After the (eventual) success of weaving project 16 part A finally becoming an iPad case, and a first attempt at using a sewing machine, next came the project of finding a use for weaving project 16 part B. I wasn’t very satisfied with it as a piece, because it was completely unsquare, and I couldn’t see a way of rescuing it. I’d been thinking of chopping it into pieces, hemming it and making lavender bags out of it, and had mentioned this to a friend who wasn’t keen on me doing this and thought we could think of something better to do with it, something that would make better use of it. So, next I thought of making a kindle case, and when I turned up at the cottage we rented last weekend, this is what I planned to do with it. My friend was keen to dissuade me as this still wouldn’t use all of the woven material and she was concerned about me hacking it to bits. Time for a rethink.
Up until this point, my friend had only seen photos of this piece, and I think seeing it in real life made it a different proposition as well. One thing she pointed out to me, that I’d either not noticed, or had got used to, was the difference in appearance of the two parts of weaving project 16. They were both made from exactly the same yarns (one ball of orange and one ball of blue made both pieces) and yet the second piece, with the orange as a warp, has more of a sheen to it, than the first part. Odd but a really interesting observation, and one that I still can’t quite get my head around.
Many months ago, when I’d first thought about teaching myself to sew, I’d stumbled across this pattern for a crochet roll. The crochet hook set that Richard bought me for my birthday came in a roll, but it doesn’t have space for scissors, or needles, and so I thought that I could make more of a travel crafting roll, something that would allow me to put all the odds and ends that I’d take with me in. My friend had made herself a crochet hook roll a while ago, and fortunately enough had brought it with her to the cottage, and when we laid the fabric that was weaving project 16 part B onto her crochet roll the size was almost identical. So, it looked like we had a winning project.
We made some initial plans, and then made some different plans, and then evolved it a bit more as we worked out the logistics of how this could work, stopping and conferring at every stage, working out what should go where. I’d worked out that I wanted to be able to put a couple of crochet hooks, a couple of weaving needles, some normal needles (I had brought the felt I had left from my needle case with me, so this could work), a ruler and maybe a tape measure in it. All of which seemed possible. But the planning of this was a total team effort.
My friend helped me set the machine up and I was off. Taking breaks every now and again to get the iron out and iron fabric, to pin different pieces together, and to seek advice on what I could or should do next. My friend sat opposite me pretty much all the time I was doing it, she quietly and calmly working on a crocheted monkey, me sewing, swearing, bleeding (yes, really, there is a blood stain on the finished case). The only real problem I came up against was that the finishing stage, attaching the fully sewn up inner to the woven part, resulted in quite a thick batch of fabric. And the machine stalled. I managed to get the sides sewn ok, but it just jammed on the top and bottom. And we both had moments of panic I think. But, all was well, and the machine was still fine, just not with such dense fabric. So, the top and bottom were hand sewn. This was a good thing actually, as it reminded me of just how much longer attempting this project by hand sewing would have taken me. It would have taken days, not hours. This was definitely a good thing to do using a sewing machine - lots of straight (or not so!) lines. Lots of starting and stopping. On reflection this is possibly the perfect first major sewing machine project actually. And a kindle case wouldn’t have made me work anywhere near as hard!
What is absolutely and utterly perfect about the finished size of this project, is that it nestles nicely inside the cigar box that I use as my working craft box. This was a complete accident, and it was only when I sat it in it to transport it home, that I spotted how well it worked.
So, in summary, a good use of weaving project 16 part b, an excellent first major sewing machine project, a good bit of teamwork planning/evolving it and overall, as usual, my friend was right and it would have been a waste to have cut it up into pieces! Now I want to make more bigger pieces of weaving so I can use them in projects. Watch this space!