After making the Retro Bag from my newest and favourite book purchase 101 Fabric-By-Fabric Ways To Sew A Metre I decided that I couldn’t wait to get back to cutting, basing, pinning and sewing. I have found myself in a rhythm these past two weeks […]
Sometimes it seems as is my little guy seems to have been teething from the moment he burst into the world. We’ve been lucky that apart from the usual toothy grumbles they haven’t caused him too much trouble, and he’s slept well through his teething troubles. However, when we went into the nursery to wake up our little bundle of dribble over the Bank Holiday weekend, a sure sign that some teething had occurred in the night greeted us with the sight gnawed bits of wood everywhere.
I’m going to be honest and say that it was both upsetting and worrying. There were tiny spots of blood on his sheet and he seemed to have cut his lip a tiny bit. The idea of splinters and flecks of paint affecting him was quite distressing, and both he and the cot clearly needed protecting immediately.
Cot ‘teething rail protectors’ are available online, but as I searched for a solution it seemed that the plastic ones were widely reported to just fall off and the fabric version, a favourite of many Etsy sellers, relied on the cot having vertical bars all around, to tie the rail protector to, whereas the cot in our nursery has solid wooden ends.
As I needed something both immediate, hard-wearing, and not too expensive, I picked up a half metre of heavy grosgrain-type cotton from Ikea for £3, as their heavyweight upholstery fabrics are perfect for the tough pressures of a munchy one year old. I had some Vilene Fusible Fleece left over from some past bag projects to provide extra cushioning and hit the shops for a bit of the magical joy that is Velcro. I needed velcro to stick to the cot, but also to sew to the rail cover, and lo and behold Hobbycraft actually stocks a half and half Velcro strip.
The rail cover is fitted to the cot with velcro front and back, along the entire length, for maximum toddler-resistant hold. Fabric ties help to keep the ends of the rail cover over the outer edges for complete protection. The rail cover is functional, hard-wearing, and as simple as possible. I decided to go for a colour that matched the cot as closely as possible so as not to draw attention to the cover as something that should be explored and removed.
I’m happy to say that three nights later there is nothing more than the faint impression of a few light experimental tooth marks, and the toothy little monster has shown no further interest in his side-line as a beaver!
Over the past few years mason jars have seen a resurgence as a staple crafting supply, and there is a good chance that many people will already have a loose-disked canning jar of the type needed to create this wonderful gift idea at home, but […]
Just after Mr Awesome and I got married we decided to redecorate our guest bedroom. It functioned perfectly well as a guest bedroom, but we wanted something far more light and airy, and we wanted to actually make use of the room the other 358 days of the year that we didn’t have guests staying. Because Mr Awesome is especially awesome, he decided that I might like to have a more permanent sewing set-up so I didn’t have to drag my sewing machine out of the cupboard every time I wanted to use it.
A day bed that converted to a double bed suddenly gave us both seating and loads of extra space to play with, so a drop-leaf table and chair later and I had a little sewing area. But my sewing machine has always looked a bit ugly to me, little workhorse that it is, and didn’t at all go with the decor.
So I decided that I would try to make a cover for the sewing machine, both to keep it dust-free and so that it didn’t stand out quite so much in its neutral coloured surroundings. I decided, however, that I didn’t want to entirely hide the fact that it was a sewing machine, I just wanted it to be prettier, and so I decided to decorate the cover with an image of pretty, imaginary sewing machine. And I decided to make it padded, because in my mind this gave it just a little bit of protection, which doesn’t make much sense as this machine feels and looks like it is built to last through all manner of disaster. Come the apocalypse all that will be left on the planet will be a few headless cockroaches and this machine. Now, however, it will enter into the end of days wearing the Sewing Machine Equivalent of a ball gown. It’s like one of those teen dramas from the 90s where the loner girl played by an increasingly ageing Drew Barrymore suddenly becomes hot and therefore desirable. Don’t worry sewing machine, you, like all good geeks, were always desirable to the person that matters most. But let’s take a look at your new hot exterior.
Most importantly to me, it now just seems to fit with the look of the room a bit more, and the padded cover just softens the look of the plastic boxiness within. But, rather nicely, there’s still clearly a sewing machine beneath, so I can still enjoy the room as being noticeably my sewing space without making guests feel like they are camping out in a hobby room.
Also importantly, the cover was inexpensive to make, taking only a little of a very few materials. Because of this I decided to experiment a little with some new skills and ideas as if it hadn’t turned out to plan then I would not have wasted too much time and effort. So, this was my first real attempt at embroidery and I also made a very first step towards what I am going to think of as quilting. As I had drawn up the embroidery pattern for my own use and taken a few snaps along the way I decided to write the project up with a few pointers in case anyone wanted to print and use the embroidery pattern or make themselves their own sewing machine cover, and I will cover the steps and include the downloads over the coming few days.
If you did wish to make your own sewing machine cover similar to my own above, these are the materials I used:
Other useful items not pictured are some dressmakers carbon paper for transferring the design, and usual sewing supplied such as pins, thread, hand-sewing needles, scissors, etc.
The specific outer fabric I used was Ikea’s Berta Ruta, a heavy 100% cotton fabric. I’d actually recommend a very large, checked /striped fabric in light colours for this project if you were going to try a quilting technique for the first times as you have a few in-built lines to follow. Obviously you can draw some on with a washable or disappearing marker if you have another fabric, but this was a calculated shortcut on my part.
I made the lining from some cheap calico that I also bought from Ikea. The fusible fleece is only needed if you wish to add the quilt effect to your cover. I would recommend it as it gives a slightly sturdier appearance to the finished cover (and I only padded the front panel, you’ll need a half metre if you wish the entire cover to be padded). I used a total of four different shades of embroidery floss in various neutral grey-browns, but you actually only need one. I used four simply because there was an offer on at the shop I bought them from…
Many people will have most of these materials already. The only other things you need are a few pins, scissors and a sewing machine (which you are quite likely to have if you are making yourself a sewing machine cover) and if you are using the embroidery design then some dressmaker’s carbon paper to transfer the design will likely be very useful. I’ll upload the embroidery pattern and give further details of embroidering and making the sewing machine cover in the next post.