Posts tagged pattern

Home-made bias binding

It’s been a funny sort of day.  Firstly, I didn’t go to work today, which is a very rare occurrence for me.  I’ve not been very well since last Friday – nothing major, just a bit sniffly with a sore throat.  By yesterday afternoon my voice had started to sound very Bonnie Tyler-esque and by 4pm my boss sent me home.  I imagine he’d had enough of the coughing and the raspy voice coming from the office next door.

By this morning I had no voice at all so, considering a lot of my job is carried out over the telephone, I called in sick.  Hooray for text messaging!  Without it my colleagues would still be wondering where I am.

I decided to use the time by trying to make my own bias binding.  I’d already tried making some last night but had somehow managed to make it on the straight grain!  So, with the help of two books (Simplicity’s “Simply the Best Sewing Book” & Cavendish House’s “Guide to Basic Sewing) and a Youtube video (I won’t bother referencing it as it was rubbish) I set to work again. 

Success!!!  Flourescent yellow continuous-strip bias binding made by me!  Yes, I did say flourescent yellow.  Chloe chose a lacy fabric in said colour to make view A (New Look 6660). 

Now I managed to track down matching thread – after a lot of trawling of the internet I eventually picked it up in Swansea Market – a five minute drive away!  However, flourescent yellow bias binding does not exist.  Ah well, a new skill learned!

Well, the voice still isn’t back properly and the bottle of Robitussin is nearly empty, but hopefully I’ll have enough of a voice to go back to work tomorrow.

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I made bags!

Yup!  Not one – but two!  I’m feeling very pleased with myself!

I made my bag from Issue 14 of “Sew Hip” as promised.   It was really easy to make and I want to make lots more.  In fact, Chloe is making one for herself too so I’ll post a pic of that when it’s finished.

Bag - issue 14 Sew Hip

I didn’t waste the leftovers either – I made this from the 25cm scrap that was left. 

Drawstring bag

I found the pattern on http://www.knitting-and.com/embroidery/skullbaggy.htm .  I did adapt it a little bit as I used just the one piece and stitched up the sides.  Chloe is going to use it to keep her trainers in for school (maybe she’ll manage to come home with both shoes this time!).

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Memory Foam Pillowcase pattern

I have a couple of these weird and wonderfully shaped pillows – they’re really comfortable and (allegedly) prevent snoring.  I have no idea if this is true because hubby refuses to use his.  Apparently pillows should be pillow-shaped.

Anyhow, I’m using ordinary pillowcases on them at the moment but that looks pretty rubbish.  Is there a pattern out there for these types of pillows or perhaps one of you clever ladies (or gents) could give me some tips on how to design one myself?

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Simplicity 3529 with design alterations

So here goes the story ………..

My friend Sheena had a bit of a fashion dilemma.  Hubby had a new job and they were due to attend his work’s Christmas party.  She wanted to look good in front of his colleagues but couldn’t find a thing to wear.

One morning she plonked a catalogue down on my desk and pointed to this dress …

tie-back+Emily+dress

tie-back+Emily+dress

“What do you think?” she asked. 

“The dress is quite nice” I replied “but I don’t think it’s your colour”.

“I’m not keen on the colour myself” she said “and I don’t really like the hem either, but it’s the only dress I’ve seen that’s anywhere near what I’m looking for”.  I spotted the price.  They want £89 for it???

So I said it. 

“I’ll make one for you” I told her “it’ll be the colour you want, the hemline you want and it’ll cost you a fraction of that one”.  I showed her Simplicity pattern 3529 and she loved it.

Misses Dresses
“The thing is” Sheena said “I’d really like it to be backless like the one in the catalogue, to show off my tattoo”.  Hmm, now this pattern doesn’t have a backless version so I was going to have to work out how best to do it.  This would be the biggest design alteration I’d made so I’d really set myself up for a  challenge.  But with a bit of help from my tutor Babs I managed it.
I created a toile first to sort out any “kinks” in my alterations (another first – I’ve never made a toile before).  Sheena and I also decided not to have a tie-back dress as the ties would just obscure her tattoo, defeating the point of having a backless dress.
Rosebuds - close up
Rear of dress
For more pics click here 

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Its nearly time for school …..

….. and Chloe’s not too thrilled about the prospect.  To try and soften the blow I’ve offered to make her school skirts this year.  The skirts we usually buy are never “right” – usually too long or scratchy material etc etc. 

We’ve agreed on a pattern (McCall’s M5696 – View A) which I’ve made for her before (pic pending), it fits and she likes. McCall's M5696

We nipped into town this morning and picked up 1.5m of black polyester from Lee Mill which should be enough for two skirts.  They’re really easy to make and can probably finish one in an afternoon.  I may start one this afternoon or we may go to the Marquis for our tea instead (the boys are going to watch football so perhaps a girly afternoon is in order).  I’ve got two weeks before she goes back to school so plenty of time.  In the meantime I have floors to mop and an Everest-size pile of ironing calling my name ……

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I really love a good book ….

I bought a fab sewing book this week.  It’s called “The Sewing Book” by Alison Smith and I think it’s really going to get a lot of use!See full size image

 

 

It’s got lovely step-by-step instructions on how to do practically anything sewing-related.  Each step comes with its own colour photograph so you can see exactly what you should be doing.  It also explains the properties of different types of fabric which I find really useful (I don’t know about you but I still don’t know my chambray from my chenille!). 

It also has a “Project” section at the back ~ and one of the projects shows you how to draft a simple kimono pattern.  Looking at the instructions I think I may be able to adapt the pattern to create the jacket for the Welsh costume (see last post).  I’ve never tried drafting my own pattern before so that should be interesting!

I can say only one negative thing ~ and it has nothing to do with the book really ~ I bought my copy in Borders because Nat gave me a £10 voucher to say thank you for making the curtains.  The book was £25 so I put £15 of my own money to it (little maths lesson there).  I’ve just looked on the web for a picture of the book to post here and I’ve discovered that the Book People are selling it for £8.99!  What did my mum always say “Act in haste, repent at leisure”?  Oh well, I still really like my book …..

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Lovely Fabric!

Well I had a lovely time browsing the fabric shops on City Road in Cardiff on Tuesday and I came away with a couple of bargains to boot!

“Butterfly Fabrics” was my favourite shop this time with lots of lovely summer cotton prints out on the stands – I was spoilt for choice.  My mind was made up though when I spotted some Laura Ashley cotton prints at half price.  I picked up 2m each of the pink and the green at just £3.99 a metre. 

laura-ashley-1

laura-ashley-green

 laura-ashley-pink

New Look patterns were also on offer at £2.95 each so I bought NewLook 6800.  New Look 6800

 

I think perhaps I’ll use the green print.  I’ve not decided yet what I’ll use the pink for, although I think Chloe’s got her beady eye on it!

And yes, I was being optimistic about finishing the pinafore by Wednesday.  I’ve stitched the facing on and trimmed and clipped the seam allowance.  Tonight I’ll sew the shoulders together and understitch the facing – maybe I’ll even start fitting the zip.  See how I feel.

Ah well, before I do that I think I’d better make my family some tea….

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