Thursday, 9 October 2014

Girls denim dress

As part of my sewing I have always enjoyed upcycling garments to create something completely new. All my friends and relatives now ask if I would like their old items before they discard them, most of the time I just take off any fastenings (zips, buttons, etc) but other times I keep the whole garment, the only problem is that I now have a stash of old garments - especially jeans.

I have decided to start using them up or getting rid of them and started with this little girls dress.

To start I took a top that fit my niece to make a pattern.
I folded the top in half. Note - I didn't fold it on the side seams but at the centre. I then traced round the edges to create the pattern - don't forget to add seam allowance to your pattern.
I then led the jeans out flat. I left all the seams intact as I wanted to use the side seams as centre front and back decorative seams on the dress.
I pinned the pattern onto the legs of the jeans so the side seams became the fold, then cut around the other edges of the pattern. I then repeated this for the back piece.
Once I had cut the pieces out I stitched them together at the side seams. I bound the seams so that they wouldn't rub.
At this stage I done a quick fit check on my niece.
To finish the dress I used some pink & white polka dot bias binding. I applied this in one continuous strip by starting at one underarm and ending back where I had begun.
Buttonholes and large pink floral buttons finished the top opening to make for easy dressing.

This was a fairly quick and easy dress to make - the longest part was applying the bias binding.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Lace and trim storage

As well as fabric I am also starting to get quite a stash of various laces and trims. As the stash has been growing so has my struggle to store it all.
Then I had a light bulb moment whilst shopping for yet more trim. Pulling out various trims on the plastic storage from the shelves I had a picture of how I would be storing all my lace and trim from now on.
 First I measured the shelf it would sit on - both the height and width of the shelf. I then cut a piece of plastic to the size of my shelf, (you can also use cardboard but it would need to be fairly thick to hold the weight and be stable)
 The 2nd step was to cut a 'u' shape out of both sides to create an indent to wrap the lace/trim around.
Mark a 'U' shape in each end
Cut the 'U' shape out
 I use 3m magic tape to stick one end of the lace/trim to the plastic. The length of lace/trim then gets wrapped around on itself until you get to the other end. This is then secured using a 2nd piece of magic tape.
Attach lace to plastic using magic tape
Wrap the length around the plastic
I use the magic tape as it is sticky enough to hold the lace/trim in place but also peels off easily plus you can write on it.
Magic tape to secure.
 I then write a number or letter on the 2nd piece of tape. This corresponds to my fabric log book with the amount I have, the cost and where I purchased it from. I sometime also add when I purchased it so I know how old it is (especially the lace)
My fabric log sheet.
More lace storage.
The last picture is of the first lace storage I made.

How do you store your laces and trims?

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Simplicity 7363

I had been searching high street shops for some new summer shorts but had been unable to find anything I liked or that fit ( I am an awkward shape waist to hip ratio)
As summer was upon us earlier than expected I decided to have a look through my pattern stash to see if I had anything I could make myself and came up with one that looked promising.

Pattern used: I used Simplicity 7363 (which includes trouser, shorts, skirt, top and shirt options)
Simplicity 7363

Fabric used: stash busting using some black poly cotton fabric that I have had for about a year.

Size cut: I  cut a size 14 and then altered the pattern to fit.

Pattern Changes I made: Front reduced the crutch seam by 1cm and added
                                      1cm to the side seam.
                                      Back reduced the crutch seam by 1cm and added
                                      1.5cms to the side seam.
                                      Waistband added 5cms to the overall length, done in
                                      the same amounts as above for the front and
The length of the shorts was increased by 4cms as I like to cover my thighs.

I did omit the button holes as I didn't add the drawstring just elastic all the way around the waist. I left a gap in the waistband which I hand stitched once the elastic was in place.

Time taken: I made a toile (mock up) of the shorts first to get the fit correct. I then made a new pattern from the toile before cutting into my main fabric. The toile took a few days to complete as it isn't easy to fit on yourself.
Once the changes had been transferred to a new pattern I made the shorts in about 6 hours from start to finish.

I like the outcome of this pattern and the instructions were easy to follow. The fit of the shorts is still not perfect but it is ok enough for me to wear them. I like that they have deep pockets so you don't have to constantly worry about losing items from them.

Sorry forgot to add the finished picture
The finished shorts

Me trying to pose
I apologise for the multi coloured legs, my work shorts are longer and caught the sun wearing them. At least they match the colour on the back of my legs :)
Back view

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

W-I-P Colette Sorbetto

I am currently working on the amazing Colette sorbetto top. I had some light weight linen in my stash from a previous project. I didn't have much left so it has been sitting there waiting for the right project to come along, as the Colette pattern uses so little fabric this was the perfect match.

I haven't finished the top yet as I am adding sleeves as per inspiration from the sew weekly blog plus I need to wait to buy some bias binding as I didn't have enough fabric left to make my own.

Here is a sneak peak of my progress so far
Colette Sorbetto in progress
I will do a full blog post once I have finished the top.


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Pattern Binder Storage

Like a lot of other sewers I have built up a collection of sewing patterns - car boot sales have been quite good for building the amount I have.
I was starting to struggle to keep track of what I had and have ended up with some duplicates. I tried taking photo's to keep some type of spreadsheet but then got annoyed when I had to turn the computer on every time I wanted to see what I had.
This is the storage I had before
Then I stumbled across The Domestic Diva blog post about pattern storage and decided that it was exactly what I needed.
Here is how I now organise my patterns. I try to do this as soon as I get the pattern.

  • Open the pattern envelope and remove all pieces and instructions sheets. 
  • These then get put into a plain white A4 envelope.
  • I then fold the envelope around the contents and tape shut. 
  • The details of the pattern are written on the plain side of the envelope -include the pattern make and number, type of item (top,trousers,etc) and the sizes included.

envelope taped shut.
Details written on envelope

All of the envelopes then get stored in a box. I use an old paper box that I have covered but you can use anything you like. 
covered paper box
I sort my patterns
  •  firstly by type (top, trousers, etc)
  • then by make (Burda, etc)
  • then by number
  • add tabs for the different types (categories)
You can store them anyway you like and are comfortable with.

All sorted in the box
Tabs to find what I need

The original pattern envelopes are then put into clear plastic wallets - some people open the envelope flat so they can see both sides but I prefer to keep mine sealed. I put a cardboard insert into the plastic wallet to give it a bit of stability, each wallet then holds 2 envelopes - sometime 3 depending on the size.
The plastic wallets are then stored in a 3 ring binder in the same order as the corresponding envelope in the box.
Pattern envelopes in binder

To make it easier to search through my binder I added tabs to match the box on the sides of the plastic wallets and a categories sheet to the front. I also colour coded all the sections in both binder and box.
Categories list
Binder tabs

I can now flick through my own pattern book, decide what i am going to make and go straight to where the pattern in stored.
Choosing a pattern
Where my box is kept.
Binder on shelf

I store my box on the corner of my cutting table for now and just move it to the floor when I need more room. Yes that is another box of patterns waiting to be sorted. The binder sits on the shelf with my other sewing binders

A print out of my PDF patterns are stored in the binder with the patterns being stored on hooks (currently awaiting a place to call home)
PDF print outs
Hope this helps others to organise their patterns.
How do you store your patterns? Leave a comment below.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Just a short post today

I haven't got any sewing to share this week as due to a bad start to the year I've not been in the sewing room as much as I would like.
My nan passed on the Sunday before Christmas. On the 10th January we had her funeral plus sorting out all of her items, her flat, etc.
After that one of our dogs got sick and wouldn't eat. She is a Labrador and as most people know they will eat anything and everything. We took her to the vets a few times but they couldn't find anything wrong. We took her again on 15th Jan and told them we wanted her problem investigated. The vets arranged for an ultra sound and said they thought it was a tumour and would need to operate. Whilst doing the op the couldn't find anything but since then during further surgery a tumour was found. As one point we were told she may have to be put to sleep but luckily the type she has is now being treated with chemo. She is doing a bit better but it will be a long road, we have to try to make her eat, give her pain killer tablets.
I have ventured back to the sewing room today for some alterations, hopefully normal service will be resumed soon.

I was going to add a photo of the dog but blogger won't upload it, I will come back and add it tomorrow.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New year, New goals

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and hoping you have a wonderful new year.

A new year for most people is time to think about and make resolutions for the coming year. I don't think this is the right way to approach things you want to do as most resolutions get broken or forgotten about by the end of January. Instead I take the time to think about where and how I want my year to go, from this I then set myself some goals. Some maybe short term goals whilst others are longer term and may even take a few years.
Once I have set my goals I then break them down into manageable targets.

One of my main goals this year is to lose the weight I put on about 2 years ago. I had a hernia which required surgery so wasn't able to exercise. I put on about 2 - 2..5 stone over 3-4 months. Going by the guides for my height I should be around 9-9.5 stone but I will be happy to get back to my previous weight of 10 stone. At the moment I weigh 12 stone 7lbs.
My goal is to be back at this weight by July 2014. To break this into manageable targets I am aiming to lose 4-5lbs per month which works out to 1lb a week. I think this is very do-able. To help me I have used this site to give me pictures of before and after.

I do have other goals, some to do with business, some personal. One is to blog at least once a month in 2014 so here is my 1st post.

Do you make resolutions or goals. What are yours for 2014?