Friday, 15 May 2015

Sewing Utility Belt

I threw this together in a hurry, so their are no clean edges, and no progress shots.

I'll be helping Róisín at the dress rehearsal for The Merry Widow tomorrow. After helping out with the fitting on Tuesday I now have a reasonable idea of what I'll want to hand, and just how close I'll want it. Since I couldn't get my hands on the costumes that were plaguing my thoughts I decided to do something that felt like preparation.

The fabric was originally bought for curtains, but then I decided it was too orange, so it's been sitting around in my stash. It's thick enough to feel sturdy though, which makes it perfect for this project. I cut about a quarter metre the full width of the fabric, and then cut that in 3.  I turned down the tops of the front two layers and then sewed them together to make pockets (two snug, and two roomy).

I found an old strap from a backpack in my stash which was perfect for a belt -- nice and broad, and the clip only required slight modification to clip easily around me. I made a channel for it with a cut off from one of the pocket layers. It was the perfect length without modification, and already had the mechanism for lengthening/shortening. Score! 

It even perfectly fits the belt loop of my leatherman case! I felt the lack of a pen-knife on Tuesday evening, so it'll be nice having that on my hip.

A little spare fabric in a loop holds my scissors upright and out of the way, but still safely in a pocket. 

This was a lot of fun to make. It's nice to have a quick project work out so well. It was also kind of fun to just rush through it without caring too much about neatness.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Quick hit: quarter metre cuddle cushions

Have you ever seen a gorgeous fabric that you couldn't think of a project for? This has happened me many times, and usually I resist the urge to buy it, but this was too cute to leave behind.

I bought a half metre, sure I could come up with *something*.

As Róisín and I sat in the lovely café attached to So Sew in Naas I realised that I could just make a pair of little cuddly cushions.

I considered a few different options, including making half-metre square cushions backed with some other fabric, but in the end I decided that wide and short (as in not tall) cushions would suit the fabric best.

I cut the piece in two, making two quarter-metre strips the full width of the fabric, and sewed the selvages together.

This was ironed flat right-side out with the seam off centre on the back. I used french seams on the top and bottom, with a gap for stuffing. I had planned to have the french seams inside-out to give that classic cushion edge look, but with the first one I was kind of on auto-pilot, and did the first line of stitching wrong sides together (as you would with a hidden french seam). I decided to keep going and do one in each style for comparison.

Gap in stitching for stuffing

Gap ironed under before stuffing, to make later stitching easier

Stuff em!

This is how the stitched closed gap looked on the hidden-french-seam cushion. I guess that's why it's popular to do it backwards.

Comparison shot. I think both versions have their advantages -- I like the roundy look of the seams-inside version, but I also like the way the stuffing-gap is hidden on the seams-outside version.

The kids were both delighted with them, and I don't think they've noticed the difference :)