Red Plait Special

Those folks in the seventies sure did have a lot of time on their hands. I’ve spent hours and hours working on my plaiting project and I’m still not done. This project is making me a little crazy. The problem with this plaiting technique is that it’s impossible to get the placemats to sit flat. Impossible I tell you! This agitates me to no end! Making an already time-consuming project take even longer because I’ve been undoing and redoing my stitching trying to get it perfect. Finally I have accepted that perfection is not in the cards for this one. That being said, they still look lovely.


You’ll note that they aren’t yet finished. Turns out what I though would be way too many strips of fabric was not quite enough. Now I’m back to step one, making more strips of fabric so I can finally finish these babies off.


A Lot On My Plait

After my first attempt at plaiting ended with fraying fabric and uneven braids (a crafting disaster!) I hitched up my pants and started doing this craft good and proper. Which means it’s been time consuming.

Step one was cutting perfectly measured strips of fabric. Step two was ironing them all into the perfect fold. Step two part two was building a resistance to steam and heat in my fingers. Apparently you’ve got to be tough if you want to be a crafter.


The encyclopedia is unclear with many of it’s instructions, including how many lengths of scrap fabric strips is needed to make table mats. Better too many than not enough, I say.


Now that I’ve started step 3, braiding and weaving (or, plaiting, I suppose, since that’s the name of this project) I’m worried I may not have made enough strips. Only time will tell. On that note, here’s todays progress so far.


Contemplating Plaiting

Despite not having posted for nearly two weeks I have made excellent progress with ‘Plaiting with scrap materials’. I don’t want to blow your minds with all my plaiting all at once so I’ll spread my progress over the next few updates.

The encyclopedia gave me a couple of options for this craft. Since I don’t have 150 pairs of used nylon stockings at my disposal (oh, the seventies) I’ve opted  to make round table mats from scrap cotton. I knew my hoarding of random bits of fabric would one day pay off!

On day 1 my delightful friend Adam came over for a day of crafts and terrible movies. We were somewhat hasty in our execution and, alas, our hours of work were nearly for naught. We learned a valuable lesson about measuring and ironing that I have since applied to the rest of this craft.


Here is where I am now with the project. There was a lot (like, A LOT) of measuring and cutting and ironing and braiding between my craft day with Adam and today. I will not have documented that process for nothing, but that is for another days post.


My craft buddy Adam is an incredibly talented illustrator and story teller. You should check out his current project, March of the Moon Devils, an interactive comic book.

Designing With Straight Stitch

For the record, the words ‘hand sewing’ and ‘no more than a few days’ are complete contradictions. But! After over a month of work my straight stitch clutch is done!!! And it’s so very pretty.


The pattern was taken from a pixelated photo of autumn leaves. This time of year, at least in bleak Toronto, a burst of colour is a welcome relief from the gray slush that has descended on the city.


Lastly I added a touch of gold for the lining of the clutch.


I never thought this craft would take so long. On the bright side it’s beautiful and incredibly well made. Things had better pick up if I want to have more items for the auction in spring. We’ll see what happens with the next project, plaiting with scrap materials. I’m happy to say it involves no embroidery (though I will miss it, it’s time consuming as all get-out but it’s such a relaxing activity to do for hours and hours on end) but it does involve hand sewing. I can’t promise it will be completed soon but I can promise I’ll be wearing head-to-toe denim for the duration of this craft (Canadian tuxedo represent!).





Stitching Vs. Sewing


This isn’t my first time at the sewing rodeo. But all the straight-stitching with the thick, round-tipped tapestry needle made me complacent. I forgot what it was like to sew with a proper pointy needle. I stopped caring if I jabbed myself in the finger, heck, I barely noticed it. I reprogrammed my sewing muscle memory. Now that I’m sewing with a pointy needle again all I have to say is, ow my fingers.

Straight Stitchin’ Son of a Gun

Happy New Year! Remember that time I wanted to get my straight-stitch clutch done by New Years? Yeah, that didn’t happen. Not by a long shot. I cannot overstate how time consuming it was to hand stitch the pattern. That’s right, “was”. I’m not done the clutch but I am done the stitching! It is glorious!

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All that’s left now is to hand-stitch the lining. I have no idea how long that will take, hopefully no more than a few days. Then I can get started on project 4, Plaiting with Scrap Materials.

Straight Stitchin Sunofagun on Make A Gif

make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Last Day

Hey internet. Today is the very last day to donate to the Before & Crafter IndieGoGo campaign. Thanks and kisses to everyone who contributed! Including these newer helper-outers, the ever awesome Gilyan Merry, the incredibly talented Denise St Marie, and the charming and witty Ryan Hughes. Thanks so much!!! Woo!!!

Here’s where I am with my straight stitch clutch bag.


Progress! It’s getting there! I’ve been working my tush off to get it done for New Years but I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Still, it’s coming along quite nicely. And, hey, I don’t need to sleep or eat or bathe. If I cut those dispensable activities out of my life maybe I will get it done by 2014.

I Got 99 Problems But a Stitch Ain’t One

After many many more hours working on my little clutch bag I have made this much progress (well, slightly more since the photo was taken):


It’s getting there. I’d estimate that within the next couple of days I’ll be half done. Woohoo? Aside from this project being incredibly time consuming it’s coming along very nicely. One day it’s going to be a hell of a clutch.

In fundraising news, there’s only 6 days left to contribute to my IndieGoGo campaign, if you fancy helping out with Before & Crafter. Check out this adorable Minecraft tree ornament I made for one of my donors. You too could have your own 8-bit ornament! It’s too late for this Christmas but there are endless non-holiday-related decoration possibilities for these guys.


A Stitch in Time

Since my last post I have spent hours and hours working on my autumn-inspired straight-stitch clutch bag. Annnnd here is my progress to date:


For one tiny little bag this is going to take a very long time. Oh, the seventies, what were you thinking?

On a separate note, if you like nerdy things and you celebrate the Christmas, today is the last day of my IndieGoGo campaign to get “My RESIN D’etre” perk if you want one of my Nintendo ornaments on time for the big C.