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I am often asked (during sewing-related conversations) whether I am able to sew clothes as well as patchwork and quilts.  I have considered increasing my stitching repertoire by learning to sew simple garments (such as a fifties skirt for example) but, quite honestly, I think that dressmaking really is a skill in itself and I have enough to concentrate on just trying to master the art of quilting without further confusing myself with dress patterns!

Avid sewers will no doubt have been watching the Great British Sewing Bee, which has been showing on BBC 2 for the past few weeks. I have faithfully watched every series since it started but I do wish that the programme’s producers would consider including weeks during which the sewers make items other than garments. Making a bag, for example, can be quite technically challenging and would be a good test of sewing skills. Similarly, making and attaching piping is quite difficult (or is that just me?!) and including a few more hand-sewing techniques (such as embroidery or applique) might vary the formula a little. It would be nice to see a few other skills included, rather than just dressmaking. Out of the three challenges I usually most enjoy the alteration challenge as this allows the sewers to be a little creative. I particularly liked the alternation challenge during ‘International Week’ and I was extremely impressed with the contestants’ sari creations..

As ever, life has somewhat got in the way of the sewing lately but I have been beavering away on a few little projects. The husband was kind enough to buy me a copy of Fifty Fat Quarter Makes recently and, following a request for a mini ipad cover from a colleague, I thought I’d have a go at making this e-reader pouch:

50 fat quarter makes

E-reader pattern

When I initially read the pattern I was a little concerned as I found the instructions somewhat difficult to follow but, once I’d cut out the fabric and followed the steps, it wasn’t too challenging. I’m quite pleased with the finished result (just don’t look too closely at my top-stitching on the flap!)

Ereader case - prototype

Ereader case - with tablet

I also finally understood the logistics of turning out a pouch and inserting lining! It’s been somewhat of a conundrum for a while now!

Now that I have a successful prototype, I can attempt to make a half-decent version for my colleague! She has requested one in this linen fabric and I’ll ‘pretty it up’ with some of this rose-patterned fabric too!

Rose linen fabric

Speaking of pretty rose fabric, I don’t think that I ever shared a picture of my re-upholstered seat cushion:

Reupholstered chair

Our cat Mirabelle loves it. She clearly thinks that I re-upholstered it just for her!! She does not understand that this is my sewing chair and frequently leaves it liberally coated with black hair that then ends up covering both my clothes and whatever I’m sewing…

I am also making some bunting out of these delicious fabrics purchased at the Quilt Festival last year:

Bunting triangles

The bunting is a little gift for a colleague who will shortly become a Mummy and I couldn’t be happier for her 🙂

In non-sewing news, following the release of the film Me before you, I thought that I would have a read of the book by Jojo Moyes. I pretty much started reading and couldn’t stop. I read it on the train, whilst cooking, before going to sleep… I think that I finished it within two days. It’s extremely thought-provoking. I had intended on making the husband accompany me to the cinema to watch it (I’ve been forced to watch too many Super Hero films – it’s payback time). However, now that I’ve read the book, I’m not entirely certain whether I want to see it at the cinema, even though the husband has promised me a very large tub of ice-cream…

My Dad gave me a kindle for my birthday a few years ago and I absolutely love that I can purchase a book online and, in less than half a minute, it will appear on my kindle. It is a little dangerous for a bookworm as I could spend a lot of time (and most of my salary that isn’t spent on fabric) on e-books but I do try to look at the deals and I can download a lot of the classics for free. I don’t think that e-books can ever truly replace ‘proper’ books (and I’d never buy a kindle version of a sewing book!) but I do like being able to read a variety of literature, or trying a new author, without adding to our already bulging bookshelves.

Anyway, enough rambling for today. Back to the bunting… 🙂

Till next time..