Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Brightening up a denim skirt

We all have denim skirts that we love, right?

Well, I loved this one but I wanted to brighten it up a little, to give it a new look. 

So I added some satin ribbon to the bottom.  The handkerchief hem seemed to go on forever and I was surprised at the quantity of ribbon it took!

I really like the way it turned out and am much more inclined to wear it now.

Ok, back to curtain making...LOL!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Another Roman blind

Many moons ago I took an evening class in soft furnishings.  That's the only formal training I have had.

I adored our teacher as she believed that nothing was impossible and that everybody could sew.  If I remember correctly, she had us making piped cushions as our first project!

One of the other items we made was a Roman blind. 

I loved being able to imagine how everything would fit together.  It was big fun.

I took extensive notes on how this was made - as I always do.  I love flicking through my notes every now and then.  The blind that I made after this one can be found here.

This blind has never been used.  It's sitting in my 'look, this is what I've made' box.

It reminds me of a time when we used to have a fabric shop in our town; when I used to frequent it regularly; when I felt the glimmer of the *perhaps sewing is for me* thought.

I still remember my teacher and what a great attitude she had.  I know she was right!!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

ROAR!!!! Dinosaur cushions...

What do you do with fabric leftover from curtain-making?

Well, make cushion covers out of them of course!
So when a friend asked me if I would do that very same thing I could not resist.

When the fabric arrived it had the most amazing dinosaur print on it.  I had so much fun trying to decide which part of the fabric to feature on the front!

I added a zip, a piece of fabric for the back and ta-dah - they were done!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Labels have arrived - all systems go, go, go!

Ok, so I'm pretty excited.

Not just a little bit excited with a shrug of the shoulders. 

I mean a full-on jumping up and down kind of excited.

Yes, THAT excited.

I received my consignment of Sew Selena labels today.

And not just a couple of test labels either - a whole year's supply of labels!  Ok, so maybe 18 months' worth!

What do you think?

More to the point - what do I need to sew them onto...

Onward to the creation station!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Elmer bag

Fabric or pattern?

Which comes first?

90% of the time I get most of my inspiration from the fabric.

So when I discovered this fabulous muti-coloured check tea-towel from Lakeland (well, at least that's what I think it was - it was definitely cotton with a little hanging loop in the corner) I just had to find a use for it.

And as it's so brightly coloured it had to be called an Elmer bag!

The ideas came easily - just cut off the sides of the tea-towel (it already had seams), double up and create handles.

Then sew the sides of the tea-towel together, create a dart and turn the right side out.  No need to add a seam to the top as it had already been done for me!

Sew on the handles and add buttons for decoration. 


Definitely a bag to brighten up any day!

I'm busily making a raft of unique items in time to sell them at a large centenary event at the end of June.  It'll be my first stall <grin>.

Talk about excited!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Oilcloth totes and Sew Selena labels

You may remember that a couple of months ago I blogged about a tote bag that I had made from oilcloth.

Well.... it now has a Sew Selena woven label on it so it is officially complete!!

What do you think?

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A tutu or two

What have I been up to this last week or so - it's been kinda quiet around here hasn't it...

Well, as it happens I have been helping to make some costumes for my daughter's dance show which took place this weekend.  So there was a flurry of activity in the background but I didn't think it right to post the costumes until after the show!

It happened something like this if I remember correctly - dance teacher spots a dress that I've made and asks me if I'd like to make some costumes; I smile and nod; dance teacher mentions tutus; I say 'I could probably do that'.

You see, being largely self-taught, I don't know what I don't know when it comes to sewing.  But I am oh so willing to give it a go and figure it out as I go along. 

Make a tutu? 

Why not! 

Let me at the lycra and ballet net!

(And yes, that is my sewing machine in amongst all that net!)

Luckily my daughter already had a ready-made tutu that I could look at for reference. Normally I would also do some research on the internet first for hints and tips but I didn't come across much of that.

Ok, Selena, so it looks like it's down to you...

a) Make up lycra body (it was to be an elasticated, pull-on skirt to go over an existing leotard)

b) then add net

Well, that sure sounds easy, right?

So I purchased a ruffler foot - an amazing gadget that really helps with getting the right amount of gather on the net.  I also bought a rotary cutter and a cutting mat - a godsend when it comes to cutting acres and acres of net.

I figured out how wide the 7 layers of net had to be and I cut net for hours.

I then ruffled for Britain.

It was an experience sewing each layer onto the lycra.  Net has this habit of boinging about and not staying where it's put LOL!  I felt like a jungle explorer at times trying to make my way through the dense undergrowth in search of the needle!

Some things I learned along the way:

- Wear long sleeves - cut net is sharp!

- Make sure you only sew the net to the lycra body and not the gusset as well (I've lost track of the number of times I did that)

- Lycra feels kinda soft and silky

- Figure out how much net you think you need and then buy more - you will need way more than you think

- Your sewing machine will need a rest every now and again to prevent it from getting too hot

- You will need a rest every now and again - don't let it get the better of you!

- Ruffler feet respond well to gentle coaxing


Here is the end result.  It goes nicely with a Girl Guide t-shirt doesn't it?!

Oh, and I didn't just make the one.  I made three.

And when I watched the three of them dancing today I was so happy I had to wipe away a tear. 

It really was a bit of a challenge.  But I did it. 

Sunday, 4 March 2012

It's surprising what you can do with a wetsuit

Many moons ago my daughter carried a rucksack to school.  It hasn't seen much use recently.  So it was consigned to the back of the cupboard.

As she was due to go on a school trip to Paris recently, we went on a rucksack hunt. 

When we eventually unearthed it I noticed that for some reason the inner pocket had been cut out. 

But you can't go on a school trip with no inner pocket, I cried!  Where will you put your mobile phone without it getting bashed or rattling about at the bottom??

So I decided to make one.

As it turns out, I already had the perfect fabric with which to make a pocket - an old wetsuit!  Not only was it large enough to hold everything that it needed to, but it was also already padded.

It was easy enough to insert the zip although I would have liked to have been able to have topstitched it so that it was able to lay down a little flatter but the wetsuit was too darned boingy.

There was no way my sewing machine was going to go through two layers of wetsuit though - the needle kept bouncing off!  So I ended up handstitching the sides and top.  It was quite therapeutic actually. 

Here's the completed internal pocket.

And it certainly did what it was meant to do - no scratches or lost phones!