This And That

Well, the sewing machine I ordered a few weeks ago finally shipped, so it should be here in a little over a week. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve used one, so I’ll definitely have to sit down with the manual and make sure I know what I’m doing. A friend of mine also gave me a book about sewing for my birthday (Sew Fast, Sew Easy), so that should help.

I’ve already been thinking about what to sew first, aside from paper-y things, which is what I mainly want to use it for. I was thinking that I could try to make some bags, like drawstring bags or tote bags, just to see how that goes. I’ve been trying to find free patterns online, and have found a few, but it’s taken some work. I definitely found some odd sites in the process, like ones with free patterns for “modest” clothing that looked like something out of “Little House on the Prairie.” Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

For what it’s worth, here are the instructions/patterns I found for drawstring bags:

  • craftgrrl: Drawstring Pouch Tutorial!
  • Embroidered Drawstring Bag (PDF)
  • Making Cloth Drawstring Bags
  • 4″ x 8″ Drawstring Bag
  • Kids Projects: Drawstring Bag

In the meantime, I’ve been working on my cross-stitch project, including in a quiet corner of the local library. I’ve been trying to think of other places to work on it, but libraries and community centers are all I can come up with, at least among places that wouldn’t be too messy (like a cafe, with food and all) or noisy. Any thoughts?

I’ve also been adding to my craft library a bit, mainly with a number of cute, Japanese books about sewing and paper crafts. The projects in these books are really quite nice, though I have to just follow the pictures, since I can’t read the instructions. I don’t know how many of the projects I’ll actually try, but there are a few that I definitely will. One that comes to mind is from a “recycling” crafts book, where they suggest pasting together clippings from magazines and newspapers to make large paper sheets that you can make envelopes from.

Looking through these Japanese books makes me wonder why it’s so hard to find similar projects in English books, rather than the typical “grandma-cute” kind that I complained about before. I do think this is changing somewhat, with younger and more “hip” books and TV shows coming out, but it’s happening pretty slowly. It’s not as if there isn’t an audience for it, so what gives? Maybe I should use my writing background and write my own book sometime. ;)

One last thing: thanks to jetgirl on the tips about my card sets. I definitely want to take more photos of them, just to give a better idea of what’s inside. I’ll think a bit more about the eBay option, since I might try posting them on a page here.

Oh, and speaking of pages, I’ve added a few new ones, including one about my craft book library and one showing off my completed embroidery projects. So, in case you’re reading this on RSS, check those out. :D