The lost art of tacking, and the joy of remembering it...
Mine is a smaller pencil holder for mini pencils so that I can fit it into my handbag easily when we take the children out to a restaurant.
I love the dog applique that I've used on it - just a silhouette, but it somehow looks so playful - it's the Puppy Love applique printout from Anna Maria Horner's site - a very much smaller version.Making the pattern for the pencil holder took me a ridiculously long time, trying to work out how far apart all the pencils should be...but that was only the start of my problems! I've worked with bias binding a couple of times before, but have always used much wider binding - which obviously is easier to attach, but I thought with the pencil holder being so miniature that a wide binding would dwarf it, but what a complete nightmare it was to sew on! I had pinned it all perfectly, but ended up unpicking my stitches countless times as I just couldn't seem to keep the binding in quite the right place. It was only at about 11.30 at night that I had a eureka moment and did the thing that most sane crafters would have done hours ago; I had completely forgotten that those with a little more patience would use a tacking stitch before attempting to sew it all up on the machine. I haven't tacked anything for years, but suddenly I was transported back to my Home Economics classroom, where this was the precursor to all creations (I loved that room - a line of sewing machines going along three of the walls around the outside of the room and massive chests holding fabrics and ribbons). Once I'd done that it all got a bit easier!
I did the vertical stitching with clear thread, a tip that I got from Sarah London's site - which was an excellent one as the it would have ruined my puppy to sew through him. I'd only ever used clear thread for hand-sewing before, which has always been a frustrating experience as it's strangely stretchy, as well as virtually invisible, but using it with a machine is far easier.
I had been wanting to use this pink and brown polka dot ribbon for ages and was so happy once I'd picked out all my fabrics that this was obviously going to be the perfect project for it.
Anyway, the binding still isn't quite a perfect as I'd want it....but that's one of the perks of having two children; I have a legitimate excuse to perfect it while making another one!
By the end of the evening I was left with several questions:
1. Am I the only one that, despite good intentions, ends up with strands of thread literally covering the entire floor...creating a sort of second carpet? (don't hide your light under a bushel - if anyone actually manages this it will spur me on to try harder knowing that it is actually achievable).
2. The same again, but with pins!
3. How many times a week do find yourself being told off (probably quite reasonably) for vacuuming up said 'thread carpet' after midnight?