Electric Piano Cover

A couple of weeks ago, I tried adjusting some t-shirts that were too long for Jez, but it was a bit of a disaster.  The t-shirts had been bought before we moved, and since then we have both managed to loose quite a bit of weight.  Yay!

Unfortunately, this meant that the shortened t-shirts looked ridiculous.  I threw them back in the wardrobe to use the fabric for something else.  I’m now considering deconstructing them and rebuilding them in a smaller size, retaining the neck band if I can.  But that’s for another day.

Today, I completed my first successful sewing project in a long time, and I only started it yesterday.  I had some leftover fabric that I thought would make a good cover for my electric piano.  It came from some Ikea curtains I had shortened for my office.  Up until now I’ve just been using some cheap yellow and white spotted fabric that I impulse bought years ago to keep the dust off my piano.  It often slides off, and is a bit of an eyesore in the music room.

Yesterday, I started taking measurements and working out how to construct the cover.  I wanted to create something that would:

  • be easy to put on and take off,
  • fit around the attached music stand, and
  • not slide off.

Here are my doodlings:

I cut out the pattern pieces last night, although I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to fasten the cover at the back.  I thought probably with Velcro, which I would have to order, but I thought I’d wait until I got to that bit to work it out.

This morning I started piecing it all together, and didn’t have any problems.  It all went together nicely and fit as I intended.

In the end, after chatting with Jez about it, I decided I would go for a Velcro fastening.  I’ve ordered some which should arrive on Monday.  In the meantime, the cover still does it’s job and I’ve just pinned it together with some fabric clips for now.

I particularly enjoy constructing covers from object measurements.  I’ve had two other examples of this with the Guitar and Bass Amp Covers and the Chair Cover for Cape Beauty, and they came together better than I had expected on both occasions.

It looks like I have the sewing and blogging bug back.  Hooray!

Pink Gingham Cushions

DSC_0036.JPGDue to being busy at work and too tired to do much once I got home, I’ve had a dry spell of sewing.  I’ve had some homemade patchwork cushions hanging around in my sewing cave that I made years ago, and the cats had been using to sleep on when they  watch me working from home.  They were made from all kinds of fabric reclaimed from old clothes, including jersey fabric that I hadn’t stabilised.  I loved them, but they were misshapen and covered in cat hair, so one day I just decided to get rid of the covers and keep the cushions to reuse them.

The cushions hung around nude for a while, before I decided to deal with them and do some stash busting at the same time.  I had some pink gingham fabric that had been around almost as long as the cushions and I thought it would make a good inner cover to refresh the now floppy, sad-looking, naked cushions.  I had every intention of making newer, more interesting cushion covers that could be removed and washed, but I liked the look of these cushions so much when they were finished that I decided to call them finished.  It made a nice quick make and I hoped it would be the beginning of more sewing.
It felt good to start and finish a project in one day.



Stretch Corduroy for the Home (and Van)

Bac2016-07-22 (1)k in June, I got a really good deal on some stretch corduroy fabric at Minerva Fabrics.  I bought 7 metres, without giving any thought to what I might use it for.  It arrived and I immediately regretted it as I stashed it away – it took up loads of space and I had no idea what I’d do with it.  Well, I needn’t have worried…

The first project was a van curtain, using the brown fabric.  In the summer, we bought a new (to us) van, with the main purpose of transporting our band equipment to gigs.  This second-hand van had been kept very clean in the back, and so we have also been using it for autumn picnics (cheese and pickle sandwiches and a flask of tea, snuggled under a blanket in the back, gazing out over the Yorkshire countryside, after a brisk walk through the fallen leaves).  We also have plans to use it for camping when the weather gets better next summer, so I took one the pieces of fabric I bought to make a hefty, light obscuring curtain to go behind the seats.  It worked perfectly, blocking out the van contents from the outside and creating a homely feel inside.

The second project was a set of three duvet bags using the cream with brown squiggles fabric – not to be confused with duvet covers.  We don’t have a spare room with a bed in, as we use our two spare bedrooms for our hobbies.  We have futons we can use in the music room and sewing room, and a sofa bed in our living room, but the spare bedding is stored in heavy duty garden waste bags on top of the wardrobes in our bedroom.  These bags tend to tear when the bedding is removed and when it’s squeezed back in, and also adds an unpleasant plastic smell.  After our last visitors, Jez was squeezing the freshly washed bedding back into one of the bags and it sDSC_0012.JPGplit completely down one side.  He mused that it would be much easier if we had fabric bags that wouldn’t split – could I make some?  Well, the stretch corduroy was just the fabric for the job.  I made up three circular based bags with draw strings to hold covered duvets, pillows and bottom sheets for each of the beds.  They look much more attractive on top of our wardrobes too.

The third project for this versatile fabric is yet to be made up.  I’ll be using it to create a (debatably) wearable toile for the Ginger Jeans pattern – cream cord with olive green
flowers / leaves and bright yellow squiggles, for those crazy days.

(This is another of my back dated posts – I’m hoping to post in a more timely way in future.)

Do you ever buy fabric because it’s a bargain, when you have no idea what you’ll use it for?


Chair Cover for Cape Beauty

One of my very good friends decided to become self-employed earlier this year.  She is an incredibly good beauty therapist and masseuse, and I would recommend Astrid of Cape Beauty to anyone who can get to Selby in North Yorkshire for an appointment.  She has recently moved to new premises and has been busily preparing her treatment room.  One of the items that she has in her room is a comfy chair, but the covering didn’t match the new colour scheme, so I offered to make her a cover.  I took away the old cover and some fabric she had chosen, and got started on the project.

Astrid's ChairI’m not sure why I took the cover without even looking at the chair, but I had to do the best I could just measuring parts of the cover.   It had been made by her grandmother and so I wasn’t going to unpick it.  When it was complete, I dropped it off with Astrid at her home, and promised to make any alterations that might be required – I was very concerned that it would be too small, as she’d told me that the old cover was a very tight fit.  I’d resisted adding in any extra ease to my measurements, just in case, as I didn’t want it to be too loose, but I was beginning to wonder it this was a good move. I was relying on the accuracy of my measurements and precise sewing, and I was incredibly relieved when arrive at work the next morning and sent me this photo…

Phew! Next time I will definitely take measurements from the item of furniture to avoid unnecessary panic, but this time I got away with it.  I was pleased with the end result and, more importantly, so was Astrid.


Patchwork Cushion Covers

Cushion Covers (front)We recently bought a new sofa to replace the one that my mum gave me when I moved into the house nearly four years ago.  It had lasted well considering it was second-hand, but it was beginning to sag.  The new sofa came without cushions, and being purple (the old sofa was red), the cushions we had wouldn’t match.  More practical uses for my sewing hobby – fantastic!

I had previously made some patch work cushions out of old clothes and fabric remnants, which turned out okay, but looked very home-made.  There was some knit fabric among the pattern and I hadn’t used anything to stabilise it.  This meant there were parts of the cushions that had bagged out in strange ways. The cats didn’t seem to mind and found them comfy enough cushions for the office window sill.

Cushion Covers (back)With these latest cushions I decided to use new fabrics and triangular patterns.  I drafted and measured the pieces out, then laid out all of the pieces to figure out the best placement, with some help from my boyfriend.  I had five different patterns.  I decided that I would make the back of the cushions from a single piece of four of the fabrics, and then the fronts would be a patchwork using the four other fabrics not on the back.  That way the four cushions would definitely be a set.

The whole thing went very well, except that they were a bit baggy on the cushions when completed, so I ordered some more cushions and sewed two together for each of the covers.  I decided for simplicity, and to avoid any zips or buttons that might stick out uncomfortably when hugging the cushions, that I would just hand sew to close them up.  It would be easy enough to unpick and re-sew when the covers needed washing.


Bathroom Book Tidy

Bathroom TidyFollowing the success of my amp covers, I decided to make a bathroom book tidy using the same fabric re-claimed from the old canvas wardrobe. I wanted to have a space in my bathroom for loo books and puzzle magazines, but there isn’t enough space for a book shelf or small table to put them on. I’d wondered for a while whether I might be able to make something using the over the door towel holder as a frame. So, I took a few measurements, made a couple of sketches and, after some more straight lines of sewing, I’m very happy with the result.

There is only one tweak I’d like to make, and that’s to have attached the tape which holds the top two corners up on a diagonal. It’s only a minor problem and just me being over-critical, as usual, so I’m going to leave it as it is and progress onto some more interesting (and difficult) projects.

Do you ever find you are completely happy with your projects, or is there always something you’d like to change?


Guitar and Bass Amp Covers

Guitar Amp CoverOne of my other hobbies is playing the bass guitar, which pairs perfectly with my boyfriend’s love of music (including playing the electric guitar). We each have an amp that we use for practicing and intimate gigs, as well as a more powerful one that we use for performances at larger venues. There are times when the performance amps may spend quite a bit of time gathering dust in the corner of our music room, especially if we are doing mainly smaller gigs that don’t need too much volume or we’re focusing on acoustic music.

Having decided to return to sewing after a break of over four years, my first couple of projects were self-drafted amplifier covers to protect these performance amps during their quiet times. All straight lines, and with no fastenings needed, these were perfect refresher projects. The fabric was the covering from an old dismantled canvas wardrobe, so I didn’t even have to invest in materials.

2010 07 02 No (2) ps01When I was last sewing I made a tissue box cover, so I simply used the same principal to make a rectangular cover with a hole in the middle for the handle of the amp.

When I measured up, I left plenty of room to accommodate the power cables wrapped at the back of the amps, but once completed this left too much saggy fabric at the back. To fix this, I unpicked the back of the covers and then tapered the sides up to the top until it was the size of the top of the amp. It worked well and, although they are still a little baggy, they do the required job. A successful return to sewing!

Do you have any hobbies that overlap in unexpected ways?