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!

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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!


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Figuring out a small skirt to dress refashion

I spotted a skirt in the sale.  It was very long, very plain and very French Navy, which just so happens to very *me*. 

Now, normally I would be making a dress into a skirt, so this was a first for me - doing it the other way around!


The skirt itself was 3 sizes too small for me.  But, as it was slightly gathered under the waistband, I knew that there was more fabric to play with once unpicked and that it would fit once I'd finished cutting and sewing.

I could *see* the dress waiting to come out!

This was one of those 'I have to make this now and I will figure it out as I go along' kinda projects.

I began by cutting off the waistband which exposed plenty of fabric, as I knew it would.  I then grabbed a vest top to use as a pattern for the armholes.  And cut those out too.  I sewed up the shoulder seams and tried it on for fit.  It was definitely starting to look like a dress!

I fancied making it an empire line dress so asked my daughter to draw a line across my tummy while I was wearing the dress.  I bravely cut the bottom off then gathered both top and bottom and sewed them back together again!

Except I hadn't taken into account the fact that the 'dress' was wider than the vest top leading to an excess of fabric along the sides.  No matter, I can figure it out.  So I tapered the side of the bodice THEN sewed them back together.

I'd heard about people stay stitching necks and armholes before adding binding, so that is what I did.  After making my own bias binding from some lovely cream and French Navy heart and polka dot fabric, I bound the armholes and neckline and then tried it on again.  The stay stitching drew in the excess fabric around the neck beautifully.  The armholes are now a little tight, but I can redo those no problem!

I added some ties and a belt (in that order!) primarily to cover up the join in the fabric, but thought it looked good too.  I then added tie loops to prevent the ties from slipping out of position.

And then the back was finished too!

Now I just need some warmer weather to wear it in!  Pah!  I can wear a shrug over the top, that'll be fine - clothes need to be warn after all!


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Curtain tie backs and beach bags!

My husband had bought me some rope tie-backs.  As you do.  They were really chunky and were perfect for a bag handle especially as they were made out of cotton rather than a synthetic material - so much softer on the hands!

I knew I wanted to make a beach bag, so I did a little research and stumbled upon the perfect pattern.  I even had some stripy IKEA fabric with which to make it!

I love all things navy and white; the nautical look is one I adore!

I even added a gold anchor button to the pocket.

As for those chunky rope handles, I had fun and games trying to figure out how they were going to stay on the fabric.  I ended up dismantling the end of the rope which had a funny little wooden acorn thingy at the bottom.  I then sewed the loop (which dangled from the bottom of the tie-back) onto some fabric over and over.  It wasn't going anywhere, I can tell you! 

Only then did I sew this fabric into a pocket which was attached to the bag.

You'd be surprised how much weight those handles can now take!  Mind you, towels and sun cream don't weigh that much, do they?!


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Grease is the word the word, is the word...

Inspired by the musical Grease, my daughter asked for a red and white polka dot circular skirt.

Why, of course I'll make one, I cried!

I could have just hemmed the bottom of the skirt but wanted to add white bias binding to make it stand out more.  I'm in two minds whether or not to add some gathered net to the bottom too - time will tell!

I initially wanted to make the skirt from one piece of fabric but I didn't have enough.  So, ever the creative sewist, I made the skirt from 3 separate sections - 1 front and 2 backs.  This made it really easy to insert a zip in the centre back!

I elasticated the waistband for a more flexible fit.

When I cut out the fabric circles, I used the selvage as the edge of the fabric.  This meant that I didn't have to finish off the inner seams as it had already been done for me. 

It also meant that the polka dot pattern matched across the seam beautifully!  I meant that to happen (ahem!)

 I love making these skirts - they look so effective!