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!!


Monday, 18 November 2013

William Morris Messenger bag

You really can't beat curtain fabric for making bags with.  Not only is it substantial, but it also comes in such a fabulous range of prints - and this William Morris print is no exception!

On looking through my fabric stash, I realised I already had the perfect fabric to go with it - a beautifully coloured preloved sheet!

There is a magnetic snap on the tab underneath the decorative buckle.

An internal pocket was added for that all important mobile/cell phone/pen!  I centred the pocket on a flower.

And added a label.


I was really pleased with the result.


Monday, 11 November 2013

Patriotic A line dress costumes

Land of hope and glory...

A-line dresses are quite straightforward when you know how.  Front piece.  Two back pieces.  Top inners and (in this case Velcro for a quick change).

So to make a few of them for costumes was a real joy.  There really is nothing more satisfying than seeing items of clothing/costumes I've designed and made in action!


Friday, 8 November 2013

We're off to see the Wizard... more costumes!

Did I ever tell you I loved making costumes??  Yeah, thought I did!

My local school was putting on a production of the Wizard of Oz and I wanted to get involved.  I was given the opportunity to make two sets of costumes and a pair of emerald curtains.

The production was to be a funky version so the Wicked Witch was to be played by 3 girls simultaneously in a Medusa-esque guise.  The spec for the skirts was that they had to be floaty and look as though they were made from black, silver and green snakes.

It wasn't easy to source the snakeskin fabric but I came up trumps with some fabulous lycra and then found some chiffon too.  The strips of fabric were added to an elastic waistband and were to be worn over a black lycra bodysuit.

Here is one of the final skirts:

I went along to one of the performances and I thought that the skirts worked really well.  The singing and acting (and American accents!) were amazing - I do hope some of those teens decide to pursue that avenue in the future.

I also made a furry chest piece, arm and leg-warmers for the Lion.  She was awesome!!

The leg and arm-warmers had Velcro on them to make sure they stayed on and the front piece had gold ribbon ties to secure it.

And here's the fabric I chose for the curtains:

I do so love being given a concept and being able to use creative license with it.

If anyone else needs any costumes you know where I am LOL!


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Pink polka dot dance costume

Dance costumes.  I just love making them!  Well, any costumes really!

So when I was asked to make a dropped waist lycra dress costume for a Competition dance, I jumped at the chance.

I was given the idea for the dress together with measurements and off I went!

I made a first version for fit and asked the dancer to pop round for a fitting.  Everything about it fit perfectly first time - even the length!

So I continued on to make the final version and this is how it turned out:

And the back view:

The ruffle added a final touch and, because it was lycra, the binding was easy to apply with no rucks in the fabric. 

The sleeves were slightly puffy.  And the bottom of the sleeve was easy to make as I could follow the dots to ensure it was straight.  You can't beat working with polka dots!

And the best bit?

I received a text during the interval of Les Miserables to say that the dancer had taken first place in the Competition.  I was so pleased for her!

And yes, I was checking out the costumes at Les Mis - only fleetingly, mind you, because the performances outshone any clothing.


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Les Miserables pins

Les Miserables needs no introduction.  Both myself and my daughter adore it!

So for a joint birthday present I bought tickets for us to go to London and watch it at the Queen's Theatre. 

It was a long old journey to get there - 2.5 hours by coach to be precise.  So I packed some fabric, thread, mini scissors and brooch backs (along with lots of food!) and we were off!

I had had this idea of making Les Miserables pins for us both to wear.  And sure enough, despite bumpy motorway and constant looking out of the window for Heathrow plane spotting we made them with ease. 

And sure enough the time flew past!


I wore mine in my hair and my daughter wore hers on her red and white polka dot skirt.

Oh, and as for the show itself, well, what can I say?  Not only do we love the music but my daughter is a huge Carrie Hope Fletcher fan (Carrie plays Eponine). 

And guess who received a wave at the end of the show??  Yes, you've guessed it; so I had one VERY happy daughter!!  Mind you, I had managed to secure front row seats and my daughter WAS wearing a Hopeful t-shirt (Carrie's t-shirt). 

So to say that we enjoyed the day is the biggest understatement ever!!


Friday, 1 November 2013

Shortening a skirt - and making a headband!

I love altering my clothing so that it fits who I am.

I had a lovely skirt that was a bit tooooooo long so I decided to shorten it.

Because the skirt had a patterned bottom, I decided to cut off the waistband instead and make it elasticated.

This left me a fabulous looking waistband which matched the skirt perfectly.  I couldn't possibly throw it away!

So I turned it into a matching headband!


Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Costumes

Halloween.  Despite having kids, it's not something I have really got involved with before.

But this year my daughters and their friend decided that they were going out and who they wanted to be:  Mario, Luigi and Waluigi.

Well, ok then, that's who you shall be!

Whilst I was looking through some blog posts for inspiration, I found this fabulous tutorial.  I used felt buttons instead of buttons buttons.  The overalls are surprisingly quick and easy to make.

When it came to the hats, I used fleece for Mario's and Luigi's hats and felt for Waluigi's.  The fleece was nice and soft to work with but the felt seemed to produce a better hat.

We added some white gloves and false moustaches and off they went quite happily!


Saturday, 28 September 2013

Latest journal cover creations

You may have noticed that I love sewing. 

But what I REALLY love doing is sewing items that are unique and have different colours/textures/patterns - if I get to use preloved fabrics too, so much the better!

Here are my latest creations.  Each with a different fabric.  Each with a different story.

Let me know what you think!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I fell in love with this pepper print and just knew that it would be ideal for making a cover!

I found this melon fabric in the same shop as the chillis.  Again, I just knew it would work!

This Union flag fabric was taken from the dress that my daughter wore to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee picnic in our street last year.  She'd grown out of it in the meantime, but I just know that someone, somewhere will love it!  Especially with the blue polka dot lining!

This beautifully delicate bluebell print fabric was discovered in a shop in Goldhawk Road in London on my latest visit.  I fell in love with it.  It reminds me of a Liberty print.  I teamed it with small blue and white polka dots.  Yum!

This funky retro fabric was taken from a preloved top which I bought specifically for this purpose!  The lining was created from a pair of purple palazzo pants.

Another funky geometric print caught my eye in a preloved shop.  I just adored the colour combination of dusky rose and gold and the soft texture always appeals to me too!  The cover was lined with matching dusky rose satin to finish it off.

I just adore campervans!  So this fabric had to come home with me and be used straight away!  The journal cover is lined with matching bottle green cotton lining.

Blue camo anyone?  How could I not use this fabric?  I teamed it with a small blue and white polka dot fabric.

Purple and lime - what a combination!  This fabric was purchased when I was on holiday in Pembrokeshire.  I remember the quaint little sewing shop that I discovered it in.  I just loved the contrasting colours!  I lined the journal cover with the same fabric.

Pink and sparkly?  This fabric is always a winner because it has rainbow shimmers whenever the light touches it.  The delicate pink outer was lined with fabric from a preloved pink and white stripe sheet :)

I even found a gold version of the fabric too so was able to make a cover with gold sparkles!  The cover is lined with gold satin from a throw.  Very elegant!


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Stripy shorts bag - a quick how to

I do love stripy things!

One pair of shorts and some tinkering later, and another bag has arrived!

First, cut off the legs at crotch level parallel to the waistband (that way it won't be wonky!)  Then sew them up.  If you shape the corners of the bag, make sure you don't cut into the pockets.
With the remainder of the cut-off section, make two handles and add them to the inside of the waistband.

Then, make a lining with a pocket in it add a magnetic snap fastening.  Turn the top of the lining down and sew it in place.

I originally added a piping cord tie to go through the belt loops, but that made it look like a pair of old pyjamas!  So I made a tie from the same polka dot fabric as the interior and inserted it through the loops instead.

This is the reason why you don't want to cut into the pockets - because they are still functional!  You can just see a pen in this pocket.

Perfect for meeting friends for lunch!