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Sew Over It Tulip Skirt Pattern Review

I thought it was about time that I made a skirt. I’ve made lots and lots of dresses lately and I fancied a change. I have had this fabric in my stash for a little while now and knew I wanted it for a skirt. During the Black Friday sale in November I treated myself to the Tulip Skirt PDF and I was excited to make it. I have made a Sew Over It Erin Skirt recently here and loved it, so I was pretty sure I would enjoy this one too!

Is anybody else taking part in the #2017makenine challenge?  This is the first of my nine choices. A good start to the new year!

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So just to let you know that it is only available in PDF format. I must admit I do prefer a paper pattern, but it didn’t take too long to put together as there are only 4 pattern pieces – a skirt front, a skirt back, pocket and waistband. Nice and simple. You can choose to make it in 2 lengths. I chose the shorter length as I am only 5’2″ and it was spot on.

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I was so pleased with my fabric choice. The style of this skirt definitely requires at least a medium weight fabric. The pattern recommends a medium to heavy weight cotton, wool or crepe.

It was quick to make up. I prepared the PDF, traced the pattern and cut it out on one afternoon, and then it only took a couple of hours the next afternoon to sew it up. The pleats are easy to fold if you simply follow the written instructions, don’t try to overcomplicate it and then end up scratching your head for 10 mins like I did. There are photos to accompany the written instructions. I also struggled a bit with the waistband for some reason, but got there in the end!

My only other ‘alteration’ was that I used a standard zip and not a concealed zip as suggested. This was a bit of an error on my part. The pattern calls for an 8″ concealed zip and I was beyond excited to find that I actually had one which was the perfect length and colour already in my stash. Off I jolly well went fitting it to the skirt with my invisible zipper foot on my machine, thinking that the teeth didn’t feel like invisible teeth normally do as they run through the grooves on the zipper foot. It was only as I finished and zipped it up I realised that I had used a regular nylon coil zip, and therefore due to the width of the pull tab it wouldn’t be invisible at all. Ho hum, you live and learn, it doesn’t really matter that much I don’t think. At least the waistband seam matches up pretty well!tulip-skirt-5

I chose to make the skirt without pockets. Unusual, as I normally can’t get enough of them but I wondered that in a skirt of this style whether it would make for too much bulk around the hips. On reflection I don’t think it would have made much difference as they would lay so flat inside the skirt anyway.

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The back of the skirt is lovely and simple. Just a couple of darts for shaping and a nice smooth finish.

I’m really pleased with how the skirt came out. The shape is very flattering, feminine and very wearable.

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I would love to hear if you have made a Sew Over It Tulip Skirt too. How did you get on?

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts,

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

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Fabric Coffee Cup Cozy Sleeve Tutorial

Happy New Year!

I ate too much chocolate this Christmas. It’s a fact. This January, therefore, I shall be walking lots and lots. There is nothing better when you come in from the cold outside than a great big cup of steaming hot coffee.

Now that many coffee shops will charge you less for your coffee if you provide your own reusable cup, I reckon we can cut down on paper waste even more by making our own fabric sleeves too! So much prettier than the cardboard version and environmentally friendly too. You will need a sewing machine to make this but it is super simple so is a rewarding project for an experienced sewist, but at the same time very satisfying for a beginner sewist too.

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You will need:

  • Some pretty fabric for the outside and inside of the sleeve
  • Wadding, fleece, batting or fusing to give the sleeve some padding
  • Cardboard coffee sleeve to use as a template
  • Pen, paper and paper scissors
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pins
  • Button
  • Elastic hair tie
  • Needle and thread
  • Point turner or something similar like a knitting needle or chopstick

Before you start you need to make sure that the cardboard coffee sleeve that you have picked up to use as a template fits the cup that you are making it for.coffee2

This is a perfect fit. You will then need to peel open the cardboard sleeve and lay it on some paper and draw around it to make a template. I drew around mine and also added a 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around. Just to mention that this sleeve had no overlap so I knew that my finished fabric sleeve would meet edge to edge. I prefer this as there is no bulky lump of fabric where it overlaps a little, but if you prefer an overlap go ahead and simply add a little more length when you are cutting out. You can now cut around the line you have drawn using paper scissors.coffee-4

Now that we have a template we can cut out our fabrics and wadding. Make sure your fabrics are pressed and free from any creases.  I pinned and cut out two matching pieces of pretty cotton fabric for the outside and inside of the sleeve. If you prefer you could use a different fabric for the inside piece, making it reversible. As I was using a directional print I was careful to place the template so that it was not upside down!  It is also important to flip over the template when you are cutting your second piece so that it is exactly opposite to the first one. I also pinned and cut one piece of wadding from this template.

Time to make a fabric sandwich! Place the wadding on the bottom, then place both pieces of pretty fabric on top of that – the pretty fabrics need to be placed right sides together. Pin this in place. coffee6

Before we sew this together we need to insert the button loop (hair tie). Measure how large the loop needs to be by slipping it around the button and either sew a few stitches in it to keep it in place or wrap a thread around it a few times and tie it off. You need to do this or the hair tie won’t stay closed when you are sewing it together and it will look untidy. coffee5

In my case, the smaller loop will be the loop which goes around the button. Remove a pin or two from one end of the fabrics which you just pinned together and insert the hair tie with the loop that is needed to go around the button inside the two layers of pretty fabrics. In my case the larger loop that is not needed will be sticking out. Also remember that the stitches where you have kept the hair tie closed together need to lie along the line of your seam allowance. As I am using a 1/4″ seam allowance I was careful to place the threads of my hand stitching on the hair tie 1/4″ in from the edge of the fabric.coffee8

Re-pin this edge closed again and we are ready to take it to the machine. In order that we can turn it right side out again when we have finished sewing around the edges I will leave  a gap of approx 2″ along the bottom edge of the sleeve. coffee7

Simply sew around the edges (leaving a 2″ gap along the bottom edge) using your chosen seam allowance (in my case 1/4″). Back stitch a few stitches at the start and finish so that your seam doesn’t pull open when you are turning it right side out. Stitch slowly when going over the hair tie. You may also like to backstitch over this area for extra strength. Snip all 4 corner points to make it less bulky – don’t clip too close to your stitches though! You can also trim back the hair elastic (not shown on this picture) so that you aren’t left with this bulk inside your sleeve.coffee9

Turn the sleeve right side out now. Use your point turner, knitting needle,chopstick or similar to push into the corners to make the points sharp. Take to the ironing board and give it a good press ensuring the raw edges of the opening are turned neatly inside.

Again take to the sewing machine and neatly sew a line of stitching 1/4″ all the way around all four edges. This should catch in the opening that you had at the bottom so that the sleeve is totally enclosed now. If you have quilting skills now is the time to show them and go ahead and make those fancy free motion patterns that I so admire. I, however, do not possess such skills and therefore chose to sew a couple of neat horizontal lines following the curves of the long edges. At this point you will want to give your sleeve another good press.

Place the sleeve around the cup and work out where you need your button placement to be. Hand stitch this in place. That’s it, you’re done! So easy and so so quick.

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Do you have a ‘coffeeholic’ in your life that you could make this for? Or would you treat yourself to this? It is a great unisex gift idea – you could really personalise your gift with fabric relevant to the recipient, maybe it could be a little extra present to give along with a coffee gift card?

If you were wondering, the coffee cup here is from www.lauraashley.com  (a couple of years back), and the pretty fabric used was from a fat quarter bundle purchased from www.hobbycraft.co.uk a couple of months ago.

I do hope you have enjoyed this quick tutorial. As always I would love to hear if you have made one of these.

Wishing you all a very happy new year, stay warm and enjoy your coffee!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Simplicity New Look 6262 Pattern Review – My Christmas Dress.

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Forget Christmas jumpers, I’m a dress girl through and through.

I have had this Simplicity New Look pattern since July, and just haven’t got around to using it. It came free with the July issue of Sew Style and Home and the style is right up my street. As usual there are a few variations that you can mix up to make your ideal dress. I chose to make the boat neck version as opposed to the v-neck style. I also wanted short sleeves rather than sleeveless or cap sleeves.

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The construction is pretty straightforward, suitable for an advanced beginner I would say. Anyone who is confident with zip insertion, gathers and darts will be fine with this pattern, although these steps are all explained very well on the instruction sheet, as always from Simplicity New Look patterns.

The fabric was an eBay purchase, and once again slightly disappointing. When will I learn to resist a cheap fabric on the internet! It is a poly cotton and was a bit of a bargain, however the quality is not the best, but Hey Ho! you get what you pay for and I reckon I will only wear this dress a couple of times a year given it’s Christmas feel so it doesn’t really matter that much. It  has the cutest reindeer and snowflake design and the green background colour is just that of a perfect Christmas tree. So festive! I wanted to break up the colour a little though so decided to insert some berry red piping at the waistline and sleeves and I absolutely adore how it turned out. I will definitely be popping in some piping on more dresses in the future – a great little detail!

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Take your time with piping, your patience will pay off!

Overall I am very pleased with how the dress came out, it’s very comfortable and I will certainly make it again. I would love to make it up it a pretty ditsy floral fabric (Liberty style). Next time I would probably shorten the bodice as the waist is a little low for my body length, easy enough to shorten using the shorten/lengthen markings on the bodice pattern. Also the skirt was slightly too ‘poofy’ for my liking so I slimmed it down a little along the side seams. Oh and as I’m only 5’2″ I shortened the length about 3″. All these things are just my personal preference, I love this pattern and look forward to making up many more versions next Summer.

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I would love to hear your opinions especially if you have also made this dress pattern.

I can’t wait to wear it on Christmas day. Sending you all best wishes for a peaceful and happy Christmas, and I look forward to a busy 2017 with lots more pattern reviews and tutorials.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress Pattern Review

Alright, I know I am a little late to this party, but I have finally made my first Coco dress. I have wanted to try sewing with knits for a while now and decided that this would be the perfect pattern to start with. I picked up this medium weight knit fabric from a recent trip to The Fabric Place in Nottingham (along with some other fabrics which will be making an appearance on the blog at some point)! It’s lovely. Originally I wanted a classic navy/white stripe in a ponte but this was the closest I could get and I’m so pleased with it. The stripe is still there but with a pretty detail to it.dsc04660

As usual there are different options available on the pattern, you can make a top or a dress on this pattern. Choose different necklines, sleeves, cuffs and pockets to make it just right. I chose to make the dress with 3/4 length sleeves and a plain neckline. I also decided against giving the sleeves cuffs as it is likely that this will be worn with a cardigan and I didn’t want any bulk. The amazing thing about choosing this option was that there were literally 3 pattern pieces to cut out! How simple and quick – result!

This was also the first time that I had cut out fabric for a dress using my rotary cutter (only ever used for a little bit of quilting previously). The stripes lined up beautifully despite the dress pieces being cut on the fold -so no stretching or shrinking had occurred during the pre-washing of the fabric. I was also pleasantly surprised that this fabric doesn’t fray! I was very aware of the stripe pattern matching at this stage, so took time to match up my notches. This dress can be made up using your regular sewing machine. I was thinking that the overlocker would surely be needed for a knit project but no, this was all done on the regular sewing machine. No fraying seams means no neatening of them too. Woohoo!

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The sleeves are finished by simply turning them under and zig zagging into place. The same goes for the neckline ( yep – no facings), and the hem. I like the way the sleeves are set into the dress, instead of sewing the side seam and shoulders first and setting them in, the top of the sleeves are stitched in first and the side seam of the dress runs right up the side of the dress and then down the sleeve. Very easy – kind of a cross between a set in sleeve and a raglan. I must admit I did find the sleeves a little baggy. Not a problem but I will make them slimmer the next time I make it.

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Take care with your pattern matching

This is probably the quickest dress to make that I have ever made. I wish I had made one sooner, I love to wear knit fabrics in the Winter months, but it hadn’t occurred to me to sew with it until now. It’s comfortable, cosy and it doesn’t crease – winner. I do love pockets in a dress and the pattern gives you the option of patch pockets, although these aren’t my preference maybe next time I will pop some in-seam pockets, I don’t think this would be too much of a problem. The length was perfect for me, I didn’t adjust this at all.(I’m 5’2″).

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Little details make all the difference

So, another winner from Tilly and the Buttons, and I’m not surprised that I love it. This is my third Tilly dress, do check out my previous posts on the Bettine and the Cleo. Again this is simple enough for a beginner, but should you need help there is lots of advice to be found on http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/p/coco.html do check it out – it’s brilliant!

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Hope this helps those who, like me, were nervous to work with a knit fabric. I know I won’t look back now. Have you made a Coco? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you again for stopping by, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Fabric Wine Bottle Bag Tutorial

Don’t panic, it’s nearly Christmas and you’re looking for a quick last minute gift idea –  I’ve got your back. This is such a pretty and thoughtful way to gift a bottle of wine, it takes very little time to whip up and you may well have enough fabric in your left over stash pile without buying any more. I have made it with 2 fat quarters of Makower Christmas fabric from their Scandi collection but it is perfect using any fabric you like for whatever occasion you need a bottle of wine for!

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You will need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 6 1/2″ x 15″ for the outside of the bag
  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 6 1/2″ x 16″ for the lining of the bag – note this is slightly longer than the outside pieces which allows for the ‘turnover’ at the top of the bag
  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 5″ x 2″ for the casing which the ribbons thread through – use the same fabric that you have used for the lining
  • ribbon – the ribbon I used is 1/2″ wide, and I used 2 x 24″ pieces
  • fabric scissors or rotary cutter and board, pins, coordinating thread, sewing machine, tape measure or ruler
  • needle

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Firstly take your 2 small pieces of fabric which are going to be the casing which the ribbon is threaded through and press a 1/4″ hem all the way around on the wrong side of the fabric. You’ll need to do this with both pieces.

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Pin one of the casings on to the right side of one of the outside fabric pieces. I placed it so that the top of the casing was about 2 1/2″ below the top edge of the fabric piece. Repeat for the other casing on the remaining outside fabric piece.

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Take both of your fabric pieces to the sewing machine and sew along the top and bottom long edges of the casings, leaving the short ends open so that the ribbon may be threaded through later.

Next place the two outside fabric pieces with the right sides together, pin, and starting at the top, stitch down one long edge, along the bottom, and up the other long edge. The top edge should remain open. I used a 1/2″ seam allowance for this. Take care if you are using a directional fabric that it is laying in the right direction!

Repeat this step with the lining fabric pieces. Pin them with the right sides together and stitch from the top down one long edge, along one short edge and back up the other long edge. Again you should have one short edge left unstitched. If your fabric isn’t directional then it doesn’t matter which way up it is when you stitch it, but if it has a directional pattern like mine then you will need to stitch the three edges so that when it is attached to the outside bag and pulled through,the turnover  will be the right way up. This only applies to the lining bag – it almost feels like you are sewing it upside down – but trust me when it is finished the one inch band at the top will be the correct way up!

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Although not the best photo, above shows both outside and inside bag stitched around three edges. Although the wrong sides of the bags are shown you may notice that the lining bag (with the little heart pattern) is ‘upside down’. As explained  this means that when it is stitched to the outer bag and turned through the pattern will show the right way up!wine-bottle-bag-6

The next step is to give the bottom of the bags some shape so that they will sit nicely. Pinch open one end of the bottom of one of the bags so that you have a triangular shape. Measure down 1 1/2″ from the point and draw a line across with a pen or pencil. Pin it in place, and repeat with the other 3 corners. Take your bags to the sewing machine and stitch along the lines you have just drawn.wine-bottle-bag-7

When all 4 points have been sewn, trim the edges. The bottom of both bags should now have a bit of shape.wine-bottle-bag-8

This is the fun bit. Turn the lining bag right sides out now. Place it inside the outside bag so that the bags are inside each other with their right sides together. Make sure you match up the side seams. Pin into place. Again using a 1/2″ seam allowance stitch around this open edge leaving a gap of approx 2″ so that you can turn it through to the right side. You will probably need to remove the extension table on your sewing machine and just use the free arm as this opening is quite small.

When you have done this turn it inside out through the opening you have left and take it to the ironing board and give it a good press. You should be left with a neat little 1″ band around the top of the bag. If you feel that topstitching the top of the bag will help keep it’s shape then go for it! Thread your needle and sew the little opening closed with neat small stitches.wine-bottle-bag-10

Time to thread the ribbon, starting from the right side of the bag thread the ribbon through the casing to the left side, take it around to the back and thread through the casing back through to the right side of the bag again. Repeat with the other piece of ribbon but starting at the left side of the bag and threading it the opposite way around to what you did before. I used my fancy new ‘elastic glides’ from Hemline for this but you could simply attach a safety pin and thread it through using that too. Take care not to twist the ribbon, it will look much better if it lays flat in the casing.wine-bottle-bag-11

Tie the ends together and slide the ribbon around so that the knot is hidden inside the casing and Voila! You are done. Pop your bottle inside, draw the ribbon tight and there you have a beautiful fabric wine bottle bag – so much prettier than those bottle bags you can buy from the shops

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Made for each other..

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, I think it makes that boring bottle of wine so much more special. Let me know if you give it a go!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Tilly and The Buttons Cleo Dress Pattern Review

The day I saw that Tilly and The Buttons had released a pinafore dress pattern was a great day for me. I had been trawling the internet for a decent pinafore pattern for a very long time and whilst I could find patterns with bibs and ‘skater’ style skirts I couldn’t find any with this all in one style with no waist seam. This was perfect! Last Winter I had admired a couple of patterned pinafores I had seen in the shops and this was what I wanted my Cleo to look like.

I was very excited to read that Tilly and the gang were going to be hosting a Cleo sewing party on November 26th, where you could share your progress on Instagram. Do check out the hashtag #sewingcleo for tons of inspiration. I very much wanted to be a part of this so the pattern was promptly ordered and whilst I waited for this to arrive I searched for my perfect patterned Cleo fabric. I ordered a gorgeous cotton drill from eBay – bit of a risk but it was just right. The only other supplies I needed to buy were a couple of buttons as I already had black thread, interfacing and some leftover lining fabric.

I chose to make the mini length version of the dress, which was perfect for my 5’2″ height. There is a knee length version with a front split if you prefer it longer. I also only cut and used the top pocket as I decided the hip pockets would not be flattering on my shape. I  decided to use buttons as the fastenings, as I thought using dungaree buckles would be too tricky – I am really happy with the button finish but have seen so many versions online made with the buckles that next time I will definitely be giving them a go. They can’t be that difficult can they?

As always the instruction booklet is superb. Great step-by-step photos and written instructions guide you through this project easily and it sews up in very little time – it would have been even quicker if I hadn’t chosen to line it. It’s a perfect pattern for any skill level. I must admit I prefer to cut out my pattern the day before sewing but on this occasion I wanted to do it all in one day.cleo6

I was concerned that the weight of the fabric would make the pocket too bulky to lie flat but this was not a problem and I enjoyed the placement of it and the topstitching. I love a bit of topstitching!

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Simple buttons and more topstitching

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I chose to line the dress with some pretty emerald green lining as I know this will always be worn with tights, and I hate it when dresses and skirts ride up over tights. It was simple enough to do I just cut the lining with the front and back dress pattern pieces and lay it on top of the dress pieces and tacked them into place. Easy.

It was such fun to be a part of the Tilly community for the day, I am thrilled with how the pattern came out – I may cut it a size smaller next time. If you love Tilly and The Buttons patterns too you may like to check out my Bettine pattern review on the blog. I am also currently just finishing my first Coco dress and of course that pattern review will be on the blog too very soon.

I love the finished dress, and I know I will happily make many more, I will probably try a corduroy or denim for my next one, or even a pretty upholstery fabric…

Have you enjoyed making a Cleo? Did you take part in the Cleo sewing party too?  As always I love to hear from you.

Thanks for joining me here and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy xcleo5

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Christmas Tree Bunting Garland Tutorial

December is here, which means it is time to think about putting the Christmas tree up and decorating the house. Several years ago I wanted to make some bunting to decorate our staircase, but didn’t want regular triangular bunting so I made some in the shape of Christmas trees. Each year they come out and I love them, and as this is the first Christmas that I have been writing my blog I thought I would share with you how to make them. They are very quick and easy to make. If you can sew a straight line on a machine then you are good to go!

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You will need:

  • A Christmas tree template. Print off from the internet or sketch your own. Mine is approx 18cm tall
  • Scraps of pretty fabric for the ‘front’ of the trees, these need to be slightly bigger than the size of the tree template
  • Interfacing or polyester wadding to give the trees some structure. I chose to use the polyester wadding as I think it bulks it out just enough to give the trees a bit of body
  • Plain fabric for the ‘back’ of the trees
  • Bias binding or cotton twill tape
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Pinking shears or fabric scissors
  • Star shaped buttons, needle and thread

Directions:

Firstly cut out your Christmas tree template. Roughly cut out a scrap of pretty fabric, some wadding and backing fabric just a little bigger than the size of the tree. Layer them so that the backing fabric is on the bottom, the wadding is in the middle and the pretty fabric is on the top. Finally place your Christmas tree template on the top and pin in place.dsc04599

Take your fabric to the machine and carefully sew around the edge of the tree, sewing as close to the paper edge of the template as you can. This just requires a straight stitch on the machine – when you change direction remember to leave your needle in the down position so that your fabric doesn’t slip.dsc04601

Unpin and remove the template. Your fabric should now look like this.dsc04602

Now you need to cut around the outside edge of the stitching using pinking shears or regular fabric scissors. I use pinking shears because I like the effect this gives. Take care not to accidentally snip your stitches.dsc04603

Repeat this with as many trees as you like!dsc04604

If you haven’t already, decide on the length of the bunting you want and cut your tape or binding to this length. I am using bias binding to hang my trees from so I folded it in half along its length and machined it together, encasing the tops of the trees inside the tape at regular intervals as I went. I also sewed little loops at each end to make hanging easier.dsc04607

If you are using a thicker tape that doesn’t require folding in half then simply attach your trees with a few hand stitches through the top of the trees. When all your trees are attached to the tape finish them off by sewing a pretty star shaped button to the top.Perfect!dsc04624

You’re all done! Now all you need to do is hang your garland and enjoy it! You could embellish your trees with buttons, sequins or ric rac if you wish – let your imagination go wild!dsc04620

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I hope you have enjoyed this and will have a go at making them yourself. Let me know how you get on, I would love to hear from you.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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Sew Over It Erin Skirt Pattern Review

This skirt has been on my wishlist of things to make since it came out in September. I love the idea of a pattern eBook capsule wardrobe and had been seriously considering making a purchase of this when I came across this pattern free inside Simply Sewing Magazine. I must admit I had first been attracted to the magazine because of the free Fold Line Joni dress pattern. Imagine my delight when I discovered that part one of the Erin skirt was included in this issue too! It gets better – the paper pattern pieces were included too – not even a download to print off and stick together. Just dreamy!

After I had finished making the Joni dress (check out my review on the blog), I couldn’t wait to make the Erin skirt. I have admired so many versions of this popping up on Instagram, and I knew I wanted a knee length button-front skirt this Autumn/Winter to wear with warm tights and boots. Lush.

The pattern was incredibly simple to follow, with clear images as well as written instructions. Although these were the instructions from the magazine I would expect them to be the same as you would receive if you purchased the eBook.

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I love all the topstitching details in this pattern.

Part one in issue number 22 takes you through cutting out, darts and pockets. The second part in issue 23 completes the skirt by taking you through adding the waistband, hem and buttons and buttonholes. I particularly like the slanted pockets on this skirt.

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Love these buttons, I originally wanted wooden buttons but when I saw these marble effect beauties I knew I had to have them!

I chose to use a soft denim with a slight stretch which was perfect. No interfacing was necessary for this fabric choice. It sewed up really quickly, nothing complicated at all. There is a fair bit of topstitching required ( on the pockets, skirt front edges and waistband), so I was super slow and careful when stitching these parts as any wobbles would be noticeable, but my patience paid off and they all came out nice and neat. I chose an olive green thread as this gave a lovely contrast to the denim without being too crazy.

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I only needed 1.5 yards of fabric as I made the shorter version of this skirt. I’m 5’2″ so thought the longer length would drown me, and as I know I will be wearing this mostly with tights I chose to line it with a pretty bright emerald green lining. Can’t be doing with my skirt sticking to my tights can you? I’ve never lined anything before and it was a doddle and apart from being really practical it gives the skirt a really fancy finished result!

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I will definitely be making this skirt again. I would love it in a nice corduroy or cotton drill. Imagine it in a fabulous African wax. Yes please. The only thing to be careful of when using denim is to watch where it has been folded on the roll. If it has had a fold in it you may find a line in the denim as I discovered on the back of my skirt and waistband. Never mind it’s not too bad – I have learned to watch out for this next time I use denim.

It also came out a little on the small side for my measurements. I think this must have been an error on my part and that I must have cut the wrong size as other reviews of this pattern don’t seem to have found this. Silly me.

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This has been my first experience with a Sew Over It pattern and I was thrilled. I have been following Lisa and the Sew Over It team for a long time now I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to make one of their patterns. I am really interested in the other patterns in the City Break collection, and would love to try the Molly top and dress, so cute and comfortable I imagine.

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Love my garment labels – the finishing touch!

Have you made the Erin skirt too?  I would love to hear about it. As always I’m delighted that you are here and I hope this will inspire you to make this easy cute wardrobe staple.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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Handmade Fabric Pocket Hand Warmers

Now that November is here it really is feeling cold outside. Last weekend after watching my youngest son play football on a very cold field in Leicester, I couldn’t feel my fingers and decided to do something about it.

These cute hand warmers are super quick and simple to make, and use very little fabric so are great for using up those little scraps of fabric we all have lying around. They heat up in the microwave in no time at all so are perfect to grab on your way out in the cold.

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Supplies needed:

  • For each pair of hand warmers you will need 4 squares of fabric. I cut mine 4″ x 4″ Any fabric that you have will do but snuggle or flannel would be extra cosy
  • White rice
  • Sewing Machine and thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Funnel or a tube made from paper
  • Needle
  • Point turner or something similar (knitting needle/chop stick) for nice sharp corners when turning the right side out

Start by cutting your fabric into squares. I used a rotary cutter and mat but if you don’t have this just carefully mark out your square on the reverse side of the fabric and cut out. For each pair of hand warmers you will need 4 squares.

Take 2 of the squares and pin them together with the right sides of the fabric facing together.dsc04546

Take this to your sewing machine and stitch around 4 sides remembering to leave a gap on one of the sides of about 1.5″ so that you can turn it through to the right side. I used a seam allowance of about 1/4″ Make sure that you backstitch a couple of stitches at the opening that you have made so that it is nice and strong and your stitches won’t rip.dsc04548

Snip all 4 corners diagonally. Not too close to the stitching.dsc04552

Turn your bag the right side out now. Gently push the corners out so that they are nice and sharp – you can use a point turner for this or if you don’t have one you could use a knitting needle, chopstick, or something similar. I like to give it a press with the iron too as this helps when you are closing up the opening later.dsc04557

Now it’s time to fill with rice. I would suggest to fill it about 3/4 full. I used a little funnel that I had already but you could use a funnel that you have made yourself using rolled up paper.dsc04559

Time to close the opening now. I decided to hand sew mine closed using ladder stitch (slip stitch). I know this takes a little more effort and time but I love the invisible finish it gives and I think it looks much neater. You can of course use your machine to close up your bag, simply sew your edges together as close to the edge as you can. Take care not to catch any of the rice grains as you go as they may snap your needle!dsc04562

There you have it! To warm them up just pop them into your microwave for 30-45 seconds and you’re good to go! I love how easy and quick these are to make, it’s difficult to stop at just one pair. Perhaps you could add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to your rice? You could also make them up in larger sizes and use them for your neck or feet.

If you want to use them as a cool bag simply place inside a freezer safe ziplock bag and freeze.

They are a great unisex gift idea maybe for a teacher or a dog walker, neighbour, friend or just to slip in your childs pocket on the way to school.

I hope you like these sweet little hand warmers. Let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you. Have you made or received some hand warmers like these?

Take care, keep warm, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy xdsc04573

 

 

 

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The Fold Line Joni Dress Pattern Review

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As soon as I saw this dress I knew I wanted it! I had first noticed it mentioned on social media on @thefoldline and @SimplySewing_ on Twitter. I knew that if Rachel and Kate from the Fold Line were to have any involvement at all in a project it would be a good one! I instantly fell in love with the style of the dress, particularly the flattering pleats, and the contrasting placket, collar and cuffs reminded me very much of a couple of my very favourite RTW dresses that I reach for time and time again when I want to look my best.

So off I went and purchased Simply Sewing magazine issue 22. This was the first time I had bought this particular magazine and it won’t be the last. Apart from the Jodi dress pattern there are tons of projects that I will be making up in the future – one of which is the pattern for the Sew Over it Erin skirt – watch out for a blog on that very soon. The magazine has a lovely feel to it and I have really enjoyed picking it up and relaxing with it this month (when I haven’t been sewing)!

I was really pleased with the paper pattern and instructions. The pattern pieces were printed on good quality paper and clearly marked. The instructions were clear and simple, not overwhelming at all which can sometimes be the case, and accompanied by plenty of colour photos to help you along.

I decided to use some fabric that I already had in my stash. It is a gorgeous grey and green print that I picked up last year from a trip to Florida, and I have been itching for the opportunity to use it. It is called Fresh Mint Posies Grey I believe and it is from www.emmamila.com  I picked it up at Walmart.

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For the most part it was simple to make. The pockets may look like they would be tricky but are as easy as anything when you follow the instructions carefully. I do love me some pockets in a dress, I mean who doesn’t?

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The contrasting cuffs are super cute too. So pretty with the little split detail and again not difficult at all when you are following such precise instructions. The photographs on the instruction sheet were particularly helpful with this part of the pattern.jodi28

The collar I found to be the most challenging part of this make. It is not a simple round collar but has a little shape detail along the inner edge. This is a tiny bit tricky and I had to be very very careful when sewing this edge. Lots of care needs to be taken as you would expect with trimming and clipping these edges so that the finished collar lays flat. I’m pretty pleased with how it came out though and I think I worried about it more than I needed to. The button placket was the finishing touch and I love the grey contrasting pieces on this dress, it really is something special.

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Something else to mention is the zip. It requires a 22″ invisible zip and whilst I contemplated using an exposed zip, as I really like the look of these I stuck with the invisible and glad that I did. I have only sewn an invisible zip once before, way back when, so had some concerns, but after a little internet research (mainly YouTube) I felt confident to go for it. Again I was really pleased with the outcome. I did purchase an invisible zipper foot for my machine for this project which was great fun to use and I know I will get a lot of use out of it in the future.

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Everything else is pretty much straightforward. The set in sleeves are not a problem,  a little bit of topstitching and understitching here and there and ‘bob’s your uncle’ a dress that comes together really quickly. It is a great fit for me and came up true to size which I’m so happy about as I really don’t have the patience to make a toile (naughty, naughty) so is always a risk with beautiful fabric like this. The only very minor alteration I made was to turn the hem up slightly more as I’m only 5’2″. I think next time I may make it in a less fussy fabric, as the beautiful pleats are a little lost amongst the design of the fabric, but so happy with it overall. The long sleeves are a nice feature of this dress too and are perfect for Autumn.

I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts on this pattern. Thanks for taking the time to read my review. I have loved making this dress and can’t wait to wear it now. Have you made a Jodi dress? I would love to hear from you. Do check out www.thefoldline.com it is a gorgeous online sewing community full of patterns, reviews and news. Check it out!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x