Tag Archives: Buckram

Upcycling

You might have been a bit bemused by my focus on de-cluttering yesterday.  Today I can report that it has a purpose in the sewing/crafting/bag making world – I have used some of my de-cluttered clothes to make a bag for a very special friend of mine who has his ninth birthday today.

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I used a pair of my old jeans for the outside, including using the pocket as the bag’s outer pocket, and lined it with cotton from a pair of pyjama pants (lovely soft worn cotton).  I appliqued his initial in the same denim so it is subtle, but still personal. The bag was designed for him to be able to carry his iPad mini, so I also took the opportunity to experiment with the fusible Buckram that I bought a week or so ago.  I used it for the flap, and for the back panel of the bag, so that it has some structure and stiffness around the iPad.  I am really happy with my experimentation but did learn a few things along the way.

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The first one ( so obvious in hindsight) is that if you are using a really stiff interfacing, don’t expect that you will be able to turn the bag inside-out or outside-in through the normal smallish opening!  Much wrangling was required to get the bag in the right way – next time I will have the opening in a completely different place, and MUCH bigger!  However using the rigid interfacing and fusing it to the denim meant that I was much less concerned about the ‘worn’ parts of the denim, like the hole(s) appearing above the pocket.  It won’t be a weak spot on the bag – just a feature! (and please excuse the slightly wonky stitching – it did get a rework before being gifted!)

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The birthday boy was thrilled with his gift, and I was inspired to re-inspect the bags of clothes to be donated to see if there are any more bag worthy garments to be upcycled or repurposed!  I am also eyeing off the linen cupboard next……..

Those of you who read my newsletter will know that I provided some sage advice on maintaining focus in your business and remembering what is in scope and what is out of scope.  Within hours of sending that out I had an idea that was very bright and shiny and completely distracted me for a good 24 hours.  Luckily I have a great team of cohorts to bounce ideas off and one in particular helped me to sort through the idea, recognise it’s merits, and put it into perspective.  Phew!  The idea involves working with other local crafts people to do a pop-up shop to showcase our wares, and is, in fact a really good idea.  But not for next month!  (Yes I was completely overambitious for a few hours!).  That will now be bubbling away on the back burner and gaining slow momentum across the next few months, rather than the next few days.

Time for me to take my own advice.  I need to come back to my plan, use my focus, and stay within the parameters.

With that thought in mind, I am off to the sewing room to prepare for a week of being creative!  The chicks start school tomorrow, which means that anything could happen, but I hope to get a few hours in and create some new pieces of colour.  Have a great week!

 

A new toy!

I was so excited to see my favourite postman arrive this morning to deliver my indulgent purchase of a few weeks ago – a Singer ESP2 steam press!  I am hoping to cut my interface applying time dramatically by using it, so will keep you informed how that goes.  I haven’t used it yet as I need an adapter on the plug but am enjoying just admiring the shininess of it!

(I bought it on Ebay and saved a lot of money but had to wait a bit longer than anticipated for it to arrive and now have to wait another day before I can get the correct adaptor!  I am learning lessons in patience!)

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I also popped out to our local Spotlight to buy up in the sale that started today.  I found this gorgeous black and white cotton duck – the possibilities are divine!

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As all the interfacing was 30% off, and as I only had the eldest chick with me, I spent some time examining it more closely than my usual ‘rush in and rush out’.  As a result I have two new types to experiment with – a very stiff woven sew in interfacing, and some buckram – fusible and relatively stiff too.

Isn’t it funny how life works.  I was investigating different interfacings a few days ago as I want to do some bulk ordering to save money, and save running out of the one that I prefer (which can only be bought by driving into the next state on a round trip that takes a minimum of 1 hour.)  During my searching I came across the term buckram, learnt that it was a woven stiffener and didn’t think much more.  Then today I saw it and recognised the name and thought I would experiment a bit.  I have now done some research and understand a lot more about it!

Buckram appears to have been one of the first stabilizers invented (and Wikipedia tells me that the word “bokeram’ was used in the Middle Ages).  It is a cloth woven of cotton, and often soaked in starch to provide stiffness, that can be used for making hats (when wet, moulded over a hat form and allowed to dry), and is the stiff woven cover used on hardback books.  Modern applications also include providing the stiffness at the top of pleated drapes/curtains, and inside the front of baseball caps!  Once I knew all of this I realised that I had always been aware of it – just didn’t know what it was called!  So there you go – I learnt something new!  Now to work out the best project to maximize it’s potential!

In other news I discovered today that Apple offer a trade-in on dead iPods.  I took the boy’s iPod Touch in to see if it could be salvaged after he somehow bent the port for the charger so it couldn’t be charged (I really don’t know how), and after some valiant efforts by the staff at the “Genius bar” (boy do I need to get a job there so my official title can be ‘Genius’) we all agreed that it was beyond saving.  The Genius that was serving us then explained their recycling program and the discount for replacing like for like – which really took the sting out of a dead expensive gadget!  I didn’t know about that before, so thought it was worth sharing.

No board game updates tonight, as the boy and the middle chick are not home (sleep-overs etc.) but I can report that the eldest chick won 5 out of 6 of the songs that she challenged me on while playing “Just Dance” on the Wii – and that I was able to reclaim some dignity by winning the dancing to “YMCA” – all that muscle memory from my misspent youth kicked in!

Perhaps some sewing might actually occur!  Any suggestions on how best to experiment with the stiff interfacing and the buckram are very welcome!!