Christmas Felt

In between making Bombshell swimsuits, going away for a weekend break, making Happy Happy Joy Joy swishy circle skirts and the usual mayhem that accompanies the run up to Christmas around here, I’ve been playing with some felt to make some holiday decorations!  Just as well it’s felt too as Boy learnt yesterday when we were decorating the tree that glass doesn’t bounce very well, so some additional decorations were definitely needed and these ones are pretty indestructible.

2545_env_front_3

Simplicity kindly offered to send me a festive pattern to play with and blog about; I chose 2545.  I adored the gingerbread houses and the little felt ornaments, particularly the gingerbread men and women.  The pattern also includes the blueprints to make a tree topper gingerbread angel, star and heart decorations, stockings and a tree skirt.  There’s a lot of value in this pattern and I can see myself returning to it each year and increasing the decoration quota!

I’ve made some gingerbread people and some Christmas trees to decorate our tree.  Some are ‘heirloom’ and some are ‘quick and dirty’!  With the ones I took more time over, the embellishments are hand stitched on and use vintage buttons and lace from my stash.  The quick and dirty options use Gutermann HT2 glue to stick the felt together and the embellishments to the felt – much easier when a small person wants to help you!

Gingerbread

I machine stitched all three layers of felt together on my machine before trimming down the gingerbread layers and pinking the icing layer of felt as per Simplicty’s instructions.  My favourite is Miss Gingerbread with her vintage sparkling buttons, lace and ric-rac skirt and hand sewn face.  Mr Gingerbread with the green buttons was sewn and stuck (his eyes are tiny tiny buttons which Boy glued on), whilst Mr Gingerbread with pearl buttons was all hand sewn.  His and Miss G’s eyes are french knots and their smile a split stitch.

Christmas Trees

I loved making the trees!  Mine is the one on the right with a blanket stitched edge, ric-rac tinsel and vintage button baubles!  It was a lovely way to use those odd singular buttons that are lurking in my button tin.  They finally get to shine!  Boy’s glued version is on the right.  No sewing at all, just glue, tiny buttons and more ric-rac.

These were a perfect little hand sewing project to take away with me last weekend.  Small enough that they took up no space at all and also I could make a lot of progress very fast with them.  As you may have guessed, Boy loved helping make them and is very proud of them being on the tree (along with all the other bits and bobs he’s made over the last few years!).  If you’re looking for some stress free Christmas crafting, this is a great pattern to start with – so many options!

Sew Grateful Give Away (I’m a bit Late!)

So, here’s the post I should have put up yesterday!  It all went a bit wrong though what with one thing and another so please accept my apologies…  So lets get down to the fun stuff shall we?!

I have three prizes up for grabs:

First up is a hand made snood by Arthelia’s Attic.  It’s in a gorgeous purple colour and the grosgrain ribbon is held on with a safety pin so can be removed if that’s not your aesthetic and used as a brooch or anything else your heart desires!

The other prize up for grabs is for those sock knitting fiends.  I have a skein of hand dyed  Fleece Artist Sea Wool up for grabs.  Its 70% Merino and 30% Seacell and 350m/112g.  The label recommends 3mm needles to give 26sts to 4″ and it’s machine washable!  It’s in gorgeous shades of greens and blues.

And finally, for those who just like to sew, I’d like to offer you the Burda pattern of your choice!  It could be something as classic as the Jenny Pencil Skirt or one of their new Boudoir patterns…  What ever your heart desires!

The Jenny Pencil Skirt

5/2011 Dress with Peter Pan Collar

Bella Trousers

To enter, please leave a comment below letting me know which prize you’d like to win by 23:59 on Sunday 12 February 2012.  I’ll draw the winners name using the random.org thingy on Monday.  This is open to everyone, everywhere as long as you’ve got a postal address!  Good Luck!

3 Decades, 3 Prizes!

Sorry, this giveaway is now closed!

In ten days time, it’ll be my birthday.  My 30th birthday.  So to celebrate this milestone I thought I would do a giveaway, one for each decade – so I’ve got three prizes up for grabs!  I’m really pleased with the little packages that I’ve put together and really hope that you will like them too.

Prize Number 1

My first un-birthday present to you all is in the colour Teal!  A handmade baguette style purse (made by me) lined in a self-strip cream cotton, closed with a silver coloured frame.  There’s also 10 yards of teal rayon seam binding and a bamboo point turner.  Last, but by no means least is your choice of Sewaholic pattern!

Prize Number 2

My second un-birthday present to you all is in the colour Navy!  A handmade baguette style purse (made by me) lined in a self-strip cream cotton, closed with a silver coloured frame.  There’s also 10 yards of dark navy rayon seam binding and a bamboo point turner.  Last, but by no means least is your choice of A Fashionable Stitch belt kit and an eyelet setting tool to give your kit the perfect finish!

Prize Number 3

My final un-birthday present to you all is in the colour Purple!  A handmade baguette style purse (made by me) lined in a self-strip cream cotton, closed with a silver coloured frame.  There’s also 10 yards of plum rayon seam binding and a bamboo point turner.  Last, but by no means least is a copy of the new Colette Sewing Handbook!

I hope you like these little bundles as much as I’ve enjoyed putting them together!  I can’t thank Tasia of Sewaholic and Sunni of a Fashionable Stitch enough for helping me put this all together!

So, to win an un-birthday present, here’s what you need to do:

Leave a comment here, telling me which present you’d like; 1, 2 or 3 (or teal, navy or plum!)

For an extra entry blog about the giveaway, tweet or Facebook it

For a possible third entry, if you’d like, you can become a follower!  If you follow me already, please mention it in your comment telling me whether it’s via email, wordpress or RSS!

I will gladly post these internationally, so everyone can enter!  The draw will close at 19:40 / 7:40pm GMT on the 24 November 2011.  Why that time – according to my Mother, it was the time I was born!  And the date, well, it’s my birthday!

And The Winner Is…

Number 8!  Congratulations Kat!

“What a fantastic giveaway! Hmmm my favourite pattern…this is a tricky one. I think perhaps the Sewaholic Lonsdale Dress…so easy to make but such a fantastic result!”

Have a look at Kat’s blog, Krafty Kat.  She’s doing a great mini-series on knitting at the moment, with some really clear pictures on things like increases and decreases!

Another Giveaway…

 

Alexandra Henry Lawn!

But I can’t take the credit for this one.  The beautiful Debbi at My Happy Sewing Place is holding a give-away for two metres (2.2 yards) of fabric from Fancy Moon!  It’s open internationally until midnight on the 11th November GMT. 

So, go visit Debbi and Fancy Moon and enter, you never know your luck!

Also, on the subject of give-aways, don’t forget to enter my give-away here for a Minoru Jacket from Sewaholic!

Rambling, or Planning? 100 Posts and a Giveaway!

Have you seen the new pattern from Sewaholic?  It’s a cute but practical zip up jacket called the Minoru.

The Minoru Jacket from Sewaholic. Click on the Pic to read more on Tasia's blog...

I have plans to make one (especially as I know I’m getting the pattern for my birthday later this month) so have been having a bit of a think.  I plan on using a cotton twill or drill and then adding some water resistance using NikWax.  I use it very successfully (or another of their products) to re-proof ski wear and my husband’s gore-tex coat.  As it’s a wash-in proofer, I’ll use it on the pre-wash of the fabric I think…

But the fabric!  I have to admit I’m thinking of going a bit bonkers with this!  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Leopard Twill

Houndstooth Twill

Solid Teal Twill, Shade 232

So, two quite loud choices, and one that’s less ‘look at me’!  As Tasia seems to be planning the sew-along for January I’ve got plenty of time to ponder what I’m going to do…

I’ve also been doing some pattern alteration.  Namely altering Sorbetto to have a cowl neck line.  I’ve only frankensteined the pattern so far.  I was going to make it tonight but I’ve realised that I haven’t pre-washed the cotton knit I was going to use so it’ll have to wait until the weekend.  Instead I’ll make some progress on my Beignet muslin I think.  I’ve re-adjusted the pattern and deconstructed the first muslin; I just need to add the stitching lines and then baste it together.

And as this is my 100th Blog Post I thought I’d do my first giveaway…

Leave a comment telling me what you’re favourite sewing pattern is and one lucky commenter will receive their very own Minoru pattern!

The giveaway is open until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 6 November 2011 and you will need to include your email so that I can contact you to get your address.  This is open to everyone, where ever you are – as long as you have a postal address, you can join in!

All the way from Canada!

Ooh, don't you just love post that isn't boring and gets your creativity going?

Looky looky what arrived today!  And it was only shipped on the 9th so arrived in exactly a week.  How good is that?

I’ve had a read of the Lonsdale pattern instructions and now fully understand how the front works.  I’d made it far far far more complicated in my head than it really is.  I’ll need to do a bit of grading of the pattern to get it to fit my current, but reducing, figure and this takes me a while but as the pattern pieces are so simple, it shouldn’t be too onerous.  I’m very interested to see what Tasia has come up with in the way of an FBA for this design as there’s not a lot of shaping in the bodice…  Think the bodice will deff need a muslin made as a test run.

I think I’ll use a vintage sheet for the dress if there’s enough fabric.  I’ve got the white side of a double duvet cover with large chrysanthemum type flowers printed in outline on it in shades of blue and pale beige and another which is white with turquoise flowers all over it.

In other sewing related news I’ve graded my Pendrell, done the FBA (ie added 2 1/2″ at the princess seam line – eek!), altered the neckline to be more of a V as that’s more flattering for me, done a ton of tissue fitting, retraced and cut the pattern pieces and have actually gone near some fabric!  It’s cut out, I just need to actually do some sewing…

I’m just going to make the shell to begin with (using the blue side of the chrysanthemum duvet cover) as a sort of wearable muslin – I’m intending to wear it, but if it’s a total disaster I haven’t wasted my gorgeous butterfly fabric.

Ginger Sew-a-Long by A Fashionable Stitch

Squeeeeeee!

I’m so excited!  I’m joining Sunni’s sewalong for the Colette pattern Ginger!  This is a gorgeous skirt and I really can’t wait to make a start on May 16.

I’ve ordered the pattern from Colette (and the Violet pattern) which will be on their way soon,  Sunni had even organised a 20% discount on the Ginger pattern which is extra brilliant.

I think I’ll be doing the pointy waist band as in this version here – there’s also a heart shaped one which is a bit too girly for me?

Ginger Skirt by Colette Patterns

The model is wearing the Violet shirt and whilst I love the peter pan collar, I’m not going a bomb on the gathered sleeves at the elbow.  I much prefer this short sleeve version…

Violet by Colette Patterns with short sleeves

I’m not sure what I’ll be making the skirt from yet.  The pattern details suggest “Medium weight fabrics such as poplin, twill, silk, dupioni, wool challis, gabardine, suiting, crepe.”  So, first off I need to find out some more about these fabrics!

I’d like to make this primarily for work so I don’t think I’ll be going too colourful?  It involves an invisible zipper so I may need to investigate an invisible zipper foot for my machine too.

I am really, really looking forward to this!

My First Vintage Pattern!

Squee!  And do a happy little dance!  Boy joined in, husband looked at me like I’d lost the plot.

Let me explain.  As I’ve mentioned previously I’m starting to find my feet as far as my style is concerned and I’m drawn to the Fifties.  I like the sophisticated, grown up but beautiful (mostly!) fashions of that era. 

cv Not that I’m advocating the view that we should all strap ourselves into girdles and bullet shaped bras.  I’m not and can’t envisage myself being able to live vintage, more that I am looking to adapt this sort of vintage style for my modern life.  I’m probably not making too much sense here…  I’m starting to learn a bit about the feminist issues and concerns regarding the rise in the popularity in vintage fashions.  I’m not looking to be emancipated, but at the same time I love that the women of the era dressed as grown ups and took pride in the way they looked.  I’ll try to explain what I mean better in another post.

I’m also learning about the fashion and sociological influences on the era and the development of the home sewing culture at that time, if that’s the right word for it.

But, for now, back to my Squee inducing purchase…

My First Vintage Pattern!

I’d been pootling around Etsy, and came across a listing for this pattern.  I put it in my favourites and thought about it for a day or two.  Every time I looked at it, I loved it a little bit more.  I like the wiggle dress styling but the thing that grabbed my attention is the styling around the neck line.  It’s the bateau shape at the front with the scooped away back.  I’m not sure about the knotted collar bit but it was definitely the neck line that sold it to me!

It was the neck line that made me buy it!

When I make this I plan to shorten the skirt so that it sits just below my knee, or mid knee.  I’m thinking about a possible little kick pleat in the back too…  I’m not sure about the jacket at the moment, I’ll have to wait and see on that front.  I can think of other styles I like more!

Including the postage to the UK from this really friendly Etsy seller it cost me $14.50 and it arrived really quickly too.  I bought it on the 6 April and it arrived on the 14 April – less than a week!  Making this will be one of my rewards for my weight loss me thinks!!

Peg Bag Tutorial

This is my old peg bag.  It’s looking more than a little bit sad!  It’s had a busy life and it’s even busier now we have the little person, but as it was only a few £s in Sainsbury’s several years ago it has done very well.

This is the fabric for the new bag!  Bright and cheerful and from Ikea – I’m sorry I can’t tell you what it’s called, it was part of a bundle of remnants bought on eBay.   It’s a home dec weight material and has a soft canvas texture.  The lining is going to be  some plain red cotton that I’ve got lurking in my stash.

The design is quite simple and similar in shape to the old bag with a few tweaks, the biggest being that it is going to be lined.  This is going to be a luxurious bag for the pegs to live in when they’re not doing their peggy thing!  I’m hoping it’ll mean that it lasts a bit longer too…

I’m going to make it a bit bigger too as I want a larger hole to get the husband sized hands in and so that I can get more pegs into the bag.  We have an insane washing machine that will wash 9kg of laundry per wash, which is a lot, and our line will hold two of these washes!  If it’s all towels and sheets, that’s fine.  When it’s all socks and pants that’s not so good because you need a LOT of pegs, so a bigger bag is the way to go…

I’m also going to square off the bottom of the bag as I like the depth it will add, this is personal preference though and completely up to you!

I’m plannig to re-use the hanger from the old bag but you could always use a child-sized hanger.  Asking in your local supermarket (if in the UK) if they’ve got any destined for the bin is always an option if you don’t have stock from your own small person, or ask someone who does have a small person if you could have one of theirs (hangers, that is…)!  You can buy small hangers, but it makes sense to recycle them where possible.

What I used:
Hanger
Focus Fabric
Lining Fabric

If you’re using lighter weight fabric for the focus fabric on the outside of the bag, you may want to use some interlining to add some strength.  I’d suggest a medium weight woven fusible one.

  • First, decide on your bag size, this depends on the hanger width and how deep you want the bag to be, plus the seam allowance. 
    I wanted my finished bag to be 10″ by 14″ (before I square off the bottom) and my seam allowance is 1/2″, so I need my pieces of fabric to be 11″ by 15″.  
  • Cut two rectangles of this size from the focus, and the lining fabric.  Decide on which will be the top edge and mark the centre.  Make two further marks 3/4″ either side of the centre mark – this will be the gap where you thread the hanger’s hook through, so adjust as necessary!

Outline for my hand hole

  • Pin one of the focus and one of the lining fabrics RST (Right Sides Together) and then draw an oblong where you want the hole to be, making sure that it is centred and square. 
    My oblong is 2 1/2″ down from the top and 3″ from each size.  I’ll have a hole that is 4″ by 5″.  I’ve used disappearing marker to draw on the fabric.

Outline stitched and envelope pattern drawn, ready for cutting...

  • Next, stitch along the line you’ve just drawn as the oblong’s outline and iron the stitches to set them.
  • Then draw an envelope type pattern inside the oblong and carefully cut along these lines up to but not through the stitches around the edge. 
    I also trimmed out some of the excess fabric, making sure to leave at least 1/2″.

Lining pulled through and ironed

  • Push the lining fabric through the hole you’ve just made so that the focus and lining fabric are now WST (Wrong Sides Together).  Manipulate the edges of the hole so it’s lovely and neat and iron so you have a nice crisp edge. 

Top Stitching around the hole

  • I then pinned the two pieces together at the edges and top stitched about 1/4″ from the edge of the hole to help hold the layers and add some strength.
  • Pin the second piece of lining fabric to the first RST.  You’ll need to hold the focus fabric out of the way as you stitch the two pieces together:
    Starting at the right hand side of where the gap will be for the hanger hook to poke through, stitch around the edge of the fabric in a clockwise direction. 

Can you see the longer stitches after the back-stitching?

  • On the bottom edge after stitching a couple of inches of the bottom seam, back-stitch a little then lengthen your stitch length before sewing about 3-4″.  Shorten your stitch length again sew a few stitches, back-stitch then carry on along the bottom and up the side and across the top, back-stitching again just before the hole for the hanger hook.  Iron the seams to set the stitches then iron the seams open.
  • Square off the bottom by pinching the bottom corner flat so that the bottom and side seams line up.  Pin to hold this in place.

Measured, drawn and stitched to make a flat bottom and a 3D peg bag

  • Measure 1″  up from the corner along the seam and then draw a perpendicular line to the seam at this mark.  Sew along this line and cut away the excess fabric at the corner.  Repeat for the other corner then cut away your long stitches in the bottom seam.
  • Pin the second piece of focus fabric to the first, RST.  Make sure the lining is out of the way.

I'm pointing at the hole for the hanger's hook - don't stitch between the pins!

  • Starting at the right hand side of where the gap will be for the hanger hook to poke through, stitch around the edges of the fabric in a clockwise direction.  Back-stitch again just before the hole for the hanger hook.  Iron the seams to set the stitches then iron the seams open.
  • Square off the bottom of the bag as per the lining and clip the top corners of the focus fabric.  This will make sure you have sharp corners when you turn it the right way out.
  • Turn the bag the right way out by reaching up through the gap in the lining and grabbing the outer bag through the hole for your hand.
  • Slip stitch the gap closed in the lining.  Keyka Lou has some really good instructions on how to slip stitch.
  • Poke the lining fabric through the hole where your hand will go to grab the pegs and arrange inside the outer bag so it’s nice and neat.

Threading the hanger through

  • Put your hanger through the hole and thread its hook out of the gap at the top.

A funky new home for my pegs!

Ta Dah!  One very plush place for your pegs to live!  Believe it or not, this has the same number of pegs in it as the old bag so I’ve got lots of room to add more…