Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Still making a mess, but just a little bit less =)

I've been a bit absent from the whole blogging world for a while.  There's something about moving house that seems to sap away all notions of wanting to start a new project.  We're all settled in now, having moved a month ago.  We were stuck for a week in an Internet black hole (what on earth did we do before the Internet???!!!!!), went on holiday for a couple of weeks to the south of France (I wasn't very well going to spend my time in an Internet cafe when there's sun-bathing to be done now am I?), then I used last week to sew some rather uncreative curtains and blinds (I love my sewing machine but I really do find curtain making terribly tedious).

So, I'm back to my usual sewing thing of using up random bits of old fabric.  As much as I love collecting fabric from the kids' old clothes for my craft projects (they so love seeing their old clothes being given a new life), every so often something made from a rather unattractive utility fabric breaks and I put the fabric aside for when it might come in handy.  When my husband's big black umbrella broke in the wind, I cut out the fabric.  I didn't imagine I'd actually need it, but hubby has this unique skill of dreaming up seemingly pointless items that he wants me to sew.  He wondered in after work one day and said 'My butt is soaked: can you make me a waterproof bicycle seat cover so I can keep my seat dry when I leave it outside in the rain'.  Of course I scoffed, thinking him a mite dramatic, but I went ahead and dug out my umbrella material all the same and made him one.  I wasn't laughing a few days later however when I left my bike outside the gym....  I returned from my gruelling workout (it probably just felt that way because I am so unfit) to find it had been raining.  I cycled home with a rather wet bottom, cursing myself for not having made myself a waterproof sodding seat cover.... That teaches me for laughing at him!

I've got a great big massive scrunched up bundle of red waterproof fabric sitting about in the garage from when both of our pop-up gazebos decided to fly over the fence into the neighbour's garden....  You'd think that planning a barbeque for July would be a safe bet wouldn't you?  No.  Not in England!  Not long ago I was asked to make holder to stop hubby's bike lock (he has a rather dodgy looking chain one that looks like a pair of handcuffs!) from rattling as he's cycling.  He dragged a waterproof tent bag out from nowhere (I don't know where he has all this stuff hiding).  I made it and put the rest aside.... Until yesterday....

The kids were feeling rather bored and neglected while I was updating my CV (indeed, the time has come to get back to work, pay some taxes and get left with pretty much not much else after childcare costs) and decided upon themselves to get the paint out.  The girl found herself a nice floral artwork apron (I think my niece grew out of it and left it to her) so of course the boy got jealous.  That's when I remembered the random waterproof fabric I'd stashed away:

Not very glamorous is it?  Good job it's for the boy!  With him measuring 24cm across the shoulders, the scrap was just the right size for me to cut two rectangles and add neckline scoops, a lower one for the front.  I then placed the pieces right sides facing and sewed the shoulder seams.

With my fabric being so boring and green, I couldn't resist binding the edges with some of my gorgeous check bias binding that I picked up a while back, without a plan for it, but hey it came in handy =)  I bought myself a binding foot but just can't get used to using it and prefer to do it using the tried-and-trusted method that I've always used.  It can take a bit of practice, but I've found that by putting my needle in its left-most position, I can align the right-hand-side of the presser foot with the raw edge of the work and the needle with the crease in the binding.  Start by sewing the binding to the wrong side of the work.  I like to fold down a piece at the start for a neater look:

Attach the binding all the way to the end, remembering to fold the end up for a neat finish:

Turn the work over so the right side is facing and finish top-stitching the binding in place, making sure to cover the stitches from attaching the binding to the wrong side:

I like to start the top-stitching by stitching around the corner before proceeding to stitch along the length, but that's just a matter of preference:

I finished the apron off by adding bias binding to the neck-line and adding two straps complete with some poppers attached using my beloved Prym Vario Plier:

He looks pretty smart in it, and it might even keep him clean and dry (who am I kidding?) while he's doing artwork.  In fact, he's just emerged from washing his paint brushes and is actually quite dry.  My toilet room floor didn't survive, but a two year old and a three year old wandered into there, filled the basin and washed their brushes by themselves and I've not had to clean/redress either of them so I can't complain =)

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