Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Every now and then I decide to take on any new sewing challenge coming my way. Even though they may not be quilting related, they can be good exercise skill wise, and think of all those exciting things one might enjoy if one had a go at them.

Earlier this year, when the staff in our little man’s kindergarden asked if I could make one of these sheepskins

into a leather mitten for story time, I said sure. Of course I can. It was to be as large as possible and did not need a thumb. I checked which supplies I needed, and purchased the recommended leather needles and super heavyweight thread.

The shape of the skin did not really shout mitten, but clearing my mind of any preconceived ideas of how one should look helped. I simply chopped the top off, and folded the short sides over to the middle to create a 3-D-ish shape. Sheepskin is actually easily cut with scissors.

Being a somewhat third dimension novice, I was rather pleased with figuring out this particular step.
(It's huge)

An hour or so into the project, after ripping bird’s-nesty seams for the umpteen time, I realized that maybe my lack of skills wasn’t the problem, maybe my sewing machine and the super heavyweight thread did not play nicely together. Determined to finish that mitten on time, I started stitching by hand, using the holes from the removed seams. It was painstakingly slow work, so I decided to have another go at the sewing machine. Using a regular size 90 needle and a regular polyester thread, the mitten came together in no time. Just like that.

The mitten was a big hit with the kids and the staff (they are easily impressed, I don’t think any of them sews), and is being used for telling the Ukrainian folk story as intended. 

And what did I learn? Sheep skin is no problem at all for the sewing machine without the leather paraphernalia, and I can do 3-D.

Another new thing this year has been working with stretchy fabrics. My daughter picked some for new cushions, and having never worked with such, I thought sure, why not.

With a brand new jersey needle in my machine, I went looking online for advice on how to stitch stretchy fabrics. 

I was happy to learn that I do indeed have a stretchy seam on my machine (number 17) 

and after a few hours of work, the cushion covers, two of them super soft ones made from jersey with zipper closures and all, were finished.

What I learned from this is that the No 17 seam does indeed stretch, but so does the fabric. That first cushion was a bit big, so I made the next a little smaller. A happy daughter and grandboys and a new skill is a win-win I’d say, and I could use the very same seam to make her a tube scarf for mother’s day.

The next thing I have agreed to is making a new cover for an armchair seat cushion for the kindergarden. I’m thinking something scrappy as my scraps are always at hand these days. The cover requires some huge-3-D-zipper math, but sure, why not?


  1. Love the cushions. You did a great job... and zippers, too? Love the interesting stitches you have.

  2. Thanks for the tip. Love those fuzzy cushions. I knew about the stretch seam, but not the needles. Might have to make me a fuzzy doll body now. Oh, and some cushions. xox

  3. Thanks for the tip. Love those fuzzy cushions. I knew about the stretch seam, but not the needles. Might have to make me a fuzzy doll body now. Oh, and some cushions. xox

  4. I love it!! Sure, why not is such a great thing :)
    Wonderful makes, looking forward to seeing your next challenges :) XX!

  5. I'm thinking that the kindergarten teacher has your number!!! Such a good grandmother, you are.