Tiny projects

Well, it has been quite a while since I have updated you on my projects. I have done a tiny bit of hand sewing since my last post. Here’s what little has been going on:

DSC_0012I had been given three adorable tiny bibs for the baby at our shower. Unfortunately, our baby was not one to cutely emit a tiny dribble occasionally. No, nope. He was a veritable waterfall of drool for months and months. We needed large, functional bibs that could withstand lots of washing. So I cut the binding/ties off the necks of the adorable bibs, layered them on top of each other, and hand sewed new binding/ties over all three so that we end up with one large bib. I’m really happy to say that this hand sewing has gone through multiple washing machine cycles and is doing fine. In fact, you can probably see staining on the bib in this picture…proof that this thing is being used a lot in real life.

DSC_0007Next, are a few little toys that I made up. I noticed that the baby liked to play with latches, so I grabbed some latches and ribbon and straps from the fabric store and simply hand sewed them together. This is hardly worth talking about, but here’s a picture in case you are interested. This project was not very efficient as far as cost goes…I don’t think I would do it again unless I already had the pieces to refashion from something else. But it was fun to make something for the kid and he still plays with them. And the sewing is holding up…so it’s a successful make.

I’ve just started working on a project that is a little bigger…although still not as big as a piece of clothing. I’m not ready to put the time and effort into clothing until I get a bit better at this machine-less sewing.

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Hand sewing

We have what is considered a small house for the US. It’s 970 square feet and we have two adults, one teenager, one baby, two cats, and one dog living here. It’s really plenty of space for living. Living in 970 sqft with that many people and critters is really easy.

However, it’s not a lot of space for hobbies…especially hobbies that require tables, and machines, and ironing boards, and some place to cut large pieces of fabric. Before the little one came along we had one room that served as the home office/guest room/sewing room/storage room. It worked. It wasn’t ideal, but it really did work. But now…well now we have a home office/guest room/sewing room/storage room/baby room. And that doesn’t really work. Sewing has pretty much slipped off the list of things that can be done in that room. And sewing is not fitting into any other room either. So, the machine and the fabric and the notions are all tucked away in cupboards and I had to come up with another option to make my make-y heart happy.

2014-03-12_10-09-30_402So, I grabbed some supplies for hand sewing and popped them into a little box that I had sitting around and now that’s my sewing center. I can store it in the dining room, where it takes up minimal space, and it can travel to my armchair whenever I have some free time to spend in the armchair doing hand sewing.

I have done some minimal hand sewing in the past…closing up pillows, tacking down facings, etc, but I am not terribly good at it. The first thing I tried this time around was to refashion some slippers I had ordered off etsy…they didn’t fit me nicely, so I decided to add a casing around the top and thread some elastic through and tack it down. Admittedly, it was a bit of a kluge, but if my hand sewing skills were better it may have worked. As it is, the hand sewing fell out within days and the whole project feels like a failure. There isn’t even a picture. It’s not worth a picture, believe me.

I decided I need some help, so I went looking for hand sewing resources. I can not find any! It seems the only hand sewing info in books and blogs right now is either for finishing up machine sewn items or for making heirloom projects. I want to hand sew full items and I want them to stand up to my life…washing machines, cats, and kiddos. I’d like to know how to make things durable and how to start and finish with knots that won’t fall out. But I just can’t find this info. So, I’m practicing on some little projects and I’ll hopefully figure it out myself. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes. In the meantime, if you know of any resources for hand sewing…I would love to know about them! Please leave a comment…it would really help me out.

(P.S. It’s a bit ironic that I spent lots of time trying to figure out the exact right blog name and finally decided to name my blog after the feed dogs on my machine, and then those very same little dogs got put away into a cupboard. Sigh. Maybe I will rename the blog ‘True Dogs and Incompetent Needles’)