Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Scrappy Journal to laugh at during Friday Smiles

Today I'm joining Annie at A Stitch in Time for Friday Smiles.  Now those of you who don't know, Annie, our hostess, is a seamstress, and her blog proves it.  Annie's much slightly older sister Jo is also a seamstress.  I am NOT a seamstress.  I sew.  That makes me a sewer.  So if you came to see lovely sewing today, perfect stitches, detailed cutting, straight seams, linings that fit flawlessly, and everything matching, you might as well forget it and move on.  All you will get here is a good belly laugh.  This post could easily be called "how NOT to make a journal cover."  That's why it's perfect for Friday Smiles, but not so perfect if you are a sewing perfectionist.

Your first indication should be the fabric I chose for this project.  My dear friend Sally gave this to me, and I debated what to use it for.  I can assure you, it would NOT fit me.  Actually, it would fit me about three times around.

One of the benefits was, it was white on one side and striped on the other.  At least I had a color choice.  After all, I'm driven by color.  You can see I've already started to tear it to "size."  Size is a term I use quite loosely.  I'm driven by color, not actual, or even realistic, fabric dimensions.

I missed photographing a few steps here.  I tore the outside fabric, which I will show in a moment, then I tore the inside fabric, which I show here.  I also tore some old jeans fabric and sewed two pockets: one to hold pens or pencils, the other to hold notes, tags, and/or ephemera that can be added to the journal.  You can see the inside does NOT line up with the outside.  Note also how I had to lap the inside over after I had sewn the two pieces together (SAD, but remember, color is my only strong suit)!!!  One thing I did remember was to add the closure, which was a purple ponytail holder.

Note how dark it is outside when I started this project.  The outside has a painted and stamped fabric piece I made quite some time ago.  I got tired of looking at it, and decided to use it on the cover.  I'm not sure you can tell, but the inside fabric STILL does NOT line up with the outside fabric seen on the right side of this photo, even after I "reworked" it by folding it over. 

Here it's even more obvious, and you can see my wonky stitches that hold the two sides together.  Nothing precise in my sewing world, because I'm driven by color.

After I assembled the papers that would go in the scrappy journal, I successfully sewed one signature into the book.  (For those of you not sure what a signature it, it is a set of pages, also known as a section, or specific number of pages that are bound together in the middle.)  But as I was sewing the second signature to the cover, I broke my needle.  That put a real smile on my face (NOT).  Note how it's now nearly mid-day.

I finally got another needle (these needles are about $2.00 USD each), and attached the second set of pages.  I was really pleased with myself, until

I turned the book over and realized I had created this mess when I sewed the second signature.  All I could do was laugh and rip the stitches out.  Why is there always time for rework, but never time to do it right the first time?

I was ready to try again, and this time, I got it right.  Or at least as "right" as this color driven sewer could.  Although you can't tell, it's started to turn dark again and I haven't added a single embellishment, either.

Feeling incredibly pleased with my accomplishment, and rather than spending time embellishing the first journal, I set out to create my second cover.  However, after I "sized" and sewed the front cover to the focal piece,

and finished the inside cover, it was time to put everything away, because I was expecting company in less than an hour.  Sad, but true, I spent over nine hours putting these two covers (and two signatures) together.

I hope you laughed at this tale of sewing domesticity.  I'm sure I'll laugh at this post in about 10 to 20 years, too.

We're celebrating Day 28
of AEDM, joining Annie for Friday Smiles, and laughing at my attempts to make two Scrappy Journal covers and one completed Scrappy Journal.

22 thoughtful remarks:

massofhair said...

I understand your journey so well, i am a beginner sewer and am trying to find my way around feet and needles. Seeing your journal covers has given me hope that one day i will get something done in a reasonable amount of time.

Proud of you for making two, go girl! :-) xxx

Helen said...

I don't sew either, so good on you for even attempting a sewn journal! thanks for stopping by and looking at my own journal.

Annie said...

What can I say? I love your chosen colours. :-) Yes I'm smiling. I love the way you feel the need to excuse your sewing. No one said sewing has to be straight. Right is only if it goes where you want it to go....and if you're like me if it goes in the 'wrong' place you will claim that was your intent :-) Keep going my friend....I love what you do.
Annie x

froebelsternchen Susi said...

This journal covers are so pretty...
you are always so inspiring Elizabeth--- who cares about straight lines?
Artsy lines are not straight!
Happy Friday dear Elizabeth!

voodoo vixen said...

I think that is what makes your journals so unique and special! LOL I know how frustrating it is to know what you want to do and being able to do it... but so glad that you will give it a go either way!!
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and lots of food!

Robyn Oliver said...

Hi Elizabeth...oh wow your journal covers are fabulous, torn, mismatched whatever they look great....seems a couple of us were pulling out stitches today - bias binding facing tiny armholes in Sophie's dress a bit fiddly so I had sewed them. Cheers and enjoy your weekend Robyn

Linda Gibbons said...

Very cool, Elizabeth. I miss room to leave the machine out, but it's still tucked away and hopefully still works. Someday I'll set it up again and see what happens.

Maron said...

Lots of work! You are very ambitious, girl! =)

Nan G said...

Since I don't sew at all...kudos to you, E! I love the crooked sewing on those fab cloth covers. Your art is so cool and inspiring! I love it! Hugs from me and the Girls in chilly FL.

see you there! said...

These covers are very interesting, that's what art is about ins't it? You are creating art not doing tailoring so any kind of stitches go in my opinion.


Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing your entertaining journal journey! I like the night-into-day-into night time-lapse progression. And I like the painted piece you chose. I do sew, and have made the same errors that require ripping out, so don't be hard on yourself. By the way, I like the leaves you used on your Thanksgiving spread from yesterday. Keep on stitching, and keep extra needles handy.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Elizabeth, I so felt for you as I read my way through your sewing trials and tribulations. I'm not a seamstress either so every sewing project is a journey into the unknown, especially as sewing a straight line seems to be a sewing step too far ... I try, I just don't succeed :( I can't believe what you are paying for your needles - unless they are very special needles $2 seems really expensive - I can buy a pack of 5 for just a bit more. Good luck with getting the journal completed. Hugs to Bleubeard from Bonnie who has just spent half an hour sleeping on my shoulder :) Elizabeth xx

505whimsygirl said...

Tee hee. I have a sewing machine and would love to sew. Your adventures made me smile and also made me think about putting off trying to sew!
have a wonderful day.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

I love traveling along with you on your creative adventures. I haven't pulled out my sewing machine in a while and you make me want to!! Love what you've done here.

And tell us, how was your time with your guests?


Nigel Roberts said...

You would think somebody with an engineers background would be a dab hand witha sewing machine, but it's safer to leave that to my sister. I'll stick to a basic needle!
Love the covers.

Dianne said...

I had to smile because I can't tell you how many times I've had to rip out similar wonky seams because I caught extra fabric in there! I hate ripping out--at least I see you have an effective little seam ripper there. I usually end up bending a needle 'cause I used it to rip out stitches...and everything always takes longer than you think it should. ;)
enjoyed the peek and hope you get them done to your satisfaction. stay warm! ♥

Rita said...

I have only really sewn patterns with instructions except years ago I took a hobo-type bag apart that I dearly loved but it had frayed beyond being usable. It took me FOREVER to figure out how to get a new one together, but I finally did it! I haven't tried making a sewn journal or even a bookcover, but it is something on my goal list for 2015. I'll be waiting to see your finished projects. :)

Carol said...

I'm liking what I see so far. Straight lines aren't necessary. You are getting the pieces together in an artistic expression of color and design. Well done!!! ♥

johanna said...

OMG, this is a post right up my alley!! i can second your Definition: "i sew, that makes me a sewer". exactly the way i do (being everything but "exact" - but that makes the charm for me!)
i love it, elizabeth, i can see the fun you had. i could never sew precisely, so i better do not try and make it the other way. you make my fingers itch to grab into my fabric stash!!!

sheila 77 said...

I enjoyed this post with all the photos and your amusing story.
I've done a lot of sewing but something always goes wrong, and always at the last bit and it always takes far longer than it should. Painting is so much easier, no finishing off edges or ripping out, you can just paint or paste over the mistakes.
In the end you're on the way to a fine and original cover.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Your scrappy journals are always amazing to me. I could take my whole box of fabrics and never come up with your ideas. Despite them taking "forever" to make.

Halle said...

You and your sewing adventures are so fun to read about. Your perseverance is amazing...I'd have thrown it in a wad in the trash or cleaned my toilet with it after all the frustration and started again. :)