A peg bag

A peg bag

On a rainy morning I did some tidying and suddenly noticed that our peg bag, which I made a long time ago, was badly frayed around the opening. I decided to make a new one from fabric in my stash.

The previous one was too long, so I made a shorter one. When I made the earlier one, I used three pieces of the main fabric – one for the back and two for the front. This made it easy to bind the opening with a contrasting fabric.

This time I used a single piece of fabric for the whole bag. There is a fold at one side. I sewed the top bottom and side seams before carefully cutting a straight opening. Sewing the binding fabric on was a bit tricky!

I hand-finished the binding and strengthened the small hole in the top seam, through which the coat-hanger passes.

Having made this on the spur of the moment, I didn’t stop to plan properly. An easier way of making this would have been to cut the opening before joining the seams. Then I could have bound the edges on a flat piece of material. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!


Making masks

As the date when it will be compulsory to wear a mask in shops in England is rapidly approaching, I have made a few masks. I was already wearing a bought mask in shops and when I had a haircut. That mask was a good fit, so I used it to make a pattern for double thickness cotton masks. First I read a couple of mask-making articles on the web. Then I drew around the mask on tracing paper, added about 5/8in (1.5cm) all round for seam allowances and voilà I had a pattern for the lining. For the outer layer a side extension was necessary to accommodate a casing for elastic. I drew a second pattern piece.

Patchwork lining

Showing the shape and ties

From behind

I am always reluctant to throw out the oddments of material left over from my occasional dress-making projects. This is a time, when my stash has proved invaluable. So far I have stitched three masks and cut out two more. The third mask I stitched has a patchwork lining. My oddments were not big enough, but three joined together were! So the lining consists of six pieces.

The elastic has not been stitched. I tied a reef knot to try on the prototype and decided that it is more practical to have a knot, which may be tightened if the elastic becomes tired, than a neater join, which would need to be unpicked and sewn again. For extra tension and to give a better fit, I tied a piece of tape between the two pieces of elastic.

Subsequently I found that a single piece of elastic about 20ins long threaded through both ends and tied giving two strands across the back of the head works best.



A practical project

In the last few months Sue’s Trifles has been in danger of becoming entirely a book blog. To restore a bit of variety and for the benefit of those of you, who have followed this blog for the craft posts, here is something a little different.

Just before I began blogging six years ago, I had made myself a dress to wear at a family wedding. Apart from a child’s dress, I have not done any dressmaking since then.

I decided it was about time I made myself a new dress. Starting my project was delayed. I looked for dress fabric in a shop and an indoor market, but nothing appealed to me. Then I went away for a week on the spur of the moment and had no opportunity to do anything about my project. After that I was catching up at home. Finally I looked on line and ordered two dress lengths from a company I had been satisfied with previously.

Usually when I am making a dress, I am rather obsessive about it and perhaps manage to complete it in a week. This time I took longer, perhaps slowed down by my online activities and trips out among other things. Anyhow the first dress is now finished. Its first outing was to a wedding blessing, where I was singing in the choir. Our choir robes do not fully hide our clothes and by a happy coincidence one of the colours in my dress material is a good match for the cherry red robes.

Dress in cotton lawn

Dress in cotton lawn

Both fabrics I chose were reduced, but one was more expensive than the other. I have made up the cheaper fabric first as a practice run. It is a printed cotton lawn. The second fabric is a Liberty print.

I have been told more than once that hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I buy fabric online again, I intend to enquire about the best colour match for thread and zips. It is difficult to distinguish white from cream on a computer screen. Also shopping online only allows a whole number of metres of fabric to be ordered. Sometimes fractions are useful.

I adapted a pattern I have used previously to allow for a few extra inches round my middle – time to lose weight?

As this post is published I have cut out the second dress and am well on the way to finishing it.

Liberty print dress in progress

Liberty print dress in progress

The photo shows the dress without the neck facing, which is  now attached, but not finished. After that there are the sleeves to make, a few seams to neaten and the hem to sort out. It could be finished by the weekend, but I am not forgoing any of my usual activities. It is not a race!