Saturday, 30 November 2013

Christmas is Coming!!

At this time of year I have a mad scramble to make sure all handmade gifts are finished on time. Now after so many years of making gifts, you would think I would be better prepared. Well, no is the short answer lol. Each January my New Years resolution is to be more prepared, start making gifts in the spring for the following Christmas, give myself more time, no rushing, no frantic sewing, a nice easy gift making nine months of relaxed creativity. Then once again I find myself at the beginning of December with loads of gifts still to make. But in my defence, the list of people who prefer a hand made gift to a store bought factory mass production is increasing each year. A hand made gift is lovingly created for the person its intended for. That's not to say a store bought gift isn't bought with much consideration and after all, I cannot sew a Playstation, Xbox or any other technical gift that my teenage son lusts after.  But I can make him a throw for his  bedroom, a school bag, a pencil case, a hoodie, a gym bag - in rock star style design with his favourite band or computer game emblazoned across it (think Minecraft). This keeps us both happy!

Of course in between all this frantic sewing, including the mad dash for supplies, I soooo enjoy reading other peoples blogs. I love to see their creations, digest their tutorials (there is always a different/better/faster way of doing something) and share a little of another's creativity.

So if you would like to share in my little gift making frenzy, keep a watch out for "The 12 Handmade Days of Christmas" coming soon.  Until then perhaps you may like to browse around one of my favourite sites, Sew Mama Sew, which has links for tutorials for handmade gifts, enough for everyday of November! Follow the link for Handmade Holidays here

Keep checking back for my gift giving post.

Please feel free to leave a comment and a photo of your handmade gifts.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Ottobre Design Blazer Pattern Review

I love Ottobre Design magazine,

 I love the continental designs for children and babies, follow the link here -  the page displays in Finnish but has a list at the side to choose your own language. They also have a blog page with links to their Etsy shop and previews of forthcoming issues, click here.

 I love everything about it apart from tracing the patterns from the pattern sheet. Its so hard to follow the right lines even though they are colour coded. Or is that just me?

See what I mean?

It sort of looks like a crazy London Underground Tube Station Map. Having said that, with a bit of time and carefully peeking under the tracing paper you can succeed.

The latest pattern that I've completed is the blazer sewn in a soft Knit/Jersey and although I have never made a jacket with a collar before I didn't find it too difficult to complete. I did struggle with the collar slightly because of the stretch of the fabric. Following the guidelines I only applied interface to the under collar and not to the back of the jacket which resulted in a bit of a jiggle getting the collar placed correctly.

If I make another one (and I'm sure I will) I think I would make a semi circle interface to sandwich the collar inside and see how that works out.  Also I would love to sew it up in a funky patterned fabric similar to the fabric used by the magazine.

Still I'm pleased with the finished result

And so is my little model Eva (she didn't choose the best place to stand) on her way out to a party.

A quick goodbye to Eddie L Izzard, the family pet Leopard Gecko and off she popped. I'm so lucky that I get to see my granddaughter every weekend, she really does light up my life.

Feel free to share your comments and photo's of Ottobre patterns that you have sewn and who you sew for, is it your children, grandchildren, or family & friends?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Kennedy Bag entry for Sew Mama Sew Competition

So this week I decided to download the Kennedy free bag pattern by Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness as my sister had asked me to sew her just this kind of bag. She wanted a large shoulder bag with a flap over the front that she could use for work. Well it just so happens that over at Sew Mama Sew they are running a competition (ends December 13th 2013) to sew any bag using a pattern from Sara's new book, Big-City Bags, or the free pattern available on her website. Bonus! I get to make my sister the bag she wants, take a few photo's of it for the competition and all from a free pattern.

And here is the finished item

I didn't add the internal divider pocket but did include the large zipped internal pocket. It has a magnetic snap fastener under the flap, the buckle straps make a nice decorative finish. The fabrics are cotton poplin from the local market with heavy weight fusible interface attached. A nice sized bag for work, college or school that is fashionable as well as useful. The pattern printed onto A4 size paper and the written instructions had full colour photo's to follow, couldn't be easier.

Really enjoyed making this bag, a nice change from sewing children's clothes. Definitely think I will be making more of these!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Mishaps & Mayhem

Wow, what a week! I seem to have done lots of sewing without actually making one complete outfit or anything of any use.  On Monday I started nice and early (still in my nightie) creating a pattern for a friends daughter who happens to be very long legged and slim. By mid morning the Sophie Leggings pattern had been fully drawn up and I was now dressed with a big cup of coffee and a slice of toast.

pattern drafting

Fabric had already been chosen for the leggings (some really cool snakeskin print jersey, above) so a pair was quickly sewn up, I love sewing leggings. Being as I still had some time before school turned out I ran a couple of pairs of leggings up for my little Eva diva (granddaughter).

So where's the mishap and mayhem I hear you ask? Well, Tuesday I managed to cut a t shirt out with fold on the wrong side of the pattern so the arm hole is in the centre!

The Kennedy Bag by Sara of Sew Sweetness needed buckles so I thought a bit of recycling was in order and stripped a store bought bag apart for the hardware only to find the buckles were too small for the straps!

Kennedy Bag

Wednesday I had my fabric the wrong way round so there was little to no stretch for the leggings being cut out that were to go with the t shirt from Tuesday. They looked fabby but unfortunately would probably only fit a doll that didn't mind being mummified in a pair of denim leggings. Saying that I think even a doll would complain!

Thursday I made a super fabby ironing board cover with some retro fabric I have had sitting around for over a year (I loved it so much I couldn't bear to cut into it). It matched my kitchen exactly, it was retro, it fit the ironing board beautifully AND it wasn't heat proof whatsoever and the iron stuck to it! Doh!
handmade cover

Friday I thought that not much more could go wrong on the sewing front and then managed to break my twin needles within the first 30 seconds! I had splashed out on some twin needles (£4.25 for one set) to top stitch a blazer I was making and totally forgot it was still set to a wide zig zag which resulted in one of the needles catching the foot and snapping off.

So to recap, apart from the Sophie leggings - which she was highly delighted with and they fit like a glove - I had an ironing board cover that I couldn't use, a raglan t shirt and leggings outfit with leggings that didn't fit and an unfinished blazer to go with an unfinished outfit!

 Eva diva was still pleased with the t shirt - what a patient little girl.

Still, a big cup of coffee and an even bigger bar of chocolate while watching TV and all sewing tantrums are put aside - at least until next week!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Free Pattern & Tutorial

Go to the pattern tab to download the pattern, follow sew along on tutorial tab. Stand back and admire work.

Please note this free pattern is for personal use only, the pattern is not to be sold by any purpose. Please feel free to sell any finished leggings made from this pattern.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

New Leggings Pattern

This morning I have had the pleasure of my beautiful granddaughter, Eva,  modelling the leggings sewn from the pattern I created last week. I was pleased as punch to find that they fit perfectly.  This is the first pattern I have drafted myself and shall be sharing with you shortly. These leggings are for age four and standard "pot belly" child shape fitting. To fit different shapes just adjust the waist band bigger or smaller as they are jersey fabric they stretch anyway.

Eva giving it her best "diva" pose!

I teamed these with the Bimaa Sweater sewn from a pdf pattern downloaded from loubee clothing, find link below.

free leggings pattern

The only difference I made to the pattern was adding a pocket to the front as little miss loves her pockets!  

More diva poses below!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Perfect Fabric

Have you ever found the perfect fabric but didn't have a use for it at that exact moment? Yeah, me too. You stash it away until that future time when a eureka flash of inspiration invades your sense and you know exactly what you will make with said fabric.

Well that happened to me a few days ago, I knew the lilac wool blend fabric that I had stashed away would be perfect for a little skirt with left over fabric for applique on a long sleeved plain shirt. Hmm, bit cold though, so into town I went to buy wool to knit the perfect cardigan to go with the perfect outfit, I was fair jumping with creativeness.

Until . . . I went hunting through my fabric stash, you know the ones in storage boxes stashed under your bed? The ones that store winter fabric through summer and vice versa? Well, apparently I must have dreamt the whole thing! The fabric does not exist in my stash, in my house, online, in shops, in fact not anywhere in the whole universe. I am well and truly gobsmacked!

So, wow - not the perfect fabric but the perfect dream! Am I the only person that dreams up outfits for my gd in fabric that is stashed, not in a box, but in my imagination? Oh well, back to the drawing board!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Hello World

After spending countless afternoons reading others blogs I thought I would join the online trend for sharing creative know how. Now that may sound like I know what I’m doing, but as far as blog land is concerned, I can assure you that I don’t!  But I’m gonna give it a try anyhow.
This blog, like many crafters blogs, will display works in progress, pattern savvyness (is that how you spell it?) links to wonderful sewists elsewhere in blogland, tutorials and hopefully freebies of patterns I have created, as long as I can convert them to PDF form. I shall do my very best to keep you entertained x
This is the first dress I made for my granddaughter, needless to say, it wasn't the last!
She is now a very grown up 4 year old fashionista, diving into fabric piles and choosing her next outfit.
I shall revel in this participation until the time comes when a stubborn pout of the lips and a shake of the head means its store bought clothes only. I dread the day!