functional sewing

wpid-20130628_090629.jpgIn the run up to the weekend wedding, I spent a lot of time sewing. Not exciting-presents sewing, or hope-this-skirt-doesn’t-look-like-a-tent sewing, but functional sewing. Somehow the shirts for the groom’s party had sleeves that only came down to their elbows, and I volunteered to sort them out.

I quite like functional sewing. It’s not necessarily pretty, but it can still be fun, and you get something useful at the end of it. I’m usually sewing for myself, so it doesn’t matter if things aren’t quite perfect.

I was given a work laptop recently, that came with an enormous case, far too big to carry all the time. I wanted something that would protect the laptop while I carried it in a rucksack. After a few attempts, I managed this…

DSCF6266… made from a cotton pillowcase lined with red fleece. It has a couple of poppers to close it at the top. Despite my worries about it being white (I’m not well known for cleanliness) it’s been going strong for several months now and hasn’t even needed a wash yet.

I also recently acquired (not from work) a xaphoon. ‘Er, what??’ I hear you ask… A xaphoon, a ‘pocket saxophone’ – extremely cheerful and with no practical use whatsoever.

However, since it’s meant to be portable, it needed a case.

DSCF6270Again, nothing fancy, just a rectangle of fleece, and a rectangle of this rather fabulous red chinese fabric from a pair of charity shop trousers. I didn’t bother with a fastening, since it’s a nice snug fit.

I’m not actually that good at sewing. I can’t hand sew a straight line, and I do a lot of head-scratching and cursing when trying to make anything. I’m not particularly good at following patterns, and often end up making things two or three times before I get them right. But there is a certain satisfaction that comes from being able to make things for yourself.

One thing I’d love to be able to do is alter clothes. I turned a sundress into a skirt recently, which took far longer than it needed to, and still has a gap at the side where it doesn’t quite do up properly. I’d love to see something fabulous in a charity shop and know I could alter it to fit just right. I noticed today I’m missing a free clothes-altering workshop this weekend – what a pity! I must get in touch and enthusiastically ask if they’ll run it again…

Can you sew? Have you made anything useful for yourself recently?

This entry was posted in look what i made!, make do and mend, needle and thread. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to functional sewing

  1. Gill says:

    ’twas your random makes that prompted me to convert a dress into something functional. It would never occur to me to make a laptop bag, you’re so creative.

  2. Robyn says:

    Ahh – your laptop bag bears a striking resemblance to my iPad cover! Amazing what you can do with a bit of old fleece and some fabric eh!

  3. Lorraine says:

    Have you finished that dressing gown yet?! I’m not too bad at altering clothes. I’ll run you a workshop if you like – I can be paid in cakes!

  4. Heather says:

    I can sew by hand (badly) and I also own a sewing machine which I used to make some bunting which hangs pride of place in our bedroom but I pretty much gave up after that. I’m desperate to be able to make my own clothes (or at least alter them) and have been searching in vain for a workshop or class to help me out but there’s nothing round here. Let me know if the Sheffield one happens again – I might even drive over for it!

  5. Heather says:

    Oh I’ve just seen Lorraine’s comment – I will HAPPILY pay you in cakes if you can teach me too!!!

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