The Bothered Owl

Alex and Sarah's crafty corner of cyberspace

Graft September 22, 2009

Not the kind where you put together the toe of a sock either. Although I wish I was doing some of that right now. Never thought I’d find myself longing for a bout of Kitchener’s Stitch but I am going a little fabric blind at the moment.

No, the graft is the hard kind. Two nights in a row I’ve spent measuring, chopping, pinning and then sewing binding strips. I’ve just ironed it and done the seam allowances – REALLY IMPORTANT, more on that in a sec – and I have enough sewn and prepared for four blankets. I’ve got two more waiting to be stitched and ironed and then I think I will sew those six together. Just to make a change from measuring and chopping strips because it’s starting to make me a leeetle crazy.

The seam allowances: really, really important when you are making your own stuff, be it a bag or a beautiful new skirt. Especially if you are making your own patterns.

I made myself this beautiful beautiful skirt a few months ago. Brown corduroy that I got for a quid at the fabric shop. Lined and with a contrast hem and waist band in this fabulous orange and brown vintage floral (sounds heinous, actually utterly lovely). I made the pattern myself, based on one of my very favourite (shop bought) skirts. Very easy to do, if your skirt is a simple A-line without any pleats or darts. You simply trace around it and follow the lines.

Except what you have to remember is that what you’ve traced is the size of the skirt once it has been sewn togther. IE sans seam allowances. Which means, if you don’t then remember to add the seam allowances, you’ve effectively just reduced the size of your wonderful skirt by a fair margin. You’ve already shaved off up to 3/4 of an inch on each side (the missing seam allowances) and then when you sew it together, you’ll be shaving off another 3/4 of an inch on each side for the new seams.

And if you, like me, are a curvy 31 year old mother of two, well, let’s just say the resulting fit is snug. No, no there will be no pictures. I have worn the skirt but due to the squeeze factor, not often.

All of which is to say remember your seam allowances and making blankets is hard work.

I haven’t forgotten that I promised a tutorial on the blanket bindings and mitered corners. I’ve taken loads of pics but haven’t had time to construct the words as yet. They’re marinating in my head but I’ve been a little busy with other things. Like what feels like several miles worth of fabric, for example. It will be up soon, I promise.


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