The Send a Little Love Swap 2018, ran by the lovely Tracy from Mad About Bags, came to an end this week. I took part in this swap last year and decided to return for a second year. I quite like the idea of getting my thinking cap on, and making up a parcel of goodies for someone! My someone this year was the very talented Emma. We were both designing and making for each other, and I remember saying in my last post; that I felt a little anxious as her work is stunning. I was correct her work is stunning. I received two gorgeous customised pouches for my parcel along with a handmade covered notepad, a Valentine stamp kit, a fluffy red love heart and a box of chocolate hearts. The parcel I put together contained a bird mug rug; all machine embroidered, with a bird and hearts that I cut out on my Sizzix Big Shot. I keep forgetting I have this machine and how easy and beautiful the fabric pieces look when they've been cut out. I especially like using it for felt, which can be tricky to cut out with precision unless it's secured in place with a sticky plastic film. I also included a William Morris mug, some chocolate in the form of a bar and a drinks sachet, a handmade pincushion, a little pouch of quilting clips, some Clover Glass Headed Pins and a cat sleep mask. I had noticed that Emma had made one and had displayed the photographs on her Instagram account. The pattern I used for her gift was The Kitty Sleep Mask by EvielaluveDIY. The design was easy to follow, precise and clear with; fabric and haberdashery options and photographs of the steps to be followed. From printing out the pattern to cutting out and piecing together, it took me about 45 minutes to an hour, which isn't bad. Considering I had to rethread my machine with two or three different thread types.
Other sewing news
As of Saturday the 17th of February 2018 I have finished my pyjama bottoms. Woohoo! I started these way back at Christmas time when I first received the Sew Hayley Jane Winter Warmer Box in December. As soon as I looked at the fabric, I knew they were going to be pyjama bottoms for me. I have worked hard on this pattern, as I said in my previous post it is a heavily modified Simplicity pattern. However, I'm not going to include photographs in this post, but I will in my next post. I promise.
You may have noticed the last photograph, the one of my Brother overlocker, yes it is open. I've been dreading this procedure; re-threading the machine, since I took ownership of the device. I've seen so many angst-ridden posts about how hard and complicated the process is, that I kept putting it off. That was until something idiotic happened not once but twice. Yes, novice Squirrel strikes again. I thought I could serge material through with the ends of a zip (not the metal or plastic clips to secure the ends) protruding out. It turns out the needles aren't very strong, and I managed to bend not just two but four (double needle version). I couldn't understand why the machine just cut out until I noticed the needles bent at a right angle, the thread also snapped for one needle and lower down on the machine. I ended up having to take everything a part; I changed the needles first and then threaded the machine with the manual in front of me for reference, and I thought 'Wow! This is easy. Switched the machine on to give it a whirr, and the thread snapped again. Two of the threads underneath were touching. I was so exasperated and headachy that I left it for two whole days before returning to try again. My second attempt was more successful; I think taking the time to figure out how the threads had broken and reading the manual instead of just looking at the pictures, helped. I think it helped a lot. It was a last resort mind you. Did I tell you I'm a visual learner, and I don't read manuals but jump in with both feet? Lol! I've been like this since I was small. I prefer to have a go, have a tinker first before looking over the manual. I don't know if it's the excitement of trying something new, or the thrill when I can work it the first time without the guidance of the manual. Paul, on the other hand, has to lay everything out and then read the manual. I have to sit on my hands when he does this, as it makes me twitch and fidget. I've even seen me walking out of the room, rolling my eyes as I just want to steam right in. Lol! I wonder if this stems from our different childhoods? Paul's an only child, while I'm the eldest of four. Hmm! Maybe I've stumbled on something there.
Anyway, I'm going to sign off now. My hands are itching to cut out and sew something else now. I think I might have a go at a small project this time; say a pincushion- I do like the pear or apple ones. Or some pattern weights. Whatever I decide to make I will pop the photos in my next post. Bye for now.