genevieve – print and pattern

print and pattern


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sewing and snowing

janome sewing machine - genevieve blog

Well, after agonising for many months, I decided to bite the bullet and get a brand new sewing machine. I’m very pleased with it. It sews like a dream and everything just seems so easy. Shock of shocks, even the product manual was simple to follow.

It was like a snow dome outside last Sunday with big fat flakes falling all day so I when I got back into the warm, it seemed an idyllic moment to crack out the new machine.

snowy view - genevieve blog

I decided to test run it on an easy project: two tea towels with hanging loops.

When I was in Japan, I found some lovely linen (in an enormous craft shop called Okadaya) which had ‘cute kitchen fabric’ written all over it. It was the perfect cloth for the job. It’s quite unusual in that it has a different pattern on each side – spots on one side, stripes on the other – which in my eyes is the best of both worlds. You get the double-sided pattern without having to line it separately. It also means there’s no ‘wrong’ side on a tea towel. In fact I actually prefer the ‘wrong’ side as it has the thin line of contrasting fabric around the edge, in a bias binding effect.

tea towel - genevieve blogpinned tea towels - genevieve blogsewing tea towels - genevieve blogI followed the instructions from Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter but barely needed to, as tea towels are as simple as it gets really. A great quick win for adding some colour or pattern to your kitchen.

hanging tea towel - genevieve blogtwo tea towels - genevieve bloghanging tea towel - genevieve blogI have quite a bit of the fabric left over and, if I’ve interpreted correctly, it seems to be saying  ‘make me into an apron’. I’ll post the results in due course!

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a tote a day

the calm before the (sewing) storm

I used a sewing machine a bit when I was little, but only started again in earnest about 2 years ago only when I was given my Gran’s old Viking Husqvarna 3010, fully signing up to the craft revolution along with the rest of East London. My mum used to make all her clothes back in the day and is pretty handy with a sewing machine, so she’s been holding my hand as I’ve progressed through sewing straight seams, quilting and zips. Excellent (and patient) teacher though she is, I’m a methodical soul and in the name of confidence-building, recently took a beginners sewing course at the Make Lounge to make a simple tote bag.

colour coordinated fabrics

I was afraid I was going to go into fabric-overwhelm when I arrived, but my pattern radar homed in on these two in the first couple of minutes:

which one to choose

The slow-to-medium pace was just right in helping me through my constant mini-panics and keeping me progressing at the same time. The teacher was great and I had a relaxed but satisfying sewing experience (NB. the wine definitely helped).

at the foot of the janome

I loved the Janome machines we used in the course, and I am sorely tempted to buy one, if it weren’t for the guilt of selling out to a modern and less beautiful machine than my Gran’s. My Viking sadly has some key problems and so the debate continues – pay a lot of money to fix it (or perhaps not) or pay slightly more money to buy a new modern one.

tote in the making

I’m pretty pleased with the end result, which has found its calling hanging from the kitchen door as a cloth-bag storer.

Usually, I would never consider making anything on a Monday night after a long day at work, but this course has inspired me to overcome the need for a long free Sunday.

totes lush