Thursday, 26 January 2012

Speaking of books...

I’ve just finished making a project from a newish craft book that was passed my way by Marceline, of Asking for Trouble.  When I reviewed a few of my craft books for Issue 1 of my Answers on a Postcard Zine, a comment I received was that people don’t tend to review craft books by making some of the projects and giving a commentary, but that would be the most helpful thing for a potential buyer of said craft book.  So with this in mind, I found a project I’d really like to work on and here’s how I got on.

The book I used was State of Craft, and for starters I tried the oversized beanbag pattern by Custom Made, using some lovely floral fabric kindly given to me by Sarah from Sarey Poppins, ooh a couple of years ago!  I didn't like the original plan to have a big flappy bit outside of the actual beanbag, so I reinforced the edges of my fabric to begin with instead, as part of a longer process to help strengthen the seams.
Preventing fraying on the edges with a zig zag stitch, recommended in the pattern

I had a few problems with the description of how to put in a concealed zip, I just couldn't get it through my head with the instructions given, but I found a tutorial online to help me instead.  I didn't need to use my zipper foot (which was fortunate as it seems to have disappeared), because the zip was pretty snug and flat so I had no problems with getting close enough to it.

Double-reinforcements for the edges with zig zag stitches on top of the original straight stitches

I thought the diagrams were really helpful but sometimes I couldn't see how the numbers on the pictures actually matched up to the narrative, which was frustrating.  I read the pattern about four times before I just went for it, and it didn't fill me with confidence before I started as I just couldn't envisage the mechanics of what went where, but this is my usual problem with patterns and trying to visualise something on paper in 3D.

So in the end, I did a reasonably good job, mainly down to being really careful about drawing lines to sew along in tailor's chalk before I started.  I find these bit so tedious but it's so worth it. 

I'll be attempting another couple of projects before I pass the book on to another crafty friend who'd like a go at the beanbag for her little girl.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I totally altered the size of the beanbag, too, to toddler size for Amelia.  Now to eBay, to order some beans to fill it!

p.s. I finished One Day and was disappointed by the fact that every single character was pretty unsympathetic, and as soon as they got their acts together - BOOM deus ex machina and radical/cop-out ending (which my mum tells me the Americans wanted the writer to ditch for the film - reassuring as it wasn't just me then).