Bitten Gets Crafty (maybe)

May 25, 2010

You probably have guess that I’ve got a bit of a crafty side. I’m learning to sew, and know how to crochet (a little). In my effort to learn to crochet more than just a blanket (which never, ever comes out even) I am entering a drawing for a crochet book! If you’re interested, check out Shawnee’s Tangled Tales and tell her I sent you! 🙂

Regardless of if I win the book, I need to start thinking about holiday gifts. Yes, I know, it’s not even Memorial Day yet. But, having been out of work for so many months, and with a stash of nice yarn, I need to figure stuff out! Since most in my family have everything they really need, I know they’d love something handmade. I figure this book (or maybe a similar one) can give me that head start! Plus, I can crochet pretty much anywhere – unlike sewing. That dang machine is heavy!

Anyway, I’ve got the tools and supplies – now I just need to figure out how to use them!


Sew What?

March 19, 2010

Inspired by my uncle’s wifes sewing skills as showcased by her gifts and blog, I thought “what he heck, why not drag out my machine and figure out how it works?” I have used it before but not properly. I picked up a beginners sewing book at Borders, dug out my manual, and realized I had been routing the thread incorrectly. No wonder it always broke! Also, I learned how to wind bobbins. First, I learned how NOT to do it, but after a bit of persistence, I got it right. I really felt accomplished!! Then I gathered up some scraps and practiced stitches. My machine has a number of feet and stitch selections, so I wanted to see what each of them did. I’m still afraid of button holes, but I am MUCH more comfortable with the machine now. 

Blue & White wine bag w/red hearts

Blue wine bag w/green ivy

I started simple with wine bottle bags. Imagine them with a prettier ribbon tied around the neck. Wonder if anyone would actually buy these? They will make good “gift wrap” since I like to give booze for gifts. And hey, they are reusable!   

Project #2 warranted a trip to the fabric store. I settled on a pattern “for dummies” thinking it would be really easy. Yeah right! I decided to make an appliance cover for my rarely used 4 slice toaster. After carefully selected appropriate fabric, off I went to tackle this project. (The “for dummies” moniker seems to be a branding strategy, since I felt I had progressed beyond a total dummy and maybe warranted a “novice” rating and was still dumbfounded. The kit included instructions, but unfortunately, they made no sense. Luckily, I grew up watching my grandmother sew, so I just winged it.)

Still unsure about how I should have cut the fabric (where do I fold, which end is which?) but I did manage to get what I needed. This project included a felt insert to give it some substance. Whew, this was quite a big bite!  The end result was definitely not perfection. I am, however, proud of my work. There are no gaping errors and it can certainly serve its purpose.  

4-Slice Toaster Cover


  P.S. Corners are hard! Especially when they are so thick (felt, 2 layers cotton, 2 layers of bias tape).