A cat, a witch, and a sewing bee

As promised, lytteltonwitch arrived this morning armed with an overlocker and a spare sewing machine (her other overlocker wasn’t working properly, but as it turned out, the extra sewing machine was of more use anyway, because mine continued to behave erratically, so I gave up using it). We sent MrPloppy up to the bakery to pick up some lunch, while we got down to the sewing.

(Warning: stop reading now if reading about sewing totally bores you)

Here’s the “before” picture:
[album 128913 bags1.JPG thumblink]
45 rectangles of fabric and 90 handles I’d already made up (though about half hadn’t been ironed flat yet)… we never thought we’d be able to get all the bags actually made up in a day, but we aimed to at least make a start on it.

First step was to quickly iron the rest of the handles, while lytteltonwitch set up the sewing machines. Then she overlocked the short ends (which would end up at the top of the bags) of each fabric piece, and passed them to me to fold in half and sew straight seams up the sides. Then they went back to her to have the seams trimmed and overlocked, and I trimmed off all the hanging threads. That was the easy bit done. A break for lunch, and then the fiddly work started. Lytteltonwitch was on the iron this time, folding down the top hem of the bags and passing them to me to sew the hem down, inserting the ends of the handles under the hem as I went.

The “during” picture:
[album 128913 bags2.JPG thumblink]
Lytteltonwitch on sewing duty

We now had something actually resembling a bag, except that the handles were pointing down instead of up. Another break (for cake!) and then I took a turn on the iron, while lytteltonwitch flipped each handle up and sewed it in place (with a sort of jagged figure 8 pattern of stitching to strengthen it – a very fiddly job with much stopping and starting – I think she got the short end of the stick with that division of labour!), after which I trimmed off any remaining loose threads, turned the bag right side out, and ironed it flat. Voila, a finished bag! In fact, 45 finished bags – we managed to get them all done by 5 pm!

The “after” picture, just to prove we got them finished:
[album 128913 bags3.JPG thumblink]

We were very impressed with ourselves, for managing to get all the bags made so quickly! We’ve still got to add the logos, of course, but that should be a pretty quick job, which we’ll leave until we know exactly how many people are coming – the iron-on transfer paper is expensive, so no point wasting it unnecessarily. Having the bags done is great, though – it’s probably the biggest job we need to do for the convention, so it’s fantastic to have it out the way.

By the time we’d cleared up the mess it was tea time, so I invited lytteltonwitch to stay and eat with us, and went and got chinese takeaways (and of course released a book there). We were surprisingly tired by the day’s activities (who would think that just sitting at a sewing machine for a few hours would be that exhausting), so lytteltonwitch headed home not long after tea, taking with her Yule Be Mine, off on the first leg of its bookring.

I did manage to make a little more progress on my embroidery this morning, before lytteltonwitch arrived:
[album 128913 knight3.JPG thumblink]
I’ve started filling in some of the geometric pattern, just to see what it looks like. (This photo is a bit closer to the actual colours, because I managed to take it without using the flash)

Currently reading: The Biggest Modern Woman of the World by Susan Swan

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