26 April 2008

More progress but in another direction

Yesterday I did nothing much in the way of sewing. The only thing I did was to solve a problem/worry I had. The point of the 'roly poly tat bags' is that they should be easily kept in a handbag so to have a 'handle' on them would be a darn nuisance as it would keep getting caught up with stuff in the handbag. BUT you can't have a bag without a handle - trust me!! My first thoughts on this were that I should get some of the wrist length lanyards that are sold for mobile phones and other uses.
Well that's where the first stumbling block lay!! A wandered into town in the morning and the only 'supplier' was in the Antiques Arcade. He was closed. Duh, who can afford to be closed on a Friday in a tourist town like ours?!?!? Anyway, I realised after several searches online that these weren't really going to look very nice so I put the brain back to work.
While out on my afternoon walk it suddenly occurred to me that a smallish split ring would do the trick. Then, if I made a loop out of the fabric with the split ring in it the handle would become removeable and would look very smart.
So after a gossip with 'Sam, Sam the ferry man' - I went back through the town and into Robert Dyas.
This store is the apology for the really good hardware shop that we used to have in town. The ex and demised hardware shop was run by a pair of brothers who we all nicknamed 'the glums' because it was always a challenge to make them smile and became most of the reason for shopping there. Anyway, I digress as usual. I found some split rings in Robert Dyas which appeared to be just the right size and have made a handle up. This handle will now be removeable and I can put it inside the roly poly bag while it's in my handbag. Hey, howsat for inspiration!!!
I'm hoping to make a roly poly bag today - time permitting!!! If I do I'll show you tomorrow.

25 April 2008

Sometimes I have a good idea!!

On odd occasions the light goes on in my head. I'm not sure there's a brain there - well, probably one or two grey cells left.
It occurred to me yesterday that it was all very well having this spanking new machine but the manual was getting an awful lot of use!! Although it's pretty well self explanatory (the instructions are very good on the machine itself) there are a few things I have to keep referring to. The manual is A4 size and on ordinary paper - not the shiny 'last for ever' sort, so I've set myself the task of scanning it so that I can print any 'bits' off if I ever need to. How about that for inspiration, eh?
Below is another 'roly poly tat bag' which I've made as a present for somebody who's going through a rough patch. The picture was taken before I sat down last night and sewed the lining into the bag.
I'm pretty pleased with the design. I've put a hook on a ring at the 'closed zip' end. The reason for this and not a handle is so that it can be attached to one of those mobile phone lanyards and hung from a belt. Having it separate like that means that a handle doesn't get tangled in your handbag. Well, that's the theory!!! Also having it at the end where the zip closes means you can leave a ball of thread in the bag while you've got it hanging from your belt and it doesn't run away!! I think this is going to be useful when I'm at exhibitions or even doctor's waiting rooms as all you have to do is bundle things back into the bag when you're called!! Time will tell!!!
Any comments or other suggestions are very welcome before I go into mass production!!!

24 April 2008

Progress on sewing!!

OK for the person who stupidly asked to see the cover I made (fully lined, of course!) for the new sewing machine - here it is!!!
It's ghastly. It's worse in real life than it is here!!! I put a pocket on the other side to hold the instruction manual and on this side you can see where I made another pocket to keep other 'bits'. Next to the machine is a bag I made to put the cable and foot in!! My dearest late friend gave me the fabric and if she'd still been alive we'd have been sewing together these past few days.

I've also made my first 'prototype' bag. This is going to be my 'roly poly tat bag'!!! Just the right size to go into a handbag. This too is lined. Actually you can still see the pins where I needed to sew the lining in later yesterday evening. By hand! It measures just a tad over 6" (that's a 6" zip that I've used) and I've added a loop with a 'hooky thing' so you can hook it onto your waistband or anywhere else you like while you're using it.
I might make a few more (even though they're pretty fiddly) to sell in my etsy shop or on ebay. We'll see!!!
I EVEN found time to alter a pair of trousers for Nick - he LOVES my new machine!!!

23 April 2008

Playing again!!!!

I spent nearly all day playing with my new sewing machine. I can't believe how nicely it works after my old one!!
The first thing I made was a cover for it. It came with a plastic cover which was a little disappointing but that's the only criticism I have. So, I decided to make a fabric cover to put over the plastic one purely because we have a dust problem here. The dust comes from a total inattention to housework! I admit it. When I moved in with Nick it was agreed that I'd vacuum while he dusted. Seems like both of us do neither as we are too busy doing 'important' stuff so the dust piles up!!!
While looking for excuses not to do any housework I came across some beauties on this page.
Not that I need any really!!!

22 April 2008

Yesterday I treated me!!!

I've been trying to do a bit of sewing lately and my machine has been playing up!! It didn't like winding bobbins and sometimes wouldn't do other functions. I bought it second hand about 38 years ago and have always really liked it. It does basic stuff with a few embroidery designs too. It must've been one of the first computerised ones on the market.
For the past few weeks I've been thinking about getting a new machine and today I did!!! Here it is. In many ways it's similar to the old one BUT it does automatic buttonholes which are easy to do too. The old one never ever did them very well and was a real fiddle. This new one is much quieter too. I LOVE my new machine!!!!

20 April 2008

New Tat it and See

Well it's official. There will be another TIAS. Not just yet but it's on the way.
This time I'm going to do it slightly differently. I could see lots of advantages to the way Diane did hers. I shall post this next one on the web site like she did. Two reasons for this.
1. It means that anybody who drifts into it half way through won't see the later posts unless they deliberately go looking for them!!! They can go straight to 'day 1'.
2. It will give me the opportunity to use this one as a teaching aid too.
One thing which most impressed me with the first TIAS was that lots of 'nervous' tatters actually tackled it because they weren't put off by what they forsaw as 'problems' for them. This meant that they actually learnt a technique or two which they hadn't come across before. (I learnt not to assume that people would always understand some things too!!).
So, this time I shall be using more diagrams and 'teaching' one or two things which some people may not have come across before. Another reason for putting it all on web pages. I will also cover the way I do things like starting without knots, adding beads (yup, there will be beads!) and another (not new) technique too.
So, that's the good news - tatland will have another TIAS. When? Maybe another month. Just depends on what happens in Janeland in the between times!!!!! Also depends on how cross I get with the design too!!!!

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
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