The Eternal Maker Crafts

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Owls and The (famous) Pussy Cat

I love those strange collective nouns that seem to have come from nowhere accept the imaginings of particularly fervent wildlife watchers or intrepid twitchers.  A muster of peacock, a scoop of pelicans, a pandemonium of parrots...... the list goes on and on, so here we bring you our very own Eternal Maker Parliament of Owls.
So here’s our gallery - particularly perfect for projects for summer graduates, or people ready to fly the nest or just for no reason at all apart from a love of all things strigine! Enjoy!
Kokka prints

Studious (and organic) Owls from Ed Emberly for Cloud 9 fabrics

Michael Miller cotton with an adorable Penguin and Fish embroidery kit.  

Now what about the pussycat? Well I think this actually deserves a drum roll! After much to-ing and fro-ing and international agreements (seriously!) we are now the proud owners of official Hello Kitty fabric!! I don’t think we could be more excited!

Happy Stitching!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Pom-tastic Times

In answer to some of Anna's prayers here a quick make to use (or use up) some of your stash.

We have an ever growing selection of Nani Iro prints here at The Eternal Maker and some of the new double gauzes are going to the top of my favourites list (so much so, at my recent nuptials, my sister even made me a Nani Iro garter - amazing!). We get the feeling that some people are a bit wary of using the double gauzes and jerseys, and I hope this, at least in part, encourages people to dip a toe into the unknown. These fabrics really aren't that hard to work with - in fact the double gauze grips so nicely against itself it sometimes doesn't even need pinning or tacking -  anything that makes life easier and sewing quicker get my vote!

Now I love pom-poms too, almost as much as fabric and after looking at a similar project on purlbee (  I was throughly inspired to create my own little pom-tastic scarf to share with you all. It's amazing how such a simple project really does allows the beauty of these gorgeous prints to shine through.

So, without further to do, here's my little make - a pom-pom trimmed double gauze scarf - light but wonderfully comforting and perfectly suited to late summer evenings when you just need a little something to keep the chill off. (It would also make a great last minute gift as I whipped up one in just an hour this afternoon.)

You will need just one metre of fabric (we chose print number JG-15500-C12 from "Waltz") and a about 2.25cm of pompom trim (we used the larger 25mm pompoms in beige) - and then apart from a sewing machine (preferably with a zipper or piping foot) and pins, a needle and thread, that is really all you'll need.

Firstly trim your metre of fabric into the biggest square you can cut from your piece - you can do this by measuring or by folding it diagonally across as a guide. Trim off your selvedge edges (about 1.5cm off the edges) while you do this.

Now that you have cut your square fold it in half diagonally. The two diagonally opposite corners of the square will end up on top of each other. Fold your fabric so that the right sides (the sides you want to see when your scarf is finished) are facing each other. (Like an apple turnover - as shown below)

You will be sewing down these two open edges but firstly you need to insert your pom-pom trim.

Lay the pom-pom trim along the open edges of your scarf, inbetween the two layers of fabric. Try to match the outer edge of the fabric to the outer edge of the tape of the pom-pom trim. Use pins to hold the pom-pom trim in place - if you put pins in at right angles across what will be your line of stitching you will be able to leave your pins in and sew over them with the machine (no need for tacking - hoorah!)

Make sure you leave one pom-pom ball and a little bit of trim pocking out the pointed end (as shown on the  photo) as this will assure that when you sew along your scarf  there will be no loose ends of pom-poms left dangling loose. (After you have finished machine stitching you can trim this odd end pom-pom ball off, but it's helpful to keep it attached for the minute.)

(Now this is were my photography skills have let me down....)  - hopefully you can see that once you have pinned your pom-pom trim inside the outer edges of your scarf,  you just use the sewing machine to stitch through the two layers of fabric and the pom-pom tape - trapping the pom-pom trim in the seam as you go. (A zipper or piping foot is helpful at this stage but if you are careful and take it slowly you will be able to manage without one.)

Stitch in this way around the two sides of your scarf making sure you leave about a10cm gap at the end so that you can turn your scarf right side out.

Next step - Turn your scarf right side out!

At this stage you can check that all your pom-pom trim tape is hidden in the seam - if it's not (like mine wasn't) turn your scarf right side in again and stitch another line of stitching further in from the edge of the scarf, as close to the pom-pom balls as you can manage (have a feel and you can work out where the balls and tape are laying in the seam). Turn it right side out again.

It should look roughly like this when your done........

 Now you just need to stitch up the gap that you left to turn out your scarf. I found it made it a lot easier to iron creases that followed the seams edges before stitching - this gives you an easy guide as to where you want the fabric to end up. Obviously tuck in and stitch in the pom-pom trim as you go and use tiny stitches on either side of the trimming to hold everything in place while also joining the two edges of fabric. When you get to the very end of the point - trim off any exces trim and post the last bit of tape into the seam and secure with a few stitches. This last stage is a little bit fiddly, so it's easier to do by hand. Your scarf should have come together quite quickly so far, so it's nice to be able to spend at little bit of time here finishing it off neatly.

After that you're all finished and the proud owner of a new pom-tastic scarf!

Happy stitching! Rachael x

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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Piles upon piles of fabrics.

Here's something you may or may not know about me: I am so precious about some of the fabrics I have in my stash that I cannot bear to use them.  Does anyone else feel this way?
I've thought about various ways to get around this problem - but have never really found the answer, or done anything about it.  I tend to force myself to use the fabrics, but so sparingly that I really lose the impact of the fabrics.
The other day I saw a downloadable swatch card (I'm really annoyed that I can't figure out where I saw it to point you to it - if I find it I'll tell you) which you could print out to catalogue your fabrics.  Great idea.  I can keep a small swatch to always remember the gorgeousness of the fabric I had, but still use the fabrics.  I immediately downloaded it, printed out a bunch of them and started sorting my fabric.  Now, my fabrics are all over the place.  I find if I keep them in lots of places and not all together then I can pretend I don't have as many as I do.  The selection above, which looks less in the picture than it does in real life, is a small selection of what I have.  I'm a little too embarrassed to show you the rest.
grey & yellow quilt - been on the cards for about 3 years,  never figured out the design I wanted to use...
 It's interesting to see the history of my sewing fads through the last few years.  There are projects that I've gathered the fabrics for, and not completed. 
bought to make my own version of a skirt I saw on anthropologie - with a big bow on the front.  A bow?!
Bought to make a dress.  I loved this then and I love this still.
Just love.  Grayson Perry for liberty, bought from Fabrics Galore
  Fabrics I bought with no particular idea except that I loved it.  Fabrics I cannot for the life of me figure out why I bought them.  A whole pile of jersey, with the thought that I would one day miraculously be able to whip up loads of jersey dresses similar to a very posh one my friend gave me.  The only jersey I have sewn with is in a bag under my bed, half sewn.  I come across it every now and  then and pretend I don't know whats in the bag.  It's my shameful secret.
Leftover half-made bunting - the first half went to my god-daughter for her first birthday.  The rest never got finished.
And of course, unfinished projects.  I won't bore you with them all, but needless to say, there are a lot of them.  One of my plans for 2012 was to work on finishing them.  I've finished some, true, but I've also started a lot of others that have since been added to the half finished pile.  
 I haven't got very far at all with the swatch cards, as it's taken me hours to make piles.  Do I sort it by colour, or by style? By designer?  I could even do it by the amount I have.  Fabric type?  Use?  The possibilities are endless.  I think I will go by colour - and then sub-categorise by designer.  This is going to take me days.  But it's oddly satisfying, strangely cathartic.  A sort of spring clean, although I haven't found anything I truly want to get rid of yet.  Each one of these pieces is a part of the history of my creating.  Of my sewing story.  
I'm not sure why I'm sharing this with you all, really.  I think there's probably some part of me that wants you to tell me your dirty little secrets too.  But most of all I think I am weirdly a little proud of myself.  I'm saying "look at me, look what I did."  In hindsight, maybe I should have waited until I've finished the job, but I've never been good at not spilling the first chance i get.
anna x