Friday, 29 May 2015

Simplicity New Look Competition

Hi everyone! Long time no see! I haven't had much time for sewing lately as I've been concentrating on getting myself fit and healthy, but I saw this competition mentioned in the latest Love Sewing magazine and just knew I had to enter! Unfortunately I only saw it on the 19th of May, and the competition ends on the 31st so I knew I had to get my tail in gear to get it done! 
There were three categories for the competition - Dressmaking, Vintage, and Newcomer. Each category had a different pattern, and as I picked the Dressmaker challenge, I received a New Look 6145 shift dress pattern on the 24th May and got to work straight away!
I had some gorgeous ticking fabric in my stash that my lovely friend Emma gave me, and I knew it would be perfect! 
I decided to play with the pattern a little, so I chose to make view E without the collar, and thought it would be fun to quarter the front of the pattern, cut the ticking on the bias, and make a diamond shape pattern! (I know, with 5 days to get it done and the small one on half term holidays from school - I *might* be a little crazy!)
So I traced, and cut, and pinned like crazy...and this was the front - I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief, I can tell you ha ha!

On the back I decided to quarter the pattern to continue the waistline round, but I didn't do the same pattern with the fabric, deciding instead to just chevron it down the centre back. 

 Now came the easy part - sewing it together! 
I'm really pleased with how it turned out, especially as it was such a fast turnaround, and my first attempt at pattern matching stripes! 
And lastly - the obligatory modelled shot....sorry! 
I think I'll be making quite a few more of these, although perhaps next time I'll just use a plain fabric! Ha ha!
I'm just glad I managed to get it finished today in time to enter it!

Thanks for looking

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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Of a magazine, a pattern, and a dress. . .

A few weeks ago I saw a new magazine that was being launched called Love Sewing, and it looked good so I decided to give it a try - it's fantastic! Lots of projects, new fabric lines, interviews, helpful articles, free gifts and patterns...what's not to love? I'm now subscribed so I don't miss an issue! 
The free pattern in this issue was a downloadable one from Simple Sew Patterns - the Brigitte dress.
I thought it was really pretty, and fairly simple which is good as I don't often make things for myself!
They suggest in the magazine to use cotton or jersey, so I decided on cotton as I already had a couple of metres of this gorgeous Makower beach huts fabric from Ditto Fabrics and thought it would make a pretty summer dress.
Printing out and assembling the pattern was pretty straightforward - after measuring myself and checking the sizes on the pattern I made a size 16 (I wear a 12-14 in 'shop bought' clothing) so make sure you check your sizes...however this is quite the norm for sewing patterns!
I also decided to make the sleeves shorter, and to add a lining as the cotton I chose was a little see through!
I'd never made a lined dress before, so I chose a thin cotton (from an old bed sheet!), cut all the pieces as I did for the actual dress, and tacked the pieces together like for like - from then on I treated each piece of matching tacked lining and dress fabric as one piece, and then sewed it all together. It worked really well doing it that way!
This is a 'halfway stage' picture...
The step-by-step instructions were really clear and simple to follow...even for the invisible zip, which I'd never done before! Mine didn't turn out QUITE as invisible as I would have liked, but that was down to my sewing skills and not the instructions lol! 
Overall, I was very impressed - I will definitely be getting more patterns from them! Actually, Issue 2 of Love Sewing arrived on my doormat yesterday (3 days before it's available in the shops - the benefits of subscribing!) and it has a paper pattern for this beautiful top and skirt from Simple Sew Patterns as a free gift, so I will be blogging those makes shortly! I love the vintage styling of them and can't wait to get sewing! 

So anyway - here's a pic of the *almost* finished dress...I hadn't hemmed it here lol!

And one of me wearing it (over jeans, it was chilly lol!) - excuse the photo, I had to rope in the Mr. to take it!
 I've worn it a few times since and had lots of nice comments - people even asking me where I bought it! Nothing better for a sewer than to hear that!
Well, I say nothing better...
I opened the above Issue 2 of Love Sewing yesterday, and what should I see but MY DRESS! In the magazine! I was over the moon!
Although next time I take a picture of something I make and post in on Facebook, I'll make sure to not have my ratty old ironing board in the background ha ha! Oops! 

In the next couple of days I will be sharing some thoughts on my new sewing machine with you too, now it's had a good road test!

Thanks for looking
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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Gadget Slip Case Tutorial for Father's Day

Here in the UK, next month is Father's Day (Sunday June 15th) so if you are stuck for present ideas I thought I'd share this little tutorial with you for these quick, simple but attractive gadget cases. 

The tutorial will work for most gadgets (iPads, Kindles, iPhones, tablets etc) - all you need are the dimensions!
You will see in my photos I cut fabric for a matching iPad and iPod set, but through the tutorial I will concentrate on just the iPad case to make it less confusing.

OK, so you will need to start..
2 contrasting cotton fabrics (both mine came from Hobbycraft)
craft felt for the lining (also from Hobbycraft!)
2.5in piece of  1/8in elastic in a matching colour
a matching button
needle and thread, or sewing machine.

1. Measure your gadget...then add 1in to the width and height. My iPad Air was 9.4in x 6.6in, so I measured my fabric 10.4in x 7.6in.

2. Measure and cut your fabric. You will need:
1 x full size fabric 1
1 x full size fabric 2
2 x craft fabric 1/4 in smaller (so for mine it was 9in x 6.2in)
Then for the front pocket you will need to cut 2 squares (one of each fabric) by your width measurement, so mine was 6.6in x 6.6in.
Here's all my fabric cut for both cases.

From now on we'll just concentrate on the iPad case, although the construction is exactly the same for both!

1. Place your two pocket pieces (one of each fabric) right sides together and stitch a 1/4in seam along the top edge.

2. Turn right sides out and press, then stitch along the top 1/4in from the edge to give a neat finish.

3. Now take your two larger pieces of fabric. Lay your plain fabric right side up, and lay your pocket you just constructed on top, pattern side up and flush with the bottom of your first piece, like so:

4. Then lay your last piece of fabric (patterned) on top, right side in, (taking care to ensure you have it the right way round and not upside down as I have in the past!) and pin round to secure.

5. Now stitch round the two sides and the bottom. Do not stitch the top, as I have also done in the past! 
Snip the corners, turn right side out, and press.

6. Take your two craft felt pieces, pin together, and stitch round 3 sides, taking care to ensure you leave a 2in gap in the bottom for turning later. Snip the corners as I have done here. 

7. Now comes the fun part! Place your outer cover inside your lining, right sides together, and pin, taking care to match up your seams. 

8. Measure from seam to seam, and mark the middle point of your lining. Make sure this is on the BACK of your case, and not the front (it will be the side with the pattern, not the plain!). You can just see my chalk mark in this photo. Make a loop with your piece of elastic, tuck it loop side in BETWEEN your two fabrics where your centre mark is, and pin carefully, leaving a little poking out as you can see here.

9. Sew round the case 1/4in from the top, going back and forward over the loop a few times to make sure it's really secure!

10. Now comes the REALLY fun part! Very gently and slowly tease the outer of your case through the gap you left in the bottom of the felt lining, taking care not to stretch it out! 

11. When it's all out, sew up the bottom of the lining and tuck it inside the case. Add your button, and press! 

Hope you enjoy making these - if you have any questions feel free to ask! If you do make some, come back and post a link - I'd love to see them! 

Thanks for looking!

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

A jacket for Jamie

I've had this black and white check fabric sitting around for a while now. I just couldn't make up my mind what to make with it...a dress? Skirt? Bag?
I decided to look through my sewing books for inspiration, and suddenly came across a lovely pattern for a reversible jacket for Jamie in Sewing for Boys!
I had seen it in there before when using the book for other things, but had never made it....I thought it would be perfect for the fabric!
I teamed it with a beige ripstop, patch pockets, and some chunky self cover buttons...and voila!
A lightweight, reversible jacket for Spring!
He seems to like it...haha! (apparently the sunglasses were NOT optional!)

Thanks for looking!
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Monday, 10 March 2014

Hillary's Blinds competition!

Hillary's Blinds are running a competition at the moment...they send you one metre of fabric from their new 'Country Retreat' blinds collection, you make something with it, then blog about it...and you could win £1000! 
Of course I had to have a go! I picked the 'Wild Poppies Vermillion' fabric, and thought it would go really well with some denim - so I cut up a couple of old pairs of jeans I had hanging around, and this is the result!

The pattern I used is the Farbenmix 'Jackie'.

I wanted to do something a little different, with mixes of fabrics, textures, colours and stitches as that's what I like, and thought this fabric would be perfect with it's reds, purples, pinks, subtle green, and cream - a lot to work with! The denim pockets are taken from the jeans, reshaped, and added to the jacket, and the back adjuster came from the back of one of the pairs of jeans!
I plan on wearing it this afternoon as the sun is shining to go collect my son from school lol!

Thanks for looking, and wish me luck!


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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sew & Stitch

I saw the advertisment on the tv for this, and absolutely fell in love with the quilt project - I'm a massive fan of anything seaside/boat related! I mentioned it to the Mr., and he offered to get it for me...well, how can a girl refuse? Lol!
It has some lovely little projects in it besides the quilt, and I've made a couple already - this bag (that comes as a free gift if you subscribe) ...

...and this tooth fairy alien for my little lad!

 Here are my quilt squares so far - I'm a bit slow, so I'm only up to Issue 11 haha!

I shall keep you updated as I go - I can't wait to finish it, although it's going to take a while - there's 90 issues haha!
Thanks for looking
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