Sunday, 12 June 2011

Craft Fail

When something I cook goes wrong I usually just eat the evidence, but when something I craft goes wrong there are only three options 1)undo it and start again 2) change tack and make it into something else or 3)live with the horror of it. (My inability to throw anything away makes it impossible to include the most obvious option, so it isn't even on the list).

My absence from blogging is due to me spending time on other things. I'm sure we all have a long list. Mine includes a sub list of things to do to keep my rather old van on the road. It was while ticking one of the things off this list that I decided to buy a large container of engine oil. To offset the fact that my daughter and her staff discount card weren't with me I went for the own label Halfords with free 'professional' screwdriver set. Well the pro set was worth £19.99. I say 'was', because it is now on offer for half that price.

I am now living with the horror of my craft fail screwdriver case.

I decided to make it out of the most expensive Cath Kidston fabric in my stash. I decided not to make a pattern, but to make it up as I went along. Although I did a quick google picture search for similar objects, none of them were quite what I had in mind.

I don't even know what that very stiff grey fabric is. It's something I picked up at the scrap store. The blue stuff is a slippery waterproof ripstop also from the scrap store. I didn't change the thread in my sewing machine, but stuck with the white upper thread and grey bobbin thread.

I rifled through my carrier bag of zips, and first started with a pale green one, because it appeared to be the correct size. You may notice that the 'finished' article sports a pale blue zip. My first attempt at putting in the zip failed. It taught me that positioning is crucial, and that since the zip wasn't a correct fit I may as well use toning zip and design a solution to make up for the fact that it is too short.

Unpicking the first zip took its toll on the expensive linen CK fabric, so resewing a zip was tricky and left a fraying corner. At this point my other daughter (who has no job and no staff discount card) was nagging me for use of the sewing machine. I darned the corner and then decided to top stitch the whole thing.

Sewing lining to outer fabric and inserting the zip was done all at once and I had left a gap for turning the project right-side-out. Top stitching was my way of closing the gap. Because the outer fabric was pale blue and my bobbin thread grey I did the top stitching from the inside. Big mistake. The seam allowance of the stiff fabric and the slipperiness of the blue ripstop made sewing a straight line impossible.

I gave in to pester power and called it a day. I have been called back to the sewing machine to help my daughter change the thread (something I should have done for my project) and make it sew right (that always happens when she uses the machine) and fit the embroidery foot, so she can write the word 'BOURBON' on the garment (biscuit) she is making for a fancy dress party. I've just had to wind a bobbin for her, and I will have to fit the zipper foot and help her sew in a zip, because she has left that bit to last. She hasn't used a pattern, she's making it all up as she goes along, and has had to do some unpicking. Really some people don't know how to approach a sewing project!!!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Frome by night

I went to the Merlin Theatre on Tuesday to watch a series of documenteries made by young people. One of the docs was co-created by my daughter and this was to be the first showing with the official premier to be in April on a much smaller screen.

Look what greeted us in the 'foyer' on our arrival.!!!

Frome Stitch 'n' Bitch!
Mostly knitters, some sock knitting, one making a Scandi style ski jumper on a circlular kneedle. They had chocolate cake!!! They meet on a Tuesdays. Each crafter donates £3 to the Merlin Theatre. Both Sophie and I would have joined them if we had our knitting on us, but we went into the auditorium and watched the films.

 Generations Together
One of the films, by students at Frome Collage, and called 'Generations Together' was about young and old people. Amoung the people interviewed was a young graffitti artist Tom Sturgess who spent some time working with an older sculptor and fine artist Barry Cooper. The  painting they both worked on in the film was displayed in the theatre, so I got a shot of  Tom with the artwork.

Tom Sturgis Graffitti Artist

 People on the move
Sophie's film was shown after the break. I caught a glimpse of myself #1 son, and others in the background of some of the shots. This film is going to be archived in Somerset's record office, and is about people who moved to Somerset from other countries. A wide age group was interviewed from The landlady of the shop I rent (83) to children who moved here with their families or alone as refugees.

tempory image of sophie and the film crew 
Here's a temp image of Sophie (left) and the crew.

Sophie and I had to leave early, so missed the last films. The friendly Stitchers were still there when we left. They stitch from 7pm to 9pm.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sherbourne Vintage Textiles and Retro Fair

I could feel the flood water washing the underside of my well loaded van as I drove to Sherbourne for the Vintage Textiles and Retro Fair. The warning lights on the dashboard eventually faded as I arrived at the hall.

As usual I didn't have a preconceived layout for my stall, so I did lots of unpacking and rearranging. It all seem to work out ok, and I managed to cut fabric without proper sheers. I discovered that you can't rip rayon, and now have a bruise from using the only scissors in my toolbox.

 Oh I  didn't try those bent scissors! They might have been better than the ones I struggled with. Can someone please tell me why they are bent?

The fair was arranged in two rooms, with one stall outside. I had a bit of a wander and took some photo's in the second room.
There was a man with furniture.

..and a makeup artist and stylist working together to do makeovers. As well as the other stalls in the second room I think this was were the cups of tea that Mc kept supplying me with came from.

I'm booked in for next month, and will be in the same place - in front of the stage. That's 12th Feb 2011. I may hint at a Valentines day theme, because of the date.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Tea and doughnut packaging waiting to be made into tags

Cup of tea and a doughnut.
This is how I'm preparing for this weekend's fair at Sherbourne in Dorset. There's going to be a Vintage fabric, textiles and retro fair at Digby Hall from 10 until 4. It's £1 to get in. The new year is starting with this new fair, and it's going to be a regular monthly event.

After eating and drinking I can get started on making price tags out of the packaging. Pricing items beforehand has become essential to me, because I like to nip into town to snoop, while leaving my assistants in charge! It also helps to think prices out before hand, so I'm not put on the spot by enthusiastic customers.

Here's one I made earlier

I always favour Krispy Kremes boxes, because of the spots, but the Christmas packaging is extra nice. The red with white spots have much more impact than the regular white with green.

punchcard stamp and gift tag stamp

Tea boxes are just the right thickness for my hole punches. Anything thicker would kill them. When I have a pile of tags I find string to finish them off.

This is just one of the jobs to be done. I've got loads of fabric to select, measure and price. I'm still thinking out the layout of my stall. I like a bit of height, and usually use shelves and various stands.

It's been years since I've done a fair at Digby Church Hall in Sherbourne. I used to make and sell baby clothes at craft fairs there when the girls were tiny, so that's almost 20 years ago! I'm off to find it this morning to make sure I can remember where it is and haven't got the wrong Digby Hall! I think there's two.

I'll make sure I take my camera and report back after the event.