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Tag Archives: mattress ticking

safely out the other side

There was far too much far-too-late-night sewing, in part because I realised at a very late hour that I’d quite overlooked one young couple! I was able to pull together a little parcel of mixed homewares for them but felt there needed to be something more personal; so I made another Simple Linen Apron. No photos exist. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Long scarves are notoriously difficult to photograph, particularly so late at night. I think you can see the stripes quite well and the colour is probably fairly accurate.

Long scarves are notoriously difficult to photograph, particularly so late at night. I think you can see the stripes quite well and the colour is probably fairly accurate.

As to the rest? The ends were sewn in on the Tarrantino scarf and I wasn’t even doing it while we were travelling. That’s pat-on-the-back territory, that is. The other two aprons were finished and the one with the accompanying lavender bag had it slipped into a pocket. That was mostly before midnight, I think. Sleep? Well, there wasn’t quite enough of that but I wasn’t driving to any of our engagements, so I could have zizzed in the back seat and I doubt if either of the Bs would have noticed. As it was, I started knitting a pair of fingerless mitts. Hours of travelling time is such a productive thing!

Wider stripes and dark ties for this second Simple Linen Apron

Wider stripes and dark ties for this second Simple Linen Apron. The first one had white ties, like the lavender bag in this picture.

I hope you managed to get all your crafting and handiwork finished and celebrate in fine style, as indeed we did on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, both times with family and friends. Youngest Aunt had requested some slightly cooler weather, please, for the Boxing Day feast and the weather gods had been most obliging about that. We had a lovely time out under her pergola, eating baked snapper with the radio tuned to the Boxing Day Test in the background. I hope you had a lovely time, too.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2013 in Knitting, Sewing

 

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then some days I surprise myself

Those of you who do a lot of sewing, especially those who make clothes, will no doubt be familiar with the experience of looking at a finished article and finding it good: at least nicely made, having a quality finish and perhaps fabric, and something that you’d pay a lot for – if indeed, you could replicate it – if you had to buy it in a shop. Me? Well, you saw my recent wearable toile. Really, most of my sewing is mending or small household things. For all my grand plans, I don’t actually get much clothing sewn.

And you can't even tell that I had to redo a bit of topstitching where I ran off the edge!

And you can’t even tell that I had to redo a bit of topstitching where I ran off the edge!

I’m not sure if an apron is necessarily clothing, either. Some might argue that it’s an accessory since its main purpose is to protect clothing. Whichever school of thought you support, I made a really nice, stripey one the other day. It’s a Christmas present, of course, and its manufacture had to be slotted in around the usual chores of domestic life because I can’t sew at night (that’s a matter of simple household logistics, not so much that I wouldn’t be happy to sew all night).

Next morning, when I went back to the sewing room to check that it was properly finished – no threads hanging off or things of that unruly nature – I found myself pleasantly astonished by what a fine-looking apron I had in my hands. Wow, the pocket lines up. All the stripes align, except where I had fun playing with a contrasting alignment for the pocket, as you can see in the photo. How regular are those half-inch hems? And, gee, isn’t that a tidy bit of topstitching?! Quite a lot of tidy topstitching, in fact, all around the apron. Impressive.

All praise to my walking foot for managing to skate over so many layers of mattress ticking, which was the fabric I used to make the apron. Thanks, too, to the Purl Bee‘s wonderful Simple Linen Apron pattern and instructions. I have a favourite, tried and very true apron pattern that I’ve used to death for many, many years but decided that it was time to do something different. This is simple but satisfyingly elegant and I’m sure the intended recipient will love it. Because it’s cotton, it might have a slightly lower protective factor than a plastic or coated fabric, but it will be cooler; and when you’re slaving away over a hot stove on a 40-degree day, that’s important.

And you know that old saying about pride going before a fall? Let this be a lesson to you to look at the pictures, chickadees. I had a moment of doubt when cutting out the neck straps, because there didn’t seem to be a sufficient measurement differential but pushed ahead and followed the instructions. I even went ahead and constructed and attached according to the instructions. And, yeah, the instructions are wrong! If you go back and look at the pictures, as I did only after the event, you’ll see that one neck tie is a lot shorter than the other, not just a few inches. Oh, well, a small bit of retro-engineering was able to fix that, but I was cross with myself more than cranky with the pattern because my usual way of dealing with D-rings ought to have given me the tip.

Fabric: perhaps half a metre of cotton mattress ticking (nominally 150 cm wide, I think) bought at Spotlight in the city at least a year ago, possibly two. I prewashed, knowing it was very likely to shrink; and it did.

Thread: Coats Drima Polyester in an ecru colourway, which I’ve had for years and is no longer available (no, not white. I like that small contrast and, to be truthful, I wouldn’t have been able to see what I was doing if I’d used a white thread that completely disappeared into the fabric.).

Size: Adult; but one size given that consideration.

Changes to pattern: I stitched the hem on the pocket piece before attaching it to the apron.  That helped avoid the fluff-collecting extra flap of fabric in the pocket and made for a slightly tidier finish (just my opinion; but since ticking is very prone to fraying, I thought too that the zigzagged edges alone might not do the job). And, you know, there was the thing with the neck tie.

All in all, I’m very happy with this. I should have spotted the problem with the neck tie earlier, but it was easily fixed. So, okay, here we are a few days away from Christmas and I’ve finished one gift. Right! Will I have to resort to gift vouchers from Bunnings for the boys (they’re all tinkerers of one sort or another) and Dymocks for the girls (who are mostly rapacious readers), do you think? What’s your emergency plan?

Good luck with it all, anyway.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Sewing

 

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