HandmadebyClaireBear

confessions of a fabric obsessive

Tag Archives: Photos

Stuff that hasn’t been put away properly

Now that my children are back from university for the summer and I’m a full-time mom again, I find myself having to remind them to put their things away. I’m getting last year’s answers too; “but what’s the point, the house is full of (insert your own choice of word here)”. Biting my tongue so I didn’t get distracted from what I needed to do (just do it please) but these words stuck in my mind.
As you might know, I’ve spent months being firm with myself, clearing out what I don’t need any more and trying to organise myself better. I’m now at the stage where all that’s left is stuff that hasn’t been put away properly or doesn’t have a proper home yet.
So I thought I would post about the organisation and storage “solutions” I have used and the ones I have yet to complete.

I’ve used this idea (and put it in an old photo frame) from Pickled Herring for my dangly earrings, so that they don’t tangle up together and so I can see what I’ve got (my word, some of those green earrings are long)

and a mug tree (yes, but a shiny mug tree) for my necklaces, bracelets and cuffs.

The rest of my jewellery is put away in a proper jewellery box, and I’m happy with how that works.

I’ve finally found the type of trouser hanger that Lindsay from The Cottage Home used for her ribbon storage idea,  as you can see not much of my ribbon is on spools, but I’m saving up my cotton reels to wind the longer lengths of ribbon on to as they just fit on the hanger.

(if anyone  else in the UK wants to do this, pop to Poundstretcher quick before they sell out)

Yes, I have quite a lot of ribbon. I like pretty, colourful things: ribbon is pretty and colourful. I buy 2m lengths at the Bullring Market to cheer myself up. There are worse things I could spend my 59p on.

I’ve already shown you the pouches for my spectacles, mp3 players, my long wrap and my hand-sewing-needlebook:

A while ago I posted a photo that Mayya from sewchicandunique found on Cindy from quainthandmade, which spurred me into folding my fat quarters and putting them away sensibly;

Although I don’t have the same type of drawers with the scoop-outs that Cindy has, I’ve done this with a spare chest of drawers that came down from the loft, and I’m very happy!

there’s still some fabric that hasn’t quite made it into the drawers, but I’m working on it. There are two more drawers in this chest, and I think I’m going to need them!

I haven’t yet finished storing my thread in a way that pleases me. At the moment they’re in old biscuit tins and clear plastic tubs so at least I usually know where they are and I can sometimes find what I’m looking for. I’m planning to do this with them, as soon as I remember to buy a huge picture frame from a charity/thrift shop.

My chances of getting my thread organised like this if I have to make a frame first are slim-to-none. If I put the nails in at an angle, I think I can hang the frame up without the reels falling off instead of having to prop it up so the frame is lounging against the wall.

Writing this now, I can see why I haven’t done much sewing lately, and I’m starting to feel better about it. Looking at my photos, I appear to be having a fuzzy day too. Oh well.

I’ll leave you with more photos of my precious, my babies, my beautiful, colourful quilting fabrics.

Organised ClaireBear

If in doubt, rip it out!

I’ve been busy with a birthday gift for the last couple of days. Trying to sew satin in a hurry is never a good idea. Here are a few tips I have been reminded of the last few days while making a dozen dress-up capes for my nephews 6th birthday party. I think they’re going to be knights, but my SIL requested capes rather than amour, which is probably a good thing really.

1) Before you cut anything, measure to make sure you have enough, then iron so you aren’t cutting through creases (I only cut though one crease) which gives you odd lumps here and there.

2) When trying to use a new foot to roll a hem, find and read the instructions.

3) When you’ve given up on the new food and have decided to do the hems the old-fashioned way, fold and pin the hems and then iron them so they stay. This is very important for slippery fabrics like satin or lining!

4) If your sewing machine tries to eat your fabric more than once, unplug it, clean it out properly with the small paintbrush that you keep specially for cleaning it with and then change to a fresh sharp needle.

5) Don’t think that sewing fast means that the whole thing will be finished quicker. (see 1, 3 and 4 above). The tortoise might not always finish faster than the hare, but at least he keeps his fingers, thumbs and sanity intact!

6) If it looks bad enough to annoy you, rip it out straight away, re-iron and resew it. You’ll be happier later.

7) If you’re going to change the pattern/tutorial you are following from double-sided to single-sided because you don’t want to cut/use two pieces of fabric per cape, don’t round off the corners. You’ll need square corners so you can mitre them. Trying to hem rounded corners is a nightmare, leave it to the robots.

8) If you spend a fortnight trying to work out which fabric to use and getting sidetracked by all of the dressing up cape patterns and tutorials out there in blog land (who me?), you’ll only have 48 hours to get all 12 of them cut, sewn, finished, packed and posted off to get to the birthday boy in time for his party. Think faster and give yourself more time to sew!

They’re finished now and on their way to birthday-party-land. Here is a photo of the finished capery.

Ellen over at The Long Thread has the best superhero cape that works really well as a children’s dressing up cape (and therefore a knight’s cape). The instructions are easy and the finished results are pretty good, even after all my modifications and the sewing machine’s attempts to eat them! Plus, The Long Thread is one of my favourite blogs and I’m so glad to have finally tried one of her tutorials (albeit modified).

:O)

ClaireBear

WIPs on Wednesday

It’s been quite a long time since I got some serious sewing done, so I haven’t bothered posting about my WIPs over the last few months.  There’s been a lot of manic spring cleaning and decorating, not to mention finally dealing with all of the stuff from the loft that had to come down when I had new insulation put in. I now have a loft full of fluffy insulation and no storage space, so the boxes and boxes of things I’d kept from when the kids were little needed to be gone through and sold/donated/stored properly.

I also have a kitchen with paint on ALL FOUR WALLS AND THE CEILING!! and a fresh white (instead of pastel blue and yellow from over a decade ago) back room with my doodled daisies painted on the wall too. I’ve been doodling five-petalled daisies for months now, so I thought I’d put them on my wall.

Yay, this is my new creative space that also serves as a dealing-with-household-bills-and-writing-essays-for-college space.

Back to the WIPs, my pile of shame  is still shameful. I can see a time when I give up on some of these mending and alterations and just donate or recycle them.

The cloak for this costume is still cut out and waiting to be sewn (cloaks are a big project and this one in particular is huge, therefore a small amount of procrastination may be happening).

I did upcycle a skirt into this tote bag for me and it has made me very happy !! It fits all my stuff perfectly and I can carry it on my shoulder or in my hand.

My most recent project has been to make a slip cover for my footstool. I bought this footstool in ebay about a year ago, and love its height and size (high enough to rest my feet on, big enough to be extra seating if needed), but not the original upholstery fabric.
A bit brown for me, I saw this tutorial and though, yes, I’ll do that for my footstool. I found some fabric in my stash (just don’t ask how big my stash is: I’m a hoarder, OK?) that goes beautifully with the upholstered blanket box (also extra seating, plus hiding space for some of my stash), my navy sofa, and the natural wood and wicker baskets that are in that room too. .
Last weekend, with an hour to kill before Mr CB arrived, I decided to go for it.
I didn’t really follow the tutorial at all, I just pinned the fabric to the stool and marked where I needed to sew, I also made a lining exactly the same way and sewed them right sides together so that all of the manky bits would be hidden.
You can see that I stopped at the stage where it is usable, I just need to add some elastic around the bottom of it so that it’s not so baggy. I did iron it all before I sewed it, but the fabric is a linen mix, so the creases are expensive creases.
I’m pretty happy with it though. All part of my master plan to make my living room look presentable.

Happy Wednesday!

Claire Bear

WIP Wednesday (iknead2knit.wordpress.com)
WIP Wednesday (onlymuttix.wordpress.com)
light to a sunrise {wip} (piecinglight.wordpress.com)
A little “Lotta” Chevron Quilt- WIP (bloomingpoppies.wordpress.com)

 

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