Thrifty cleaning cloths

this started as a way of reducing waste and saving money but then i realised these actually clean way better than any store bought sponge or cloth. Its like cleaning and buffing at the same time and they are almost free! 

Basically you cut an old towel up into squares removing the edge binding (too hard to sew through). Then Find some cotton in your stash or cut up some old sheets. Match them together right sides and sew around them leaving a gap to turn it back through.

  
Turn right side out and sew the gap closed. Done! About 5mins a cloth. I added a loop to one incase i want to hang it in the bathroom or something. 

  
You get about 18 per towel. These are great for glass, the fridge, the car. They are great for cleaning the inside of your car windscreen as my partner told me that windex isnt good when you have condensation. Turns out this is true and the best thing to clean them with is either news paper or a towel. Then when your done just throw them in the wash and use again and again. If you want to get fancy you can top stitch but i broke my needle twice trying to do it so now i just leave them as they are.

  

The quilt

Now that christmas is over i can share the bastard quilt. So named because it was way too big for me to manage. It turned out better than i thought but not as good as i wanted. My sister loved it though.

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You cant see it very well in this pic but the point of this quilt was the free motion image in the center. It turned out great but is kind of hard to see so next time i will make it darker and more bold.

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This was the image i was aiming for. As you can see its quite a bit different and i think it would have worked better as a single size quilt so i could focus more on the design and less on finding enough fabric to fit it.

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Quilt in a week

I actually could have finished this in a day but, well, i have a 4month old baby lol This is for my step brother who became a father on the weekend. I meant to make it a few weeks ago but never got around to it. I went for simple. Squares, polyester batting which i already had and some backing leftover from Rues quilt. Im sorry to say that when i was quilting it the fabric bunched on the back. Not sure if i will give it to them now…I also ran into a few hurdles. When i was sewing the rows together i realised that some rows were one square short. I couldnt work out why until i realised that when i was laying them out on the floor the dogs were jumping on them so i was piling them up to one side, but the later rows i was piling up next to the other piles and forgot that that meant i was one square down because the piles were piled on their last square…does that make sense? Then when i was quilting it the needle bent and snapped! I went slower after that and avoided the edges which were thicker from excess batting. Not my best work but still a cute play mat.

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Washi Dress

I have wanted to make this dress for a while but i have never made clothes for myself from a pattern. My experience extends to harem pants and a circle skirt both of which were just one seam and some elastic. The second thing that stopped me is that even though the dress goes up to size xxl my measurements were a few inches out in each area. I emailed Rae who made the pattern and her assistant got back to me and said there were some tutorials online that would show me how to increase the size of the pattern. I decided to take a chance and bought the pattern. Turns out it was pritty easy to make it bigger as i just increased it by the same increments as the other sizes, eg so an extra 1.5cm for most areas. Then i made a muslin which is basically a very rough version of the dress. It fit perfectly, which was actually a bad thing because the back has shirring so it should have been too big without it. So i adjusted the back again and took the risk of not making another muslin and just jumping in.

It was actually pritty straight forward. Once i stuck the pattern together i traced my size onto some brown paper ( came in a roll from the newsagent for $5, i think it was meant to be trendy wrapping paper). Then i cut my pieces and started sewing. My first hurdle came with the shirring. I knew the theory, i wound my elastic onto the bobbin and used some scrap fabric to test. It didnt bunch up. I went to youtube and found that i had to tighten the bobbin tension. On a top loading machine you do this by taking the top plate off.

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Mine had a small screw i had to undo first but then it just slides off. Then you need to remove the bobbin case. On the front you will see two screws. One will usually be marked green. Give this screw a half turn to the right to tighten. You can wind it further for tighter, or more bunched shirring.

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I put it all back together and it still wasn’t right. So i watched another video and found that she put her bobbin in before replacing the bobbin case. There is a little notch right where my finger is in the last image. If you put the elastic through that before replacing the case and top plate then thread the elastic through as you would a normal thread. Now it worked. I found i could do about four rows before i had to wind the bobbin again, the pattern called for 6 rows. Once i finally finished the dress i tried it on and was dismayed to find that the shirring was waaay to high! It should have been down below my bust but i had done it between my shoulder blades. I couldn’t live with it, it made me look like i had no torso. So i spent the evening unpicking it. To do this i also had to unpick the side seams down to the pockets.

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I was undecided about the sleeves at first but decided that in summer i tend to get very sunburnt so a little shoulder cover would be good. Im glad i did they are really cute.

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Next projects:

Quick change pants

Cloth Photo book

Productivity

I have been super productive since getting my new sewing machine. I will give each project its own post otherwise it will get confusing. First up, i finished Rueben’s quilt!

The original idea was a modern design, panels of fabric with a plain border. I miss cut the some of the border and had to patch with some green squares but i think it looks like i did it on purpose?

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Then i had to wait until i got my new machine before i could quilt it as you cant lower the feed dogs on my old machine and i wanted to try free motion quilting. It didnt go too badly. There are a few places where the thread bunched on the back and a few places where i moved the fabric faster than the needle so the stiches are loose but if i dont point it out no one will ever know. The other place i need to work on are my corners. I did mitred corners with the machine for the binding on the front then hand bound it on the back but couldnt work out how to get nice corners on the back. So they are a bit puckered. I dont think he will mind though 🙂

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Next projects:

Washi Dress

Quick Change pants

I did it!

I found a sewing machine that i love and that was on sale! It retails for $1,399 and i got it for $899 with free postage. Im pritty stoked with that price. Its a Brother NV-610.

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It comes with the quilting extension and walking and free motion quilting feet. Its got a one step bobbin so no more fiddling with a bobbin case and trying to pick up the thread, and an auto threader. It also has a thread cut feature which cuts the front and back threads once you are done. Those are really the features that i was after. The button hole function is pritty clever in that you put your button in the button foot and it makes the button hole the perfect size for you. This video is for the 600 but give an idea what i will have to play with. I have decided to wait to finish my quilt until I get my new machine.

Scarf bib

A friend told me that if i could make a scarf bib then i could sell them for $5 a pop and make heaps of money. I wasnt really interested but on a boring afternoon i decided to knock one up just for fun. I used one that i already had to make the pattern, basically half a triangle with a long top for the neck fastening, you fold the fabric in half and place the patten on the fold so you get a full bib from half a pattern. I made the top piece of fabric a bit bigger so that it has the rumpled scarf look. The whole process took about 20mins. The pinning of the top took the longest as you have to pin to make sure the edges line up as they are different sizes.

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I love the result! I did alter the pattern slightly after this one to make the neck a little wider and the point shorter as it kind of swamped him. I dont think i can be bothered selling them but they are a fun thing to knock together with fabric scraps. The back i used some flannel as its more absorbent than the cotton on the top. For the fastening i already had some stick on velcro spots which i just ran over with the sewing machine to make sure they stay on. I think it would work well with old shirts and sheets, maybe some old flannel PJ’s for the back?

PS: I really love this fabric, you may recognise it as the main fabric in the quilt im making him (which is being quilted as i type)

This one was the altered pattern. Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie 🙂

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Quilting

Im not sure if i shared the quilt i attempted to make for Rue. Its sort of less a quilt and more of a floor mat without the edges bound (havent got around to it.) But its great for all surfaces because the filling is quite thick.

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I am attempting a proper quilt this time though. A simple abstract design. I didnt measure it, just playing it by ear. I made a few boo boos where i have had to replace one panel and i made the three vertical stripes too short so will need to put squares in the corners but i really think it will turn out good. Have to wait until next pay to get some filling and a rotary cutter and board so that the next one will be more even. Im hoping to pick up a quilting book at the life line bookfair this weekend too. I got some books for Rue, about 10 for $28 including where’s wally, goose bumps, board books and a baby cook book. Sunday though they often say fill your bag for $2 to get rid of as many books as they can. Will have to see if i can time it well to get the deal.

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I have almost finished the top so will post a pic when im done.

Mobile

I have a deep hatred of most of the baby toys and thing available from the shop. No particular reason, maybe because they are all so commercialised? But I have been struggling with what to do about a mobile. Did I even need one? It is bad karma to have anything over your head while you sleep because your brain tells you it might fall and injure you. I do know that having something to keep bub visually stimulated might be a god send in terms of keeping him settled so I decided to keep looking. I found a heap of beautiful ones on Etsy but they were way out of my budget. So, as I often do, I turned to Pinterest. Finally I found one that I liked and that I could make quite cheaply. Tools are basically a stick from the front yard, some fishing line (grabbed it off my fishing rod), feathers, felt. That’s it! I also used scissors and a needle to thread the fishing line through the leaves. My pug loved it too 🙂ImageImageImage

 I now need to devise a way to hang it above the cot without damaging the ceiling as we are renting. Blu tac? Sticky tape?

Crafty

I thought you might all like a look at my beautiful craft room! ImageOk so I will admit it is more of a craft corner and its less beautiful as much as a pile of stuff that I don’t have anywhere else to put. But regardless its one of my favourite places in the house because it has so many possibilities. I can sit down at my trusty Brother that I got for my 18th birthday and sew up inventions that don’t always work but are always good fun. Like the car seat cover that I attempted and is currently in the wheelie bin outside. No pic of that disaster. It also houses my tub of wonder, seen at the back. I got this to store all my supplies but as you can see it was woefully small and I couldn’t even get half of my things in it.

Do you have a craft room? Is it better than mine 😛