A failure and a success

It has been a crazily busy week with inservice days, parents evenings, meetings, Diwali and Children In Need. Despite such a hectic work-week I excitedly set aside time this weekend to create something new and awesome for my beautifully refurbished (and nearly finished) kitchen. I knew that Mr B’s dad would be busy with all the joinery jobs and that I would be able to get on with something crafty whilst he was hammering and sawing and drilling.

I’ve seen lots of different pins on Pinterest that utilise paint swatches and a picture frame to make a perpetual calendar that you can write on with dry-erase markers and change from month to month and I thought that something like this would be perfect because I would be able to use exactly the right colours to go with my wallpaper in the kitchen. (Also, being a teacher means that any opportunity to use dry-erase markers is a must!!) Now, in theory this project was perfect and I would have been excitedly sharing pictures of my success but unfortunately I had a major disaster – a failure actually – and when I was taking the back off the picture frame (it was stapled and not clipped) I managed to snap the glass. Initially I thought I could just adapt my plan and carry on without the glass but there were just too many problems with that approach:

  1. The dry-erase markers couldn’t be used to make the calander perpetual
  2. I would have needed to employ some sort of post-it-note style system to add memos to the calendar (which the more I thought about the more it became complicated!)
  3. The paint swatches just looked like paint swatches glued to some paper – it looked very unfinished and (I painfully have to admit) like it was made by a small child.

I then attempted to carry on and finish the rest of the project so I could at least share the nearly sinished article with you but I then encountered another problem in that my beloved Sharpie marker pen ran out halfway through edging the paint swatches so I had to stop and order a new Sharpie online. So now I have to wait for that to arrive.

My new master-plan (there is always a master-plan) is to get some perspex cut to the right size so that the cover won’t break again. I’m not sure yet when I’ll get into town to get some so until then (and until my new Sharpie arrives) this project will have to be on hold. I can tell you however, that I think it is going to look great.

Alas, fear not! I still have something to share with you today! I decided that I still needed a creative outlet this week and so I headed to my craft boxes to see what I could find. Inspiration came to me in a pile of old clothes that I had been sawing for sewing projects. I found a cozy wooly jumper that I had shrunk in the wash and thought that it would make an amazing hot water bottle cover!

This probably took me about an hour to pull together this morning. It’s probably not as fancy or as neat as I would have liked, but I was dragged off halfway through to hold a ladder for Mr B who spent the following two hours up said ladder attempting to drill a big hole in the granite walls of the house to fit the pipe for our new extractor hood. I might have time to come back to it and fancy-it-up and a later date.

I cut the arm off the jumper and unpicked the stitches to give me some wool for sewing the cover together then I laid the hot water bottle on the jumper and cut round it.

The whole peice was for the back and the two pieces were for the front. I didn’t want to have to fuss about with drawstrings or anything so I decided to go for a front flap for slipping the bottle inside, hence the two pices of material.

Next I hemmed the top front piece. Its hard to see in the pictures but I promised I hemmed it using the wool I saved and a running stitch. (The other pieces were all cut to make use of the existing jumper hems to save me having so much hemming to do – particularly when I was aware that the wool was likely to fray easily so the fewer places for it to do it the better.)

Then I laid all the pices out together (inside out) and pinned them ready to sticth together. I sewed all the way round using more of the wool and backstitch. I used extra stitches to reinforce the bits where the bottle would slip in and out as I didn’t want them to fray or rip.

Once I had done all the sewing and was happy that the wool wasn’t fraying too badly anywhere I turned the whole thing inside out to make it the right way out. All that was left to do was to slip the hot water bottle inside and voila! One cosy and fuzzy hot water bottle cover!

For an impromptu and unplanned project I don’t think it turned out too bad. Hopefully next week I will have something more polished to share!

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