Monday, 28 May 2012

I'm still of this earth!!! (and a wonderful recipe for a Sewing Machine Cover....)

Ahhh... I have again neglected thee, Blog...  oh dear.  It has been a bit of a torrid few months. 

I think you know I did a LOT of travel between February and April – phew, thank goodness that’s over for a bit.  Don’t get me wrong – I do love the travel, but I also love spending time at home, quietly doing things that are important to me...

Mum’s been ill again.  Well, not really ill I guess – as she kept saying, she felt fine.  Except her heart, which normally beats at around 45 bpm, decided it needed to again beat at about 190 bpm.  She spent about a week in the Mater Hospital before her doctor decided it’s time for a pacemaker.  In her situation, a pacemaker keeps her heart going at a faster rate so that they can give her drugs that will ensure her heart rate is kept lower... sounds odd, but it’s working so far.  Most people don’t need the pacemaker with her condition because they have a normal heart rate.  Hers is so low to start with it caused issues!

Mum was quite calm about the pacemaker...  I wasn’t.  I don’t think my brother was either.  Graham was okay...  It turned into a very long day.  She was going to surgery at 9.30 am.  Then 10.00 am.  Then 12.00 pm.  Then 1.30 pm...  She left at 6.30 pm, and then we had a visit from a nurse in her room at 8.30 pm and she was still waiting to go into the theatre.   We went home.  I rang when I got home at about 11.00 pm or so and she had not long come back from theatre.  All was good. 

Did you know – a pacemaker is fitted under a local anaesthetic?  How good is medical science nowdays???  They gave her a good dose of valium and a local, and she doesn’t remember much other than them sticking some dots on her chest.  I can tell you – I breathed a sigh of relief.   She now has a small 2 inch long scar near her collarbone – and that’s it.  Amazing!

My hair is now back to falling out in great quantities.  It’d only just stopped falling out from her heart episode last Easter when it first happened and the associated stress that went along with it.  Bloody good thing I have plenty of it to start with!!!  I think I might need to put some more enzymes down the drains – they’ll be clogged up beyond all recognition otherwise!

Last weekend I went away with a gorgeous group of ladies from my Craft Group in Pomona.  We went back to Cathy House in Tin Can Bay.  It was such a wonderful weekend – I can’t begin to tell you how nice it was to spend the whole weekend being indulgent and doing craft and sewing.  I went with not a lot planned, but some material, some half baked plans, and my crochet.  I actually got a LOT done. 

I came away from the weekend feeling like I’d really relaxed.  I guess that’s what happens when you spend the weekend sewing, chatting, and not doing housework, cleaning, cooking or anything else!  I spent it with the most wonderful group of ladies – we had a lot of laughs, fun and shared that “woman time”...

I made a few things (after not having much of a plan...)

·         3 x pin cushion/scrap & cotton bags (two of which are Christmas gifts – how organised!!)
·         1 x sewing machine cover
·         Sewed all of the ends into my crochet blanket for the new baby entering Nicki’s life...

I then had 4 more squares to do for the blanket, sew them on and weave in the ends and that was that.  (I’ve now done them but more on that another day)

I have been asked by some lovely ladies that I know from Simple Savings and also from a wonderfully supportive Facebook Group to share with them the pattern making and sewing up of the sewing machine cover.  I’m not much of a sewer yet, but once I was shown how to do this, it was really easy.  I just kept measuring and fiddling with a large piece of paper, and then measuring it against my sewing machine...

This is how I did it:

Get a large sheet of newspaper, or other paper.  It needs to be large enough to go over the top of your sewing machine.  I used a piece about the size of a sheet of the Australian Financial Review as I have a fairly small sewing machine.  If it’s not big enough, sticky tape the sheets together. 

To cut the pattern, we’re going to work with your sewing machine, so have it out on the table next to you or near you.  First of all, we’re going to do the front and back of the machine.  We’ll worry about the sides later. 

Place one side of the newspaper on the table at the front of the machine and lay the rest of the newspaper over the top of the machine.  Mark on the back side where the paper hits the table.  I folded my newspaper edges up with the centre seam of the newspaper sitting over the machine, if that makes sense.

I folded the edges of my newspaper up so that I could make sure that I got it right before I chopped off the excess paper.  I also tried to get it close to correct size at this point, and then when I was cutting out I just added extra then for the seam allowance.

Measure your paper against the sides of the machine, bending/folding the paper as best you can so that you wind up with an outline of the shape of your machine.  Cut the edges off.

Now the handle.  Feel under the paper for your handle, and draw a shape so that your handle can come up through the hole that you’ll cut in the top of the cover.  That’s if you WANT to be able to leave your cover on your machine if you’re taking it somewhere.  You may choose not to have a handle hole – it’s up to you.  Cut out the handle hole if you are making one. 

You should now have a piece of paper that fits over the front and back of your machine and has a hole in it for your handle (if you’re going this way).  Make sure at this point you’re happy with your template.  It should fit over but not be too big. 

Next is the sides of the machine.  Grab another piece of paper, and do exactly the same as you have for the front/back piece to make the sides.  Be careful to mark which way is which (ie front/back and which side is which) if your machine has a different shape about it on the front to the back.  I did a kind of U shape for mine, but the front was more on a slope than the back which was almost straight up and down.  Cut our your paper.

Now stand back as best you can with your paper on your machine and have a good look about it.  Remember, once it’s all sewn up you won’t see minute little details, so if you choose to do a U shape over your machine, and your machine is a little different in shape, it’ll all be ok.

You should now have some papers that look like:

Next you need to cut out.  I cut out two sides and one front and one back.  Even though the pattern is in one piece, I still cut a front and a back as I had material that needed to be a certain way up.  Also I didn’t have enough of my fancy material (I only had a fat quarter) so I joined up my fabric with a plain bit in the middle and plain sides. 

While you’re cutting, you’ll also need some Pellon cut to all the same sizes as your front/back and sides.  This machine cover is the Pellon on the bottom against the machine, and the fabric on the outside and bias binding around the handle hole and the bottom. 


I bought the iron on Pellon – you may not have that.  If you don’t, sew the Pellon onto the fabric.  Next, I put the bias binding on the handle hole.  I found it best (after unpicking twice) to tack on the bias binding and THEN sew it on.  My handle hole is quite tight...  (and I’d never sewn with bias binding before – thank you to my lovely SIL who told me to iron it together first!!!)

Next I put the sides on the cover.  I fitted them in so that they were even at the bottom (I hadn’t managed to cut them the same length as the front/back – mine were slightly longer!!!).  I trimmed them up once I’d sewn them on and had it straight so that the base was the same. 

Finally, I put the bias binding on the bottom of the machine cover, and there you have it – one Machine cover!!!

I found it very important to iron everything as I was going.  It made it a lot easier to sew things up when it was all nice and flat. 

I have seen others put a flap over the top of their handle – for now, I’m going to leave my cover like it is.  I’ll let you know if I change it!!!

I used black bias binding around the handle, and red around the bottom.  The photo above here you are looking at the front of my machine - the handle sits quite a ways back. 

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