Saturday, 12 January 2013

A Creative Christmas

Yes, it is now 12 January and does seem a little late to be writing about Christmas, however I made quite a few Christmas presents this year I wanted to share my creativity without compromising the reaction from my gift receivers. 

During a rare shopping trip to Chelsea I spotted a brilliant clearance end of a dog print cotton fabric in Peter Jones (the Chelsea John Lewis is called this for some reason). I simply couldn’t take my eyes off the dogs in jumpers print and decided upon making cushions for my brother and sister-in-law who have a pug, the wonderful Nibbler. 

I tracked down a pattern from the internet, cushions off Ebay and visited, for the first time, the sewing room at work after a day’s slog. I sat at the sewing machine and immediately felt like I was back at the Uni, minus the tirade of banter and slagging matches that used to bounce back and forth between me and my mates. 

On a technical note, the sewing machine was truly outstanding: Brother, industrial, automatic back stitch and an underbed thread trimmer. ‘Glorious’, I thought, I had missed the sturdiness and ease of industrial machines. I confused myself during a few practice runs as to why I kept swinging my knee to the right, until I realised I was on auto-pilot attempting to lift the foot. ‘Duh’. This was the only feature the machine missed, which meant stitching corners was a hassle, but I managed. 

The sewing room also contained an overlocker to my joy, however was threaded up in black and with no white threads to be found I decided on increasing the seam allowance instead as the cushions are bagged out and unlikely to fray anyway. 

Pins and bobbin at the ready I got started: 



The fabric I brought was just under a metre at around £6. Adding the price of the cushions the final cost for these four beauties was less than £2.50 each.

From my previous posts it may be clear I’m a keen knitter. My brother requested I knit a crocodile for him and his wife, but I was more interested in the thought of my unborn nephew playing with it. Unfortunately I only have some work in progress photos:

Another yarn related gift was a crochet collar I made for my secret santa gift at work. I trawled the internet for patterns and made myself the navy one in the below photos for myself. I eventually found a better pattern with a button fastening. I made one version as per the pattern, however there were too may fan shapes within the pattern therefore I ‘tech’ed’ the collar and reduced out 4 fans and started again. The result was much better, I will have to take a snap of my colleague wearing hers and upload for all to see. 

Moving on to a creative new year, I received the best present from my secret santa. Place your orders for your favourite dog now.