Sewing for self.

Before I disappeared for 10 days holiday I got into some selfish sewing. I sewed up a blouse from some very easy to use 100% quilters cotton which printed in Japan. I was very pleased with it as it was firm and so very easy to use. I had spotted it at one of Doughtys road shows recently. See the link below.

https://www.doughtysonline.co.uk/

Why should patch workers and quilters have all the fun stuff I say? I have been noticing more and more in my part of the world, England, that the fabric shops that there are, cater usually for patch workers and quilters rather than dressmakers. I do both types of sewing so that I don’t get stuck in a rut and I have always got something on the go. I do use the internet as a resource, but you cannot beat an actual feel and rummage in a “proper” shop environment don’t you agree?

Now rant over I will show you this blouse! I used McCall’s 6035 from 2010 I have just seen! I do not know if it is still in print, you may have to research if you fancy having a shot at it. There are easy fitting princess seams and sleeves with a small dart at the elbow. There are 4 different views, I chose the 3/4 sleeve version gathered into a cuff.

Envelope M6035

I do hope you find a copy if you feel inspired, I often reuse my patterns over and over and do not realise how old they are! Especially if there are several different versions like this one. At the time of writing there were some available on Amazon and Etsy. Good luck.

Heidi Hen

Hoping you all had a Happy Holiday, and here’s to a fab New Year. I have started my creative year by sewing a hen. Perhaps not the first thing to spring to mind when you are unable to get into the sewing mood or room because of all the festivities and bodies around?

But I was given this pattern from “Quilters Trading Post” web site and couldn’t resist!

I am thinking whether to make some more of various sizes with perhaps a nest or hen house with chicks, maybe in time for Easter .

Heidi Hen  a Quilters Trading Post pattern

 

McCall’s 7357

It has been an age since I have last been able to get down to some proper dressmaking, my first true craft love.  Below is the post I did for Pattern Review,

click here    McCall’s 7357

if you would like to see more!

 

 

 

Pattern Description: Loose fitting pullover tops have neckband, self lined yokes, applied tab, side front and side back seams, three piece sleeves shaped hemline and narrow hem

Pattern Sizing: 6-22  I cut size 12 UK

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes I made view C

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but there was a lot of hand sewing and the neck band was awkward.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The seaming gives the top a nice flowing shape and the sleeves hang well. I also like the lined yoke, it makes the top neat and tidy inside.

Fabric Used: A slippery synthetic I bought a few years ago now, and I cannot remember what it was. But it freyed quite badly so overlocking before I fiddled with the neckline was a must.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn’t alter the pattern, except to reduce the front opening by 3 inches. I did not see the point in a bigger neck opening, and I didn’t embellish the front as suggested. Neither did I sew the neck band as directed. As my fabric was so temperamental I fused the interfacing onto the fabric before I cut it out, thus I was able to stop it stretching out of shape
I interfaced both the band and the band lining to keep the whole thing stable, on my second attempt. I used a very sheer fusible interfacing, but it was enough to make the fabric easy to cut so it lay along the neck edge cleanly. I over locked the edge of the neck band lining to keep down the bulk, and stitched in the ditch on the machine. I hate hand stitching, though I did hand stitch the sleeve finishes.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I will keep the pattern and sew another in the future, probably in a pretty thin cotton. I recommend it too, but plan your sewing before you start.

Conclusion: A pattern that you can adapt, dress up or down.

Thrifty Work

Its April and I have continued my pledge of not buying sewing fabric of any type, craft dressmaking or upholstery, that’s such a lot NOT to look at or buy!  Yes its been hard, but you don’t achieve great things without a bit of effort.  Restraint for me, is always an effort, so I have stayed away from markets shops and most difficult of all, the internet.

By writing about it here it becomes a therapy, commit it to the ether and you cannot erase the promise even to yourself.

Here are a couple of shots of my recent makes, resourced from my drawers and cupboards.

charity quilt1IMG_1916IMG_1920 Continue reading

Give The Dog a Bone

Today has been a bit of a gift for me, I had unexpected time to mess about, as you are supposed to when you have “retired”.

It has snowed, and this wonderful country of mine, though I wouldn’t live anywhere else, cannot cope with snow. The place closes down and people hibernate! I holed up in the kitchen with my powerful Sailrite sewing machine, making dog bone toys from recycled denim leftovers! This is continuing my effort to not buy any fabric this year and I have made a slight dent in the denim pile in the corner of my sewing room.

I am also halfway through making a patchwork denim toiletries bag, I am winging it a bit as I never think shop bought ones are exactly what you want. Will post a picture when finished,during the next snow storm?DSC_0158

I wont forget you!

I have been very remiss this year.  Not much sewing or writing has got done, and on a wet and dreary Monday afternoon I felt very pleased with myself .  I actually got something made, not much but at least it is something!

I have also set myself the task and challenge of not buying any more fabric this year (2018) just in case I try and cheat!  There is so much already waiting for the scissors, you know the feeling!

My first creation at zero cost, this year, is my little Elephant card!  Now this has used up a real huge amount of fabric, but I needed a card for tomorrow. and as they say ” every little helps”.

Now I wonder how many cards it will take to make even a dent in that fabric stash?

 

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I am no sailor!

Now I am no sailor, considering I live on a small island and am always going away, there is no chance of me getting on a”boat”.  Real sailors say ” its not a boat but a liner or a ship or a cruiser”.  Whatever it is I am not venturing forth, unless I spend all the while with my head in a bucket!

But my next statement may cause you to think I am insane.  I spent a week in Cyprus, with lots of time on my hands.  Was staring up at this sail style canopy which looked very elegant. And I scanned around our private pool at all the sun beds and chairs etc. Look at all that sewing I thought.  I could do that if only my machine could cope with all that canvas.  Now you know whats coming!  I did some research cos I have been wanting to make bags of various sorts, for a while now. I have no room for an industrial machine, but I found a compromise!

Some of you will have heard of “Sailrite”, not me!  What a revelation!  Spent the rest of the holiday pinning pics on Pinterest and convincing myself I really need this machine.

My brave husband said I should get it ” if I needed it” and so I have!

My Blue Bruiser! Sailrite sewing machine.

My blue bruiser is not delicate, she is able to stitch through denim layers like butter.  So far ( I have only had her 2 days) I have had no chance to start a project, but there are loads in my head.

Anyone else out there own this beautiful beast, would love to see your makes from it!

Happy sewing all

Lindy

Beagle Bag Version 1

 

Those of you who have a very good memory may remember I was attempting to create an indispensable doggie walking bag for my favourite furry friend Louis, above?

With a month long holiday and various other interruptions I was only able to finish it off last week.  I had made the interior before we went away in July, so it wasn’t too bad. But the requirements were quite exact, so it took a lot of head scratching.

I have ended up with something usable and practical, but I am thinking of making the second version with a flap across the top rather than a zip inside.

Would be very grateful for your thoughts!

 

It is made from waterproof jacket fabric with a rip stop lining and waterproof top zip.

Holiday Dilemmas

Hello to all you lovely fellow creative stitchers!  I am after your help, I am going on holiday for a whole month, and yes I know I am really, really lucky!

I need your help because if I don’t have anything to do during those quiet moments(?) I think I will go a bit stir crazy.  We are holidaying with family in Cyprus, and we know the place very well.  So sight seeing will not be top of the list in the height  of the Mediterranean summer .  Also there is only so much swimming and sunbathing/napping you can do!

I am already cramming a braid making wheel in my case, which is very light, and the makings for some hand quilting, Folded Star or Somerset QuiltIng.

Somerset Quilt

I have given you a link to a lovely example shown on Pinterest, don’t think my effort will be anything like that.  I should get out and about a bit and see if the Cypriot ladies enjoy patch work quilting or fabric crafts in general.  I know the ladies up in the Troodos Mountains make the most pretty laces. Lefkara used to be the centre of the hand made laces you see, but  I do not know if the tradition is still ongoing.  When we were in India, the people I chatted with were perplexed with the idea of cutting up perfectly good fabric to sew up again in a pattern to make a quilt.  My explanations when asked what I was buying for, were obviously different!

Any portable sewing ideas would be very welcome!

 

Sewing Machine Central

I have bitten the bullet and decided to have 2 + 1  machines  serviced!  Not one of them has seen the inside of the sewing machine shop since they were bought, and they are all still sewing, or sort of!  I let them go tomorrow and they are promised back in a week, what will I do till then? Use my others I suppose!

 

Singer Hand Machine

Singer Hand Machine

This little and heavy Singer was the machine I first learned  to sew on and it belonged to my mother.  It was made in Glasgow in 1941, and my mother said it went down the underground with her across London during the air raids!  I remember I was always having problems with the tension regulator, but myself and my sister produced many “creations” on it despite it only having  basic straight stitch or lock stitch.

My grand-daughter (8) now wants to try it so hence the Singers’ trip to the service dept.

Second up a bit more sophisticated

Elna Lotus SP

Elna Lotus SP

This machine does in fact belong to a friend of mine, and it in turn  belonged to her mother!   But she likes to take it to workshops as it is relatively smaller and lighter, and does what is required for patchwork and quilting, my friends greatest love.  This Elna has not been serviced either and buzzes along quite satisfactorily!

Last, this Bernina 2000DE overlock or serger.  I saved up for this in the 90’s and am still so happy using it.  It made the world of difference to my dressmaking, the finished garment looking so much neater  and professional looking.

Bernina 2000DE

Bernina 2000DE

I have oversewn so many miles on this and it tackles any fabric shoved at it.  But I think it may be getting noisier, so its off for a bit of TLC.

I don’t know if I am the only sewer who gets attached to their machine?  I guess it’s a bit like car ownership, you remember those happy journeys with your foot on the pedal and a full stash of fabric!

I wonder what is the oldest machine out there which is still sewing without ever having been looked after?