Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scraps to Eyeglass Cases

I showed you my scraps, now I will show you something I have made with them.  Some time ago, at some thrift store, I found a big pile of 6" squares of lightweight denim.  It's probably a lifetime supply, as there are hundreds of them.  They are great to play with, practicing different techniques. Here's a photo of some of the ones I have played with:

The top left block I was just zigzagging down random scraps of fabric out of my bag.  The lower left block  I have stitched down some fancier fabric scraps and ribbons randomly The two blocks on the right are both string quilting, one square completely covered, the other square leaving half of the denim exposed.

Today I started playing with my scraps and looking at the squares I had finished, and decided they were the perfect size to become eyeglass cases, a useful item we are in need of at my house. The project also gave me the opportunity to practice some techniques I need to work on, like binding.  

So far I have made three cases, and started number four I decided the cases needed some kind of soft lining for the glasses.  The first one I used a piece of a felted sweater for the inside, and made a strap out of the bottom edge of the sweater, making it kind of curly by folding it in half and zigzagging the open end. It will be functional, even though it didn't turn out perfectly,which is kind of the point of this post. by sewing small things that I can use, I get to play around, practice, and if it's not perfect that's ok.

Here's the first one I made. I ended up with some double stitching, because I didn't catch the binding right the first time.  I also decided the felted sweater was too thick, as I had a REALLY hard time with the edges and with sewing the strap in.  It was was just too thick.  

It will work fine to hang from my roommate's bed post so she won't loose her glasses. We have three glasses wearers in this house, all with multiple pairs of glasses, so I can make a few more, each one learning from the last one.  Case two has binding that then extends to become the strap. My stitching is better, but I still had extra lines of  unwanted stitches showing.

This one took awhile, because I sewed several 2" strips of fabric together and then made a binding out of that, which also became the strap.Again, this is not perfect, but it gave me lots of practice edge stitching, using binding, and construction of an item without a pattern.

Case number three I used the hem of a sheet I had cut up, and ran it through my sewing machine with a zigzag stitch to cover the raw edge.  I attached the strap after constructing the case, which again left me with some stitching I didn't want to see.  

Now I will be moving on to case number four, which I haven't finished.  I think I will solve my problem of not so pretty stitches showing by attaching the strap first, then sewing on the binding which will cover where I attached the strap, then sewing it up.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

I am not one to want to dive into putting the binding on a quilt before I practice, yet I don't want to practice on things that won't be used.  I also like to use my scraps up.  Now I have 2 eyeglass cases for my roommate and one for me finished.  I'll finish number four next time, it's getting a little late tonight.  I had fun making string quilted squares, and turning them into eyeglass holders.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, on the other 2 cases, I fused a smaller piece of fleece to the back of the square, so it wouldn't be in the seam.  It works much better, less bulk but still soft. I like the long straps because I can wear it around my neck, or hang it from a bedpost or hook. I need all the help I can get to not lose things!

Practice while making something you need.  I also need potholders.....

Here's my current sewing area:

It's kinda cramped together until we finish the floor in the front room.  Then I will have a bigger area.  I'll have to post a bigger photo that shows the sewing cabinet.  I found it at that Goodwill outlet place I told you about for 4.99.  I can't lower my machine to be hidden in the cabinet,  I can't put a bolt into the bottom of my viking. It was probably made for something like a Singer Touch and Sew. But I have a nice table it sits down into, a large cabinet, about 5 feet wide, with lots of storage.  I can even keep my serger in the cabinet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Saving Them...Using Them

I know my family thinks I am nuts. Sometimes they even call me a hoarder, because I save ALL of my fabric scraps. I have always collected fabric and I have always saved most scraps, but now I save ALL of them.  I have a big pillowcase I put the scraps that I either haven't dealt with, or are the ones most people would throw away.

You can also see the little garbage can I keep next to me when I am sewing, to throw the scraps in while i am sewing. Later it will be dumped in the bag, even the thread scraps. Bigger scraps go into a milk crate, until I either cut them into strips or squares.  The small scraps, selvages, sheet hems, etc... all get put into the bag.  Even if they are never used in a sewing project, they could become the filling for a floor pillow, which does not have to be as soft.  My thought is to wrap the blob of scraps with something softer like batting or even an old comforter, then make a cool pillow cover out of all of the usable you have and you have a wonderful floor pillow. .