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, 17 March 2015

Sewing storage

As you might have guessed I am currently making attempts to sew at every opportunity and explore the loveliness that is my new machine.

That said it is still new and I am taking things slow and steady so as not to confuse myself.  So lots of little simple projects it is!

So while practicing on the machine I found myself irritated by the many charger wires gathering next to our computer.  So I decided to sew some little storage pots to hold all those annoying things that have no place to go. I learnt this technique from a sewing evening I go along to on Wednesdays.

I needed a reasonably strong fabric and a lovely friend recently gave me her old flared jeans.  Fabulously wide and fabulously funky!  A true ode to our 15 year old selves and the fabric is perfect for what I needed.

Now the jean leg is already a tube so I just cut it to the length I wanted.  I then did the same with the lining fabric.  I then sewed down the two edge seams of the lining to create the same tube as with the denim,

On the base of your fabric cut two squares out from each corner as below.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

My new sewing machine!

As many of you know I have been waiting for a long time to replace my old sewing machine.  It has served me well having been bought as a present when I was 15 for me by my parents.  It has sewn my my wedding dress, prom dress, some bridesmaids dresses, a quilt for my nephew, a dress for my sisters 21st birthday and so many other things.  But it was reaching a point of no return when the enjoyable part of sewing was taken away because I had to fix the machine every ten minutes.

So ... finally after much debate I bought a new one!  I have to confess to finding it quite a stressful purchase - I am amazed at the amount of choices there are.

This is what I chose

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Deckchair Sunshine

After a glorious day of sunshine on Friday it seems that winter has returned with grey skies and lots of rain!  When will summer arrive?  Admittedly I am being slightly unrealistic expecting it to show up in February but one can hope!

To beat my winter blues I pulled out this fabric that I have had for months and months and not been too sure how to use it.  I love the stripe but haven't felt quite confident that I can turn it into something that I would wear.

SO instead I chose to turn it into something my house could wear - or my sofa to be specific!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Kimono Top

I am continuing to love the crochet but this weekend had a bit of free time and was given some patterns.  I had a good look through and saw a kimono style top.

I have always stuck to quite plain tops leaning towards brighter patterns in skirts.  Recently though I am travelling around mainly via scooter so find myself in jeans.  This has left me feeling a bit dull in the clothes that I wear.  Jeans and plain-ish tops are the style for me at the minute so a cute kimono top might just brighten things up a little bit.

I had some bright peachy-orange fabric that was the under side from a reclaimed duvet cover I was gifted.  The top side was used to make this funky dress.
Now the underside is being used to make a jacket.  It actually excites me when I find a way to use up some fabric that otherwise might have gone to waste.  Plus when I make something out of the fabric I already own without buying anything I get an extra buzz!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Getting my crochet on!

So I kinda fell into this one - hanging out at the sewing cafe I try to get to when I can a friend of mine re-taught me to crochet.  My Mum and You-Tube have taught me on a few occasions however I never seemed to quite get going.
 I think this time round the cold weather and desire for a calm and peaceful pastime spurred me on.  I set off and practiced a few stitches eventually resulting in me simply stitching round and round in circles.

This didn't exactly turn into anything but it got me going and got me used to how I manage the tension - little fingers are key for this one for me!

Then I found this super simple tutorial on you-tube.  Simple and slow really is exactly what was required for me at this stage I'm afraid. If you fancy a go this is the link I used Crochet Blanket

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! :-)

Monday, 12 January 2015

A bit of an update of my recent projects!

As Christmas approaches suddenly blogging from my end becomes very quiet! Everything I was making is a secret and ready to be packaged off and sent away to friends and family. So I thought I would do a little summary of the things I made in the run up to 2015.

I was asked to make some bunting for an advent calendar.  It was a really fun project - and quite simple once I got going.  The triangles were just made from 2 squares of fabric sewn together and then turned inside out before being folded into the bunting flags.