Sunday, August 1, 2010

Call this a crafty blog?

I have been a little light on crafty content lately, haven't I.
I have been 'doing' just not showing and telling.
I mentioned I have had a few little photo uploading issues. I am not sure if it was a Picasa problem (but I am back to Photobucket) or a jolly warning sign. Our computer died last Sunday, thankful it hasn't wiped our hard drive and today we have it back- but it remains on 'light duties' until we get that external hard drive that we have been 'gunna' get for sooooo long.
Anyway, this is my version of Nicole's panel bag that I pattern tested for her a while ago. Have I mentioned I love pattern testing? LOVE. A great combination of words and editing, which I really like and sewing which I really like and following instructions- which I am getting better at!

I have been looking at patterns with new eyes as well. I have bought patterns from loads of different designers and they really do deliver different things, don't they. I have some that have, unfortunately, got to cutting out stage and progressed no further. Actually, I have some that I have pulled out of the packet, tried to read and put straight back in the packet!
What I like about Nicole's patterns is that they teach you techniques as well as giving you a pattern- so I am increasing my skills. The panel bag I tested is designed for beginners to intermediate sewers- how great- it includes things like piping, pleats and inserting magnetic snaps (which I have done before, without such clear instruction and ended up with a hole in my bag before too long)- which a 'beginners pattern' wouldn't necessarily include, but she includes very clear instructions about how to do it and photos.
While obviously I am a 'Nicole Mallalieu Design' fan this isn't just a plug. It's a critical think about the difference in patterns- I have beaten myself up in the past for not being able to follow a pattern, put myself down, had tantrums because 'a' and 'b' don't meet where they are meant to and now I realise (lightbulb) that it isn't necessarily due to my poor skills- patterns have misprints and mistakes and sometimes, poor techniques. I am getting a bit more confident in recognising this now. For example, I made up a softie pattern recently (not one I have blogged about) and in retrospect, if I make it up again, I think I will do it in a slightly different order and I think the result might be a bit smoother.
I never would have thought of that a year ago- the fact that it could be done differently or having the audacity to not follow the instructions of the expert! Sounds like I might be 'moving forward'!!


  1. Great stuff Tanya - what a wonderful realisation. Hope the computer hangs on for you and that the external hard drive helps.
    Great bag too :)

  2. i always felt that way about Simplicity patterns, that I was such a crubbish sewist as to be unable to follow a 'simple' pattern. And then I mentioned to my mother how difficult I was finding a simple trouser pattern. She informed me Simplicity are notorious for being tricksy. So I too now read patterns in an 'it is not always me' kind of way.

  3. If it's any consolation, I find that most patterns I buy have techniques that I find ridiculously convoluted and instructions I can't understand. I don't even bother to follow them (luckily I know enough about construction to not need to). This experience of patterns was my guiding light of "what not to do" when I started designing my own range. Thanks for appreciating that!!!

  4. I have the same problem with patterns - especially with clothing. It's like they're written in another language sometimes!
    I love the blue piping on your panel bag.

  5. Love the bag Tan - the birds are gorgeous.
    I know what you mean - sometimes I look at instructions and put the item aside and don't make it - invariably though once I think through it with a clear head I can get it to work.
    But there are patterns and then there are great patterns, Nikki's are in the second category for sure.

  6. Fab bag Mrs. And how extra excitement to recognise how far you've come in a short space of time. I shall await the release of the softie pattern with breath bated!!!


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