Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sewing Useful Things

I have a sewing machine. Sometimes I even use it! Unlike the poor, dusty spinning wheel - I promise, once the Christmas presents are done, we will have some quality time!

Anyway, sewing machine. I bought a cute little kit from the 100 yen store ($1 store) that came with three pieces of fabric, a ribbon, a small piece of fabric for a button loop, a button, and a small piece of fabric for a pincushion. The directions, though they were in Japanese, were very clear and mostly explicit drawings. This, plus some thread (I luckily had the perfect blue) and a cotton ball for the pincushion, as well as some machine- and hand-sewing time made a lovely little notions case, perfect for some scissors, a tape measure, darning needles, paper clips, and anything else that catches my fancy to easily travel in my travel knitting bag. All of those items had previously been just floating around in there, and while I hadn't yet lost a darning needle, I know it was coming!

First, you sewed the ribbon to the outer fabric. Then, the inner two fabrics were sewn together, hemming the pocket fabric and creating separate pockets with lines of sewing:

Cute, no? Next the outer be-ribboned fabric and the inner be-pocketed fabric were attached, making sure to place the buttonhole loop correctly while doing so. Once those were turned inside-in and the turning hole was sewn up, it was time for the final two embellishments, the pincushion, which was just gathering the small fabric bit around a cotton ball and then attaching it to the center pocket, and the button, which was placed where it would hold everything together when the packet was closed. To close, the top is folded over the tools and then it's a simple tri-fold, securing the tools with the button:

I used a similar method to make a roll-up case for a set of Tunisian crochet hooks I bought on eBay and all of my DPNs, which have previously been floating in a rubber-banded bunch in my crafting bags. This is much more convenient! I followed the same general sewing steps, using a recycled happi coat that I also used for box bags for the fabric. I made more pockets, roughly the size of the correct crochet hook, and leaving two large pockets for all the DPNs and/or whatever else I decide to put into it later.

There's no button or ribbon on this one, but it rolls up nicely and ties so that it's all kept in. The top part folds down to keep the tools safe as well, and the DPNs and other things that would be more likely to fall out are in the inner pockets, so will have less opportunity.

While it's not the most impressive roll-up needle/hook case I've ever seen, it works for me and was an excellent use of scrap fabric! I only have a couple of box bags worth of this fabric left, which I'm planning to make before I leave Japan. I just need more interfacing and zippers first!

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