sewing & needlework
…needlework essentials redux // hoop cover…

…needlework essentials redux // hoop cover…

Isolation, it seems, is excellent for one’s crafty mojo. Yesterday, for example, after feeling rather listless, I got a sudden spurt of energy, and ended up finishing not one but two projects. One was a long planned project, and has been sitting on my sewing box in varying stages of progress for the last few weeks. The other was an idea only considered the night before. Both it was lots of fun to be able to tick both of them off last night.

The first of the two projects, I’ve been considering for over a month. I cut the fabric two weeks ago, and then promptly discovered I was missing an intregal part, and so off to the to-be-finished pile it was sent. Part of being involved in the various cross-stitch stitchalongs I’ve been part of over the years, has been trawling the hashtags and groups to see where everyone else is up to, who’s changed what, and one of the cool things I’ve noticed, has been funky fabric covers over the hoops, to keep the excess fabric tucked up and out of the way, and all to keep everything nice and clean. With the Alice stitch-along I’m currently doing being designed on point, there is a LOT of extra fabric floating around the edges that was annoying me, and also getting me stressed out that it would get marked or dirty before I finished it. A finish, going on past projects, one could expect to happen sometime after 2043…

And so it was hoop cover time. I didn’t use a pattern or tutorial, and instead went to my favourite construction method, the very technical and involved “winging it”.

For my cover, I went with a pale blue cotton that was in my stash, originally purchased for my now abandoned Dear Jane quilt, for two reasons – one, it was a similar colour to the linen I am stitching on, so isn’t likely to create colour casts and throw off my perception of how it is coming together. And two, I have quite a decent amount of it, so I could easily get the length I needed, and it is likely to be more than I will foreseeably need for a single project, so future me won’t be annoyed at current me for using it. I had it all cut out, before I realised that the 6mm elastic that I thought I had, I actually didn’t. Of course, normally, this would be an excuse to race to the fabric shop. But we aren’t in normal time, and so I had to exercise my patience (not one of my most prominent character traits, to be honest), and wait until a few things had gathered on the BigW essentials list, and snuck it on there as well, when there was enough to send the husband out hunter-gatherer style.

I cut the piece at 24″ long, at 5″ wide. The actual sewing of it was really simple – I pressed the two long ends towards the wrong side but about an inch (I warned you my method was very technical!), opened them back up, and then stitched the two short ends together, right sides together. With that done, I used my rolled hem foot to stitch down approximately 5mm or so of each long edge, to make the inside of the casing nice and neat. Yesterday was a nightmare of a life admin day, and the first hem got stitched down while I was on the FOURTH phone call of the day (the shortest of which was 25 minutes!), meaning I handwheeled it, all the way around the whole 23″, because apparently there is no limit to the crazy when I have a project to get done and hate to waste time with empty hands, and full disclaimer, it’s not my first handwheeling rodeo. The second side, when I could sew properly, came together MUCH faster!! With those hems done, I simply refolded the long edges along the previously pressed lines, and top stitched in place, leaving an opening to thread the elastic through. Then it was simply a matter of adding the elastic, checking fit, zigzagging them together and stitching the openings closed.

I’m rather chuffed with how it came together. It is possibly a bit too wide, but there was so much extra fabric I wanted to be sure it had plenty of room to fit inside without crushing or being forced out, so for it’s intended purpose, it works. I will never go back to struggling with floppy extra fabric again!

Today, after a steller crafty day yesterday, has been all about the ideas, and very little on the execution side of things. The craftiest thing I’ve managed is to start winding new floss that arrived yesterday, and some of my Alice flosses. I helped Mr6 with his learn-to-knit project, and helped Miss9 read her pattern. I chatted with a friend about learning to sew kid’s loungewear, and am considering a sew-along (leave me a comment if you are keen? Trying to judge interest to see if it’s worthwhile). The afternoon is disappearing rapidly, and I still have bread to prep and a game to play and a science kit to do and a video call at 4, and the project I decided at 9am would be today’s focus still remains nothing more than a thought…I guess that leaves me something to do tomorrow? Because I have such a shortage of projects I totally need more to keep me busy, you know? At least Fridays are pretty low key, school wise, which should leave plenty of space for crafting. Or that’s the theory anyway. Wish me luck with that…

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