Monthly Archives: May 2014

Textiles class round up – weeks 7 – 10

Oops, I haven’t been very good at updating everyone in what went on in Textiles class! I actually missed week 8 because I was on my hols on Mull, so there’s only 3 weeks to update really. I’ll combine it all into one because it was really just two projects.

Despite my previous lack of success I decided to shibori again. This time using a different technique where you stitch circles and then pull the threads tight before dyeing the fabric. I decided to dip dye the fabric two different colours, bright orange and bright pink. Not sure this one will be for me…


Once dried and undone it seems I didn’t pull all the threads tight enough, but quite a few worked nicely.  I had decided on a tropical, hummingbird theme so I drew a quick hummingbird and cut out a couple of stencils. Pretty amazed how well the drawing turned out actually! Becky our tutor mixed up an amazing dark green dye for me to screen print with.


I was inspired by these Ruby throated hummingbirds, but obviously had to go a bit more basic on details for screen printing so missed out the white bits.

ImagePhoto ATRPhoto, flickr creative commons

I did still have some pink foil left over though so I used the special glue and the heat press to add this for their throats.

Here it is all finished! I actually quite like the raw edges, it could be a scarf, or a wall hanging… And I think I know someone who would like it!


The last piece I made was another bit of dyed fabric. It was twisted into a rope and then tightly wound around something – a broom handle would be ideal but we used a bit of card covered in brown tape! Then stripes of dye are painted thickly on and allowed to soak through. I used colours inspired by the beach we explored on Mull. Then it us left to dry before being unwound. The results were pretty stunning. I did rinse it and there was a lot of fading but it is still gorgeous! Not sure what to do with this yet.


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Crossing to the dark side – making a Kindle case

At the beginning of the year, I did something I had long sworn I would not. I bought a second hand Kindle. Books should be made of paper, all readers know that…. I am a voracious reader, my dad jokes that when I was a child he had to tell me to put my book down and watch television!  I’m running out of space for proper books, and when I went to Turkey last year 50% of my luggage allowance was 7 huge books, which I read in a week. Arthritic wrists aren’t too keen on heavy books either.

Of course the Kindle needed a case and I was damned if I was going to pay lots of money for one.  I looked around at a bunch of tutorials on the web for sewing them, but none of them quite fit.  I wanted: a case to use it in, not a sleeve to keep it in. But I wanted it to be protected when not in use… This one was most useful, but I wanted to make some adjustments, mainly that I wanted it to be hard rather than padded.

This is not a tutorial (as usual I steamed on and didn’t take photos) but this is how I did it.

1. I cut up an old hard black n red notebook cover to just slightly larger than my Kindle. I joined the centre with duct tape to make it bend. Each card piece was 178mm x 125mm and the duct tape made a bend of 100mm.

2. I cut a plain piece of inner fabric 213mm x 335mm and then cut it in two. I cut a patterned outer fabric 213mm x 320mm. I did NOT cut this in two. I cut a patterned pocket piece 158mm x 213mm.

3. I put some pieces of black elastic onto the corners of one of those plain pieces – remember elastic can stretch a lot, I had to redo mine because it was too loose- then I sewed this piece to the other plain inner piece with RS together.

4. I sewed a seam down the right hand long edge of the pocket piece.

5. I pinned the WS of the pocket to the RS of the left hand side of the plain inner piece and sewed it on with a small seam allowance, about 1cm I think (?) so this seam will be hidden later.

6. I put the inner piece and patterned outer piece RS together, and sewed around with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Leave one side unstitched to insert the board.

7. Turn it RS out and insert the board, now you can see why I used mm measurements to get a snug fit. Turn under the raw edges at the side you left open. I made sure to sew on a ribbon to this side to wind around the case when closed (mine was velvet so it keeps closed, and is about 80cm long, I sealed the ends with nail varnish). You could do two shorter pieces to tie in a bow if you added one to the other side at step 6. Now top stitch all the way around to close the gap and make it all look neater. There should be just enough space for this…

8. Enjoy your reading!



The RH edge where I inserted the board could be neater, but overall I’m happy and it is very functional.


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Filed under Sewing

Pies and Ice Cream Apron

Things have been a bit quiet – on the blog, not in real life. The craziness of Easter at work over, we took a week’s holiday to Scotland to see friends.  A secret project can finally come into the open as my housewarming present to Emily was handed over at her new home on the Isle of Mull.  It was in use immediately, even for things that didn’t really require an apron… Sadly I forgot to take any pictures, so you’ll have to make do with some dodgy selfies I took when I made it!

Ice creams!

Ice creams!



It is reversible – do you recognise the fabrics from another project? Making it wasn’t rocket science, I just drew around an apron of mine.  I added the pockets using the techniques from the cross body bag I made.

It’s gone to a beautiful place.

Beach on the Isle of Mull

Beach on the Isle of Mull

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