I interrupt the backpack journal for a message: HAPPY EASTER!!
As known (here and here), I celebrate Easter by having my parents hide painted and chocolate eggs in the yard. Yesterday I painted the eggs, this year, 6 eggs were chosen (since we were only with three). Only one egg split, so that had to have some alternative colouring. I had fun, even though it took a while for my water based paints to dry between coats. Hereby, I present to you: Easter Eggs 2014!
To start, welcome Ladybug/Turtle into your heart. She is half ladybug (red with black spots and a black head) and half turtle (green with brown stripes). She’s a bit ambivalent about living quarters. Sometimes she just wants to fly while at other times that is a bit too fast. Most of the time she manages to find a spot that is *just right*
Next up: Deep in the Sea! Blue with fish (some have run a bit, but I still love her). Deep in the Sea prefers the more aquatic of environments. Its occupants like to show off and don’t mind some water pressure one little bit.
Followed by: Garden (flowers, grass, butterfly and the sun) and its good friend: Stripes! Stripes often joins garden when they lay around in the grass absorbing the sun’s rays and generally enjoying life.
The split one: The Man! He was created with a permanent smile in his face, a pretty bow tie, blue hair and dotty clothes! He’ll never be unhappy but might be a little mischievous.
Last but not least: Dotty Beachball! Quartered up into different colours with dots in the previous colour. She likes to sunbathe and smell some sea every now and again.
Here they are all together. They would like to wish you a happy Easter too!
After almost finishing the outside of the backpack, I decided to work a little more on the inside of the backpack. I had made the lining first, but found out that it didn’t really fit that well inside so I had to redo some bits.
The lining started out like this: all pockets and a flat bit of fabric. Some markings are present from my first attempt at creating the shape. I did the exact same thing, but made it a little smaller. I forgot to take turn of the cloth into account.
After re-measuring and re-sewing the lining I had a square bag. I reinforced the bottom such that it would hopefully stand up straight. You can see how it looks from the inside on the right.
While having the lining almost ready was great, I couldn’t actually put it in yet. I still needed to add the closing loop to the outside of the backpack, and maybe some more pockets. I would like to have that nicely finished and then drop the lining in, so it’s invisible from the inside. So onto the pocket making!
I’ve been diligently working on the backpack for a while now. Before starting the embroidery (results here) I managed to close the straps, by attaching the front to the back with an overcast stitch, where I attempted to keep the stitches straight and not angled. After finishing the embroidery I overcast the flap pieces together. Before starting the embroidery I had already made a welt type hole in the front for the closure that I am going to make (I just found out I made it in the wrong direction, not very clever of me, but this way will probably work too). So now I have straps and a flap. If you look closely you can see the stitches.
The straps are connected to the bottom with ribbon. Therefore, they can be tied and retied if the backpack needs to be adjusted. I don’t know yet if this will actually work, but hopefully I’ll see during the April 11-13 road test. Below you see the backpack with the straps attached.
The straps were based of a backpack that I really like the straps of. So I just copied them and cut them out in the skai leather. Then I cut them in something resembling fake suede. The fake suede was stitched (by machine) right sides together to a piece of flannel and a bit of batting was put inside such that the straps would be comfortable. It was then turned inside out and overcast to the skai bits. I think it turned out quite well.
Now on the the last couple of steps.
I’ve been working on my backpack since I previously mentioned it (here). I sadly did not finish it by the time I wanted to use it for a Larp special, which was the 15th of March. However, during that special something happened that made me rethink the pack a little, more on that later. The day of and on the way to the special I had been working furiously on the bag. I managed to get the straps on, although the fronts were not sewn to the backs yet. I added the flap in its two parts (front and back). I sort of sewed the lining in. It clearly was not finished yet.
During the special, I found out that they wanted me to become a priest (I did not want that, but they made me anyway). So I figured I’ll embroider a raven (the symbol of the god I was to be a priest of) on the flap. Luckily I had not yet closed the front and back of the flap, so I could easily embroider something on the back. I did a quick Google search, found a magnificent picture and decided that this was so much for personal use that I could use it. On the left you see the original, click it for the link to the source. On the right is my embroidery.
Sometime before starting this piece I read a blog post about filling in embroidery using long and short stitches (here), to be able to create directional embroidery. It’s not as clear but I know I’ve used it and I think it works a lot better than stitching willy nilly, which I used to do before.
So on with the rest of the bag. I’m getting there!! The new deadline is the 11th of April. I hope I’ll manage.
As you might now, I wander around a larp field sometimes in a skirt with a lot of pockets (here). Since I also stuff those pockets, at the end of an event my hips are usually not very happy with me. The skirt is heavy and difficult to manoeuver in. So I figured I’d make myself a larp backpack, ages ago. I started well, creating a pinterest board with inspiration for a backpack. Some of the pins are shown below. (Click the picture for the link.)
That’s were my plans ended. However, Friday, after I had a meeting with my orthodontist (I hate my teeth), my plans were put back in motion. This is because I went to the thrift store where I found some nice blueish/blackish fake leather and strong light linnenish fabric. I spent the night drawing my new backpack, which will be a combination between the top left pin, the top right pin and the bottom right pin. See the design below (with the ‘pattern’ sketched out to scale). It’s a bit vague, but the light here is crap and the drawing is little. It might not end up like the sketch though, we’ll see.
Now the reason I wanted the backpack was to be able to not overfill the pockets on my skirt. However, I figured that if I would just dump everything into the backpack, I’d never find anything again. Since I do this in real life, I have experienced searching through backpacks, but it’s not very practical, to say the least. So the light fabric was to be the lining of the pack, with a multitude of pockets again. Strips of were added to make pockets with a fold, so that they could be opened up to hold vials and such without distorting the lining shape. Other pockets were flat. I will add some more to the side that’s only got the one line of vial holders.
Well that’s where I’ve ended now. I’m planning to have it finished by Saturday but the real deadline for it is somewhere in May, so I’d better make that. I am now seriously hoping that the fake leather stuff will cooperate, I’m afraid that that will be the most difficult part.
The reason why I’ve not been sewing as much, is that I’ve been knitting. I’ve been knitting a top down raglan sweater from a pattern with cables and a cowl. The weirdest thing is that I didn’t even lose interest for that long. I finished it within the season! One month and a half it took me to knit myself a pullover (more details on ravelry here). I’m so proud! It’s knit fully in the round. It’s actually quite warm also, with contrasting cuffs (seed stitch). I’m a little afraid of washing it, so I hope it doesn’t shrink massively. Here it is:
The ends are all finished with seed stitch, so that’s the cuffs, hem and cowl. My collar is a bit different from the pattern, probably because I didn’t switch to smaller needles. I still like the way it looks though. In contrast to the pattern I attached the bottom edge (not the hem) of the seed stitch band to the neck opening at the front, and partly at the back. The pattern stated to mattress stitch (?) the hem of the seed stitch bit to the neck.
Lastly, I chose to do some cables on the front. This was mainly because I’d be bored out of my brain with just knitting stockinette for forever after. I cabled using 4 stitches in all cables, but the centre one was split down the middle to form larger v’s and the side ones are mirrored to each other.
I hope to get a lot of wear out of this sweater. I’m wearing it while writing this and I’m quite warm and toasty, which is wonderful in wintertime.
I mentioned this project as an aside in my curtains post (here). I had made some grey pants using the pattern from my green pants (here). Sadly, when I put them on with the invisible zipper already in place, it fell off, it was that large. It was also extremely itchy so it was difficult to try on and figure out what to do. However, I had to take it in somewhere.. I decided I didn’t want to mess with the fantastic side seam zipper. So I took it in in the middle. (Note: trying on really itchy pants with pins in the crotch seam.. Super scary!)
I first had to get a lining to be able to fit the thing easily. I got that with the curtains and then managed to get my pants done. I made my own bias tape to line the pockets and belt loops. So my pants are black and grey, very wide, extremely fluid (because of the lining it feels like liquid bottom covers) and nice to wear. This is how they look:
Here’s a close up of the zip and pocket. You can also see some of the belt loops.
I have even more pictures of those belt loops, clearly I like them, the left is the front and the right is the back. There is a centre seam in the pant front waistband because I had to take it in and was not interested enough to cut a second front waistband. This works fine.
Lastly, the lining (brown) and the hand sewn hem. The hem is quite wide, so I could theoretically let it out if needs be.
I really like these pants (even if the proportions might not be ideal on me). I’ve worn them quite a bit since I finished them. I’m still getting used to the fluidity, but I like the fact that there are two layers. Next, I finished a sweater and you’ll get the details.