Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Sunday 22 October 2017

Another shirt cushion plus curtain tie-backs...

We live in a 1930s house that is a bit of a money-pit. For most of the year I have been decorating/repairing/updating things that nobody except me seems to notice either before or after. Hey ho. However, it has all created a feeling of quiet satisfaction with our house and we talk less now about moving than we used to. Result!

My last hurrah before the cold weather arrives and just makes me want to hibernate was to add a finishing touch to the dining room. There was a bare corner loved only by the cat because that was where we kept her food bowl.

Now it looks like this:

I brought down a wicker chair from a bedroom where it was rarely used. Then I made a cushion cover from another of Hubby's discarded shirts. The colours are perfect as we have a green and cream theme going on in this room. I even turned the shirt cuffs into curtain tie-backs. There are lots of online tutorials for making phone cases from cuffs. But I wasn't able to find a tutorial for tie-backs. So these could be the world's first.

They were so simple to make. I cut off the cuff and buttoned it up around the curtain. Ta dah! That would have worked perfectly if the curtains had been lightweight. However, mine are quite thick cotton that creases easily. 

I decided that the tie-backs needed to be a bit longer. I considered various ways to add length. The curtains are floor-length so there needed to be a way to untie the tie-backs to take them off. I could have simply sewn a ribbon or more of the shirt material onto each end. I checked with Hubby whether or not he would be prepared to tie and untie knots every day. It was a NOT...which I already knew but thought it would be polite to ask.

So it was back to the drawing board and I came up with a less elegant but more practical solution. I sewed a piece of elastic to one end of each cuff. Then I snipped a little hole in the other end of the elastic and used this as a button hole.

You can just about see it here:

You can't see the elastic when the tie-backs are on. So I am very happy with how everything turned out. This room faces south and catches the sun for most of the day. It will be a lovely corner for reading a book.

The cat is currently sulking because I have moved her bowl to another part of the room. It must be a whole 5 feet away! But the cat is studiously ignoring it and sitting under the chair waiting for the food bowl to come to her. By tomorrow she will be hungry enough to realise that isn't going to happen!

Thursday 12 October 2017

A shirt cushion cover...

I have been busy sewing today. I needed a break from knitting with 4 ply yarn that seems to last forever. The catalyst was finding a perfectly good shirt in my waste bin. Hubby has to dress well at work. He buys expensive shirts and, much to my annoyance, discards them when there is plenty of wear left in them. I usually rescue them for the local charity shop.

This time I loved the material. It was thick and strong. Hubby ... I'm resisting cracking a joke about "thick and strong" ... usually buys blue shirts. He must have found his feminine side when he bought this one because it is a lovely mix of jewel colours. Here is a close-up:

It might look like a lumberjack shirt here. But the quality was amazing. I just happened to be walking along Regent Street in London this morning and noticed a whole shop full of shirts by this designer. 

I know from experience how surprisingly difficult it is to sew with checks. This shirt made it look easy. All the colours and checks lined up perfectly at the seams. That made cutting up the shirt and sewing the cushion cover a walk in the park.

In less than an hour, I turned this rather large shirt

into this cushion cover

I found the idea on the Internet. There are many online tutorials for turning shirts into cushion covers. Most tutorials are identical; so I won't link to the tutorial I followed because that would be favoritism. But this cushion cover really is easy to make. It cost peanuts to sew and the inner cushion pad was a bargain in a bulk buy from Argos. 

Anyone who wants to make one of these could simply go to a charity shop and buy a very inexpensive shirt. Some people make "memory shirts" to remind them of someone who is no longer here.

I love how this turned out and even Hubby, who rarely comments on my craft work, is impressed. I'm planning to make a few of these for the sofa bed in our guest room. I just have to wait patiently for more shirts to become available!