Sunday, February 20, 2011

World's best Mini MacbookAir case

World's best because it seems to be the world's only. Can't find any cases designed to fit the thinking woman's iPad, and so now have to face the fact that the only things in the MacStore that we haven't bought yet are the things that haven't been invented. Not that the thinking woman's iPad necessarily requires a case, but it would be a shame to pull it out of my rucksack and find it had a big scratch across the top.

This case is made from leftover denim lined with leftover wool, fastened  with two little magnetic fasteners. Total cost: 200¥ (1.66 UKP) plus a few hours hard labour. It being denim, I had to include a patch pocket, so I made it to fit an ipod, as I often carry both items around together at work.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

carpet trousers

As the winter wore on, James begged for another pair of what have become known as carpet trousers - winter-weight baggies. These ones are not cotton, but wool, quite thick with a very coarse weave. Like the thick cotton baggies, I finished the edges of the fabric first, to stop it all unravelling. The fabric caused the thread to wear thin and snap periodically. I am not sure why this was - but guess that parts of the thick weave are very dense.

Monday, February 14, 2011

woolly hoody

A remake of my version of the hoody from Burda 8291 last made in 2006. 

The first version, linked to above, has been so well worn and complimented that I'd thought it was time I made another. Then, in December, visiting Britex fabrics, located conveniently near the Moscone Center in San Francisco (where I was attending a conference) I found an expensive sheer loopy woolly knit, and bought 2 yards of purple and two of blue with the bold idea of making a reversible hoody.

Since this is for cold weather I added 10cm to the length.  I machine washed one of the pieces and then decided it had been a bad idea and washed the other piece in the bath. Handwashing only for this jumper then. I did manage to steam the first piece back into shape before cutting out. 

This is a delicate fabric as it catches and pulls on any rough surface. When this happens it is possible to repair it, but my conclusion is that this is best worn indoors, for example, at work. Another reason it is good for indoors is of course that despite being warm and fluffy and cosy when there is no breeze, the wind goes straight through it. Luckily it is frequently cold inside Japanese buildings, including work, so I expect to wear it quite enough to wear it out. 

Surprisingly the machine handled the fabric, a wool and acrylic mix, quite well. I interfaced the shoulders, neck, cuffs and hem. I wondered how to join the two colours together but in the end I just made a blue hoody and a purple hoody and then top stitched and edge-sticthed the two together at the hood edge, cuffs and hem.

The inevitable mistake. My house is rather dark inside and it is sometimes difficult to recognise the difference between fabric face and back. I really thought this fabric was the same on both sides (I'd checked this in Britex too, and the shop assistant had thought likewise), but the moment I joined the two hoodies together I realised that the body of the blue one is inside out! Oh well!