My Grey and Black Period

Over the past few months I’ve made a few small things, and now that I’ve pulled them together I see they all have grey or black or both.

Boot cuffs, 3 inches high

Boot cuffs, 3 inches high

First I made these grey boot cuffs. They are a double strand of Cascade 220 wool in 2×2 ribbing.

In winter I wear a few different styles of boots depending on how cold, snowy, or slushy it is. For those milder days (no colder than -15°C or 5°F), I bought the pair below. The handles didn’t faze me because I have taller boots for big snowfalls and would only go back to wearing these once the streets and sidewalks were cleared. What I didn’t realise was that when we have light dustings of snow (a couple of centimetres or an inch) , the act of walking kicks the snow up inside my pant legs and onto my ankles. My solution was boot cuffs.

The relative height of the boot, left; my foot in the boot “au naturel”, centre; foot, boot, and cuff, all together, right.

It’s been a cold winter, so I’ve only worn these a few times, and then, not in fresh snow. The cuffs migrate a bit and when I take off the boots the cuffs stick to my legs. With more wear I hope to figure out whether these are good as is or need tweaking.

Man About Town flannel by Deborah Edwards

Man About Town flannel by Deborah Edwards

Next on the fashion front is this grey and black (and beige) flannel scarf. Skyler at Awaiting Ada posted an excellent tutorial on making a scarf from fat quarters, which is what I used on both the front and back of the scarf.

The finished scarf

The finished scarf

The fabric is Man About Town flannel by Deborah Edwards. (I wish it had a different name so I wouldn’t feel so masculine wearing it.) The flannel still has all of its sizing because I didn’t want it to shrink and therefore didn’t prewash it.

My preference is for soft, lightweight, draping scarves that wrap around the neck and rest on the tops of the shoulders. Between the style and the stiffness  I can’t say I’m loving this, but I will wash it ─ and put it in the dryer ─ to see if that helps.

IMG_1973 croppedLastly, I made some coasters with Essex yarn-dyed linen in black, with orange and white (how did that get in there?!) quilting cotton. The back is a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton. Initially the coasters had more quilting but I felt that made the surface less stable, so I picked out the stitches and steamed the coasters to eliminate the marks.  There is still a hint of the sewing lines that I hope will disappear with time.

8 new coasters

8 new coasters

All in all, I think I’m getting good at accepting imperfections. Is that a bad thing?

My next small project will be a pin cushion and I guarantee it won’t be grey or black.


A Coccoon For My Tablet

Before we went on vacation, DH dusted off our Blackberry Playbook to bring instead of a laptop. And to protect it on its travels, I sewed a cover using Sew In Harmony’s Tablet Case Tutorial.

Supplies IMG_1590One thing that was really satisfying was having all the supplies other than the black elastic, in the house.

The cover is brilliantly conceived. The construction phase didn’t photograph well because until the cover is just about finished, you can’t tell how it’s shaping up. The cover is machine washable if the cardboard inserts, shown below in their fabric sleeves, are removed.

Boards outside case IMG_2146

The cover is sewn.  Just have to slip the boards into place.

Boards filled IMG_2147

The completed case.

I wanted the back panel to have a small lip to hold onto, so I cut the back piece 1/4″ larger than called for and adjusted the front pieces accordingly.

Playbook in case IMG_2154

The completed case with its new resident.

The finished product worked perfectly as both a protective cover and a stand. In the last picture you can see where I added elastic to the bottom-right corner because the seam allowance ate up most of the corner holder.

Finished front and back

Closed case, front and back.

As a stand IMG_2571

It’s quite rewarding to make something so functional in just a week. It sure motivates me to devote more after-work hours to my sewing room.