Tag Archives: sewing

4 Reads to Help You Get Out of a Creative Slump

Over the last 2 years or so, due to major stress, I’ve been really struggling creatively. Not necessarily coming up with ideas, but implementing them. Going from making and creating all the time to completing nada was a horrible feeling. Honestly that feeling probably helped pushed me away more from any small idea I came up with.

This may be something that is fairly common for everyone at different points in their lives.

Recently I took it upon myself to make some changes in my life that could possibly help with my problem.

  • I’ve created a very loose schedule for myself. If something really important comes up, OK I’ll have to craft another time
  • I’m starting with smaller projects to help me get back into the groove
  • I’m going to try and be kinder to myself and spend more time doing things I enjoy
  • I’m going to get back into using a sketchbook as often as possible

Those a few of the very basic steps I’ve taken and should help me out!

Below I’ve included a few links to some articles that cover some more in-depth ideas.

Please let me know what you’ve done if you’ve ever felt this way!

XO Jane – The Creative Slump: 4 Tips For Finding Your Way Out Of Them

Alyson Stanfield – 10 Paths to Help You Emerge from a Creative Slump

Aileen Swanson – How to “Sketch Book” Your Way Out Of A Creative Slump

Stepping Into Big – 5 Ways Out of a Creative Slump

 

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Mittens!….oh meh.

So…I normally always make a (measured) pattern, but I got a little gung-ho today. “The rest of my felted wool will make rockin’ mittens!” I thought to myself and drew up a quick mitten shape around my hand on tracing paper. Well the mitten I drew was a cartoon mitt, not a functional in real life mitt.
mitts2

Still this didn’t stop me! I was excited, I was going to make pretty mittens! I was oh so close…

So I cut out my pieces, sewed them up…then noticed they looked a little funny…then tried them on. Oh dear. There was way too much fabric between my thumb and the rest of my hand. It was like a tiny little cartoon thumb, not a human opposable thumb.

I picked the stitches out and tried to save them. I basically did. They fit which is great, I just didn’t give myself enough of a seam allowance so I don’t think they would last long if I wore them through the winter. I plan on either attempting to fix them again, or making kids mittens out of them.
mitts1

Too bad, but I did it to myself! You live, you learn. Probably didn’t help that I was being watched by 15-20 cows the whole time. The brown one in this photo was staring at me for ages. Ya, it’s their fault, they threw me off 😉
cows

Wool Clutch Bag – I loved making this!

I’m currently taking a design and textiles program at Orkney College and we’ve just started learning to use knitting machines. I think I’ve fallen in love with knitting machines, but I’ll get into that later.

I had knit a fairly large piece of turquoise lambs wool and hadn’t fully decided what I was going to do with it. I decided to felt it, so I popped it in the washing machine on 40 with a towel. I knew I wanted to make a bag and started searching online for inspiration.

I came across a great tutorial by The Renegade Seamstress for a wool clutch bag and decided to give it a go. I decided I wanted to line my bag and also do some machine embroidery. I also decided to cover it with a few Swarovski crystals I had kicking around.

woolclutch1

Now my first piece of advice on felted wool is make sure it’s properly felted before you cut into it. Just snip a corner and if it doesn’t fray you’re good to go, otherwise pop it back in the machine. I had to rewash mine. Don’t forget you lose about 30% of the size with each wash.
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I always make a pattern out of a tracing paper before I set off. I’ve had too many issues when I’ve decided to eyeball it! I created two pattern pieces, once for the felt and one for the fabric as it was going to see a seam allowance.

woolclutch3

Next I cut the fabric and marked out where I wanted the corner on the front to the cut. Ok, obviously I needed to cut a corner out of the lining as well and this is where I messed up…twice. First go I cut the wrong corner…so make sure you line your fabric up properly. So I cut a new piece of fabric, cut the correct corner but totally forgot about the seam allowance! Ah well, I made it work in the end.

After cutting out the wool I covered it with various machine embroidery stitches. I didn’t follow any guide or anything, just went with it. I then tied each row of stitching off and sewed on the crystals using a clear thread. After I was finished with the wool, I sewed up the edges of the lining and pinned it to the wool.

woolclutch4

Ok so my blanket stitch leaves a lot to be desired, but I got through it and finished it.

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Over all I’m really happy with my first attempt at this bag and thought the tutorial was great. I feel my bag is a bit big, and next time I think I might use some interfacing so it’s not as floppy.

If you have an old wool sweater kicking around, give it try! Thanks Renegade Seamstress, that was fun!