during the day.  I would literally have a hat and fingerless mittens on along with several cardigans and jumpers and a blanket wrapped around my legs.  Going to the library where I don’t have to shiver seems a lot more appealing than another winter of misery!  My computer is really important to me, its a lifeline as well as being used for my University work and I would hate for something to happen to it so I wanted something that I would feel ok about transporting it in but that reflected me more than the very dull ones you can buy in the shops.

This is Simplicity 3889 using some cotton that I fell in love with ages ago and bought with no idea what I was going to do with it.  I originally bought half a yard but then got another half yard, which has left me with some after making this so I can use it again!  There are several layers to this case, it has the outer fabric, a layer of muslin, a layer of 1/4″ upholstery foam (the pattern said craft foam but I couldn’t find what I thought would do) and then lining fabric.  I bought the foam from Ebay quite reasonably and used some killington flannel from my stash to make the inside as soft as possible and also adding a tiny bit more protection as it’s quite a thick fabric.

The seams inside are bound with darkish green bias binding as that was the closest I had my basket of bindings.  I added an inch and a quarter in width as even though there are 2 sizes on this pattern my computer was between the two.  I folded the pattern pieces in half and pinned them away from the fold of the fabric, it would have been just as easy to use the larger size and place it over the fold though.  The size is perfect, the computer fits snugly into it but you don’t have to wrestle with it to get it in and out.

When I was digging for velcro I found these round velcro dots from back when I used to make and sell cloth nappies.  I thought it was more interesting than straight velcro so I sewed them on using the appliqué stitch on my machine.  I really love this case and I’m excited to use it which will hopefully mean that I have some tiny speck of motivation when it comes time to get back to work!

I finally finished up this sweatshirt for Jim too using Simplicity 8121 from 1977.  It was all done and then I got him to try it on and discovered that kids from the 70s apparently had monkey arms (although I don’t…) as the sleeves were far too long.  I literally too two inches off the already hemmed sleeves and did a 3/4″ hem to get them the right length for him!

I dyed the fabric for him, he chose the colour for it.  This sweatshirt is ok, it’s not a lovely as I’d hoped it would be though so I don’t think I’ll be using the pattern again soon.  He likes it though which is what matters and I’m sure he’ll wear it to death, the boy loves dinosaurs!

Yesterday I made a ton of quilt blocks, I can see the end of these squares now, just another 10 to go now!

I realised that there are 3 ways to make these blocks, the star all one colour, the outer and centre block the same with the star a different fabric and using a different fabric for each bit.  I got out my squares and counted them to discover that I already had 16 of the second type and that I just needed to make more of the other two to ensure that there are an even number of each.  These are all the first type and I need another two for the 16 then the final eight will be the third type.  The backing for this is on its way from America and I have bought the binding and the wadding so I want to get those squares done soon so I can have the top ready to go when the package hits the doorstep!

Speaking of fabric, I have been on somewhat of a binge…  I mentioned that I picked out a quilt for Jim and had started buying for it.  Well, every single time I go into the sewing room he asks me if I’ve done his quilt yet.  I had been picking up a bit of fabric here and there for it but decided the other day just to buy what I need for it (I’d picked all but 1 fabric so knew what I was after) and do it after this quilt is finished as he obviously wants it.  Of course it seems to be impossible to get the different prints you want from the same place, for some reason no one stocked the 3 main prints that I needed (2.5 of one and 2.25 of two others, the rest of the quilt is done from half yards) so I’ve ended up ordering here and there and other bits of fabric have filled up the flat rate envelopes or been added on to orders.  I have officially decided to stop keeping track of what I’ve bought this year, there’s no way that I will be able to sew enough to break even any more, even if I needed to make stuff for myself and the boys which I don’t.  I will still keep track of how much I sew as I like a record of that.  I’ve also decided that beyond 1 more order for some wadding that is out of stock at the moment I will endeavour not to buy any more fabric until the Knitting and Stitching Show at the end of November.  I’m really excited about what I have bought and the projects I have planned for it but it’s time to stop now for a bit!

Knitting has been really slow here too.  I just haven’t gotten back into it after having to take time off after the operation.  None of the projects I have on the needles were holding my attention so I decided to cast on something new.  Apparently I can’t count though and when I am able to count I can’t read.  I had problem after problem and never got any further than the ribbing as when I was finishing it (the cardigan was knit in one piece so it was a very long piece of ribbing) I discovered that I’d cast on the wrong number of stitches for the size I wanted to make.  I pulled it off the needles and have put it aside until we agree to get along and started something else instead which seems to be going quite well so far!  Hopefully I will finish something at some point, I want to get these projects out of the way so I can cast on for things I am excited about (guess I’ve forgotten that I was once excited about the things I’ve got on the needles…).  I feel a ‘get all the projects off the needles by the end of the year’ binge coming on, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s always nice to start the year fresh and I’ve really not got that much on the go (plus I really want to finish that bloody crochet blanket that’s taking up lots of space!).

And no, I’ve not finished the dress yet, but I’ve still got 3 days left in this month!


One thought on “Blocks and More Blocks

  1. I know what you mean about buying fabric – it always seems “wrong” to pay flat rate p&p on one yard of fabric, so I end up popping a few more bits and pieces into the basket and end up feeling over-stashed and guilty. August seems to have been a stashing month and I have written it all down but don’t want to add it up!

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