Saturday, 9 April 2016

Something picked

I decided to make a pocket calendar thing, for holding reminders/tickets/cards etc during the year.

For many years we've used either a Lakeland "family planner" calendar or their "couples calendar", both of which have a pocket a the bottom of each month.We haven't used the calendar part for some years, but the pocket bit is useful.

DH commented that the calendar was a bit out of date and, as I'd thought about this briefly in the past, I decided on the spur of the moment that I would make something.

Several hours in to making my epic sewn-and-embroidered version, I realised that I could have achieved something perfectly satisfactorily, in paper and card,  in less than an hour.  At this point it was too late to turn back.  I'd cut fabric and pressed and hemmed edhes,  I'd cut 12 pockets, ironed and hemmed edges, folded and ironed pockets,  and started to embroider the month name on the pockets. 

Looking back now, it wasn't really that difficult.  It seemed a challenge at the time because I hadn't sewn much before,  wasn't sure how to make the pocket expandable without being saggy,  wasn't sure about lining it all up,  wasn't sure about how to actually assemble it so it would turn over neatly. 

Just trying to iron and sew the backing pieces so they were the sme size was a bit of a challenge.  Then trying to get 12 pockets the same size, all neatly sewn, was tough.   I realised that it would have been a lot less trouble if I'd gone for a plain background with patterned pockets and no embroidery. 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

And the amount of pinning and testing I did before sewing the background pieces together... anyone would think I was engineering a rocket to the moon.      The difficulty for me is that I have to see these things to work out how to do them.  I don't have enough experience (or I didn't) to rely on the picture in my mind's eye.

On the plus side, I've learned a lot.  I was able to sew while my embroidery machine did the embroidery.  I was able to test the ergonomics of my new sewing area.   I got to use my Kam Presses (and have now ordered lots more colours of kam snaps).

Anyway, here it is. There are lots of little niggles and mistakes - stitching isn't always straight,  it's scrappy in places,  but it is what it is. My first completed combined project:

By the way, most of the pictures were taken while it was lying in a heap on the kitchen table.

I wished that I had some sort of measure on my ironing press to help me with pressing seams....  I've discovered some fabric which has tape measure printing, and so I've now added a press cover made in tape measure fabric to my list of projects.

I also found that the pieces I'd cut for the background would have ade lovely placemats.  I ended up, ahem, stumbling across  (after a lot of googling) some heat resistant wadding, so that's another project to my list.

I had to stop part way through to make some other pieces.  A card for my neice's birthday tomorrow (I forgot to take a picture);   a headband request from one of my granddaughters - which ended up being matching headbands for her and her friendl when I made them  I wondered if I could make the whole design narrower, so I did some work on that and then made 2 more.    They were collected before I had a chance to photograph them.

And, finally, a card for my friend Sandra.
EmbroideryGarden then had a sale,  and I ended up buying another bucketload of designs, yet more projects to add to The List.

The List is now so long that I've had to write it down. And I've had to limit myself to writing down only those things that I am really going to try and do in the forseeable future. (Otherwise I'd feel overwhelmed and, knowing what I'm like, I would then go off the whole idea of sewing and embroidery).

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