Category Archives: craft

Face Masks and Weaving

Two completed face masks with fabric ties

It seems to me most makers are sewing masks at the moment and I’ve seen a few pop up for sale on my Instagram feed. The ones I’ve seen for sale are not of the quality I can make myself and I hope those makers are abiding to not for commercial use caveats. The masks shown in the photo are my current preferred mask pattern from Craftpassion. I’m not a big fan of the instructions on that site (too many options mixed up in the instructions) nor the number of ads that are served as you scroll through but the teenage and women- sized mask is a good fit for small faced people like, yes teenagers and women. I have tested the pattern on both.

While some of my crafting buddies are doing nothing but make masks and attend to their day jobs (and kudos to them for their focus and commitment) I have been mixing it up with a little yoga, a lot of cooking and some weaving.

Here is a little glimpse under my Druva four shaft floor loom. A long time ago I put a warp on to try Overshot, using the pattern in Next Steps in Weaving, which is such a great book for an advanced beginner like myself. I cheerfully ignored the instructions not to make the warp wider than specified, did the necessary calculations and expanded the width so the finished cloth can go on a table and not just in a collection of samples. I weave to use and to gift, not to have an awesome collection of samples.

I am now weaving my way through the different treadlings described in the book and having so much fun that I may well make some overshot towels next. There is a free pattern over at http://amandarataj.com for some very pretty overshot towels that she calls Bouquet Kitchen Towels. I’m very grateful to Amanda for sharing her pattern at no cost. It’s just what we need as we hunker down at home with our looms and our fibre stash.

Make your own Drip Coffee Filter Insert

These are interesting times. With stay at home directives issued in many states and provinces around the world, shopping has been reduced to an infrequent activity, undertaken only when absolutely necessary. Even then, you have no way of knowing whether you will be able to find the items on your shopping list. But let’s not talk about toilet paper.

Actually, let’s talk about toilet paper. I’ve seen some suggestions online that perhaps toilet or kitchen paper will do as a substitute for the paper filters we use to make coffee. Bad idea. Better idea: make your own. Here’s how.

Supplies you will need:

  1. One of your current paper filters
  2. A pencil and ruler
  3. Paper or tissue or interfacing to make your pattern
  4. Cable ties (or similar)
  5. Unbleached calico or similar tightly woven natural fabric
  6. A sewing machine, scissors and sewing supplies.

7. Make a pattern by tracing around your paper filter, adding 1 cm to the top.

8. Use your pattern to cut four filter sides pieces.

9. Cut four sections of cable tie that are each about 5 cm less than the height of your pattern (in my case 8cm)

10. Use a pencil to mark two channels to insert your cable tie sections into, plus a line down the bottom to stop the cable ties falling out.

11. Using two layers of fabric, sew the vertical channels, insert the cable ties and then seal then in place by sewing a horizontal line of stitching. Repeat so you have double thickness front and back sections.

12. Sew the front and back sections together at the sides and finish the seams with zig zag or a serger.

13. Zig zag or serge the top.

14. Wash to remove your pencil marks and enjoy your coffee!

It won’t stay this colour for long

Ombre Scarf

This scarf uses Bendigo 3ply for warp and weft and includes an ombre wool blend in the weft.

I love the drape and softness of this scarf but my next project will be focussed on achieving a better selvage. In attempting to avoid draw in I have gone too far in the other direction and have loopy selvages. My weaving mentor suggested weights on the selvages and I will also look at the angles and how snugly each pass fits at the edge.

A scarf knotted to show the colour variation at the ends

Keep going, keep making, keep improving.

Makeup Bag

I whipped up a makeup bag on Sunday.

Rectangular fabric bag with a metal zipper. There are eyebrow pencils and other makeup items lying on top of the bag.

Designed to be just a bit longer than my eyebrow pencil

It barely took 15 minutes to throw together and the hardest part was locating a zipper foot for my sewing machine. The accessories for my machine are currently AWOL and will probably turn up at the bottom of a stash box one day. The benefit of having a spare sewing machine (or two) is having additional accessories. The drawback of owning more than one sewing machine is sounding like a person who can’t control her impulses but I figure they don’t make ’em like they used to. Besides both of us use them.

Though only only of us sews makeup bags.

How many sewing machines do you own?