The Good Old Days

Here’s a little throwback to the good old days of quality workmanship and pride in your product, in the form of cotton bias binding. I bought it at my local thrift store. 

Bias binding is something I look out for in thrift stores as it’s generally a polyester cotton blend when I buy it new and that is not my preference. The older bindings also tend to be better more stable, either due to starch or simply a tighter weave.

Bias binding and its accompanying label

Love these stripes

The binding is made by WM. E. Wright Co in Massachusetts. This company stood by their product.

This material is fast colour and perfect in workmanship. Should it be faulty in any way, making the article on which it is applied unusable, we will reimburse you for the reasonable cost of your labor and all materials used in making the article.

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Picture Book Drawstring Backpack

A quick picture of a project I completed in 2017. In Australia little people need a library bag when they head off to school. From what I hear this isn’t a requirement in the US but I may have started a tradition by gifting it to a lovely little girl who lives in California. I hope its useful for her and her parents.

It was a fun project, using a Spotlight remnant licensed fabric for the outer layer and a fleecy cotton for the inside layer.

Library Bag

Who doesn’t love The Cat in the Hat?

Completed Hand Towels

I have now completed the six hand towels and while they aren’t without their treadling faults, I’m pretty happy.

hand towels

They were dented at 2-2 in a 10 dpi reed and the sett was 20 epi. The 6/2 cotton was sourced from Lunatic Fringe Yarns. Now they’ve been washed and pressed, the slightly funny selvages have come good and I’m happy that I made what I planned to and that my calculations were all OK. I was able to play with a number of twill patterns and that was great fun, as well as being part of the original project plan.

I did try a different, thicker weft yarn in plain weave with the small amount of warp left over on my Dorset loom after I completed the towels. I sampled using a pale yellow cotton weft yarn that’s a little thicker than 8/4 cotton. I can’t say too much more about that yarn as it was part of a yarn de-stash I purchased from a former loom owner who had a clean up over the holidays.

After washing the plain weave sample it’s looking like a winning combination for some future tea towels (dish towels) as the cloth is very stable, looks attractive and will have good absorbency.

True to form, I have the next project in mind already but putting that warp on the loom will have to wait until after Weaving Summer School at the Guild.

 

Reduce, reuse, recycle

I bought mosquito netting at the grand sum of 50 cents for a 25cm remnant at Spotlight yesterday and whipped up some proof of concept dry goods bags. 

A dry goods bag made out of mosquito netting and filled with black beans. The bag is tied closed with ribbon.

I tested the bags today. Concept proven. No good for flour though. I made three bags and each weighs 13-15 grams.

Cutlery Roll

Knife, fork and spoon stored in a fabric roll. The roll is open.

The slot on the right will fit a twill hand towel

Floral fabric cutlery roll closed with a knotted fabric band

All rolled up and ready to go to work 

This was a quick upcycling project. I got a knife, fork and spoon from my local Salvos Store and made up a cutlery roll to leave in my desk drawer at work. 

Cutlery roll 2.0 will include chopsticks.

Hand Towels in Twill

This twill exploration project is for hand towels that measure 10 1/2 inches wide in the reed. I am using 6/2 cotton and a sett of 20dpi.

The plan is to make a set of six towels and use different treadlings and combinations of the two colours.

I had a few warp tension issues and made a very serious threading error. The books tell you how to fix one wrong warp thread. They’re not so helpful when you have a block of 12 threads that are all wrong. My solution (as I had already started weaving) was to chop the whole lot off, fix the error and then tie the warp on again.

The first towel was 2/2 twill. The next will be broken twill. At the moment I don’t quite have an even weave so once again I find myself praying that the miracle of wet finishing will once again be transformative. This weaving business is hard.

And fun.

Hanten Jacket 

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Do your projects sometimes take on a life of their own? This one did for me. It was intended to be a prototype but ended up as a project. Here’s the story:

I wanted to be true to the origins of the hanten jacket, a padded garment traditionally worn by workers.

Being true meant adding batting, which added complexity and a need for quilting.

Adding batting meant adding a lining, which for me was unbleached calico from my stash.

Following tradition meant having a contrasting neck band, which I read about online.

Being thrifty meant finding a wooden barrel button at the ops shop (charity shop.)

Using a button closure meant braiding a round kumihimo eight strand braid for the button loop and button band.

Using a round kumihimo eight strand braid closure meant learning how to transition that round braid to an eight strand flat braid so I could comfortably fit it under the sewing machine presser foot to attach it to the front band.

And dos it goes….

Pattern Source: Clothing from the Hands that Weave by Anita Luvera Mayer from Kay Faulkners extensive library.

In progress. I later swapped the fabric hanging loop for a braided one. Prototype closure elements.

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Quilting template and kumihimo disk. 3/2 cotton for the braids.