Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tie-dye messenger bag - with a twist(y lock)

A seamstress walks into a charity shop - and lo and behold, discovers a beautiful denim tie-dye skirt in a size large (more fabric that way), thinks, hmmm, I already have a top that would go perfectly with that...

And so begins the tale of another creation.  I was right.  The skirt DID match the top.  So I decided to make a small messenger bag from the blue and purple combination.

I'm really happy with the result, too!

I added a side pocket for pens and other bits and bobs.

It's the first time I've used twist locks on a bag - I've now perfected cutting out the hole so that the fabric doesn't show!

This was the original tie-dye skirt and the matching top:

You can see why I paired them now, can't you?

It has a zip fastening and a pocket underneath the flap for all those receipts that tend to accumulate:

If I were to make this one again I would add some padding to the strap as the top I used was very floaty.  I did top-stitch it though to give it some extra strength. 

This was the first time I have added an internal zipped pocket.  I learned something here too - make sure when adding the pocket lining that you sew it onto the back with wrong sides together!

Another view:

The internal seams were bound with fabric from the top.  It was so light and airy that it was really easy to work with when making binding.  Something I'll remember for next time!

So all in all, a very satisfying project!


Friday, 14 March 2014

Tip: What to wear when sewing

As I'm pretty much self-taught, I thought I would share a few (hopefully!) helpful tips that I have discovered along the way.

So, what have I discovered about what's best to wear when I sew?

Always wear something comfortable
I have tried the 'really tight jeans' approach, but it just hurts.  I do tend to sew with my left leg underneath me (no idea why!) and leggings are ideal for this.  They allow for a full range of movement.  As do t-shirts.  You don't want to be impeded by the clothing you wear.

When serging, wear a skirt
I hadn't given 'sewing clothing' a lot of thought until recently when I was using my serger (did I tell you I have a serger??  Ooooh, something else to post about!).  I was wearing a maxi skirt and the bits that were being cut off the costume were just falling into my lap and being caught without creating a huge pile of debris on the floor.  So I will definitely be using that method next time I have a lot of serging to do.

Don't wear a scarf
Having a scarf all snarled up in your sewing machine is not a good look.  Not that I've done this particular one. 

Always.  Either late at night or first thing in the morning.  Or even a lazy Sunday.  Pyjamas are the business!

Underwear is perfect
And yes, I have sewn whilst wearing underwear.  Now that IS comfortable!  But you can get bits of thread everywhere.  And I'd only recommend it in warm weather.

Long sleeves when sewing net
Always wear long sleeves when sewing tutus - that net stuff is really, really sharp!

Bare feet
For some reason, it always feels better using a bare foot on my pedal.  Not so much a tip as an observation!

So what do you wear when you sew?  I'd love to know!



Friday, 7 March 2014

Dress to tunic top

Sometimes you see a dress in a shop and the print is so fabulous that you have to have it, right?

I love it when that happens!

So I found this beautiful child's dress and brought it home.  See what I mean about the print?

My daughter fell in love with it and wanted to wear it, but on trying it on we found that it was too small at the top.

So I had to put my thinking cap on.  Hmmm.  What to do?

I know!!

I could cut the top off entirely, elasticate the waist and make a tunic top - yes, I think that would work!

I used the original belt to make some criss-cross straps.  Et voila!

It looks fabulous with a pair of leggings!

I'm not sure if you will be able to see this as the pattern is so intense, but the front of the skirt/dress is higher than the back - I love it!


Friday, 17 January 2014

Military shirt de-blinging (un-blinging?)

I bought a rather snazzy military shirt because I loved the colour and just knew that I could do something with it to make it look 'me'.

Here it is in its full 'before' glory:

A little on the 'riotous' side for me!

So I set about de-blinging it (or should that be un-blinging?!)

I removed all the ornamentation from the breast pockets (and there was a lot of that!)


And added one of the spare buttons from the inside of the shirt.

Then I looked at the epaulettes.  That had to be doctored too.  So I removed the jewel.

And added yet another button to the shoulder.


I am so much happier wearing it now!


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Cashmere hat from a jumper

Cashmere.  One of the most sumptuous fabrics there is, so you have to be careful with it when you wash it, don't you?

You know, I KNEW that.  I really did.  Didn't stop me from throwing it in the washing machine and putting it on a mid-wash.  When it came out it might just have been big enough to fit a gnome.

Ok, so I can't wear it as a jumper any more, but is there anything I COULD do with I?

Yes!  Make a hat!

I used the rib at the bottom of the jumper for the base of the hat (no hemming required!) and then shaped the top of the hat and sewed it together.

As a final flourish I decided to add a 'felted' flower decoration and a little bit of sparkle.

I was a bit miffed that I couldn't wear the jumper, but the resulting hat has me smiling every time I see/touch/wear it!


Monday, 25 November 2013

Harris Tweed journal cover

I love taking commissions!

I was asked if I could make a journal cover for somebody with some Harris Tweed that they already had.  Yes, of course, I said!

Harris Tweed is a beautiful fabric.  Especially in this colour.

It's a bit thicker than the fabric I normally use for journal covers, so it was lined with satin rather than tweed.

And here is how it turned out:

With the Harris Tweed label of course!

I thought the satin worked well with the tweed.

Ta-dah - the cover in action!



Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Patriotic appliqued cushion cover

I love it when I get inspired!

I was looking through my fabric stash the other day wondering what I could make next - don't worry, there are a million and one projects that I *plan* to make, it really just depends on the order!

So I find a preloved denim skirt to upcycle.  Then I spotted a red shirt with the dinkiest little daisies all over it.  Hmmm.  It's looking rather British to me.  So I add a preloved tablecloth and the idea is beginning to form.

I have enough denim to make a cushion cover, thinks I, and I haven't appliqued anything in a while.

Yes, I will make a cushion cover with the Union Jack on it.

It was great fun seeing it all come together, even though the tablecloth fabric did begin to look like an octopus before I had appliqued it to the denim - there were 'arms' everywhere!

The back was made with a tuck-in design.  I did consider adding Velcro (not quite the look I was after) and/or a button, but thought that that might be a bit uncomfortable in the middle of the back!

And this is the skirt that the main fabric came from.  Just so you know!

I do love a fun project!!