Bike ‘Broidery

A couple of months ago, my friend completed a Land’s End to John O’Groats virtual cycling fundraising challenge.  By her own admission, she is more of a “couch to couch” rather than ‘couch to 5K’ person, so she did amazingly well to complete this, ahead of schedule too.  During the same month, this kit came with my embroidery magazine so I thought this would make a great memento for Ruth.

The kit came with the embroidery flosses, a pink embroidery hoop and the image pre-printed on some cotton fabric.

The magazine gave instructions on which stitches to use for the different sections.

Once the picture was finished, I thought it would be nice to add a few details to make it personal.  I designed the layout on my computer and printed it out, then, using my lightbox, transferred the design onto the fabric and embroidered it.

To finish, I folded the edges of the fabric in and glued a circle of felt on the back to neaten.  Lastly, a loop of ribbon was added for hanging.

Cute Keychain Wallet

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, I’ve found I’m using cash less often and am opting for contactless payment using my phone.  As a result, I rarely take my purse with me, and certainly not when I don’t take my handbag.  This has caused an issue for me when what I want to purchase is more than the contactless limit of £45.  My purse is quite large so I decided I needed a small wallet that would fit in my jeans pocket, to put in a couple of credit cards and maybe a banknote, in case of emergency.  Now I realise I could just have purchased one but I saw this video on YouTube and thought it fit the bill perfectly.  The video is called Dainty Keychain Wallet by Yoan Sewing Studio.  Yoan’s directions are really clear and she gives all dimensions for the fabric needed. 

This pattern doesn’t use a lot of fabric and is perfect for bits of fabric that you can mix and match for a truly unique item.  I’m using an old fabric collection call Flight from my stash.  First, I cut out all the fabric and interfacing pieces and adhered the interfacing in place.

The next job was to make the two card pockets sections.  They hold 2 credit cards in each side.

These two pieces were then sewn onto the inside lining piece, adding a lobster claw clasp.  Yoan adds a ring here instead but I didn’t have any of those.  I figure I can use this to clip the wallet onto the inside of my handbag so I can find it easily!

Next, I prepared the outside.  A small fastening was added to a small flap to form the closure.  The reciprocal part of the fastening was secured to the opposite edge of the front.

I then made the wallet sandwich, putting the front and back sections right side together and sewing all around the outside, leaving a small gap for turning.  The seam allowances and corners were trimmed before turning to reduce bulk.

After turning right side out, I have it a good press and top stitched around the edge, closing up the turning gap.  So here is the finished wallet. 

It’s the perfect size to slip into my back pocket and holds all the essentials I’ll need.  And it took less than a couple of hours to make!

Kitty Krakatoa Bed

Our kittens that we adopted last October are now 9 months old and growing fast.  Whilst Scooby prefers to sleep on a sofa, Dill (or Dilly as he’s become known) likes a bed… or beds!  Since he was small, he’s loved his igloo bed but he’s now outgrown it.

I’d seen these ‘volcano’ pet beds on a website and wanted to try to make one.

The construction took a while to figure out.  There was lots of geometry and head scratching and I resorted to building scale models out of paper!

After I’d figured out the dimensions, I scaled them up and made a template for the base and side piece out of corrugated cardboard.  I had no idea how dangerous this part of the process would be! I somehow managed to poke myself in the eye with a corner of the cardboard and had to go to A&E with a scratched cornea.  That was not a pleasant experience, I can tell you!

After cutting out the pattern pieces, I attached Pellon Thermolam Fusible Fleece to the reverse sides to give the bed more structure.  I also decided to quilt the side panel.  Dill loves getting in the way  helping when I’m crafting: he particularly enjoys checking that gravity is still working… aka knocking stuff on the floor!

I keep all sorts of bits and bobs, ‘just in case’, and recycled some old padding from an ironing board; layered between the fabric and interfacing, it made a sturdy, padded base for the bed.

At this stage, a feeling I’d had earlier that I’d messed up but couldn’t quite figure out how, became a reality.  Attaching the side to the base, the top opened outwards rather than forming the volcano shape and the ends didn’t meet and I realised that I’d made the side upside down.  Doh!

After some remedial work, involving making the top edge into the bottom and binding the new top edge, I clipped the side to the base with right sides together and then stitched them together.  There was a LOT of layers and I had to switch to a jeans-strength needle.

Once the base was attached, the bed was then turned right side out.  It’s not quite the right shape but Dilly doesn’t seem to mind.

If you have cats, you’ll know how contrary the little beasts are and that, if you buy or make a bed especially for a cat, they invariably totally ignore it.  So, I was very surprised that Dilly got straight in it and went to sleep.  Result!

Next time, I’ll try resizing the side piece to make the shape better. I also won’t use a directional print!