Saturday, 18 December 2010

popping and locking: a giveaway

Through a strange and very happy set of circumstances I have become the proud owner of an overlocker.

It is the other kind of sewing machine, the one with up to four threads and no bobbin. The devil's work - and a lot of fun.

A whole new avenue of sewing has opened before my very eyes.

Overlockers finish the edges of fabric, trimming as they go. This is especially handy when joining two pieces of fabric as it means you don't get raw edges.

Functionality aside, I really like the overlock stitch and think I will use it decoratively too. In fact, I think I may use this every single day from now on as I love it so much.

To see what it could do I made a few bookmarks. I selected fabric from my stash that had some kind of a narrative:

The Owl and the Pussycat by Heather Ross for Kokka.
Unknown Japanese Hansel and Gretel cotton
I noticed that the prints were all very whimsical and children's literature inspired. Wouldn't an adult fiction line be interesting? A deep red Margaret Atwood 100% bamboo sustainable jersey perhaps.

kokka fat quarter from raystitch
I cut two pieces of fabric about 8x21cm and one piece of fusible interlining about 7x20cm. I sandwiched them together with the interlining in the middle and then pressed. I overlocked all the way round and then attached some ribbon to the top on my old sewing machine with a tight zig zag:

These two below I did on my old sewing machine. The same cutting but I arranged them interlining first, backing piece next (right side up), then top piece on the top (right side down):

I found pressing the top edges over first very helpful. I then stitched quite close to the edge leaving the top open, then clipped the corners near to the stitching, and turned out (with the help of a blunt pencil to get right into the corners). I then slipped a piece of ribbon into the open top slit, then topstitched all round:

Little Red Riding hood also by kokka

I made quite a pile of these so they are now the first ever A Year Above the Shop giveaway! If you would like one then just leave a comment below. The first three will get a bookmark.

Happy bookmarking!

Thank you very much to the winners. I have a few more so if you would still like a bookmark then leave a comment and I'll pick a few at random.

Many many thanks to all, I will be contacting the winners and getting the bookmarks out as soon as I can.


  1. Oh they are lovely, you must have a rather wonderful fabric stash.

    I am both envious and plain terrified of your overlocker. A big part of me would love one and from time to time I watch them in my Ebay account but also, the thought of actually owning one and trying to thread it strikes deep fear in me!

  2. Really? Am I still in the running for this? I thought the time zone difference between us would be my undoing!

    The bookmarks are lovely, thank you for sharing your process. I really enjoy your blog, found it recently through Bloesem's Christmas decoration posts.

  3. ooh me please! i would give it to ben for his book club book! i hadn't heard of an overlocker, be interested to see what else you get up to with it. love the fabric with the dala horses.
    now back to the strictly final! x

  4. Could I have one please? I'm always losing my place...

  5. Too bad I'm late for the bookmark. They came out really cute, and boy am I envious of you with your overlock! Enjoying your blog, Miriam.

  6. Oh dear, am too late to win a bookmark but wanted to leave a comment to say how lovely they are! Recently came across your blog and absolutely love it x

  7. Only One word to characterize such a great post “WOW” that was a very interesting read. Such a wonderful information for me. I am really impressed it. love the fabric with the dala horses.

  8. i love the little red riding hood ones mim. perfect for book-marking angela carter or margie atwood....can santa put one in my stocking pretty-please?? xx

  9. hoorah! thank you for my bookmark! ben has already utilised his well and discussed very seriously who was going to use which one and that we could swap and share if we wanted to! x

  10. Hi Miriam! Thank you so much -- my bookmark arrived, and just in time :) I just started a great book, and with multiple interruptions from my kids the pages were starting to get super dog-eared! I just love it. xo


a year above the shop

a year above the shop