Showing posts with label sewing blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing blog. Show all posts

Monday, 31 August 2015

Purple Trousers!

I finally finished off my trousers!  I was gifted a pattern and some fabric for my birthday and started sewing at the beginning of the summer!  A couple of months later and other projects seem to have taken over so they were still sitting there.  But now they are done I'm pretty pleased.

I used a vogue pattern and the trousers are quite fitted which was a first for me.  Usually I go for baggy clothes to sew that have plenty of gathers of pleats which makes fitting easier.  All was reasonably simple until I got to the crotch and the zip.  That stage required a few unpicking sessions to break through it but I made it out the other end.

I did make it a bit more difficult for myself by using a strong and clear striped fabric.  My pattern matching is far from perfect and I found myself thinking of May and Patrick on the Sewing Bee when I spotted my errors.  If there was a camera in my sewing room it would have been zooming in on my mis-matching but luckily for me there isn't and overall the mistakes don't look to glaringly obvious.

A bit of under stitching
I learnt to do under-stitching which was a great for me and I was so happy with how easily the pockets lay flat against the trousers afterwards.

I really enjoyed following a pattern again although it did take me a little while to get into it.  I have become so used to making things up myself that I had to remind myself to slow down and do things step by step.

I really like the fit and I am glad I added the extra fabric for the flare - it just gives them a little something extra and especially with the purple!

 So what do you think?

I love the shape and love the fact I can add or take away from the flare.  I also haven't had a pair of trousers that fits me so well in a long time. Do share your trouser makes below!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Having a little sort out

I can be quite a chaotic person - I blame it on being vaguely creative - but my sewing room tends to become a focus for my chaos and every now and again needs a really good sort out.  Having just finished a crazy long week I decided to take my days off as opportunities to hibernate and nest a little bit.  So I found myself digging through all of my boxes and organizing everything.  I was quite proud of my sensible head that I had on as I even managed to throw away scraps of fabric that I know I will not be able to use!

All of the organizing left me with a lovely spare room with neatly hanging fabrics and lots of space to cut out.  Now that I have a dog I find myself sewing downstairs with him a lot more so even though I use the spare room as my holding room for fabric my machine is more often than not sitting on the dining room table.  Inspire by my tidy room I set to work to make a cover for my machine.  I wanted something that makes the machine look less abandoned when I leave it downstairs but also can hold little bits and pieces that I need when I'm sewing.

I was recently given this fab fabric which seemed perfect for a sewing machine cover!

So here it is - I didn't quilt it like some of the amazing covers you see on pinterest but for my purpose it really is good enough. 

The pockets on the sides are really handy for scissors, thread, tape measure and pins - all those bits that would just lie on the table looking untidy otherwise.

And there you have it - much tidier and tucked away without any obvious wires or bits and pieces hanging around.
I'll never be a minimalist but hopefully this will look just a little more like it belongs!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Stitching gifts

Life seems to be super busy right now!  I have to admit I love it but sometimes you just need to STOP!  I think sewing is the perfect thing for that!
Shut away in whichever corner you choose to sew in and happily crafting and creating.  And then at the end of your YOU time you have a finished product to show for it!  Seriously what could be better.

Recently my projects seem to be going in bits as I just have snippets of time to work on each one.  My trousers are all cut out and ready to go but no actual sewing has happened on them yet.  I've done a little bit of repair on the dog bed (eeek my new puppy is super strong!) not that you would tell it from this cute pic!

And finally I sat down to make someone a little thank you gift - nothing massive but something small.  I used two things that I have made before but adapted them slightly.
For the eye mask I followed the instructions here but just added an extra layer in.  Instead of just using two layers of fabric and a layer of felt I added in some wadding.  I then quilted lines across the mask before continuing with the steps where you add the bias binding.  I have to say it certainly adds a bit more luxury and comfort to the finished product.
 Then I continued to make a slightly larger scale rice warming pack than this one here.  You follow the basic instructions that you find on that post but increase the size of the pack.  Once I had added a third of the rice I stitched it into a little pocket and then repeated.  Then I edged in bias binding which just finished it off neatly and gave a bit of continuity to the gift as it matches the eye mask,
All in all I was pretty happy with the finished look and really enjoyed the time out I got to make it in the midst of a busy week!
 Let me know the projects you have been relaxing with recently too! Just share in the comments and I will pop across and check out what you have been up to!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Slouch cardigan

A lovely afternoon spent wandering resulted in me discovering some fantastically blue fabric in a charity shop.  It was reduced to only a pound so I went for it and began to plan the fabulous things I would make from it.  Pinterest to the ready and off I went.  I found this fantastic pattern for a super comfy slouch cardigan. If you decide you fancy giving it a go you can find the pattern here from True Bias.

The pattern seemed pretty straight forward so off I went - 2 simple rectangles, a bit of shaping and I find myself already at the sewing machine.

It really was nice to just have to cut this much out before sewing.
As I got to work I realised how much this fabric would fray and actually a much more complex pattern might have been a nightmare to work with.  This is what my overlocker looked like after a few seams being done. Super fluffy!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

First pair of trousers!!!

Finally I found some lovely light fabric that  I could use to create a pair of trousers.  Now I have to be honest trousers are kinda scary for me.  Skirts are so easily adjustable - tops can be fitted or loose and flowing but trousers have all sorts of funny complexities that have scared me off for a long time.

I decided to follow a pattern because although I love the idea of folding a pair of trousers I love in half and going from there I just wasn't convinced that my understanding of trouser construction was solid enough to go with that method.  I used the March Prima pattern which was for a loose pair of culotte style trousers.  I used to own a pair of denim ones and lived in them so happily set to cutting and pinning.

I found that once I had cut all of the pieces out everything made a lot more sense - when I look at the paper pattern it is hard for me to envisage how it will fit together - once in fabric I can see it much more clearly.  I was actually surprised by how simply I found the whole pattern.  Don't get me wrong my finished product is not perfect but in terms of understanding what I was doing the majority of making trousers is about matching seams and sewing neatly.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Weekender bag from a duvet cover!

I was recently lent a pattern to make a weekender bag.  Now I have a sewing machine that works I am finding my enthusiasm for trying more challenging projects is growing.  So I sat down a few weeks ago to begin the challenge.

I decided to use the same striped fabric that I had used for my cushions earlier in the month - basically because I just loved it so much!  The whole bag is quilted including the straps which made it a lot more time consuming than I had originally anticipated.  But I got my walking foot set up on the machine and after a bit of you tubing to understand how a walking foot actually works I set off on the quilting.

I am super impressed with how much easier it is to do quilting with the correct set up on the machine.  I was sewing fabric, wadding and another layer of fabric and it was pleasingly obedient.  After a good block of time quilting I was able to start on the construction.  I over locked everything using the stitches on the machine rather than my over locker (just to try them out :) ) and then was able to use straight stitches to join the pieces together.  The actual construction of the bag was pretty straight forward.  Lots of straight lines and the instructions I had borrowed as well as being able to see what someone else had made led to a pretty straight forward sewing job.

And here it is - stripey and proud.  I love the way the handles go right underneath the bag making it super secure.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Stitching challenge

So I am shamelessly on the scrounge for inspiration!
I fancy sewing something new and different, maybe that involves learning some new techniques and skills.  It could be for me or to give away.  It could be useful or just for fun.
What have you wanted to try but never found the time or not quite sure how? Send them through to me on the comments or via facebook and I'll take a look.
If you send me something I'll blog my way through making it - my failures and successes.  Hopefully in the end it will be something filled with fabulousness!
So what do you reckon? Let me know your thoughts and hopefully I'll be busy stitching soon!
Don't forget if it involves upcycling I'm likely to be up for it!
Thanks everyone - can't wait to see the challenges you send me! :-)

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Funky dress - upcycled of course

It has become a bit of a habit around birthdays for me to have a chat with my sister to consider what I want/need and eventually revert back to fabric.  She is a star and pops along to local charity shops and hunts till she finds me some fabulous fabric that I can upcycle for myself.  Yay - permission to indulge absoloutely granted.
This year was no different so I was presented with this fantastic polka dot fabric!  I love it!

I wasn't too sure what to make but then decided to go for a completely random approach and chuck it onto the mannequin and just see where I ended up (as demonstrated below - clearly very technical!)

I don't really do well with patterns - possibly because I don't really do that well with being told what to do - and tend to go off pattern all the time anyway!  So I just went with what felt right.  I decided the larger dots at the bottom decreasing as it went up worker well and with the amount of fabric it had to be a dress.  Once I started adding shape by pinning in some darts I had begun to get an idea of how the dress would look.

I would absolutely recommend having a go at something like this!  First of all it gives you absolute freedom to do whatever you want, second you don't have to buy a pattern and if you use upcycled fabric it is likely to be cheap and cheerful and if you end up with a disaster then you haven't lost too much!
 This dress started off as a duvet cover and with some snipping, pinning and tweaking turned into a dress that I will absolutely be wearing!  What do you think?

A bit of a dark picture there but an idea of the shape of the dress. I'm really happy with the way the sleeves worked so well even on a mannequin - I have to admit to being a bit afraid of sleeves so going off pattern was a bit nervy but they seem to have worked well!

It is so comfy and I love the neutral colours that can be dressed up with a fun, bright necklace or bracelet.
What a great birthday gift!  The fun of opening it to find gorgeous fabric, the dreaming up of a project perfect for the fabric, the sewing and now the wearing!  Talk about the gift that just keeps on giving!

Have you made any clothes by using a mannequin?  Do send them over so I can share them too!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Pink love!

I seem to have been super busy in the last couple of weeks - I can't exactly work out what has been keeping me busy but as you can see from the silence on my blog it certainly wasn't blogging!  My sewing machine had been sitting a little bit abandoned too so when a friend asked me to make her the clothes to wear with her saree I jumped at the chance.  The project forced me to prioritize stitching time and plus got to have a good old natter with her while I finished it off!
 I love saree fabrics - the bright and beautiful colours fresh from warmer climates fills me with hope for the summer (she says while listening to the rain pour down on the conservatory roof).  
 Chloe returned from India with the most beautiful saree that suited her so well!  It was filled with pinks and purples and some absolutely gorgeous embroidery and of course sparkle!
 I worked with a lining fabric to make a simple wrap around under skirt which is used to tuck the saree fabric into.  I had a little play around with darts and think I got them pressed out neatly and very evenly (the sewing bee judges would be proud!).
 I then started to work on the top.  I used another top that Chloe had made while she was in India as a guide.  I made this out of a thin purple and gold woven fabric.  It was pretty tricky to get used to working with - the weave meant that often the fabric would catch in the needle and the work was definitely slow and steady.  In the end I got used to how to work with this fabric and got going and it turned out pretty well!  Due to the scratchyness of the weave once we did the fitting I attached the lining fabric top into the woven top so that it was much more comfortable for wearing plus a bit warmer too!
 And here it is - didn't she look absolutely gorgeous!

 If you look closely you can see the gorgeous pendant that Chloe made - its filled with beads and carefully embroidered on!  If you love that kind of thing Chloe is busy beading and teaching workshops so pop over to see what she is up to on her website - you can always find her on facebook too!

  I loved doing something different, working with such beautiful fabric and making some clothes again - it definitely inspired me to start stitching more clothes!  I really enjoy it and the more I practice the happier I get with the outcome.  My aim is to make a pair of trousers in the next few weeks - I'm just looking for some fabric that I like!  I'll keep you posted!