Sunday 12 April 2020

Sewing for the NHS - Scrubs bags from sheets.

My sewing isn't the best, in fact if my secondary school sewing teacher (who is also my Auntie) saw it she would probably make me unpick it, but needs must...

You can get 6 good size scrubs wash bags from a single flat sheet.  You are aiming at something around pillowcase size but Im making them a bit bigger if I can. They do all vary in size.

Start by folding your sheet in half length wise, then in half length wise again. Get the edges as close to even as you can and smooth out all the wrinkles.

I made a cardboard template 22 in x 28 in  56 cm x 70 cm just to give me a rough guide.

The top and bottom of your sheet will have a hem on which you can use as the top hem of your bag. 

I mark off the length of the template from the top and then fold down the top. Align the edges to give a right-angle and cut across all layers level with the folded over top.

you can do this each end of your sheet and the bit you have left in the middle will probably be a little longer. It may need to be straightened up a bit.

Next, the strips you have need to be cut in half the easiest way I have fond of doing this is to just cut down the fold that's the same side as the edges of the sheet.

when you have done this on all 3 strips you will have 6 pieces.

Next, for the 4 end pieces you can just fold right sides together with the original hem as the top of the bag and hem and zigzag or overlock down the side and across the bottom.

For the centre 2 pieces fold over the top about 2 in or 5 cm on the inside and press. 

Then fold right side together, so the fold is on the outside. 

next hem as you did the others. 

Next you need to make 2 button holes for the drawstrings. These need to be positioned so you can turn a wide hem down over them to make the bit for the drawstring and they are on the outside of the bag. I have done them different ways but think the best way is horizontally about 1.5in or 4cm from the top edge, you may have to alter this depending on your sheet hem width. It is easier to sew a button hole on a double thickness but it does work on single. 

You need to put one close to your side seem

Then mark the centre and do the second on the opposite side.

You need to carefully cut up the centre of your button hole with sharp scissors or a stitch ripper (I use a scalpel but it's a bit dangerous)

When both are done turn the top over to the wrong side (outside at the moment) and press.

Next hem round the bottom of this turning.

Now turn the right way round.

Now you just need to thread in the drawstring. You can use bought tape, or home made tape or cord, but it should be able to stand lots of hot washes so cotton is best.

I use an adapted large cable tie as a threading needle but a nappy pin will work or a long stitch holder for knitting.

To thread your drawstring you need to go in one button hole, all the way round and out of the same one.
Pull your bag as open as you can and tie off close to the bag.

Do the same again through the other button hole.

to close your bag just pull both knotted ends away from each other.
(they are bigger than it looks in the photo below, its hanging off the ironing board)

All done! Now have a cupper! or glass of something as a reward.

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Nostepinne - what it is and how to use it

A Nostepinne is a really handy tool for hand winding a centre pull ball of wool.  It is tapered one end, where you wind your ball, so you can slide it off easily and has a handle the other end.

A hand turned Nostepinne

These are a brilliant tool if you like to rewind commercial balls of wool to make it easier to knit from, or divide a ball into two small balls for sock knitting.   Also Ideal for spinners to wind balls from their skeins or hanks.

So how do you use it? well you will develop you own technique with practice, but the basic principal is quite simple.  I would suggest for beginners to tie the end around the handle to start with, just to stop it disappearing somewhere in the ball, never to be found again. Then wind round the centre of the tapered top part a few times until you a lump starting to form.  Once you have this to work over you need to start winding diagonally and as you wind turn the nostepinne in the other hand.  The method is not that easy to describe, much easier to demonstrate.

In the first photo you can see how I have tied the end around the handle and easy to undo knot is the best, it doesnt need to be tight.

Nelly - Inspecting my work as usual 
The video below shows the winding method 

When you have wound all your wool on you will have an oval shaped ball on your Nostepinne and its now ready to take off.  Untie the know around the handle and pull it off its as simple as that.  The strand on the outside can be tucked in under some of the other outside strands, to keep it tidy and the other end should unravel easily from the inside.

All done and ready to use
We have hand turned Nospetinnes in our shop here Hand Made Nostepinne we also have some Knitpro Nostepinnes here KnitPro