Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Storage bag number 1

Well, I haven't posted in a while so here's my first storage bag. Hopefully the next ones will go neater and quicker, but it only took an hour. It was matching edges and sizes that was the pain in the bum. Learned a few little tricks on the way though!

I might make 2 more and use interfacing in those ones to make them stiffer. Watch this space!!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Storage or pretty dress I'll probably never wear?!

So I'm back to school in just over a week - eesh! My classroom is pretty organised but I have 2 TAs so was thinking we could each have a little bit of organisation with these...

Fabric buckets option 1 (click!)
from PippiJoe's fab blog:
Fabric buckets option 2 (click!)
from Vintage Ricrac's fab blog:

Or I go with some more clothing... I found some cool sew-alongs, including one for a dress I've wanted to make for ages called the Coffee date dress from Burdastyle - it's free!8691db51b9e686cf80a6675a95db44e247e34a11_large

Grosgrain is one of my favourite bloggers right now and she did a Dress by Friday project a while back where she does this dress step by step which is FAB news for me... here! Love the addition of her waistband.

BUT BUT BUT - I've gotta lose a whole load of weight so making fitted clothes maybe isn't the best idea?!! Maybe the storage pots for now should do?! I do have some fabulous co-ordinating oilcloths and canvases!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The shirring nightmare and the ok dress!

Sooooo, I was so looking forward to doing The most flattering shirt dress by Prudent Baby and bought the elastic thread and material ready. And it was all going so well!

Have never bias taped necklines or armholes before and they look really nice...

And from cutting to hemming was only an hour or so - I was so chuffed with my speedy skills! But then the shirring came. I loaded the bobbin up as per instructions and set all the bits and bobs.....

Well, 3 hours later it looked like this - I'm using a scrap piece of the fabric....

So I looked online and found out that Brother machines are notoriously appalling at shirring, so found out how to adjust the bobbin tension inside using a little screw thing. Managed a tiny bit of shirring on the scrap and got excited about it working on the dress, but alas, no!

So I went to the cinema to see One Day with my good friend, Eleanor. That was a good distraction but I came straight back home and started again. Anyway, after using the entire spool of elastic thread and snapping 3, yes 3, needles, I opted for some 'Smocking' instructions in my sewing machine manual. Seemed to be working until I undid the straight stitches and I was left with barely a ripple, as usual!
<<------------- The 3rd snapped needle!

SOOOOOOOOO, end of a very very long day (I started at 1.30 and it's now 10.30, minus the cinema break but no food, drink or tv stops!) and I have a vaguely ruched waist so have plumped for a BELT! I could have done that at 2.30 this afternoon but it looks cute on I think!
<< ------ Awful fringe!

Thanks for sticking with this entry - very long but that's how my entire day has felt!!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Window cushion...

I followed Cath Kidston's instructions for a floor cushion to make a window seat - whether it's for guests or just the dog is yet to be decided! It's not very neat and not very snug and I made my usual amount of mistakes, but there you go! 

Here is my version of the instructions!

You will need:
~ A 50x50x6cm cushion pad - or whatever size you need and just adjust your pattern!
~ Buttons x10
~ Matching thread
~ Sewing machine etc...


1. Cut out all the pieces.

2. Mark where you will want your buttons on the front of both main pieces.
Mark one centre and then 20cm towards each corner on the diagonal

3. Sew the long sides of the side parts onto the main part, initially with right sides facing. Make sure to leave a 1.5cm gap at each end (as in, don't sew right to each edge like I did and be careful not to sew over the other side! You'll see what I mean if you make the same mistake, which I'm sure you won't!)

4. Now sew the short ends together to make a box shape.

5. Snip the corners carefully!

6. Add the other main piece in the same way, sewing only along 3 of the edges.

7. Insert your pad.

8. Fold under 1.5cm on each long end and pin together and then slip stitch the 4th side once the pad is inside.

It literally took me 2/3 of the way along to realise how exactly slip stitching worked!

9. Now, you could leave it like that but I wanted to add the loops and buttons like Cath Kidston did. Each of your little 15cm strips will become a loop, with the joins in the middle under the buttons. It should look like this on  the top of the pad...

10. I can still not feel my fingers from sewing through the button, loops, the pad and another button on the reverse! You might need someone to help you squeeze the foam but I managed it with some brute force and a lot of sweat and tears! It wasn't that bad, but it's tricky aiming for the holes on the button while compressing the pad!

I found that 1 stitch to put the loops in place worked well, adding the bottom button in the process before coming back to the top to add the top button. Then I pulled it tight and tried to aim for the button holes while keeping it squished. Got there evenutally!

11. I did the 4 outside corners, then the centre last to take up the slack a little. This is it from the back.

 Et voila! The finished product. Took about 2 hours in total and I'm reasonably pleased with it.
  In situ...

And the dog claims it for her own already! Is she a cat or what?!

 Don't get it dirty, Fudge!


Friday, 19 August 2011

Boot camp

I realise this is not to do with sewing, although hopefully it means I will be able to make clothes in smaller sizes! Tonight I was bodymapped for a 4 week boot camp the hubby and I will be taking part in.  See here!

And blimey, I am not in good shape! Won't go into specific details here but if, in 5 weeks time, I've changed those stats, I'm sure I'll be bragging about them on here! I will also be sure to make something to flatter my amazing new body! LOL!

Wish me luck!
<------------- Won't be looking like this for much longer!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cushion covers...

Cushion covers and my dog, Fudge! She loves them, as you can see!

Quilt for Dad...

My dad was diagnosed with brain cancer (GBM) and given 3-11 months to live in January 2010. His 54th birthday was 12th November 2010 and this was a gift to him for that day. He loved it!
It was made on a miniature sewing machine until that packed in and my mum had to loan me her nice proper machine!
It was made of various 4x4 squares bought on ebay and I used photo transfer paper to add photos from his childhood and through his whole life, including some of us now. The idea is that we will add to it as the years go on and it will become a bit of an heirloom!
Dad died on 14th January 2011 and this quilt is and always will be very important to me. Not the neatest or fanciest quilt but definitely the most sentimental.

And yes, I'd watched Stepmom that week!

Clothing makes...

A paper-bag skirt make from cheap purple fabric that worked out just fab!

A stripy a-line skirt made from a thick cotton fabric. Messed up the waistband but looks okay with a top covering it!
A summer top made from georgette fabrics - this was a NIGHTMARE! Took 4 hours to badly cut the fabrics and a further million and a half hours to sew it all together! I did wear it on our holiday last week and it works! Nice fitting except for a very wonky hem and a slightly misaligned zip!

Hemmed the 2 layers using a zigzag stitch and then burning the rough ends to seal them. Worked really well actually except for a few spots of over-excited burning!

A selection of bags!

A camera bag I made for our holidays. I made a padded insert to fit our SLR camera and had plenty of room for my eReader, purse, keys and sarong! Was a mish-mash of 2 Cath Kidston designs from her book 'Sew'.

A lunch bag I fashioned for my sister - a combination of various bloggers' designs. Oilcloth lining with cotton spot outer. Webbing strap for ease!

My school bag! Oilcloth on the outside, ticking on the inside with lots of lovely pockets - one for phone, one for wallet, one on outside with popper fastening and slot on the inside for other rubbish!

My star bag - from the Cath Kidston book 'Sew' - a pocket on the outside and more on the inside. Another lined with ticking. Love it!

My first ever bag, again from Cath Kidston 'Sew'. The kit comes with the book. Got me addicted!

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