Patchwork Easter bunny

I took some patchwork hexagons along as my project to the SewingDirectory meeting in Exeter in March.  And this is what they have become!

Simplicity 1549IMG_1600

I used Simplicity 1549.  The rest of the rabbit is made from felt, and I blanket stitched most of the pieces together instead of sewing them together on the wrong side – hate turning out tiny little limbs! A few things learned about paper piecing -

  •  buying the paper templates saves lots of time, and you can reuse them
  • another timesaver is to cut squares of fabric rather than hexagons
  • and a Sewline glue pen instead of basting

All these tips meant I could get straight on with sewing the pieces together – the fun part! Mr D now has a plan for me to recover the dining chairs in patchwork.

 

image

What do you think?!

Image from Sew Magazine.

Spring Clean Swap Meet

I’ve destashed, and destashed, and still there is more! Two patterns to be exact, which I’m giving away as part of the SpringCleanSwapMeet.

vogue8873 newlook6144

Vogue 8873 (8-16) and New Look 6144 (8-18).  Both are unopened.

If you would like one of these patterns please leave a comment on this post saying which one. I will pick two winners on Tuesday, 1 April, and I will post internationally.

You can see more giveaways here.

Baby mock Fair Isle cardigan

I’ve been quiet clothes sewing-wise for a while. I was finding the gap between the way I wanted things to be finished and my abilities a bit frustrating! I used to be perfectly happy to walk around with a not-very invisible zip and a wonky hem.  Now I know better, but not always how to fix things.

So I’m going to sewing lessons! I’m going to be a bit slower on the finished objects for a while, but already learned loads, so hopefully will have lots to show you soon.

gretaballpool

Meanwhile, some tiny knitting.  Isn’t this a great photo?  Taken by Greta’s mummy (my sister, Jo) and just look at those eyelashes.

The yarn is Sirdar Baby Crofter DK.  It produces a Fair Isle pattern as you knit.  I was sceptical, but it is brilliant!  So much fun to see the pattern emerging.  The pattern was from one of the Baby Crofter pattern books, but you don’t need to use a special pattern with the yarn.

Sirdar baby crofter dk IMG_0952

The Fair Isle pattern works best on smaller areas – you can see on the back of the cardi that it isn’t quite so convincing.  I managed to match the two front pieces by beginning at the same point in the yarn pattern – a long strand of dark purple.

I added some pink sparkly buttons – bliss!

 

 

Wardrobe Architect – colours, solids and prints

Here is the second of my Coletterie Wardrobe Architect posts – on colour and pattern.

I choose fabrics because I like them, but don’t think how they will fit into my wardrobe.  I think having a restricted palette will help me.

I spent around two hours choosing my palettes on the Design Seeds website.  Very, very addictive!

image image image

Lots of blue (my staple is navy), with contrasts of green, red, orange.  Plus a little brown and grey.

Next, I pulled the patterned garments out of my wardrobe – the ones I wear the most.  Try not to laugh….

IMG_1487IMG_1485IMG_1477

IMG_1478IMG_1483IMG_1484

IMG_1481IMG_1482

I’ll wear most of these with a brighter plain top – teal and burnt orange are favourites.

I really don’t like much colour in my patterns, do I?!  I can see I prefer graphic prints, even the flowers are stylised designs.  So that explains why I never wear the floral fabrics that I like to buy and sew.

Several days later…

I’ve been looking at fabrics and using a limited colour palette and knowing I don’t wear bright patterns or florals has been a revelation.  Usually I’ll get stuck thinking I like something, but not sure if I’ll wear it.

I did some virtual shopping (it’s my birthday soon!) and this is what I chose -

fabric shopping

My plan was to keep to the colours and patterns I now know I will wear, but introduce some stronger colour and a little quirkiness.  A few more stripes and dots and I’m done.

I’m really pleased with this.  I’m sure I will wear these fabrics (or similar – whatever I end up buying).  By reducing the colour and pattern options, the process of choosing was much easier.  I should have more choice in what I wear too – not just graphic navy and white patterns!

Wardrobe architect – playing catch up

I have been enjoying the posts everyone has been writing in response to the Coletterie Wardrobe Architect Series.  Writing my own has been more difficult!

Defining my core style was the first challenge.  There are lots of women whose style I admire, but I don’t want to dress like them.  I do feel lost style wise, so I tried to think of a time when I didn’t.  When I worked in an office, I was a creative person (marketing) in a non-creative environment (accountants and lawyers).  I used to wear simple suits and tailored dresses with interesting, sometimes eccentric shoes.  And so it hit me -  I had a style then!

Now, I work from home and can wear whatever I like.  I’m not buying clothes so I can make anything I like.  All that freedom and potential is too much and I have no idea what to wear.

My first step was to pin some images randomly and then look for patterns.

Pinterest Summer Style

So it seems I still like simple semi-fitted shapes, with an interesting pop of colour, and classic accessories.  Apart from two denim skirts, I don’t own anything like these things.  I’d love a shirt in drapey fabric like Sophia Coppola’s, but don’t own any shirts at all!  Not shown here, but I’ve also pinned several shirt dresses.  No, I don’t have any….

pinterest winter style

I had grand plans this year to use up my stash and not buy any new patterns.  I have changed my mind!  I have sold or given away lots of my fabric and patterns, and I’m replacing them with things that reflect what I’ve learned.

More soon…

Sweatshirt with mock band hem – tutorial

This is my favourite ‘working at home’ outfit at the moment - my new red hoodie with a denim skirt, fleece lined footless tights (mmm!) and cozy socks.  I’ve only made the hoodie so far – I’ll work on making the rest!

Vogue 9926 Vogue 9926 back

This is quite an old pattern – Vogue 9926.  I cut a bit of the top of the sleeve as I was getting a strange puff effect.  I love the neckline and the fit of the shoulder and sleeve.

IMG_1355

For the hem, I found a mock band hem in The Overlocker Technique Manual by Julia Hincks.

1. With the wrong side up, fold a hem.  Pin and press.

IMG_1320

2. Turn to the right side.  Fold the hem down so you have the raw edge level with the new fold.  Serge these three layers together.

IMG_1322

3. Turn the hem down, press and you’re done!

IMG_1325

The Overlocker Technique Manual looks really good – lots of lovely, clear photos. I’ll write a review when I’ve had time to read it!

IMG_1326-001Pattern: Vogue Elements 9926 (1996)

Fabric: Ponte jersey

Sew Grateful week – flower hair clip tutorial

image

These flower hair grips look so pretty and are great for using up scraps. They sell well at craft fairs too – I like to sit behind my stall and make them!

image You will need-

Pinking shears, needle and thread

5 circles of printed fabric, and 1 of felt, with pinked edges

Button

Hair clip with sewing holes

My circles are 5m across (I use a small cookie cutter, and draw round the inside) and the hair clips are 4cm long.

image image

Fold each petal in half, then in half again. Sew to the centre of the felt, keeping all the petals facing the same way.

image image

Sew on the button and the clip.

image

You’re done!

I made this flower to go with a dress for my baby niece. The pattern is Simplicity 9784.

Simplicity 9784

If you’d like to win some hair clip backs, My Sew Grateful giveaway includes some!

Sew Grateful Week giveaway

image

It’s Sew Grateful week again!  I’ve been reading sewing blogs for two years now and can’t imagine sewing without being part of this fantastic community.  Thank you!

For my giveaway I have -

Hot Patterns L’Odeon dress and blouse (uncut)

A vintage pattern for a beach set

Vintage and ceramic buttons

Hair grips with sewing holes – I’ll be writing a tutorial for flower grips using these later in the week.

Open to everyone, everywhere, just leave a comment below.  I’ll draw the winner on 1 March.

Thank you so much to Debi for organising.

Black red velvet dress

Finally, I’ve made something I want to wear! I’ve had a string of half made things that haven’t worked – so frustrating.

This is the Cake Patterns Red Velvet dress, in gorgeous black crepe jersey.

Redvelvetdress 004 Redvelvetdress 002

I lengthened the bodice by 2 inches, and shortened the waist by about the same.  I used the flat box pleat option on the skirt, and just love the result.  I like full skirts, but gathering around the waist is not a good look for me, so this is perfect.

I liked it so much made another one from navy double jersey – slightly less flowy than the crepe jersey, but also becoming a firm favourite.

Are you following the Colette Wardrobe Architect series?  It’s been a revelation for me, and made me realise why I still (after major wardrobe detoxing) have clothes I don’t wear.

I’ve been mainly writing blog posts about this in my head – which is no good to anyone – but I will actually write something down  soon!  Anyway, one of my new favourite silhouettes is one of these dresses with a fitted cardigan.

The facts:

Pattern: Cake Patterns Red Velvet dress £11
Fabric: Morgan Crepe Jersey (£15 – on sale at £4.99 a metre!) and Double Jersey (£20) , both from Minerva Fabrics