We celebrated little son's 7th birthday this weekend. As I don't like to give bonbon bags or cheap plastic gifts to the invited children, I made this year throwing-snakes (? can't find a proper translation. In german it is "Wurfschlange").
They are made from parachute silk. The head is stuffed with scraps of fleece to soften and a bit of lead to make it heavieer, so it can be thrown.
I only had two colors of fabric, but I made different combination, so each snake is different.
We had a snake attack in the garden!
Each child grabbed one and they had a fun time throwing them back and forth. There are two ways to throw them. Either you take them by the head and throw it like a ball, or you take the tail and swirl it around and then letting go. The second method is more powerful, but you need to practice otherwise the snake flies to wherever it likes (we had one on the roof of our house).
For my small tablet-PC I made a quilted cover, so it won't get scratches when I put it in a bag to take with me. I used a long treasured orange batik fabric, doubled and stuffed it and the quilting pattern was chosen by the pattern of the fabric. Easy and fun! And I love the result! The orange is making me happy just looking at it.
As it has been so simple and fun, I made a second one for my husband who has the same pad. This time neutral colors and less quilting.
Another point done on my hand-luggage-improvement-list.
as they are making me happy, I link this post to RUMS (link-party on Thursdays for things one made for herself)
During the last journey I decided that we need some organising and practical bags and cases to have all important papers together and a little more order in the hand-luggage. To begin with, I bought a pattern for a trip-case: this one from "Frau Machwerk". I like her patterns, they are all very well explained and clever designed (I have already her bag "Claire" and her purse pattern).
Once again the explanations are clear and easy to follow and I made my first case in no time. For the outside I used a very nice oil-cloth that one of my students gave me. Inside there are cotton fabrics from my patchwork-fabric-collection.
You know by now that I am a bit of extra critical with little things. So here is what I didn't like about my case. One is directly visible on the photos above: The plastic foil, that is part of the divider and where on journeys you can put little papers and tickets still visibly in, creased when I had to turn it inside out during sewing. The second thing was, that the decovil for stabilising the inside and the outside came a bit off when I finally turned the whole case outside out. I refixed it with ironing over it again, but still outside there are some crinkles left (not visible at first sight, but anyway).
I thought I might advance the pattern and did some changes in the routine of sewing. For the divider I used a bias edge to fix the foil to the finished divider. That worked really well.
This time I used thick leather for the outside that I didn't stabilised with decovil. I thought it would be easy to fix the zip onto the inside part, than fold the seam allowance over and fix it with one precise seam from the outside to the leather. It showed very quickly, that the seam allowance was too small to fold it steadily and when I finally got all parts clipped together, it was even for my strong machine too hard to sew evenly. I ended up ruining my fingers and sewing the leather outside on by hand. The outcome is pretty though, but I won't do it again like this.
The seam on the front is, because my leather had been one cm too small. Now it's a decorative seam :-)
As Mrs "Machwerks" cases and purses are always looking perfect at her blog, I thought she might have a special technic for turning her pieces and I send her an e-mail to ask. She was so kind and answered immediately, telling me I should better use decovil light (she recommended it in her pattern, but I had only the thicker one at home and used that). She said the light version sticks better and is easier to turn. Also I should use lots of pressure while ironing and let it cool down for 12 hours as then the glue is combining better with the fabric. She too is ironing her works after turning again, oilcloth with a thick layer of baking paper above.
You should always follow the tips of a professional, so I ordered some decovil light and when it arrived I made a third case.
This time the outside is made from a material called snap-pap. It's a kind of paper, but washable and has a leather like surface (Figure out more about that material here). Again it's a present from one of my students. It's the first time I used this material and it is nice to sew and to look at. The touch is still like paper. I like the touch of real leather better.
Anyway, this time the decovil holds very well (lots of pressure while fixing it and leaving it over night to settle). It hasn't even been necessary to iron again. Thanks to Mrs Machwerk: From now on I will follow her instructions word by word!
I used a thinner foil for the divider page and tried again to turn it. Better this time, but still crinkles. I will probably stick with my method of the second case and fix it on from the outside with a binding.
Now I only have one problem left: which of the three models am I using myself and what am I doing with the others?
Do you also have a problem stocking up your wrapping paper? If you lay them flat they are taking a lot of space, but upright they are unrolling or tipping over ... For a while I had them standing in a big flowerpot and lately in some pieces of a fat cardboard roll, taped together:
Not very stylish or nice, but doing its duty, except that I didn't like to move it for vacuum cleaning, so it had been always a dirty corner. Then I remembered something I saw once on pinterest (sorry I didn't kept the pin) and I made a bag around.
In there is even space for an other piece of cardboard-roll in it and I could put in also all adhesive foils and transparent foils (for wrapping school-books). The bottom of the sack is stable with synthetic leather. Also that material is not taking as much dirt as cotton. The upper part of the sack is cotton pulled together with a cord.
If I open up the cord, the cotton part is sacking down and I can take out the paper I need:
I think it is a clever idea and more tidy and nicer to look at. Thanks to whoever had that idea!
Last week I tried to make a washbag. My students asked to make some simple ones. As I don't like bags that are not doubled, I started working on one, that is doubled and that has an inside zip-pocket as a divider between the two sides as well as some elastic bands to hold the bottles upright.
What can I say: I don't like the result at all. First of all I got a little out of size. I measured the regular shampoo-bottles and calculated from that on a case with enough space that you can store two or three bottles of that size (for example bodylotion often has the same dimensions) and all the little things a girl needs and still close it easily. It is too big!
I also don't like the lining that is never straight in the corners, but always a little wavy. I don't know how to avoid that. I always disliked the lining in little pouches. Last year I spend some time finding a way to do the perfect lining. Have a look here.
The only thing that is not so bad is the dividing middle pocket. I found the idea on Pinterest and I will certainly make it again for a messenger bag.
Okay - this washbag is a waste of fabric and I won't use it as a project for my sewing students. As the lesson was approaching I decided on a very simple and basic pouch without any inside dividers. Kind of an overnighter washbag and nothing you take with you for a long journey.
And see: it worked easy and my students have been happy with theirs.
This is the first one I made. As it isn't doubled, you have the raw edges inside, what I don't like. I tested a binding around the seam allowance and it worked fine. For the binding I used kite-fabric so everything stays water-resistant. It isn't as fiddly as you might think to put it on.
I tried also a second one that is a bit bigger and has more stable oil-cloth. I though the grey fabric might be too boring, so I added a braid in pink. I like it! This time I didn't find a material I could use for binding the inside seam allowances, so there are still the raw edges inside.
My brother and his wife are expecting their first baby. They are in last preparations now and asked if I could make them a utensilo for the wall with some pockets to put in diapers and other stuff. Color wishes have been blue and/or green.
I couldn't stop me from making also some more pieces. Lot's of little washcloths (with a baby you need lots), a divided basket, a pouch and two towls to put under the baby on the changing table.
I hope they like everything and that they will use it a lot.