Back to the Beginning

Every week I spend a pleasant Thursday morning at a sewing club where we work alongside other sewers getting on with our own projects whilst putting the world to rights. This week I had two projects on the go at home, but neither were at the point of being able to pack into a bag to take to group.

Instead I decided to use the time to make a lined make up bag.

This was one of the first things I made when I returned to sewing 5(ish) years ago and attended a workshop at the Sewing Cafe in Hinckley, Leicestershire. I’ve made several in the intervening years, but haven’t given one a go for a while (you know how it is when everyone you know has received one for either a birthday or Christmas!)

I’m pleased to say that although I still have the original instructions, I didn’t need them at all. Also I was able to use a zip that’s been in my stash forever and some left over vegetable fabric from a recently made Anna dress.

Now, who can I give it to..

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A First Try at Bags

My goodness, it has been over a year since I last blogged a make. I have been sewing in that time, but have taken a break from all forms of blogging. however, this latest project has found me itching to share the ups and downs of trying something new.

I love making dresses but living here in the Highlands there are really only so many dresses a girl can wear so I decided to try something new. Enter the Summit bag, a pattern by Cloudsplitter over on Craftsy.

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After purchasing, downloading printing and assembling the pattern it was time to start getting fabric sorted. And my goodness, there was a lot to sort and keep organised. I made the rookie error of labelling everything using one of my pattern marking pens only to discover that it was an air drying pen and all my careful labelling had disappeared overnight.

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Once the pieces (I think there’s 31 of them) were cut out it was time to start interfacing, with some pieces requiring two layers. Several evenings were spent with a tepid iron and a chalk pencil. There was also the matter of some foam to attach. This wasn’t a problem in itself, but the foam had a very particular aroma that put me in mind of cat wee and left an unpleasant odour in the house.

Eventually, construction could begin. I had read a couple of the brief Craftsy reviews and they were clear about following the instructions carefully which I dutifully did. It was good advice as I didn’t really have any idea about how the bag was coming together but, piece by piece, it began to resemble the picture on the front of the pattern.

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I was amazed that all the pieces fitted together perfectly, despite having to trim a bit here and there to get the perfect fit. Towards the end it was the sewing itself that was difficult just because of the sheer thickness of the layers of fabric and interfacing. I think I misunderstood which pieces needed to two layers of interfacing because of my lack of experience as a bag maker. I’m keen to try the pattern again but with less interfacing in some areas. Hopefully this will make the construction more enjoyable and less painful (I managed to sew three of my fingers in the machine!). I also thing that using my walking foot could be beneficial.

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I am really pleased with the result and love using the bag already. Not only that, but I am excited about using the pattern again and developing my skills now that I better understand the construction. I have to congratulate Sydney at Cloudsplitter on her clear and precise instructions – I definitely couldn’t have done it without them.

 

Foxy Lady! 

I’m catching up on blog posts right now so here’s a quick post of my Tilly and the Buttons Rosa dress.

The foxy fabric was picked up on Leicester market during a recent visit home (fabric shopping is one of the things I miss living here in the Highlands). I already had the pattern having bought it in a whim after seeing @Charlottesews version of the dress. 

I’ve not seen a Tilly pattern since I downloaded the Meitte skirt many years ago. This was a joy to work with. I cut out the largest version (yes, life’s too short for tracing patterns​) and didn’t need to make any adjustments. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. 

It was my first attempt at mock felled seams and I’m very pleased with the result. There’s a lot of top stitching involved so it was a great opportunity to get to know the measuring lines on my machine!

It didn’t take long to sew it up and I’m extremely pleased with the results. I have a feeling I’m going to have a lot of these in my wardrobe before too long! 

A Crazy Crafternoon!

Last Saturday I helped to organise and host a ‘Crafternoon’ in aid of Comic Relief. The idea came about after seeing the Mollie Makes Crafternoon book talked about on Instagram. I bought the book immediately and after sharing details of my purchase on social media became aware of how interested people were in supporting such an event.

Once the book arrived it became apparent that I’d misunderstood the concept: Mollie Makes suggested making the objects to sell to raise money. This didn’t appeal nearly so much so I got together with our local sewing guru and we made the event suit our interpretation.

Our plan was to have a crafting, coffee and cake afternoon. People could come along and sample new crafts or bring along a personal project to work on in company while partaking in beverages and food. Jane and I raided our stashes of fabric and yarn and made examples of things people might like to try (including from the Crafternoon book).

Our event was well supported, provided many locals the chance to craft alongside like minded individuals, was a space for local crafters to meet old friends and make new ones, a great way to spend a rainy afternoon and raised £330!

Liking a Lutterloh

Today I whisked up a quick dress thanks to the Lutterloh pattern system I bought about 18 months ago.

The Lutterloh pack

For those yet to come across this system, it’s a little book of tiny patterns that you transpose to pattern paper using only your bust and hip measurements. I’ve made a couple things from it now and the fit has been surprising good.

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This was a dress I’ve made before so I already had the muslin/pattern pieces I needed, with any post production changes marked up ready.

My previous make using Liberty fabric from Standfast and Barracks

 I used a leftover fabric from my stash so within a very short time I was good to go. The only change I made from last time was too leave the zip out altogether as I rarely use it on my existing dress. This could well become my go-to pattern.

The finished dress

M is for Moneta

Some time ago I attended a Moneta dressmaking workshop at the Sewing Cafe in Hinckley. I had a great day putting together a lovely dress that is easy to make and comfortable to wear.

Sometime after that I attended the Sew Brum meet up in 2015 and bought some gorgeous green jersey from Guthrie & Ghani, where we spent a lovely afternoon.

Fast forward to 2017 and it was time to put the two together.

Since I made my last Moneta I have gained a little weight so my first job was to stick the pattern back together and, as I wanted quite a baggy dress, I cut out the largest size. After cutting out and re-threading my over-locker (I’m getting quite good at that now!) I was ready to go.

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It hardly takes a minute to whip it all together however there was a problem – it was way too big! I spent the next couple of days trimming off bits here and there, ending up with quite a fitted number after all (the quote from my OH was “You’ve got a figure, show it off!”).

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And so my second Moneta is complete!

 

 

Seeing Spots

Last week I finally got around to a job I’ve been meaning to do for ages. We have some rather old and tatty write basket drawers in our utility and I have been planning to line them for some time. I had a bit of oil cloth hanging around so sweet to work on the first one.

I had to draft my own pattern, but it was only a case of measuring and adding a seam allowance. Before sewing I cut the corners and I only stitches along the stitching line to avoid bulk at the corners.

After attending a couple of oil cloth workshops at the Sewing Cafe in Hinckley I had invested in a Teflon foot for my machine which helped to manage the slippery fabric.

After the first one was complete I needed to order some more fabric and finally got them completed by the weekend. 


That’s another one ticked off the list.

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