Friday, 12 July 2013

A bag of tricks

So, I did a bit of sewing a few weeks ago, and I was going to blog a bit more detailed than just a "I made this" but it has taken me this long to get around to it. Here we go.

So I decided Miss A needed some kind of containing device for her toys that were starting to get played with more and then being messy around the living room so I made a soft fabric box / bag-thing:

I've seen them before online ages ago, and thought it could be a good idea. This one is made from spare cloth nappies (not fluffy ones and well washed) that I then interfaced (a fairly light interfacing). I then cut out four shapes like this:

And sewed them together: Two together along one long side and to each pointed end, and one set had an opening to turn it through on what would become the 'inside' (you could do half and half different fabrics and make it prettier), and then sewed the two halved together, turned it through and handsewed up the hole before folding it in half and then folding the top over. I should have pressed the seams open and flat AS I sewed but I didn't, and then it was rather tricky once it was all made up.

It is quite sturdy, but nice and soft. Miss A likes to sit and see what she can find in the bag and pull out something to play with. (Miss S sometimes tries to convince me it is a hat, but I am not convinced.)

As I sewed it, all plain white, I thought it might be nice to sew coloured zigzag over each long seam line, but it would be tricky with the seam allowance and the opening-to-turn-through, so I didn't. But I thought that if I made another one, I could cut the pieces like this:

And then I could. I'd sew all the sides and then the base, making the opening-to-turn-through in the base rather than a side.

It's a really easy pattern to make up. Just make a long rectangle twice as long as you want the bag high, plus any fold over (I suppose you could make it without foldover, but I think it gives the opening more structure, and the foldover can increase or lessen as the bag is fuller or emptier) and as wide as you want one side of the square. Then to add the base just make a right-angle triangle on each end of the rectangle - I used my patternmaking square, but you could use anything square, as long as the sides are even and the angle is a right angle (otherwise it won't sit flat).

 bag base, showing seams joining at right angles

If you want the second pattern style, cut the triangle in half and add both halves to the end.

It was really easy to whip up, and is really handy and surprisingly sturdy (and a great use for old cloth nappies).

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Keeping ticking

So Friday was yesterday. This week seems to have gone by really fast. Last week was really slow, so I'm caught a little off guard.

I haven't managed any exercise, for two weeks (or was that three?).

I have kept plodding with my PhD, some days better than others. I'm getting my confirmation document into order, but will need to start thinking about the presentation to go with it soon. Probably best to start that before Miss S is on holiday.

I STILL haven't managed to do any sewing. I've had sore wrists and been tired whenever the chance might have come up, so have gone to bed with a book early a few nights, and generally been keeping the washing ticking over and such instead. Soon. My crafty soul needs some making soon.

Monday, 1 July 2013

What I've learnt in June

Emily over at Chatting at the Sky is having a fun and serious link-up about "What I've learnt in June" today and I thought I'd join in.

1. I can cope with my daughters without assistance better than I thought.
The Hubster had some hard work to get down this month, which left me fielding the kidlets, and I managed surprisingly well. This means that I can feel freer to do things without him and to encourage him to go where he needs to go and do what he wants to do (youth ministry conference coming up for example?).

2. If I keep plodding, work gets down. (But when I don't plod it can be sitting waiting for weeks!)
PhD work has been plodding, and progressing slowly, but I still have a pair of pjs cut out and waiting to be sewn.

3. Marking can be hilarious, as well as incredibly boring.
Okay, so I knew this already, but I've been doing more undergrad marking, and some of the things that pop up had me laughing out loud. Other bits had me facepalming and losing faith in humanity, at least until I was laughing again or came across a really good essay.

4. Sometimes the littlest things can really matter at the same time as them not mattering at all.
Case in point: "We are made in His image" vs. "We are made in God's image" - no difference, but all the difference in the world.

5. Printing out documents and reading them on paper gives me a very different perspective on them and I find it easier to edit.
Not tree-friendly, but I console myself by the backs becoming free-for-drawing for Miss S or recycling. And then more PhD work gets done (and this is good).

6. Fires are awesome (and messy).
Winter has set in, with days in a row being less than 10 degrees, so we are enjoying our fire - it makes the house so cosy! But there is always more dusting and tiny bits of wood scattered around the place.

7. An old familiar book that hasn't been read in a while is a great comfort when you fall into bed tired at the end of the day. You know you're not missing out when you find yourself half-snoozing through your reading, but it's still a good read.

8.Sometimes the most profound things we learn from babies who cannot even move around or talk for themselves: Sometimes you have to let go before you can grasp something new. (Oh, and Miss A is amazing, sitting by herself and being generally gorgeous.)

9. We have far more computer power cords than we will ever need.
I've made a small start on sorting and reboxing (and throwing away) things stored in our garage. First box accessible was the Hubster's cord box. I'm not even halfway through and I've found around 5 computer power cords and 3 old printer-to-USB cords (the type that aren't used anymore).

So what have you learned in June? From the ridiculous to the mundane to something seriously profound...