Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Leisure In Work. (Photo Heavy)

I have spent a lot of time in my creative laboratory lately. More than usual, even when I feel I am at my most craftiest. I feel like the influence of being around so many choices of fabrics daily has something to do with it, hehe.

One of the perks of being someone who loves to sew and so happens to work at a fabric shop, is that every so often I'll be asked to make something for the shop to showcase a finished article from patterns that we sell, and I get my pick of the crop... well, to a certain extent. As much as working only in Halloween or otherwise dark prints is appealing to me, it's not so much to the patrons who frequent this establishment (consisting of retirees, for the most part).

I have a collection of patterns they've allowed me sew, but it must be the amount of choices I have for fabric that makes the decision process go a lot slower than I really care for. My first work project was a blouse; not one I wished to post about on my blog, because the fabric wasn't all that appealing to me. It had moths, but they were printed very small and the color is a blue I am not overly fond of.

This next one, though, really inspired me.

The company for this pattern I am about to show is relatively unknown, but their claim to pattern fame is growing from a sole design; the company is Sister's Common Thread, and their pattern the Caddy Pad.
Without further ado, here is the completed iron tote which I have sewn for the shop:

It's not much to look at it, but this little tote is really quite neat. One of those things that elicits the 'Why didn't I think of that?!' response.
It's a very simple project that doesn't require a lot of your time, and earns its keep afterwards in usefulness and prettiness.

Start unbuttoning it, and it starts revealing the neatness factor...

Until finally, it all becomes apparent.

If you haven't guessed by now, it's an iron tote that doubles as a portable functioning ironing surface. If you're a sewist and don't think this is neat, then I do believe you're doing sewing incorrectly because where ever you feel like you need to take your machine with you, you must also take your iron to do anything truly worthwhile in sewing. It's logic.

Now the surface doesn't fully protect the table from moisture, so one must always remember the HitchHiker's moto: don't panic and carry a towel.

The fabric chosen for this is a new one we received a couple weeks ago. One that I fully intend on purchasing more than a couple yards of...

The problem with it is that its a one way directional print, and as you can see, without a lot of planning and piecing, no print will appear completely upright. I did make a small attempt, but it failed in doing what I hoped... but it did add a nice touch to the side of the bag.

I had hoped that by slashing the center of the main body piece and rearranging the print with a coordinating strip in the middle, it might help that directionally challenged issue.

The problems, unfortunately, didn't quite end there.
This pattern calls for two layers of insul-bright sandwiched between the main fabric and the heat resistant fabric, making this rather bulky and awkward to sew.

Just how awkward? ... I think this speaks for itself...

Holding it all together can potentially cause people headaches, as pining heat resistant fabric is ill advised, unless you don't particularly care about little pin holes that don't go away.
I rather do, so I enlist the aid of sewing gadgetry to make my life easier.

Light, convenient flat side... but expensive.

Some of you might've heard about these over-priced little clips; Wonderclips.
They are handy, but I'm going out on a limb here by saying not worth their current going price. I purchased them because I have a substantial discount at work-- and for no other reason but that I wanted to try them out and compare them to the ones I was using before Clover released these little guys.

Stronger, cheaper... but heavier and unforgiving.
I bought these at Dollar Tree (Formerly Dollar Giant in Canada), for $1.00 per 12 pack; can't beat that price per unit.
Combine these with an even-feed walking foot, appropriate needles, and suddenly struggling with layers becomes a thing of the past.

But the real question is, how did they compare? I like them. Their light weight  makes them easy to maneuver the machine and layers in unison, whereas my previous ones did hold a lot tighter (they are all metal after all), but because of the rubbery grips sometimes they stuck to the surface of the machine, and they are just overall bulkier and heavier... but they truly shine when you have to sew up a few layers of denim when a pin just won't go through. A wonderclip (at least the small ones) won't hold many layers of denim together, they're just not made for that.

Anyway, back to the pattern. Here is a quick list of things to consider when you find yourself in possession of this pattern and the desire to create it.

  • 1/4 yard of coordinating fabric is not enough for the binding and straps, especially so if you're planning on cutting them on the bias. Half yard is more appropriate.
  • It asks for 1 in. binding, but that is not enough to bind the ends with ease, and it would create a tight bind that will be too difficult to work with, especially when you have to sew over the straps and elastic loops. 2 in. is easier and appropriate if you'd like to show off the fabric of your binding, too.
  • Apply some interfacing to the straps, so that they will be strong and durable to cart your iron around in.
I will be writing a review of it on my Pattern Review account, soon enough here-- keep an eye on my widget if you wish to see more on this pattern and others I sew in the future.

Oh and in case you thought I wasn't going to sew this in Halloween fabric for myself,
Then you don't know me at all!


  1. That is so cool! You did a beautiful job, Madame MM. I bet the shop is happy to have you working there! Now I can hardly wait to see the Hallowe'en fabric you pick for yours. ;)

    1. I haven't decided exactly which Halloween fabric to use, though =P ... just that I know I have to make one for myself, ehehe.


  2. Wow, it looks so awesome! Especially with that material! I don't care if it's for an iron, I want it as a bag, lol!

    1. I adore the fabric, I am considering making just a bag from it =D

  3. Ooo, that is both useful AND pretty - and hearing from someone who's actually made it and giving their tips on what works better than listed in the instructions is very useful if someone (like me) wants to make one of these iron caddies in the future. I'm a little curious as to how well it fits different sized/shaped irons, because while most of them are pretty similar, there certainly are variances. I do love how it makes a portable ironing surface too, especially for people who live in very confined spaces, or are travelling to somewhere they can't set up an ironing board.

    1. Thank you!
      The company makes the pattern in three sizes, this being their biggest size. It fits most household irons, I would say, because I can see that there's room left for more "iron" when I place mine inside.
      I can see it coming in handy when I lug my machine around with sewing meets and such so I need to make one for myself.


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