Long Time, No Post

It’s been a fair while since I last posted, & things have changed a bit around here since. But more on that later. For now: look! I made a skirt!

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It’s from an old pattern from my mother’s collection: Style 1961. (It’s worth noting that googling “Style 1961 pencil skirt” will get to absolutely nowhere, if you’re looking for the pattern…) There was a long and short option, with or without a waistband. I went for the long one (goes without saying when you’re 5’9″!), no waistband. I put together a toile from an old sheet, made a few adjustments aaand… didn’t touch it again for 2 months. Maybe even longer. In spite of having a lovely sewing space in the new house, I really lost my sewing mojo in the move.

So I did what many modern sewists would do in a time of sewing-related difficulty: I turned to the sewing community of Reddit for advice. Continue reading

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Pros & Cons of a Handmade Christmas (& a little thrifting…)

Last year my two sisters & I agreed that, seeing as we were all fairly broke, we would do our best to stick to handmade gifts for Christmas. It worked really well – I’m still wearing the knitted scarf that S gave me, M got a great knitting needle case from S and some sketchbooks from me for college, and S leads me to believe she wears the crochet collar I made her 😉 – and so we’ve decided to do the same this year. Unfortunately they both read this blog, so I can’t let anything slip about what I have planned, but suffice to say that a couple more weeks to work on everything would be welcome..! :-/

I can tell you that I’ve crocheted this cowl for my best friend (who thankfully doesn’t know this blog exists yet):

It’s made from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino wool in aran weight, which is such a gorgeous yarn – really warm & soft, with no itchiness at all. Plus the colour is fantastic. She’ll be getting a journal or two as well. (It helps that she’s a great writer, so I can actually justify using my bookbinding skills to give her things to write in..!) Continue reading

Crunching Numbers: 5 Pamphlet-Bound Notebooks

The hardest part of setting up a craft business isn’t actually making the stuff, it’s making it economically enough that you can actually sell it to people! The main cost in most crafty enterprises is usually the labour: the time it takes you to produce the things you plan to sell. I’m in the process of working out pricing structures at the moment. I made these notebooks today with a stopwatch (well, OK – a phone) on hand to see how long it would take to make 5.  Continue reading

Faux Leather Journal

You know when your day was turning out great, & then suddenly a couple of little things crop up & it goes all rubbish on you? Yeah. It’s been one of those. BUT at least I’ve just finished the faux leather journal I’ve been working on, so I’ve something to show for it!

I picked up the faux leather in the remnants basket of Hickey’s last year, & it’s good to finally use some of it. The tie is just a few colours of embroidery thread plaited together. What do you think?

Longstitched Card-Covered Notebooks

Today’s handiwork: two simple longstitched notebooks, with sheets of card for covers. A5.

The tutorial by Anya at sas-does.blogspot.ie was really helpful. You can find it here.

Now that I have the hang of the technique I think I’ll try tackling a faux leather one tomorrow.

That is, if the second-last run in my 5k training program doesn’t kill me first!

Tutorial: No-Pressure Newsprint Notebooks

A new notebook or sketchbook can be a bit intimidating. Especially if it’s a really nice one. All those blank pages! What if you mess it up with a crappy drawing, or you have to cross out & rewrite something?! And so you (or I, at least) never really get around to using it all that much.

These notebooks are not like that.They’re cheap & quick to make, & so you won’t really mind if your drawings turn out rubbish & your writing is messy. There’s no pressure to be perfect when you open up one of these.

It’ll take you less half an hour to make a pair, once you get the hang of it.

Continue reading

Finished!

I’ve just finished binding the second journal to its cover boards, so the pair is finished. Don’t they look great together?

I’ve definitely got to up my game, though – it took me far longer to make them than it should have. There’s definitely room for improvement in the execution, too. I’m hoping to buy a vertical plough for the studio so I can even off the page edges properly – a craft knife just doesn’t cut it.

If you’ll excuse the pun.

Now: what should I try next? Maybe a longstitched journal? Hmm. First, I’ll put together that tutorial: how to make a quick, cheap handsewn newsprint notebook.