Friday, July 23, 2010

Is there life after cushions? (04)

Ever in search of some outlet for my needlepoint projects that isn’t a cushion, or something to hang on a wall, as well as the happy opportunity to use up larger scraps of canvas, I’ve designed this ...More......little sewing scissors case using my StitchPainter program. Substitute your initials for mine. Print out the design as close to real-size as possible, and compare it with the loops of your own scissors to make adjustments in the design (including color choices) before stitching.

The idea was to coordinate the size of my scissors with the case so that the finger loops stuck out at least halfway, so the scissors could be pulled out easily without having to fumble with the case, itself.

That, by the way, is an excellent example of why THINKING about the project before doing it is so important. If you had to stop, put everything down, fumble with the case to squeeze it open, fumble to get your fingers into the case and around the scissors, before pulling them out, just how long do you think you’d actually use the case so lovingly needlepointed and sewn up? Me? Maybe a maximum of two lunges at the scissors, and that would be that. Such a waste of creativity and effort. Instead, resisting the urge to plunge into the fun part, and planning ahead, instead, really pays off, after all.

Do both sides the same, put something of your own design on the back, do a single color, or use a stiff piece of upholstery-thick cloth for the back.

Since the piece of canvas is so small, it is practically impossible to sew it with right sides together then turn it. The yellow border is there to indicate where you can needlepoint using tag ends of colors to fix the canvas because that’s where you’ll sew the border.

To finish it, using needlepoint yarn, cast the upper edge thickly, covering the rough canvas edges. Turn the upper two rows down towards the inside (avoid ironing needlepoint, if you can; if you must iron it, use a lot of steam and only a little pressure, or you irretrievably flatten the little bumps). If you have invisible thread, it would be worth your trouble to tack the lip down permanently. Put the back and front wrong sides together, carefully fold and pin a ribbon over the three remaining edges, fix the ends of a loop (long enough to go around your neck) of the same ribbon inside the two upper corners, and carefully sew through all layers (you should be able to do this on your sewing machine) watching carefully to catch the ribbon on the front and back; sew a straight line just inside the edge of the ribbon, in order to fix the ribbon and sew the case. If you plan your ribbon and background colors carefully (either as a coordinating, or a contrasting, color), you’ll be able to—if desired—go back with a narrow zig-zag stitch over the edge of the ribbon to keep it from buckling up without compromising the size of the opening.

If you have an emergency gift to give, and use a piece of cloth for the back, this could be ready within a few hours.

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