Sewing and Bargains

Sewing and Bargains

I’m doing another Craft Fair at the beginning of November so I wanted to make a few diary covers. This usually involves my desk getting covered with embroidery threads, and the only exception this time was that I decided to tidy them up too. I made cardboard ‘bobbins’ for some of them and spent ages untangling and winding and then putting duplicate spares in a bag. Then a couple of days later I decided to clear some more drawers and spread the threads out a bit, make them even tidier and easy to choose. These are all the drawers:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the pieces I’m using for a book cover is a piece I made years ago. I wanted to see if I could make a subtle plaid design by laying out bold stripes of colours on my two layers, it was more subtle than I thought, but I like it. I’ve cut to size and sewn the inside pocket edges so far:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou might remember this next piece from when I tried some commercial pre-felt from Heidi Feathers. The silk hadn’t attached in a couple of places so I added blanket stitch, then decided to add some more simple stitching in the blocks of colour. I’m still working on this, and have added a bit more since I took the photo:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI went in to the city centre this week, which I don’t often do, so made the most of it looking for bargains. I found a couple of elasticated summer dresses for £1 each so got them because I liked the pattern, they were only tiny though, so once I cut the top off, the bottom was a bit bigger than a pillow case, but well worth £1!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the same shop I treated myself to a ‘scarf’ because I liked the pattern, it’s actually the size of a door!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI saw this scarf in a bargain shop and thought I’d see if it nuno felts well:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, I couldn’t go to town without a trip to Abakhan fabric shop, where I got some more braiding (I took a photo of the back for you, Ann!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd probably the best bargain of the day, I found a roll of silk fabric, down from £10 a metre to £3, so I had to get some 🙂

silk 2

19 thoughts on “Sewing and Bargains

  1. Jealous! I love that piece of silk (especially at £3 a metre) but all your finds are pretty and it’ll be fun felting with them.
    I really like the stitching you’ve done and I hope you post a photo of the finished piece. The book cover is going to be great – the colours are fab.
    Whoever thought that winding embroidery threads in a devilish fashion then binding them with two pieces of paper should be hauled up before the courts of common sense.

    1. Thanks, Lyn 🙂
      Yeah, I’ll post the finished piece, I’m unsure whether to make it into a book cover too, that was the plan. One day I’ll work out how to unwind threads 🙂

  2. You got some bargains there zed. I wish there was an Abakan near me. The diary covers are looking good.
    You’ve made me feel very guilty at the state of my embroidery threads which are becoming more and more tangled! 🙁

    1. Thanks, Judith 🙂
      It really is a great shop for fabrics and findings. If I knew of a better way to store my threads, I would, I don’t think they’ll stay neat for long!

  3. Oh, how tidy your drawer of embroidery threads looks! It must have taken you a lot of time. Mine are in a bundle all messy. Perhaps some day when it is raining and the light is not good for felting I’ll tidy them up too.
    And the bargains, wou wonderful! You got some beautiful pieces. here if there is a sale you don’t get anything under 5EUR and we still call it a bargain. Like you I am always looking for something which I will use for nuno felting and my pile is growing and growing. At the moment I keep all the fabrics in different bags acording to colours but will need to find another way.

    1. Thanks, Nada 🙂
      I don’t even want to think how long it took, just doing reds, oranges and yellows took about 2 1/2 hours one night! I don’t have a solution for your fabrics, I use archive boxes from Ikea (70p each) for big pieces, and shoe boxes for smaller ones. I’ve seen some people use pieces of card, folding the fabric over and put on bookcases.

  4. Hello Zed, it looks like you had a lovely trip and found some great finds. I especially like your pretty ribbons. Your book cover is very bright and bold. I think adding stitching to projects always make them special.

    1. Thanks, Judy 🙂
      I did try to learn more embroidery stitches, but just can’t remember them!

  5. You really did scoop up the bargains! I’ve a soft spot for discounted braiding and ribbons, and yes–silk! I expect we will see your bits and bobs in future felting projects.

  6. Ooh, I don’t know you could have settled for just one meter of that silk. It’s beautiful! Whatever you use it for will be great. I like the piece for the bookcover. I look forward to seeing it finished. I just love getting a bargain. You sure made a nice haul. :-).

    Good luck with your fair!

    1. Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      A book cover will probably be the first thing I use the silk for, of course! I’ll post pics of the fair again.

  7. I wish I found bargains like you, Zed… Loved your drawer, and now I think I might try to make a felted cover for a notebook 🙂

    1. Thanks, Leonor 🙂
      Poundland is great for scarves, Pound World is great for Embroidery threads, Home Bargains, B + M, Pound Bargains, charity shops, are the other places I mostly go in. Primark is always good for rails of really cheap clothes, if you can find something in a really large size, you can get a good amount of cheap fabric, and the scarves are cheap too 🙂
      Good luck with your book cover!

  8. I am envious of your neatened threads. I should take a photo of my thread boxes for comparison – utter chaos at the moment. I’m looking forward to seeing the notebook covers. I hope your fair goes well and you sell a lot 🙂 Looks like your shopping trip was worth the effort – the silk fabric was a definite “steal”.

    1. Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      I should have done a before and after too! I was surprised at the silk, I thought for a minute they didn’t realise it was silk, maybe they just think the pattern is too gaudy!

  9. Great bargain hunting, The backs of ribbon are as interesting as the fronts. I like the stitching on the woven piece. it really pops the weave. All the thread I have with the 2 papers on them if you pull the cut end that is sticking out the top, the thread pull out easily. Do it any other way and forget it. I have cardboard butterflies to wind extra or split threads onto. I will take a pictue and show you on the forum.

    1. Thanks, Ann 🙂
      Yeah, that’s the theory with the embroidery threads, and it’s great when it happens, but often they just tug and tangle and pull! Some of the cardboard bobbins I made were like the ones you showed, some were longer strips for 3 colours, I snipped notches in then folded them back instead of cutting out, it helped keep the piece from curving.

  10. The piece you made with pre-felt reminds me of the small piece I bought from you some years back when I was entranced by the effect of simple stitching on a felted work. It’s very striking. I love the fabrics but I have an inkling I would like what you make with them even more.

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