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Fabric Easter Bunny Bunting Garland Tutorial

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Back in December I showed you how to make fabric Christmas tree bunting, and now that we are a week away from Easter I thought I would adapt this to make some cute Easter bunny bunting.

If you would like to check out my previous post on how to make Christmas tree bunting you can do so here. I have made very few changes (apart from the shape)! except this time I decided not to ‘pad’ them out using wadding or interfacing as I wanted to keep them as light-weight as possible.

I wanted to keep this tutorial simple, so your supplies are probably things that you already have in your sewing stash – apart from perhaps the pom poms. I purchased these from The Range in the children’s craft dept. for £1.99, but you could make your own if you have spare yarn and a snazzy pom pom maker or your own template. Or of course you could use cotton wool balls.

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You will need:

  • Fabric scraps. I chose pastel colours as they reminded me of Spring.
  • Any bunny template. There are lots of free templates available on the internet.
  • Bias binding or tape to use as the string for your bunting.
  • Fabric scissors and pinking shears.
  • Matching thread.
  • Pins.
  • Pom poms, or cotton wool balls.
  • Glue.
  • Sewing machine.

 

Let’s go! To start with you need to cut out your fabric a little bit bigger than the size of the bunny. Each bunny requires 2 pieces of fabric. Place the 2 pieces of fabric together, with the wrong sides facing, and pin the bunny template on the top.

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Take this to your sewing machine and carefully sew around the bunny shape as close to the edge as you can.

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Remove your pins and cut around the edge with your pinking shears taking care not to snip your line of stitching.

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Repeat this process for as many bunnies as you want!

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Decide how long you would like your bunting to be and cut a length of bias binding or tape to that length, you may want to allow a little extra to make loops at each end. I did this. I pressed my tape in half lengthwise as this makes it much easier when it comes to sewing it. Evenly space your bunnies along the tape and encase the tops of their ears inside the fold of the tape. Pin in place.

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Now all you need to do is take your bunting to your machine and stitch along the whole length of the bunting making sure that the ears of the bunnies don’t slip out and are caught inside the tape as you stitch. You can turn each end under to make a hanging loop whilst you are stitching.

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Now the fun part. Use your glue to pop a little pom pom tail on each of the bunnies. You could use a few hand stitches if you prefer, but do this whilst your bunnies are still single layer then your stitches won’t show on the back when it’s hanging.

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You’re all done! If you can bear it, it’s a good idea to try to leave it whilst the glue dries before hanging. I wouldn’t want you to lose your tails.

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Show off your bunting wherever you like, I’m sure it will be admired!

Wishing you all a very happy Easter. Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Simplicity 1318 Kimono Jacket

Hi everyone,

Last month I wrote my first guest blog post for Minerva Crafts, and whilst I shared the pictures and links on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, I realised that I neglected to pop the details over here on my own blog!

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The fabric is of course from Minerva, and if you would like to read my thoughts on this perfect Spring kimono jacket then you can head on over to read all about it here.

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My Favourite Sewing Machine Feet

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Just lately I’ve been adding to my collection of sewing machine feet. It’s becoming a little out of control – like my fabric and pattern stash!

However the satisfaction of reaching for the perfect foot to get you through a particular part of a sewing project is so great, I love them all – and of course have my eye on a few others, which I will no doubt write another blog post about in the future!

I wanted to write this post because I have purchased them all, over the last few months, from the same retailer. This is not a sponsored post, I have paid for them all myself and all views are my own, but I have been so impressed with the quality, price and service received that I wanted to share it with you.

The company I have purchased all of these from are Austin Sewing Machines. I have purchased them all via their eBay shop here, but their website is worth a browse – they have all your sewing machine needs covered!

Some of these feet are snap-on, and some are low shank screw-on. If you have a machine which will take snap-on feet, then I personally find these much more convenient. They are universal feet so will fit many different makes of machines. I have been more than impressed with all of them and have had no problems with the fit on my machine ( a Janome DC3050).

The first foot I purchased was the 1/4″ snap-on Quilting Patchwork Foot with edge guide. Just before Christmas I took on The Sewing Directory’s Simple Sampler Quilt A-long challenge, which I have written about here. When I first started, I was struggling to get a perfect 1/4″ seam allowance, and this foot was a lifesaver – it’s so clever, and gives a fantastic result every time. No quilter would be without this foot I’m sure!

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As I continued with the quilt a-long challenge mentioned above, I realised that I would need a Walking Foot in order to sandwich my quilt together and be able to stitch through the layers of fabric and wadding. So my next purchase was a low shank screw-on Walking Foot with guide. This is quite a scary looking piece of equipment, but so very satisfying to use. It has coped with all the thick layers of quilting that I have sewn with it perfectly, and I have also used it on slippery fabrics with great success too. A very handy part of my sewing machine kit now. I’m so glad that it comes with an adjustable guide, as this ensures my straight line quilting stitches are nice and parallel.

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My next little foot is a low shank screw-on 3mm Rolled Hem Foot. I purchased this as I was making a kaftan using a fine floaty fabric and wanted to neaten the hem with a teeny tiny hem. As it turned out the edges of the kaftan were faced so I didn’t need to use this foot on that project, but I do have a couple of other kaftan patterns that I plan to make this Summer which will allow me to make use of it then.

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This foot is obviously intended for using with very fine sheer fabric, but you get the idea …

Next, the narrow snap-on Zipper Foot. My machine does come with a zipper foot, but it can sometimes feel a little bulky, so I had been wanting a narrow foot for a while. I am so pleased with this one, it feels like you can get so much closer to the teeth of the zip now, I know this will be a very well used accessory.

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Finally, my last little beauty is the Adjustable Bias Binding Tape Clip-on Foot. After seeking advice from good old YouTube videos, it was easy to set up and after years of sewing on bias tape and it not being accurately stitched on the wrong side I am now delighted to have a fail safe tool that give me a perfect result every time! Expect lots more bias tape on my projects in the future because this is such a fun foot to use!

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Oh and by the way, if you didn’t see it, I have a tutorial on how to make your own continuous bias binding tape here.

My latest purchases were the bias tape foot and the zipper foot. When I bought these I didn’t notice that I had selected a clip-on for the bias foot and a low shank screw-on for the zipper foot. This isn’t a problem really, as both work on the machine fine, but I was really impressed to receive a phone call from Austin Sewing Machines as they were processing the order to check if this was a mistake and whether I would prefer them both to be either snap-on or screw-on. What amazing customer service – I was happy to accept their kind offer to change the order to both having the snap-on attachment, and was delighted when they both arrived a couple of days later – they are always quick to send your goodies.

In an attempt to try to organise my sewing room I was chuffed to find a little sectioned storage box from The Range which now is home to my growing collection of machine feet. This little box was only about £3 I think, and don’t think I haven’t noticed there’s room for lots more feet! Ha!

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What’s your favourite/most used foot?  I would love to hear your recommendations.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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A Wonderful Day Out at ‘Fabric Meet Birmingham’

Yesterday was just lovely. Fabric shopping in Birmingham on a beautiful sunny day with lots of creative and inspiring sewists. What a perfect way to spend a day. Let me tell you more..

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About a month ago, Samantha from Create It Samantha and Bianca from Sleepless in Bavaria decided to host a fabric shopping trip and get-together in Birmingham. It sounded like too much fun to miss out on so I stuck my hand in the air straight away!

We were all meeting in John Lewis, which was perfect as I was arriving by train and John Lewis is on the doorstep! Samantha and Bianca had thoughtfully arranged for us to have use of a private dining area next to the restaurant which was so perfect as we could all grab ourselves some refreshments and get to know each other before we started.

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During this time we had a little pattern/fabric swap. I was delighted to pick up a Colette Patterns Peony dress pattern. Thank you to whoever donated this item, I am thrilled with it! Further more Samantha and Bianca handed out goody bags for everyone. I will pop a picture of all our goodies at the end of this post. Totally spoiled already and we had only been going an hour!

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Firstly we met June who works for John Lewis in their haberdashery department. We enjoyed a lovely demonstration on their range of sewing machines, and had the opportunity to give them a try ourselves. I enjoyed using a machine with no foot pedal for the first time – it has a start/stop button instead, and quickly made a little quilted square. Such fun!

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Forgive that it is a little wonky, it was cut without ruler or measuring and not pressed, but you get the idea!

After this, it was time to move outside into the sunshine and take a walk to the Rag Market. Plenty of bargains were bagged by us all as there were lots of fabric stalls inside and outside.

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One of the stalls inside the Rag Market

No rest for the wicked, it was then off to a much anticipated visit to Barry’s Fabrics. Boy! we weren’t disappointed. Packed to the rafters with rolls and rolls of fabrics, we had a wonderful time, like kids in a candy store.

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By this time I think we were all beginning to flag a little. Perfect time to break for lunch. Of course lovely Samantha and Bianca had already reserved tables at The Stable, so it was a quick walk back to the Bullring area to grab some lunch. Two long tables had been booked which was so perfect as we could all continue to chat together as large groups and didn’t need to separate up into smaller tables.

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After lunch we jumped into taxis and made the 10 minute journey to visit the Adam Ross warehouse. We were warmly greeted by Jas, Faisal, Saira and the team, and enjoyed refreshments whilst we learned about the company and how they work. Did you know that Adam Ross offer free postage on all orders, and always aim to get orders cut and dispatched on the same day. Very impressive. If you would like to check out their website you can do so here.

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Jas took us over to their cutting table to show us their newest range of fabrics. We wanted to buy all of them!

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Next came the moment we had all been waiting for. A good look around their warehouse. Two enormous floors worth of fabrics. I have never seen anything like it, we were given free rein to take our time and wander anywhere we liked and choose any fabric that we wanted to purchase.

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The welcome that we received from the team at Adam Ross was second to none, and just when I thought our day couldn’t get any better we were each given beautiful little notebooks which had been bound and covered with their fabrics. I picked a navy blue with star design.

Thank you so much to Bianca and Samantha for ensuring we all had the best day. Every little detail had been carefully planned, and not only was the fabric shopping amazing, the friendly company of such wonderful ladies and gent was a great experience. New friends have now been made and will be treasured.

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My fabric haul from the day. Top two from Adam Ross, middle from the Rag Market, bottom two from Barry’s Fabrics.

Finally let me show you the lot! As well as the fabrics I purchased, take a look at the beautiful fabric bound notebook and pen from Adam Ross, and the extremely generous gifts from Samantha and Bianca. Also the pattern I picked up from the pattern/fabric swap!

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I think if this wonderful event is ever repeated, it might be wise to follow Vena’s example and bring a suitcase on wheels. We all had a bit of trolley envy at the end of the day when we had to carry our bags home!

I hope you have enjoyed this little insight of my day out in Birmingham, it was lovely to meet so many new friends and hope to see more of you all in the future.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

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McCalls M7381 Dress Pattern Review

 

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I was delighted to see that in the latest edition of Love Sewing magazine, issue 37, the free pattern was this McCalls M7381. I love floaty dresses and this looked like it was right up my street.

The size range in this single pattern is quite impressive too. It covers sizes XS through to XXL. Pretty good (until you get to the part when you want to fold the pattern pieces back up and try to get them back in the envelope! Ha! Several versions of the dress are available to choose from. Long sleeves, short sleeves, sleeveless and maxi length. I chose view C.

My fabric choice was from Minerva crafts found here. Its a beautiful viscose challis and the print is adorable. I must admit that I love the Minerva web site, most often as well as a good description of the fabric there is a video which shows you how the fabric drapes, creases, stretches and how sheer it is. Super helpful.

The most difficult part of making up any pattern is deciding what size to cut. I must admit that very often now I will cut a toile, not great when you want to quickly get on with a new pattern but quite often necessary. I should have done so in this case and I didn’t. Off I jolly well went and after pre-washing the fabric (now this really is essential and I never skip doing this)! I chose to cut the pattern in a size large which is what my body measurements showed as on size chart on the envelope. I was nervous as this would normally by accompanied by a ‘finished measurement’ size chart which I would refer to but couldn’t see this.

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The dress is fairly straightforward to make up. The bodice was the most complicated part because it is lined, so requires several pattern pieces.  This was a nice challenge for me as I  have made several very easy patterns of late and it was good to sew up something a little more challenging (but still not too difficult). After the bodice is made up the rest of the pattern comes together quickly.

Some pretty features of this pattern are the pleat details at the shoulders and skirt front. I also like the faux tie belt feature at the front waist.

It is comfortable to put on and wear, and has an elasticated waist at the back of the skirt. Snap studs or poppers are hand sewn in on the bodice front, although I moved the placement of mine to show less cleavage!

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As you can probably see from the photos the dress has come up much too large. I could have easily have gone down at least one size band. The bodice has far too much room in it and the elasticated gathers at the back just seem to accentuate this unfortunately. Boo.

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If i had not been in so much of a rush to cut it out and make it I probably would have read a couple of really good reviews by Amy and Rachel where both mention the size aspect of this pattern. Do head over to these lovely ladies blog posts if you are considering making this dress, I’m sure that you will find it useful.

I really enjoyed making the bodice lining for this dress. I feel it gives the dress much more of a finished look and looks so much better than seeing the seams on the inside. I also remembered to pop in one of my name labels – I often forget to do this when I get engrossed in my sewing!

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Don’t let my sizing problem put you off making this lovely pattern. At the time of releasing this post I believe that issue 37 of Love Sewing may still be current- just. (next issue out March 23rd) so if you’re interested in a free copy of this pattern you may still be able to track down an issue before issue 38 comes out later in the week!

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I think this dress can be rescued with some little adjustments here and there from me. It would be a shame not to enjoy it this Summer as I do love so love the fabric.

Have you made this dress, what did you think?

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy

 

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Fabric Snack Bag Tutorial

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I’m always on the look out for a project that will use up the small scraps of fabric that are lurking in my fabric stash. This is a good one. These fabric snack bags are lined with waterproof PUL fabric so are practical and washable. If you don’t have PUL  or prefer not to use it, and do not require your bags to be waterproof, then they could easily be lined with another piece of fabric. They are also very quick and easy to make, and I think look pretty cute too.

I have made these bags in two sizes, and have chosen different fastening choices.

You will need:

  • Fabric scraps. For the large bag you will need one piece of outer fabric measuring 40cm x 20cm, and one piece of PUL or other lining fabric measuring 40cm x 20cm. For the small bag you will need one piece of outer fabric measuring 30cm x 15cm and PUL or other lining fabric measuring 30cm x 15cm.
  • Sewing machine and thread.
  • Fabric scissors, or rotary cutter and mat.
  • Fastenings of choice. I have used Velcro dots and KAM snaps.
  • Point turner or something similar like a knitting needle or chopstick .
  • Clover wonder clips or pins.
  • Cup, glass or plate to trace a curved edge.

To start, I cut my fabric and lining pieces.

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I have cut enough pieces here to make 2 large bags and 2 small bags.

So that the flap of your bag has neat rounded edges I used a coffee cup to trace a curved edge on two of the corners of each outer fabric and lining fabric piece. You will only need two rounded corners on each piece. Leave the remaining two corners as they are. See pic below.

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Place your fabric pieces and lining pieces together with the right sides facing.

I clipped these in place using wonder clips as I didn’t want to puncture the PUL using regular pins. The clips do a really good job at holding everything in place.

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Next you will need to sew all around the edge leaving an opening of approx 4cm so that you can turn it through to the right side. I used a 1cm seam allowance. After stitching, I like to give it a good press to set the stitches in place, take care though to use a pressing cloth so that you don’t melt the PUL! Clip and trim the edges so that it will lay nice and flat when turned.

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Turn your bag right side out now, and use a point turner or something similar like a knitting needle or chopstick to get a good sharp point on those corners. Again careful pressing with the iron at this stage is helpful. You don’t need to sew the opening closed, just turn the seam allowance at the opening inside and press into place.

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Fold your bag over and decide how deep you want it making sure to leave enough room for your flap to fold over and your flap fastenings. You will probably want to turn it up about 3/4 of the way. Clip or pin in place.

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You are then ready to stitch all around the edge of your bag. I used a seam allowance of approx 0.5cm for this. Start at one of the bottom corners of the bag and stitch up the side, around the curved edges of the flap and down the other side edge. We are now ready to attach your fastening of choice. I have used Velcro dots for this bag, but later on you can see what they look like using KAM snaps too.

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To make sure your Velcro dots line up, close your flap and place pins in where you want the dots to sit. The pin will pierce the flap and the bag below and at this point you can simply peel off your Velcro and place where the pin hole is. Your Velcro dots will perfectly line up.

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I used two dots for each bag. You could use more, or use a strip of Velcro too.

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For my second small bag I used two KAM snaps as fastenings. I love how these looked, and decided to use the snaps as the fastenings for my larger bags too.

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On the darker blue bag I added a line of stitching across the straight edge before stitching the bag closed all the way around.

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Just for fun, (and because I never use the fancy stitches on my machine), I added a decorative stitch along the straight edge on the larger bags. I did this before I stitched the bag together all the way around the outside edge.

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There you go, a pretty way to carry your snack with you when you’re on the go. You could definitely play around with sizes, I have suggested 2 sizes here, but if you need different dimensions then go for it!

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These bags are simple and quick to make and could be used for lots of things, not just snacks. What would you use one for? Make up? Pens and pencils? Store cards?  Or maybe stick to biscuits. Yes, definitely biscuits for me!

Hope you have enjoyed, I welcome your comments.

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

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Simple Sampler Quilt-Along. My first go at quilting.

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Last September I noticed that The Sewing Directory were advertising  what looked like a really fun challenge to learn how to make a quilt using sampler blocks. It was mainly aimed at people who had never quilted before and wanted to learn how to using weekly step by step tutorials.

This appealed to me straight away. I have never tried quilting before but really admired some of the designs I had seen online, it was also a good way of using up some of the mountain of fabric scraps that were accumulating in my sewing room!

The course of weekly tutorials would run from October through to February with a little break during Christmas. Perfect.

Organised through The Sewing Directory, with brilliant instructions from expert quilter Kerry Green from Very Kerry Berry Blogspot, it was a super fun gentle introduction into quilting. Starting of course with very simple blocks, and progressing quite smoothly to more challenging designs, each week you would go ahead and make either one or two blocks. The end result would be a lovely lap quilt made with twelve blocks, or larger if you chose to make up more of the blocks.

Straight away I was rummaging through my scrap fabric stash to see what colours I had. I seemed to have mostly reds, pinks and blues, so these were my colour choices.

One of the best things to take from this experience was the pure joy at seeing the work produced by the other people taking part. Each individual has their own style, and colour preference and some of the fabric choices were stunning. You may like to have a little look yourselves – head on over to Instagram and search for #simplesamplerqal you will not be disappointed!

I won’t fill the rest of this post with all 12 individual block that I made – feel free to head over to my Instagram account if you would like to scroll back and see them all, but I will show you below some of my favourites.

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Flying Geese Block
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Saw Tooth Star Block
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Strings Foundation Pieced Block
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Ray of Light Foundation Pieced Block

All too soon, the blocks were all made and it was time to bring them together to form the quilt. I did wonder how difficult this would be, but as in previous weeks the instructions were super easy to follow and before I knew it I had sailed through sashing, borders, basting, quilting and binding.

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Basting my quilt

I would like to mention what wonderful support and encouragement was provided by The Sewing Directory and Kerry Green. Weekly posts on social media by the entrants were greeted with wonderful positive comments from all, and I have to say I value all my new quilting friends that I have made through this lovely challenge.

Each month prizes were given and I am chuffed to say that I won a very generous £20 voucher to spend at Fabric HQ during December. Although I spent hours (literally) going back and forth through their pretty fabric selection (so much choice – I wanted it all)! I eventually opted to spend my voucher on a much wanted sewing pattern and a couple of sewing tools. The top that I made with that pattern is on my blog here, and the sewing tools I chose have been so useful and greatly loved.

So during February I finished my lap quilt. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I definitely need more practice with my quilting skills as straight line quilting was all I felt I was able to do. I think it’s not bad for a first attempt. Maybe if I had realised how much I was going to love this I would have chosen my fabrics more carefully. Whilst I am glad I have used up a lot of my scrap fabrics I think I may have had a better looking quilt if I had splashed out on some pretty coordinating quilting cottons.

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Nearly finished!

At the time of writing this the instructions for the whole challenge can still be found on The Sewing Directory’s website here. I would encourage you to take a look and have a little go! I understand (fingers crossed), that there may be another quilting challenge in the future so if you are interested in a really sociable fun quilt-along you may want to follow The Sewing Directory on social media so that you can be the first to hear!

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My finished quilt. I love it!

Thanks again to all involved to introducing me to such a rewarding and relaxing side of sewing. I will definitely quilt some more in the future, and in the meantime will continue to admire and be inspired by all my new quilting friends that were made during this challenge.

Did you take part in this challenge? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Grainline Studios Scout Tee Sewing Pattern Review

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This is my second Grainline Studios sewing make. I love it. They have both been tops but both very different. If you would like to have a quick look at my other Grainline top (The Hemlock), you can see my review here.

As with many of my recent makes, this has been another pattern that I have been meaning to sew up for quite a while. I absolutely love the simplicity of it, and how it would suit a number of different fabrics each giving it a different look.

This pattern is suitable for woven fabrics, light to medium weight, such as cottons, lawns, crepes etc. Whilst I had originally planned my first Scout Tee to be a classic cotton stripe I changed my mind to something more drapey and flowing and decided on a pretty navy blue floral crepe. So pleased I did, it’s shape is fitted at the shoulders and falls into a more relaxed fit below the bust which of course suits a crepe very well.

 

Supplies need for this are very simple. Fabric and thread! Of course you will need fabric scissors or your rotary cutter and mat, and pins,but that pretty much is it! I used the paper pattern version (rather than PDF), which I was fortunate to choose as part of a prize in December given by The Sewing Directory as part of a fabulous quilt-along challenge they ran. My pattern came from Fabric HQ and if interested you can find it here. Thank you again to the Sewing Directory and Fabric HQ.

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This pattern is a breeze from start to finish. A beautiful instruction booklet takes you through the whole process clearly and simply. Only 4 pattern pieces are required ( a front piece, a back piece, a sleeve and a neckline binding). Simple.

After stitching the front and back pieces together the sleeves are inserted in the regular way using gathering stitches to ease them in place. This went very smoothly and I was left with lovely neat sleeves.

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Binding the neckline came next. Once again good clear instructions were on hand to take you through this procedure with no problems. My neckline sits flat and was perfectly straighforward to attach.

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The final stage of this project is hemming the sleeves and around the bottom edge. A simple double fold hem is required and in no time at all you have a great little top. The back of the top sits slight lower than the front which I think is so feminine and flattering.

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I cannot wait to make more of these this year, probably using a cotton fabric next time to give it a completely different look. I would highly recommend the pattern as a must for your pattern collection.

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I love the effect that the crepe fabric has on this pattern. It turns a very basic shape into something very special. I can see this top worn with jeans, chinos, linen trousers or skirts. Easy to dress up or down.

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I hope this review has inspired you to take a look at your sewing basics. Whilst it is easy to get carried away with new releases and on-trend designs, these simple shapes are always ones we come back to time and time again.

I am also happy to say that this is make number three on my #2017makenine list!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

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My Colette Patterns Moneta #monetaparty dress

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I was so excited in January when I first read about the #monetaparty challenge. I had owned this pattern for a while and it was certainly very high up on my ‘things to make’ list, but this gave me the nudge that I needed to start planning a very special dress. The party is hosted by Colette Patterns with the fabulous trio of talented sewing bloggers who are Elle from Sew Positivity , Rachel from Rach against the Sewing Machine and Abigail from Sew Abigail I know the girls have been working on this for months and must have put in so much hard work for this to be the success that it is.

Initially I wanted to make the dress using some fabric already in my stash to get an idea of its construction before I started on my competition entry. I knew it was going to be a lovely dress to make as I had read so many positive reviews on it and I wasn’t disappointed. I made this trial dress up using some scuba fabric that I already owned – I wrote a blog on this Moneta dress here .  Although the scuba  was slightly heavier than a regular jersey ( and this meant I had to shorten the length of the finished dress by quite a bit), I was thrilled with the result and it will definitely be a dress I will wear all the time!

Back to the #monetaparty dress. I cannot tell you how long I have spent on the internet researching the perfect jersey for this dress. Literally hours… It had to be right. Eventually I found the PERFECT party jersey. It is an adorable nude jersey with a black lace design. Oh my goodness I could have cried. There’s more.. the black lace design is flocked with glitter. Yes flocking and glitter. I need to sit down.

 

It was really hard to show you the glittery gorgeousness of the fabric in the still photos so hopefully this video will give you a better idea!

Fabric pre-washed and glitter still intact thankfully, I set about making up the dress. Although I had made it before I was nervous to cut into such a pretty fabric, you sewists will know exactly what I mean. No need to have worried of course, it came together beautifully. This pattern is perfect for a beginner, lots of help, advice and information online. It sews up quickly – especially if you have an overlocker, but this is not essential, you can use your regular sewing machine with no problems if you prefer. I love gathering the waist using the elasticated shirring technique and will use this method for sure in the future for gathers. It also has pockets. Say no more.

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Shirring the waist with elastic ensures neat and even gathers every time!
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Love the low back neckline. The neckline edge is simply turned over and stitched using a twin needle, simple – no need for facing or bias on this design.

 

The  pattern was true to size, and needed no alterations at all.

I am a massive jersey fan now, so easy to work with – no fraying has got to be a winner. It’s so comfortable to wear and doesn’t need ironing. Happy days.

 

As I publish this post the entries for the #monetaparty are still being added and I am thoroughly enjoying seeing so many versions of such a pretty dress. The sewing community is such a talented and friendly group to be part of and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful challenge. I must confess to being a little bit in love with this pattern, hope you don’t mind it taking over my blog this month!

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Thanks also to Mr Sew Dainty, dragged out during #stormdoris to take pictures, and then on at least two other occasions until I was happy with the photos. Oh dear.

Do let me know your thoughts on the Moneta dress. Are you taking part in the party? Good luck!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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Oven Glove and Pot Holder Tutorial

 

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At the end of last year I noticed that @ute_ig and @sanaeishida on Instagram were hosting their 4th #2017sve – a wonderful secret Valentine exchange opportunity where you submit your details over to them and they secretly let you have the details of someone to make a handmade item for. I have never taken part in this before but as soon as I saw it I was all over it!

When you receive details of your Valentine swap, it is up to you to try to do a bit of detective work to tailor your gift to their taste. I noticed that my partner enjoyed recipe writing, so decided to make her something that she could use in the kitchen.

The oven glove and pot holders were fairly simple to make, and I was pleased with the outcome. My partner had divulged that she liked blues and grey and simple geometric shapes so although the idea of this swap is that you use fabric and items that you already own, I popped to the local fabric shop as I didn’t really have any fabric at home which met her criteria. I chose 3 coordinating pieces of Gutermann fabric from their ‘ring a roses’ range. I pre-washed these fabrics before sewing as I didn’t want any shrinkage after they were made. You will also need some heat resistant wadding for this project rather than regular wadding.

Before I started, I used one of the fabrics to make my own hand made bias binding. I have written a tutorial on how I did this here

The measurements for this project came from me simply measuring my existing oven glove and pot holders. You can of course adjust the sizes as you wish, but I was happy with the size that I was already using.

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To make the Oven Gloves you will need:

 

  • 2 rectangles of pretty fabric measuring 75cm x 20cm
  • 1 rectangle of heat resistant wadding measuring 75cm x 20cm. I used a brand called Insul-bright
  • 4 squares of contrasting pretty fabric each measuring 20cm x 20cm
  • 2 squares of heat resistant wadding measuring 20cm x 20cm.
  • bias binding – approx 3 metres
  • rotary cutter and mat or fabric scissors
  • small plate or something similar
  • Clover Wonder Clips or pins
  • sewing machine and matching thread
  • a walking foot for your machine is useful due to the thickness of this project

I started with the rectangles first. You will need to ’round off’ the corner points of each of your rectangular fabric pieces and your rectangular wadding piece. To do this simply place a small plate or saucer on each corner and mark the curve and cut to shape! Place one of the rectangular fabric pieces right side down on the table, then place the rectangular wadding on top of that. Finally place the other rectangular fabric piece of the top, right side up. Clip in place using your Clover clips or regular pins.

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You will need to machine quilt these layers together. I wanted to keep this simple and just wanted a nice grid of criss cross diamond shapes (there is probably a word for this design in the quilting world that I don’t know about)! So I marked one 45 degree line in the centre of the rectangle in one direction and one 45 degree line in the centre of the rectangle in the other direction. I simply sewed these lines in place on my sewing machine using my walking foot. I then used the L shaped bar attachment that comes with the walking foot as a guide to make sure all my other lines of stitching were equally spaced and parallel. I also think it is a good idea to start in the centre of your project and work outwards.

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This was probably the most time consuming part of the whole project, but very rewarding when you are finished and left with beautiful neat rows of stitching.

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Next we need to repeat what we have just done with our square pieces of fabric. These will ultimately be the ‘gloves’ of the oven glove. Layer up the squares in the same  way as you did for the rectangles. You will have 2 separate squares to quilt this time. Clip or pin them together and use the same plate or saucer to trim 2 of the corners from each square this time – do not round off all 4 corners on these pieces! – just 2 on each square.

Take your square pieces and take them to the sewing machine. Machine quilt in the same way as you did for your rectangular piece.

Next we want to add bias binding to your square pieces along each of the straight edges – i.e the edge between the corner points that you didn’t round off. See pic below for reference. This will be the opening edge of the ‘glove’ of the oven glove that your hand slips through each time you put on your glove.

Open out your bias binding and place the edge of the bias against the edge of the glove piece, right sides together. Pin or clip in place and sew along the crease of the binding.

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Fold the bias binding right over to the other side – you may need to trim your seam allowance a little, and clip/pin in place making sure that the edge of the bias binding covers the line of stitching that you have just sewn.

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Take them back to the machine and ‘stitch in the ditch’ along the seam you have just sewn. You will be left with a neat line of stitches on the back of the binding. Pictured below you can see the front and back of the bias after stitching. Trim the ends of the bias binding neatly in line with the edge of the glove.

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Nearly done now! Place one ‘glove’ piece at each end of the long rectangular piece and pin/clip in place. To make extra sure these stay in place and do not slip it is a good idea to stitch them in place around the edge using a teeny tiny seam allowance.

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Finally we need to run the bias binding all around the long edge to ‘seal in’ the remaining raw edges and give it a really lovely professional finish. Attach the bias binding to the edge in exactly the same way as you did before and sew in the crease of the binding all the way around the long edge. Start/finish your stitching on a straight edge rather than at a corner. Don’t worry about the corners, the binding will easily stretch around these curves. Fold it over as you did before and ‘stitch in the ditch’ to secure and you are done! Easy!

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To make 2 pot holders you will need:

  • 4 squares of pretty fabric each measuring 20cm x 20cm
  • 2 squares of heat-resistant wadding  each measuring 20cm x 20cm. I used a brand called Insul-bright
  • Bias binding – approx 2.5 metres
  • Rotary cutter and mat or fabric scissors
  • Small plate, saucer or something similar
  • Clover Wonder Clips or pins
  • Sewing machine and matching thread
  • A walking foot is useful for your machine due to the thickness of the layers of this project

As mentioned in the oven glove tutorial it is important to pre-wash your fabrics. Also if you are making your own bias binding you may like to do this first. I have a tutorial showing how to make your own continuous bias binding here

Firstly you will need to layer up your 2 pot holders. Each piece should have 1 square of pretty fabric at the bottom with the right side facing down, then on top of that goes the heat resistant wadding, finally on the top the other piece of pretty fabric with the right side facing upwards.

Again just as for the main piece of the oven glove you will need to clip or pin these and round off all four corners using your saucer/plate as a guide. Do this with both pot holders.

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Again we will machine quilt this by marking one 45 degree angle in one direction and another 45 degree angle in the opposite direction. Sew along these lines using the walking foot on your machine if you have one and use the L shaped bar attachment that comes with the foot to make sure all further rows are perfectly parallel. It is easier to start in the middle of the squares and work outwards.

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After this you are nearly there! If you want to you can stitch around the entire edge of the squares to keep your edges stable. If you choose to do this use the smallest teeny tiny seam allowance as you don’t want your stitches to show after you have edged with the bias tape.

To edge your pot holders with bias binding tape, simply open up the bias tape and place the edge of the tape against the edge of the pot holder with the right sides facing. Pin or clip in place, and simply stitch all the way around keeping in the crease of the bias tape. It is easy to start/finish along a straight edge. Don’t worry about the curved edges, the bias stretch of the tape will easily accommodate these curves.

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When you are done, simply fold the bias tape all the way over to the other side – you may want to trim your seam allowances to enable it to lay flat, and pin/clip the bias tape on the other side making sure it covers the row of stitching that you have just sewn.

‘Stitch in the ditch’ all the way around, and there you have it! Couldn’t be easier!

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It’s fun to  use different fabrics for each side!
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Ta Dah! 

I thoroughly enjoyed making these items for my #2017sve recipient. I do hope that this may have inspired you to have a go too. They are a fairly simple rewarding make and a great gift idea for all sorts of occasions as well as a treat to yourself.

I think you may like to see the beautiful gift that I received as part of this exchange. This pretty bag which has a super practical waterproof lining was made for me by Ann at http://www.sewwatts.wordpress.com and I love it! Isn’t the floral fabric the cutest? Thank you Ann, you have me down to a tee!

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Let me know how you get on, and if you are going to make these!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x