First off are the lovely patterns that I was given this year - so exciting to be able to use these for many years to come!
Saturday, 2 May 2015
First off are the lovely patterns that I was given this year - so exciting to be able to use these for many years to come!
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
The pattern seemed pretty straight forward so off I went - 2 simple rectangles, a bit of shaping and I find myself already at the sewing machine.
Monday, 13 April 2015
I decided to use the same striped fabric that I had used for my cushions earlier in the month - basically because I just loved it so much! The whole bag is quilted including the straps which made it a lot more time consuming than I had originally anticipated. But I got my walking foot set up on the machine and after a bit of you tubing to understand how a walking foot actually works I set off on the quilting.
I am super impressed with how much easier it is to do quilting with the correct set up on the machine. I was sewing fabric, wadding and another layer of fabric and it was pleasingly obedient. After a good block of time quilting I was able to start on the construction. I over locked everything using the stitches on the machine rather than my over locker (just to try them out :) ) and then was able to use straight stitches to join the pieces together. The actual construction of the bag was pretty straight forward. Lots of straight lines and the instructions I had borrowed as well as being able to see what someone else had made led to a pretty straight forward sewing job.
And here it is - stripey and proud. I love the way the handles go right underneath the bag making it super secure.
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
This year was no different so I was presented with this fantastic polka dot fabric! I love it!
This dress started off as a duvet cover and with some snipping, pinning and tweaking turned into a dress that I will absolutely be wearing! What do you think?
A bit of a dark picture there but an idea of the shape of the dress. I'm really happy with the way the sleeves worked so well even on a mannequin - I have to admit to being a bit afraid of sleeves so going off pattern was a bit nervy but they seem to have worked well!
It is so comfy and I love the neutral colours that can be dressed up with a fun, bright necklace or bracelet.
Monday, 9 June 2014
I am a little bit un-imaginative right now when I sit down to sew - opting instead to fix up a few ripped seams and things instead of creating new things. That means that when I sit down to blog I'm not too sure what to share with you all!
All of this lack of creative flow has got me thinking how I find my inspiration and how do I get it back when it is gone?
I realized that although the internet is awash with ideas from pinterest to blogs to simply good old google that doesn't really create inspiration. Sitting down to make something because you have seen a picture of it doesn't always mean you are truly inspired. It doesn't mean you are feeling it and it certainly doesn't mean you are enjoying the process. My go to when I feel a bit flat in front of the sewing machine is usually a good old trawl of pinterest but it doesn't always help me feel that inspired!
I have realized that I am most inspired when I am spending time with people - chatting and dreaming with someone else about life, craft, ideas, sadness, thoughts, hopes and dreams (anything really) inspires me more than anything else! I love people - I love people watching - I love talking to people - I love sewing with people and for people - I am a people person. I love to talk and I love to listen!
My other top inspiration source is being in nature - wandering by the waters edge on a sunny day, pressing on through fields in the wind and exploring glorious scenery in the snow. What better inspiration could you possibly find than nature itself!
So I plan to find ways to sew with people more often - to sit and stitch and chat - one on one or in a group I don't mind really but I definitely want to move from sewing just being a time out and to a more social activity. Plus I reckon I may even try to plan some nature out-doorsy type sewing activity/event! So if you live nearby and fancy getting in on something like this why not give me a shout!
Here is a quick photo of the heart the amazing Red Arrows crafted in the sky during the D-DAY events last week! Moments like these are filled with inspiration don't you think?
Also do share your inspiration seeking plans! What do you do???
Thursday, 2 January 2014
Sunday, 24 November 2013
I planted some successful and some unsuccessful veg in the garden - spinach and butternuts failed but had crops of runner beans right up until last week.
The running went great - I did the race for life and then staggered through the great south run. Since then I have to confess I have not stepped outside for a run but I have joined a gym and have been going along and enjoying exercising in the less freezing temperatures - combined with a warm pool and working hairdryers makes me very happy. I do like to be warm!
The crafting has been wonderful - I have been stitching with quite some dedication and managed to gather a whole table full of stock to take along to the craft fair yesterday.
Financially the craft fair was not a success for me to be honest - I sold a few pieces but not lots so returned home with nearly all my bits and pieces. So what has been good?
- Since sharing more of what I sew I have been in contact with a variety of crafty types and upcyclers from all over the world via various social media sites. I've learnt from them, marveled at their achievements, shared some of their struggles and loved looking at all their gorgeous crafts.
- I've made sewing a part of my life in a way that it wasn't before which means I make more things for more friends because they see me sewing things and I love doing this!
- I met fantastic people at the craft fair
- Doing the craft fair has given me time to think about and realize what my USP is - upcycling - and to consider how to make this appealing to others.
- The time I spend in front of my sewing machine is simply wonderful - I sit and think, I sing along to songs, I listen to stories and generally just take time out for me to process and deal with various things going on in my head.
I think in summary it has been wonderful to move through my life in the last few months with a bit more purpose than simply ticking days off of a calendar. By setting goals and working towards them I have used my time more wisely and done more than I had in the previous months. By sharing my goals I feel somehow driven to achieve them by my own desire to do well. By sharing my moments that aren't quite as successful as I would like them to be I feel I am able to hold my head higher - not keep secrets and pretend that everything went exactly as planned but instead embrace the reality of where things are at and get excited about moving forwards with input from others. These things are all on a very small level - after all the goals I set were really just about spare time - but for me the lessons I have learnt have been so very applicable to every part of my life.
So where next? I definitely plan to set myself more goals in the future - I think I will begin with some new years resolutions in January (more on that in a future blog). I definitely plan to keep crafting, exercising and I have to say I have fallen in love with blogging. It is evolving slowly into a type of crafty journal with anything I experience thrown in - but anyone who knows me will verify it never was going to be a hugely focused blog on one single topic as that just isn't how I operate!
So watch this space for a few bits in my etsy shop and some new adventures coming up! Thanks for coming along on my journey - its ace having you on board!
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Sunday, 13 October 2013
What a rainy weekend it has turned out to be! I have spent much of my time at work so am hoping it will rain itself out as I head towards some much needed time off! Though I would take some time this morning to blog my tutorial on pleats.
I love pleats - they are cute and look gorgeous when done right. I love the shape they add to clothes and as you saw in my last post I've started to use them in bags as well. They can be adapted to any style you like and any shape or size so for me it is a must in your stash of sewing skills.
So what will you need - your fabric of choice, dress pins, a tape measure, tailors chalk, iron and a needle/sewing machine and thread.
1. You need to measure the length of your fabric and decide how big your pleats will be. I chose 2cm pleats to be every 4cms. This means that in total I will need 10cm per pleat because the fold uses 3x2cm of fabric. To work this out for your pleats take the size you chose for your pleat, times it by 3 and then add this figure to the gap you want between pleats. I marked this out along the top of the fabric using pen so you can see it but you will want to use tailors chalk that won't mark or run ink over your fabric.
Saturday, 14 September 2013
Oxfam Fashion and Back of the Wardrobe collaborated today to recreate the styles that were being sent out on the runways. All their styles were made from pieces in the charity shop! It is inspiring and shows that it can be done - we don't have to spend huge amounts of money or accept un-ethical shops to wear clothes of a certain style or trend. Here is a link to a picture of one of the styles they re-created but check out the full story on twitter.
I love clothes but I hate so much of what clothes represent in our society - exploitation of others, disposable society and pressure to conform. That is just one of the reasons I love charity shop shopping so much. But I'm also creative and I love to change things to fit who I am. So back to it I went today.
A lovely chat over tea and cake with a friend, a speedy peddle home on my trusty bike just beating the rain and I headed up to my attic - let the fun begin!
This was my starting piece - something I got well over a year ago and intended to re-create it for a friend. It has sat buried in my sewing pile for ages - finally it was time to get stitching and give it some life again!
Thursday, 5 September 2013
I love sitting down and sewing! I think anyone who knows me or read this blog once or twice would realize that pretty quickly! Fabric - colour - prints - new projects - ideas - finished projects - I love it all! I started doing the blog because it was mentioned by a number of people and I thought it might be fun - what I didn't realize was quite how much I would enjoy it.
I try to write once or twice a week and other than a little blip seem to be having reasonable success in this area. I actually look forward to putting everything to one side and sitting down to write. I was concerned at first that blogging would become another thing on a never ending to-do list, just a chore to tick off but it has turned into the opposite.
How rarely do I stop and take time to reflect on what I am doing? How little time do I spend considering my next step? I fly quickly from thing to thing and suddenly I am making time to sit and think - to write about what I'm thinking or what I've made this week. I'm finding that time out energises me and gives me space to enjoy the things that are going on around me.
I've also been amazed at the sudden connection with other like minded people spread out over the web. Sharing their skills, questions and advice with one another. Celebrating the skill and talent that each one brings. It's been brilliant! Social networking - when used to celebrate one another - is really good fun!
So what am I saying? I guess I'm just writing today to express my realisation that I'm loving blogging. So thank you to all of you who read, comment, like and share the things I've been putting up! It really does put a smile on my face and I love hearing from you all!
This weekend I'm planning to take some time to craft with the new fabric I got yesterday and as the weather's meant to turn I'm imagining being tucked up in my attic with the rain beating down on the windows. Whatever I make though I'll be sure to blog about it!
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
I love someone complimenting a skirt I have made and being able to say 'this? thanks - I made it from a pillow case, duvet, shirt, scrap etc etc'
This week I did some alterations for a friend and took up the hem of her dress. This left me with a strip of fabric too thin for much to be honest so I decided to turn the leftovers into a hair band. Simple but something I wear often on those days when an outfit needs that extra touch or when my hair just decides to be disastrous and covering up is the safer option!
So how did I do it? Simple, quick and easy as can be.
You will need;
- a long scrap of fabric - mine was about 5cm wide but you can make yours much wider to create a thicker band.
1. Cut your fabric to the length and width you require. The final band width will be half of the fabric minus about 1.5cm seam allowance on both sides of the fabric. It is important that you try to keep this as straight as possible so if you can use a ruler or measure to get straight lines.
You can see that mine still had the hem of the dress on it which I made sure didn't show in the final product by sewing to the left of the stitching.
3. Pin together and sew a straight line from one side to the other ensuring your seam allowance remains the same from start to finish
4. Now take your safety pin and attach it to one side of the tube you have created. Push the saftey pin into the tube and gently ease it through teasing the fabric out as you go. Once the safety pin is through the other end of the tube the fabric should pull through easily so you can now see the right side of the fabric in a tube.
5. Fold the raw edges into the tube at each end of the hair band. This can be done to create a straight edge or you can create a slant so that the band naturally slants towards a point at each edge.
6. Now stitch each end and trim all loose threads. Press the band and pair it with an outfit of your choice!
And there you have it the finished product! Nothing needs to be wasted especially not fabric! The whole project should take no longer than half an hour if you are stitching with a machine and it creates a great accessory out of something that otherwise might have gone in the bin! It makes a cute gift too!
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
This blog post just proves that these days you can find anything you want on the internet. I had been wanting to make some cute stuffed animals but due to my terrible drawing skills I needed a template. A quick flick through Google images and I found one!
This wonderful blogger has also shared a ready written how to guide so I'm not going to repeat her good work but just share it for you all to follow. So please check it out!
I plan to add some little eyes to the bunny with some buttons on some and on others a little cross made out of embroidery thread.
As always I have made these bunnies from fabric that has been sourced from charity shops, ebay and other up-cycling projects. I've been amazed at the luck I have had recently in finding beautiful fabrics that are in amazing condition being sold off for pennies.
Here is a selection of my recent finds - any suggestions of what you think I should do with them???
Hope your all enjoying your week - will post again soon :)