Tag 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.

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.

Cross-Over Apron 

Front view of cross-over apron showing double bound finish

Front View

This apron was based on Kwik Sew 2311. I’ve been wanting to make a cross-over apron for a while and had been planning to draft my own, until I discovered the pattern in my collection.

I avoid using bias binding as the commercial product tends to be poor quality fabric and it’s almost always too narrow for my purposes. I usually make a hash of attaching it, too, so used a Hong Kong finish at the neck and along the arm and double binding on the back and hem.

The binding fabric is remnant from Spotlight, of Premium Cotton Sateen in Wedgewood colour, purchased for $1 when they had all their remnants on sale, but normally priced at $16.99 per metre. The binding fabric width was 127cm. I was only able to verify that the fabric was 100% cotton after taking it to the register and asking the staff to scan the bar code, which fortunately was still attached. The fabric seemed to have some spandex in it as it was moderately stretchy and I was able to cut my binding strips on the cross grain.

image

 

Next time I would stay stitch the neck before attaching the binding. I might also play with the back shoulder component of the pattern to make it curve a little more, for a better fit to the body.

Modified Pattern

 

I omitted the button closure in the original pattern. Closures on aprons can so easily open at the wrong time, not something I want in my workwear. It’s easy to put on and take off without the button closure in the original pattern. I did test that before sewing the shoulder seam.

 

A Warm Welcome at In Between Stitches in Livermore, CA

Quilt samples on display, pineapple quilt and bolts of fabric

Not usually my cup of tea but I even thought these pineapples were cute.

I bought a $4 silicone thimble at In Between Stitches and I received a warm welcome on a 38 C degree day, which I believe is 100 F. Regardless of your measurement system, I think we can agree that’s a hot a hot day. Hot enough for ice cream, but that came later.

If the weather was warm, the welcome at In Between Stitches was equally so. I met one of the owners who took the time to chat with me, told me which is her favourite quilting magazine, wished me a good visit to California and even sent me away with a complimentary copy of Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Sampler Magazine from 2010 in which their store was featured. This is easily the most authentic and friendly response I’ve had when I’ve mentioned this blog to any quilt store proprietor, in any country and I am thankful and appreciative. These people do so much more than parrot ‘Have a nice day’ when you leave.

Cutting area inside the store with work in progress and quilts hanging on the wall behind
They offer classes, have a beautifully designed shop and the samples are to my mind tasteful and inspiring. If you’re in the Livermore area, visit this shop at 2190 First St. You won’t regret it.

Photos were taken with permission.