Mendathon

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Ahh, Mend it May, I had such a great vision of mending something everyday for a month. Before yesterday I had managed to mend one measley hanging loop on my coat.  Oh and a dog lead for a friend that I forget to take an after photo of. She was apparently singing my praises at work after coming home to find out that not only had I walked her dog as usual, I’d also taken her broken lead home, replaced the clip (with one from my bag of bits salvaged from deceased bags) and brought it back (she is a good friend). However, in the process of describing how amazed she was she described the lead as “leathery” (there’s definitely something sturdy inside that webbing) and raised doubts about her ability to handsew something so tough (although my mend includes hand sewing). So now all her workmates think I have specialist leather sewing equipment (actually I just used a denim needle) and have leaped to the conclusion that I make leather fetish wear. Sigh.

So as May is nearly over I decided to crack on and though I’m not averaging one mend a day now, no where near, I did pull my finger out and make a dent in my mending pile. Three pairs of home made jogging bottoms for the boy, all with holes in the right knee, now mended, ready to fight another day. (Note to self, for the next batch, consider amending the pattern to include reinforced knees).

The zipper on this hoodie had broken and a while ago (no idea how long now) I managed to buy the same type of zip I used to make it with so that I only had to replace one side. I’d unpicked the broken side, yesterday I tacked in and sewed up the replacement, reminding myself in the process what a pig to work with bold wiggly designs are on a fabric.  Luckily the hoodie was huge to start with so even after a while in mending purgatory it’s still a little baggy on him now.

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The same can’t be said for the three pairs of (shop bought) leggings that I tackled, one got mended, the other two with large holes in the knee’s got turned into shorts (the kind of thing my daughter wears under he school dress).  These all go on the pass on pile as they won’t fit The Girl anymore.

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Lastly, a five minute job resewing the cuffs on LSH hoodie, which some pillock (err, that’d be me then) sewed them on with a regular straight stitch which unsurprisingly popped. Now they are both resewn in a stretch stitch and the seam allowance has been zig zagged. That should last a bit better.

Do you find it easier to motivate yourself to mend things you made yourself in the first place?

Mend It

Today is the first day of Mend It May.  I have yet to mend anything at all (although I did take some crutches back to the hospital), however, The Boy has proudly mended the teddy he made a couple of years ago at school. He did it all by himself whilst I was out, using the sewing kit he got for Christmas.

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Hole, what hole?

Last Minute Shenanigans

A present for my daughter’s friend, finished just a smidge too late whilst they are out at the birthday party.  It’s hanging up waiting for them upon their return. (Hence no modelled shots. Also, it is currently absolutely tipping it down with rain and dark and grey, not ideal light conditions for a last minute photo shoot).

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It’s not the right time of year to make a cape. All the appropriate and even vaguely appropriate fabric that was in my local shop a few months ago is now in their warehouse to make way for the summer stuff. So I ended up with this cute denim fabric with an all over cross stitch design. Which is a little on the stiff side, but I think it’ll do.

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The pattern is the Oliver and S Forest Path Cape, which I have made two times before.  This time I skipped my collar hack, as I didn’t think it would work in this stiff fabric, and I didn’t make an inside pocket, as I ran out of time, but I did include a hanging loop.  Oh and I definitely didn’t do pom poms, too much with this fabric.

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Actually the whole thing ended up a bit rushed as my son has been ill and my mum is in hospital with a broken leg, serve me right for leaving things to the last minute. Still, it is a quick and easy make, especially third time around. My machine passed it’s first post service buttonhole test (hooray) and I sewed the buttons on with a cross stitch, it was meant to mimic the fabric, not sure it quite does, but the contrast thread still looks good.

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In an ideal world I would’ve got some turquoise lining fabric, but I made do with this polyester shirting instead, due to budget constraints.

Right, now to await judgement from the 9 year olds…

Patchy Dress

Even in a sewing drought I still manged to pull out a last minute simple version of the nivalis dress for The Girl’s birthday at the end of February. I think I bought the fabric for me, but it was the only suitable thing I had in and it looks great on her. the neckline got finished off with some white jersey bias binding in the end cos the neckband wasn’t playing fair, and I like how it mimics the white lines between the colour on the dress. Still feels a cop out to make a dress without pockets though.

Starting Slow

I have barely sewn in 3 months. Apart from The Girl’s birthday dress which I then failed to photograph. But, perhaps spurred on by the fabric I bought on holiday last week (if you’re ever in Glasgow, check out Mandors with the conveniently sited Project Cafe next door) I have managed some things this weekend.

First up a new pin cushion/sewing organiser, which I started in January and has been sat waiting me to sew up a 2″ gap for 3 months. 3 months. For 10 mins sewing. Yikes. Even by my standards that’s bad. Anyway, it’s a blatant copy of one I saw in a blog post now long lost in the mists of time (I tried to find it to link to, I really did), although I figured I didn’t need to buy the pattern to make a cube with pockets on and a flap for putting needles in. I used up batting remnants from the baby quilt to quilt the main panels as per the original but I’m not convinced it was necessary. I stuffed it with ground walnut shells because apparently that’s the done thing (it’s supposed to keep the pins sharp, not sure I believe that but it was an excuse to go investigate my local reptile shop) and I’m hoping it’s huge solidness will make sure that it doesn’t go a wandering like it’s predecessor leaving me bereft of somewhere to stick the pins I pull out whilst sewing and forcing me instead to resort to balancing them on the edge of the desk or sticking them in a piece of scrap fabric. Yup I am that messy a sew. Speaking of which…

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The pincushion needs somewhere to sit of course, so I was inspired to tidy the sewing table in my sewing room. You’ll notice that the rest of the room is not shown. There’s a good reason for that.  Note to self, still need a frame to buy the picture I bought last summer so I can hang it.

See that crumpled pile top right. That was abandoned in the cupboard of my sewing room just before Christmas. Turned out it didn’t take that much to finish sewing up the side seams and attach the arms, then I just needed to rootle around in the pit sewing room for the rest of the grey fabric so I could do the neckband and bottom band and voila, a new top for the boy.

The boy liked the top, but not the photo shoot, can you tell?  I like the origami style print, it’s so hard to find a good non girly print and this one is right up his street, although of course he was bemoaning the lack of instructions as to how to make the birds shown for real. I only got a metre of the fabric and he’s now officially too big for that to make a long sleeve top, hence the grey, which is irritatingly a thinner fabric, but I figured that’d be ok on the side panels of the Semper.  I appear to have hacked the neckline back in December to forgo a hood (hoods are a mixed blessing with the boy, he loves them, but will happily wear a tshirt hood, a jumper hood and a coat hood all up at the same time quite possibly with a ear warmer or a hat too, which makes conversing with him tricky). So I just cut a neckband at 90% of the neckline width. I may have lengthened the pattern too as it’s super long, but as my little sunflower is still growing skywards at an alarming rate I have no problems with that.

Now to motivate myself to do a little more tidying so I can get stuck into my lovely new fabric. Mmm. Fabric.

It’s Grim Up North

I went and relived my youth last weekend, strolling around Manchester, which has bizarely now got a pierced representation of Telly Tubby Land in the city centre!

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Also, the Northern Quarter has some stonking graffitti

Stunning Stuff

Luckily the friend I was staying with is very patient

(I felt like such a tourist taking a photo on Canal St, luckily it was only afternoon)

Me being me, I didn’t just photo the graffitti

Like I said, my friend is patient

very patient

Although she did comment that I tend to waffle on a bit on my blog

So the sparse word count in this post is dedicated to her

I’m not much of a vintage clothes kind of person, but this WW2 Utility Coat really fascinated me, with the striking collar, darts from the shoulder, and most excellent pockets. Shame it was behind glass and so hard to photograph.

So, now I am back in the SW, with working heating, a serviced sewing machine and some new fabric I got today….

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