I am out of sewing practice.

At least that’s my excuse: yesterday I managed to make a botched job of things . .

I bought this tweed when visiting Harris a couple of years ago – I love the bright blue, green, and orange flecks sitting in among the herringbone.

My idea was to turn this cheap and cheerful Ikea footstool . . .

. . . into this glorious work of woolly art . . .

I have lusted after these Anta tweed cubes for years (this one is my favourite) . . . but neither my budget, or my sense of crafty pride would allow me to acquire one . . . surely I could make my own? How difficult could it be to upholster a cube?

But my cube confidence was misplaced!

Having measured up the stool, I cut out five squares from the tweed with a generous seam allowance, got out the iron and sewing machine, and began to stitch everything together, as per the layout above. The sun was shining in the kitchen, the machine was purring away merrily, Debussy was on the radio: all was well. Then, half way through the seam between squares 2 and 3, the power suddenly cut out. Had I blown a fuse? I looked outside. A hole had appeared at the corner of the road. The hole was accompanied by machinery, and a small fire. Some men were in the hole, who blithely confirmed that they were responsible for the outage.

There was nothing I could do, so I took Bruce for a walk. When I returned, a couple of hours later, so had the electricity. I got back to my seams, but things were not the same: the light was poor, I was tired from my walk, and, quite simply I was not in the zone (I am not a natural with the sewing machine, and have to be in precisely the right frame of mind to deal with pins, bobbins, threading and all its other general gubbins). I should have put my cube aside and gone and done something else, but instead, growing increasingly grouchy and frustrated, I ploughed onward, stitching up my wonky seams, and trimming my crappy corners. I got the footstool out for a fitting. All was not well.

Now, this is the footstool after extensive repairs conducted this morning: it still looks rotten, but you should have seen it yesterday. So many things were wrong: I gave myself a far too generous seam allowance, (which meant that the corners of the cover didn’t sit properly in those of the footstool and the sides flapped about like a badly fitting skirt). None of the seams were straight, and the corners were really messy and bulky (because several layers of fabric met there) . . .

. . .actually pretty much everything about the cover was wonky, including the Harris Tweed label, which I sewed on last of all.

Annoyed with myself, I set the stool cover aside, and returned to my knitting (how soothing! No electricity! No fiddlinesses! Just me and the wool and the needles!). Later last night it occurred to me that the first problem lay in my pattern layout. I should have cut and seamed the pieces like this:

or this:

or this:

. . .the final layout, which could be cut on the fold, uses up more fabric, but it also makes for less bulky corners, fewer seams and layers, and a design that is much easier to fit and adjust . . .Of course, when I examined the Anta cubes again, it was immediately obvious that the fabric had been cut and seamed in like fashion . . .

Kate, you choob, why didn’t you have a proper look in the first place?

I had settled on my first layout after examining the cover of the Ikea cube, and deciding that the seams between the squares were necessary to give structure. But I hadn’t considered how much more bulky Harris tweed is than Ikea furnishing fabric. A well-fitting cover, cut from a single piece of fabric, would have been far better than one with sticky-out corners and multiple, wonky seams.

looks botched, doesn’t it Bruce?

I find it curious that, while I can immediately visualise all sorts of 3 dimensional seamless knitted constructions – I find it much more difficult to think naturally about fabric layouts. It is probably just that knitting is my metier, or that I have made it such by doing an awful lot of it (I have done very little sewing over the past couple of years).

Ultimately, there is no excuse, quite simply: I made a shite job of it.

This morning’s repairs have made the cover look a little better, yet I still think I will have to cut it up again, use that tweed for cushions, and sew up another cover.

But not today.

80 thoughts on “botched

  1. I find I can only sew about once every few years. Then I sew like mad for a couple of days…and get it out of my system.

    And think…I bet that footstool looked a lot less lovely than it does now with its Harris Tweed cover.

  2. can you put a thick layer of batting or foam in between the cube and the cover? on the anta cube it looks like they have some more layers – and it will be more comfortable to sit on as well. there are probably several layers in that cube if it’s traditionally upholstered

    1. that was what i was going to say and apparently several others have as well. :) beautiful fabric! and i believe you are your own worst critic. 99% of the general population will never see the flaws you do.

  3. That goes for anything we put our heart and soul into- if we feel wonky, so is the result. (speaking as a potter who also knits and sews)

  4. You really should stop beating yourself up! The real problem is that the IKEA stool doesn’t have stuffing down the sides. A quick visit to the fabric store to buy the padding that you put inside a quilt will solve your problem. Cut a strip or two to wrap around the sides of the cube and try again. It will look great!!

  5. Knit a cable runner to cover the front, top and back, and it’ll hide the wonky bits (which really aren’t that bad!) – just think how gorgeous it would look with that wonderful tweed!

  6. I can’t sew, so anything that someone else is able to do has me in awe. The sun will shine again tomorrow, and you will be able to make things right enough in good time.

  7. I agree.. I think if you add padding.. it’ll be fine! I’ve sewn for years and still have things that stump me! My mother taught me to sew when I was in Jr-High. And I still remember a shirt that I had worked on for weeks.. was to the point of opening the button holes.. and the ripper got away and ripped into the colar of the shirt. I was so ticked that I threw it in the trash. My Mom got it out.. and said, it’s a learning experience..”You can take the colar off and fix it.. the shirt’s worth it.”, she said. It sat for almost 2 weeks, but I did as she suggested.. and she was right! I still don’t like to “redo”, but it’s worth it! I love this idea so much.. I’m going there!

  8. I have the opposite affliction. I know instinctively how fabric should be worked, but knitting construction is an amazing mystery to me.

  9. If you plan to try again…

    Most modern sewing machines can be fitted with presser feet that both sew and trim- so you get a very neat edge, with no excess fabric beyond the stitched edge. It’s really good for fabric where there need to be neat corners (or, if you’re like me and can sew straight but not cut straight, to have neat selvedges instead of insanely messy ones).

    This is an example of what I mean…

    They do have their disadvantages, but I’ve been playing with the one I inherited (along with my sewing machine) and it’s been nice to have neat seam edges :-)

  10. Thank you for your link to Harris Tweed and Antas! I would really like to go to Scotland and visit all yarn and fabric factories! ( and the whiskey destilleries of course ) Today I visited an second hand shop and bought a nice blue tweed jacket ( Feller tweed ) from the 50th or 60th. Tomorrow I will write about it in my blog.
    I like your cover in tweed but why don´t you knit a cover ? It would be beautiful! Sorry for my bad english!

  11. Hey, at least you made the effort! I find that I have a multitude of things I think I can do myself rather than purchase from somewhere else. Some of them are attempted and failed at, others are a success. But most of those things just sit waiting on a list. So, whenever someone takes the plunge I have to give them my respect, because it takes a certain amount of gumption. Knitting was like that for me. I decided I wanted to be able to knit a sweater, so I checked out library books and taught myself to knit. Now, a year in and about 9 sweaters later I think I’m actually getting the hang of some things! I suppose it all just takes a bit of practice and persistence. And, I think the padding idea will set your footstool just right.

  12. Me too. I can visualise how to construct fabric (may hands don’t always understand my vision however!), but kntting has to be seriously thought about.

    While padding would probably improve the appearance and comfort, it would always reproach you for not getting it right first time. I can’t let a mistake in knitting or sewing out of my hands. Nobody else can see it, but I KNOW it’s there! Cushions and another go at the footstool with some more beautiful fabric is the answer – after trying it out with similar weight but not so nice stuff, which you won’t be tempted to compromise with.

  13. I think we have the same relationship to sewing, which is why I always do a muslin when I sew and don’t always swatch when I knit (I know – terrible!). It doesn’t look so bad though!

  14. I wish I lived closer as I would happily sew up a Tweedy cover for your footstool. It’s the least I could do to thank you for the simply marvelous knitting patterns that I love to work and that I’d never be able to design. If you don’t want to make a second go, but would like someone else to, please email me! (And I concur with the above suggestions that, from the pictures, it looks like additional padding would help. I suggest wrapping a layer of nice wool quilt batting around the Ikea stool. Perhaps your mind was working on the model of the Anta and not the Ikea, so it’s the Ikea that needs fixing more than your work.

  15. I’m sorry it turned out such a disappointment. I agree with the others – I’ve upholstered several pieces, and this is completely fixable, but wait to tackle it until you’re absolutely in the mood. Do start with a bit of padding before cutting back into it.

    By the way, I just took a photo of my finished Caller Herrin’ against the freshly fallen snow. I’m so pleased. It was my second stranded project and a learning experience – I had no understanding of yarn dominance when I started knitting it, and so the first two bands of color are “opposite”, but it still looks very well, and I can’t wait to wear it. Thanks for the lovely pattern.

  16. Sometimes the seam ripper is my best friend!! I do agree with all the others about adding padding to plump it out. I did a large round tuffet a few years ago and it’s still my loved by family. I have in my stash a beautiful piece of Harris Tweed from a person who travelled that part of the world but can’t bring myself to cut into it!! Tomorrow is another day.

  17. I think wrapping the cube in batting will help a great deal. I have made slip covers before and found it helps me to pin out a muslin pattern first and then make adjustments. You are right about the wool adding bulk to corner seams. i think you can still save it.

  18. I’m pitiful at spatial reasoning myself and think your alternate layouts are brilliant. As for the current cover, I think you can still save it, but the question is whether you’ll be happy when you look at it. For me, there are some flaws I never see once the item is done and in its place, but other times all I can see are my mistakes. I would say, do what you can to improve it, see if the eye adjusts, and if not, make cushions or tea cosies or a fine tweed dog coat (just kidding, Bruce)!

  19. Your post comes as a relief after spending my afternoon sewing and unpicking everything again! I think I’ll go back to my knitting now.

  20. We sound like similar sewers. I have to be in a SUPER good mood before I sew or everything just falls to pieces. I always make bad, or possibly just WEIRDLY WRONG, decisions. Things are always not right when done. Ergh.

    (p.s. I am distinguishing sewing as a separate thing from quilting here. FYI. So you don’t read this and think I’m a crazy liar.)

  21. thank you Kate for this post. So often glorious blogland makes me feel like I’m incompetent, slow & under-motivated. It’s so good to see your write of a project that you do not consider perfect. – & I agree that tired is the worst way to work I’ve had many next days wondering what on earth I’d been thinking or doing…. All the very best to you!

  22. I haven’t read the other comments so someone may have suggested this, but from looking at the pictures what you most need to factor is negative ease. Sewing is the same as knitting in that way- ease is important! I’m not sure without playing with your fabric how much ease you would need, but you want it to be taught, not sloppy. I expect you can play with the fabric in the way you would a swatch and determine how much ease would be best.

    I would suggest taking the scraps from the first effort and making a little practice corner or three, so you can determine the best way to make that seam. It’s quite likely you will want to curve the edges a bit, more like a dart than a straight seam, so the corners are rounded rather than square. I would also recommend over seaming once you have your fit well established, to help keep the fabric from unraveling and pulling apart.

    Good luck!

  23. When it comes to woollens, much can be done on thick, unwieldy seams with a steam iron and a hammer (assuming you don’t have a wooden clapper).

    I have done that sort of thing before: sat back and realised I didn’t think it through and now there’s no going back…I hate it. I want to cry from the waste…not to mention the crushing disappointment of broken dreams.

  24. As long as you have more of that lovely tweed you’re good. It was a learning experience. An initial experiment. I wonder if you can demand replacement tweed from the workmen for ruining your zone?

    I am a far less accomplished knitter than you, and my sewing is very much limited to following patterns (and even then you have to forgive a few wrinkled corners and slightly wonky seams). I have grand plans to sew a slip cover for a boxy pale green sofa that marks up far too easily for a household with two cats. My Mum gave me a brilliant suggestion: experiment with cheap muslin, then when I get something that works the muslin will show me how to make up the real slipcover, and can double as an under-cover for added protection of the precious sofa.

  25. I feel just like you about knitting and sewing! Everybody keeps telling me how sewing is so much easier and faster and thus has so much more creative potential, and isn’t knitting just sloooow and boring and cumbersome. And if I fret about a sewing project and happen to mention that I knit, everybody says, “Whaaat? If you can knit such a gorgeous jumper, sewing up a linen dress will be easy-peasy!”
    And then I feel completely dumb when I mess it up. Also, when I’m knitting something and it doesn’t end up the way I’d like, I can sit down and rip it out and try again, but with sewing, I’m sometimes even scared to cut into the fabric. I’d love to sew myself some tweed trousers, but the idea of cutting into Harris tweed – aaargh! I just couldn’t afford to make a mistake there :-(
    But I really like this tweed cube idea! I might steal that for a foot stool once I gather up my courage…

  26. Love the wool. Here, take my advice, I am not using it! (hah_) A trick that of slip covers is to always work the piece inside out first, basting and pinning and fussing on the structure. Very clever “dart-like” seams give the shape, that was very smart of the designer. I always like taking cardboard boxes apart and seeing how the designer decided to make the pattern as I have a terrible sense of spatial relationships. Well, you are the woman for the job and having followed you for awhile I know that frustration usually throws a cup of kerosene on your creative fire….or, win some, lose some. Love your honesty!

  27. If you’re not unwilling to fix it, how about putting the cover on the footstool inside out. First remove the top square, mark how much to take in the side seams, fix them, then reattach the top. Sewing cubes is very difficult! Trimming your seam allowances (but not too much) will make sewing the fiddly seams easier. Good luck!

  28. Bummer! I have some Harris Tweed stashed waiting for project. I used to sew all the time. Made wedding dress etc. but when doing up font room bought Anta cushions as I couldn’t put myself through the stress of botching the fabric (£68 per metre!!!!!!) So don’t despair. Off to John Lewis for some padding. You get lovely cotton batting for quilts if you need to maintain natural integrity if not, a thick polyester will do. Cut your two rectangles to overlap like one of your pictures. Staple gun. Then squeeze the Harris tweed back on. It will be grand!
    Anyway. It actually looks fine.

  29. It may be strange to say but I find this post strangely inspiring! You sewed some hankies from shirts back awhile and I tried to copy them and botched and budgered up what had looked so simple over here. When you say ‘I am not a natural with the sewing machine, and have to be in precisely the right frame of mind’ I hear you loud and clear! You’ll make some delicious tweedy goodness in time, that much is obvious and thank you as ever for your honesty!

  30. Thanks for sharing on how things can go wrong! Actually, I have a footstool that bees recovering and your experience has helped me formulate a plan! Thank you again!

  31. I think the first design was the most appropriate to give the structure from the seams, but you need to cut out mitres at each corner – no-one seems to have mentioned this unless I missed it? Also you could consider piping (even though bulky it will give more structure, finish and hide a few imperfections) just around the top and bottom but if ambitious also up the sides. I do agree that you need twice as much time as planned and a very clear head – knitting is nice in that it can be picked up and put down but sewing does seem to need more of a project management approach! But well done and, like the quilters, you should include a little imperfection, so that you are not trying to be a god!

  32. There may only be one piece in the last layout you contemplated, but imagine how much fabric you would need in one continuous length, and imagine the width! I’m not sure how wide Harris tweed is but it’s very pricey, and if cutting it up means you waste less (despite the seams), then cut away! I made a replacement cover for a baby swing last year and it used an amazing amount of fabric, even after piecing. It was a bit wonky, but I was still happy with it. Sometimes expectations are a bugger you can do without.

    Also, I think piping the corners would be pretty tricky and would need a bit of practice.

  33. Hi Kate. Gosh what a trip to Sew-land ! I would go for the one-piece cross, seam allowances included, sewing each side corner, and adding padding. But most importantly, I would not chose tweed for this kind of piece, it is not that tweed is bulky (it is, but it does not matter) but “smooth” or “unstable”. Imagine a tweed narrow jacket. A tighter fabric should do the trick. The other solution would be tweed + a sew-in interfacing, which would not be too big a nightmare despite your lack of attraction to the sewing machine, sigh. In other terms, a tweed narrow jacket needs interfacing to stay fitted. I hope I make myself understandable, as I do not knit but I do sew and in French.

  34. I’ve had this discussions with someone else before, about how knitting is Fun and sewing is a Dangerous Activity Bordering on a Chore. The person I was talking to pointed out knitting is slow, and sewing is quick. But it’s that quick I don’t trust. One wrong cut/ stitch line and BAM! It all goes to hell in a handbasket. And you can’t really tell how it’s going to fit (if it’s clothes) until it’s finished. Not like a nice bit of knitting, which can be adjusted row by row if it looks like it’s not working out.

    You never see knitters having to make a mock garment to test the fit before they make the real garment, do you?

  35. The padding sounds like a great idea, but to redo the cover in another fabric and have it fit beautifully, and in the way in which you envisioned it, would be a coup! It would be a great lesson learned. I am very forgiving of my sewing errors and wing it a lot. Still somewhat new to knitting, I am a little more of a stickler for accuracy as I improve in my skills. ‘Can’t wait to see the next incarnation of the footstool! Bonne chance!

  36. I loved reading this with a bit of a chuckle, particularly having just finished a lined granny square bag. Hmm. I’ve found that I can machine sew, but yes, have to be right in The Zone. I don’t enjoy it much, and it involves way too much thinking and moving outside my area of comfort. It’s handy, but not fun. The thing is, I can hand sew quite well, and detailed crochet is enjoyable and absorbing. The measuring and facing a machine aspects of machine sewing are not user friendly for me. But – thank you for sharing those gorgeous Antas footstools, and here’s to the results of your adventure. I’m sure you’re tempted to knit the footstool a very fetching tam! (hey, why not?!)

  37. People have left some great suggestions, but mine is more about method — when I’ve done something, whether sewing or knitting, that just seems wrong — so that I’m tempted to tear it up or tear it out, I’ve found it is always worthwhile to just give it a rest. You need a rest, but also, you’re too close to the things you don’t like about this footstool cover you’ve made. Even if what you decide to do is to start over, or to order one from Anta, don’t do it hastily. Take your time. It won’t get worse, but your understanding will get better. Your frame of mind will improve. It’s a great idea. And coordinating cushions and a footstool will be wonderful!

  38. Well, at least you’re brave enough to cut the fabric in the first place (this is why I took up knitting, ruining yards of cloth or getting a worthless item out of them would upset me for days). I think Bruce is actually say, “why isn’t there one that’s me sized?” but maybe that’s me projecting my wish for a tweedy footstool. Best of luck!

  39. Arrgh, I feel for you! I too can only sew when in the zone *and* when it is daylight. This means I never really sew in the winter at all. I think you have made a good fist of recovery, and I admire your honesty and stick-to-it-ness (I think the word I want is persistence). Hell, I admire your bravery in cutting the tweed at all, the ability to frog is one of the things I love about knitting.
    And even if you have a tale of how-not-to-do-it, you’ve worked out how to do it better.

  40. I really feel for you. I find sewing is something I have to psych myself up for; there is never enough space for all the fabric involved with any given project, and then the annoying specifics of turning flat stuff into 3D shapes always warp my MIND!

    Your repair job looks pretty good, all that said, but I think it’s always difficult to sew, and powercuts etc. definitely don’t help!

    I should send you photos of the corner-seat which I covered in scrap velvet here… it has a curve, piping which I made using string, and stapled-on bits of velvet. That is my favourite botch job around the house; it reminds me of learning to do something, and Joey likes lying on it!

  41. I’ve had similar problems (but with an armchair – can’t think why I even thought of being so ambitious)… I’d say before you go down the cushion route, try some padding out of the footstool as it looks a bit ‘thin’. And snip the seams down to a minimum and mitre the corners. Then it’s time for cushions. When you decide to have another go, pin the new fabric around the stool inside out.

    Maybe you shouldn’t listen to me, though. I eventually made a beautifully fitting calico toile, with much swearing and blood from pins, and then ********* up the fabric. Chair still in its original cover. Gr.

  42. work on the godzilla room has always entailed boldly going where no pattern maker has ever gone before and figuring it the eff out. then undoing it and doing it over until it was right. and letting go of perfect and of fear of figuring patterns out. you’re on it.
    zilla like.

    Godzilla Pillow #3: Yuko: Samurai Warrior Butterfly Helmet
  43. I am SO glad I’m not the only one who botches things. Thanks for sharing with us mere mortals (who sometimes make knitted garments with sleeves that are different lengths, ahem).

  44. You are just so very funny … I ROARED with laughter while reading your rendition of the cube saga! Thank you for a great laugh!

  45. Being good at everything would be so tiresome! I took up knitting needles again for the first time in quite a while and was happily knitting and purling until I attempted moss stitch. This was featured in the child’s ‘how to knit’ book to which I was referring and so, I thought, would be a breeze. But holes appeared, stitches vanished and I decided to end the experiment with grumpily – and poorly – casting off. I’ve gone back to a bit of needle-felting. No improvement in the craftmanship but it does channel creative rage rather well!

  46. a commenter suggested sewing your pouffe cover with negative ease, other suggested padding – I would consider both plus mitre-ing the hell out of the corners (once reinforced) and then maybe topstitching the seems to give a more tailored feel. If you want to be able to take the cover off to dry-clean it – a little top-stitching will help to strengthen it too.
    As a stocky woman I have a horror of negative ease in general (words like ‘skimming’ and ‘gently fitted’ are much more pleasing) with upholstery it’s always a good idea to have to squeeze your cushion pad in or battle for a while to get your cover on… it eases out the creases…

  47. I think your cover looks great, but I also completely understand how it feels when your vision of the project doesn’t match the reality. I’ve upholstered a few things that I wanted to have a snug fit and I’ll add some ideas to what has been shared already. First definitely add quilt batting around your stool and try the cover again before cutting or tearing out any seams. The professional guy downstairs always add batting underneath. Also tuck a little pillow stuffing into the corners to fill them in. I have always found that some good hot steam will often make nice thick wools behave better. Try steaming your cover while it is on the cube. You can shrink it slightly and even reshape it a bit. If you still think you want to restitch it, consider taking the time to make a muslin pattern first that you can try on the cube. Also it seems contradictory, but sewing the corners every so slightly rounded will make them look more rectangular when you turn it out and put it on. You could try some slight seam corrections by hand first to test them out before cutting or resewing. But again, I think it’s super as is!

  48. My mother has a great saying- ‘ a man on a galloping horse won’t notice a thing wrong with it. ‘ I have often pointed out that I don’t have many men on galloping horses passing through our house but the thought’s a good one!
    Just pad it out and don’t worry- after it has been sat on for a while it will be perfect.

  49. Such a brilliant idea, you are alwya so inspirational I have a useful piece of Harris Tweed –
    which was supposed to make a fitted skirt – But I’m now probably too fat for it.
    I am not a sewer and love to knit/felt bags which I always line badly!
    what about cushions, tweed one side fairisle the other – best of scottish textiles!!

  50. Dear Kate:
    Just came across your site, and SO enjoyed it! You are a gifted writer, and I laughed aloud on not-just-one occasion! I may be a designer, but my budget is far from that of my clients’ and, while I succumb to the allure of “make do and mend”, I regret that I’m a MOST impatient DIY-er, so I can completely commiserate re. ottoman. But truthfully, the stunningly handsome Bruce Almighty steals the spotlight! And I have to ask: is that his happy, romping, blurry body coming up the hill behind you? With, what looks to be, the dog-jackpot of big sticks?! All the best to you and yours! PS: Those pics make me pine for “back home”!

  51. Don’t know if anyone’s suggested this to you yet but I believe upholstery foam would give you a better padding than sewing shop batting, if you’re thinking of going that route. A trick I learned in upholstery school might also help: reverse pinning. Put the fabric on the cube upside down / wrong side out and pin it so that you are pinning it “inside out”. You can get a much better fit that way. Once the seams are sewn, turn the fabric “right side out” and slip it over the cube. Be careful when pinning that you don’t pull the fabric *too* tight, as it will make the cover harder to get on the cube (made that mistake before…).

  52. Oh Kate, how I laughed at this! Thanks for sharing your tale of woe; I know we all can relate. But remember that wonderful bit of advice: “Stay Calm, and Carry On.”

  53. I like sewing, but I still have a hard-and-fast rule: “NO sewing past 11pm”. That’s when one’s confidence outwits one’s coordination and bad things happen. Like cutting a giant hole right in the front of an organza overskirt…for example. I was so heart-broken, I never could bring myself to fix it. But I think your lovely tweedy footstool in the last pic is looking quite lovely. One thing that may help with any bulkiness left in the corners is to trim your seam allowance across the corner (essentially, you will be cutting off a wee triangle) as seen in the 6th photo down on this site:

  54. I like the idea’s jennigma suggested, Kate. Love the Harris tweed. I think you did a great sewing job, as the tweed does have some movement in the cloth, and you have to be careful you don’t cut too into the corners, rounding a little would help, but I also think that it will need a launder maybe at some stage, so it will perhaps shrink a little so round corner maybe, a little extra padding maybe, but I think it is fine and you will grow to like it.
    I have made jackets etc and become too fussy and pulled them apart etc, only to regret it later and wish I had the garment again, not realising how well I had done it I the first place. And yours is a OOAK.

  55. OK, so this isn’t actually about sewing (already mentioned I think the weighty legacy of the fancy sewing machine sitting in the cupboard for a proverbial rainy day when I learn how to use it) but just to say that when I read your post, I had not previously heard of Anta, but really loved what you showed here and other things on their site…and about two days later, saw a women stride through Central Station with a giant Anta bag in the exact Uist Tweed that you said was your favourite…it’s always the way…someone bring something to your attention and suddenly you see it, not everywhere, but at least somewhere! Hope to see you, sometime soon!

  56. Oh, I feel your pain! There is no disappointment quite like that which an unseccessful craft project can inspire! I took a couple of sewing classes last year, and the most valuable lesson I learned was that it is patience, not skill, which makes a great seamstress. I’m sure when you come back to it with the right head on you’ll do a marvellous job (although your standards are clearly a little higher than mine, because I think it looks fine as it is)!

  57. Stumbled on your article as I am trying to find one of these cubes to fix our one (which my husband stood on and fell right through – he is fine but cube needs replacement wood/mdf or whatever for the top). Interested me as I also covered our Ikea cube, as it was black and I don’t like black in general. You don’t include a photo of it before you improved it, but I have to say, from the photos, it really doesn’t look that bad!
    I hate measuring and using patterns in general and I did it by cutting separate rough sized squares and pinning them together over the cube inside out (so that the raw edges were on the outside of the cube.). If you ever do this again, I can recommend this approach as it worked fine (just need to tack and then sew).

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)