Friday, 16 September 2011

Some (tiny) home improvements

Before I went on my lovely holiday of beachy goodness, before Self-stitched September started and I went into a frenzy of sewing, and before I became a whizz at trouser making (I will tell you all about these other things at another time if you really want!), I made some pretty snazzy things to make my studio and my house a bit more organised.
If you want to know what they were, keep reading, if not come back another day when I brag about my trouser brilliance and maybe my barely noticeable suntan!
Look! Aren't they pretty (they are I promise, its just bad lighting!)?
 There's lots of advice all over the world of sewing blogs on how to make these very simple and very handy storage boxes. I used ideas from this helpful blog but actually didn't quite "get" it all to be honest... you know how it is when you tell someone how to do something it seems so simple but when you are trying to understand something its just a big jumble in your head? Well, that's what happened to me so I made it up!
First I cut the fabric like suggested on the instructions- don't forget to add seam allowance. The width of the smaller part across the bottom will be the width of the finished box; the length will be the two "flap" widths added together; and then height will be height of the flap pieces...make any sense? No? How do you put those brilliant little arrows and lines onto pictures? I'm always jealous of those. Maybe its explained better on her blog...
 Oh no, hang on, I worked out arrows and lines, ok they're not all pretty pretty but hopefully they help.
Cut another piece of fabric in the same colour or something different, this will be your inside piece. This should be the same size as the other piece but without the "flap".
 This fabric has been in my stash forever, and as its quite oriental and shiny, I couldn't think of anything better to do with it, and actually all together they look like shiny jewels!

Next lay the flappy piece right sides together, and sew down the sides that are marked in the picture with arrows! 

Then do the same for the inside piece of fabric- the rectangle piece. Right sides together and sew down the short sides. At this point you could also hem one edge of this piece. I didn't do that because it's inside and I don't care about things like that and luckily for me I had cut it on the selvedge! But it will show (on the inside), so if you are fussy about things like that, hem one side. 

Ok, this next bit is a bit tricky to explain.  Take the outside piece and line up the side seam with the bottom seam so they are lying on the same line.

And sew along the opening. Can you just see my white stitches in the picture above?

Lay your two pieces (outside and inside piece) right sides together and sew around the top edge.
Turn right side out and iron  the seam you just sewed really well. This is important as you want to get the two side seams really well lined up.
So, get them well lined up so they are both on the same line and then sew down that line- ie the side seam line (actually it's more of a middle seam but lets try not to get too confused- is it too late, are you lost?)

Now take some cardboard. I always keep boxes lying around, very useful to have cardboard on hand, even if it has been sitting under your bed for almost a whole year! I knew I'd need it one day. Anyway,cut the cardboard into two rectangles the same size as the inside piece of fabric (remember the rectangle piece without the flappy bit?). It's better to cut this a little larger and then trim it down afterwards. 
Score a line down both sides. The scored line should be the same distance away from the edge as the width of the box. My width was 18" so i scored 18" from each edge.

You should have two pieces that look like this.

Nearly there, Just need to wrestle the cardboard in between the outside piece and the inside piece of fabric to make a box.

Ta dah! A box!

Here are the finished productions of my labour: Organisation and prettiness-two essentials. See, a stack of shiny jewels...

In my quest for self sufficiency I feel this ticks a lot of boxes...fabric found in my attic ages ago, old cardboard,  some happy sewing sweat and I saved myself buying those cheap plastic storage boxes. AND...this is a big one, I organised all my DVDs by category and threw them into these bad boys, some for the sewing room next I think.
What do you think? Worth forsaking a trip to the dollar store for cheap plastic tat? Do you have organisation envy yet??!

1 comment:

  1. Very pretty, and I can't wait to make it to my first sewing class


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