Sewing Projects · Uncategorized

I’ve been Me Made Maying

on instagram. Not here.

Ive worn everything I’ve made, most of them twice now. And it’s made me realise that I need to:

1) make more clothes

2) get better at fitting my clothes

so I’ve started making a new short sleeve topwith a FULL BUST ADJUSTMENT. This is PROPER FITTING STUFF, folks. Normally I just make things too big then shove in a dart or sew side seams narrower until it fits. But no more! I want my clothes to fit, not just be “not too big”.

anyway. Ill blog the top when it’s done. But I have no photos of my Me Made May journey so far because I delete them as soon a ive put them on instagram. You should be pleased not to see them though. You see, most people doing this thing either get someone else to take the photos, use a proper camera with a clicker thing or a proper sized mirror. I’ve just been taking photos in the grubby (since cleaned) mirror in the bedroom in the eighteen seconds I have spare in the morning. Lately, the photos have featured tired eyes, WTF eyebrows and a general air of “i will brush my hair when I’m good and ready”. Instagram can keep those photos, as far as I’m concerned.

aaaanyhoo. Must go. Toddler is awake and I’ve promised him chocolate buttons in return for not touching my sewing things. We both accept that I am the naive one in this arrangement…

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Yo, I’ve hit instagram like a cool thing

achingly hip, on the button of social media trending, I’ve finally succumbed to instagram. I know. Now I can not blog on more than one media platform! I’m in the vanguard of sewing and blogging and whatnot.

who am I on there? I am genuinely trying to figure that out…

no, clearly in an attempt to brand myself (but really, to keep it simple) you can find me @knittysewandsew   there.

Follow me! Comment! Watch as I become slightly obsessed with posting lots and lots of poor quality photos of fabric on my kitchen floor, and then watch as my short lived passion fizzles out and I lose interest. It’ll be fun while it lasts!

Clothing · Sewing Projects · Uncategorized

No pattern skirt for my girl

my girl chose this fabric a few weeks ago when we were out Starting School shopping. imageIt’s a gorgeous light pink background with a super cute print. It also bears absolutely no relation to her school uniform, but let’s not think about that. (My BABY has started school! How is she FIVE?! My BABY etc etc) I promised her a skirt out of the fabric which was a pre cut 1metre offering.

that was a month ago. A fortnight ago I cut it in half and decided I would make a gathered skirt for her. With a waistband (I like waistbands) and a zip. And today, I turned it into this:

imageI did this in an afternoon. I am SUPER proud.

How did I do this? I had no pattern. So I made E stand and looped the fabric round her once, and pinned the ends together. The fabric is about 44 inches wide, E is about 22 inches all around. I pinned fairly regularly all around some gathers. And made them bigger to make sure it was taken in enough not to fall off her.

I really puzzled over these gathers. I wanted the skirt to sort of flooff out and eventually decided just to sew around the top, trapping the gathers in the thread. It worked! Hoorah! I also pinned in the zip to make sure it was in the right place for the next step.

next step was the waistband. This was slightly longer than E’s waist measurement and had a nice depth to it so that I could double it over, encasing the top hem and stitching of the skirt. I sewed right sides together at first, then turned it over and trapped the top hem in. This was tricky, I had to stitch in the ditch (assuming I’ve got the right term and am not referencing something else…) as I didn’t want visible stitches. It wasn’t totally successful But it is fairly neat so, you know, win.

imageThen I sewed in the zip and back seam

imageAnd finished off with the hem. Now, this is a long skirt, and I wanted to give E the option of being able to wear it until she turns 26, so I just turned the bottom hem up twice rather than cut the excess off. Finished with a zig zag hem, it is done.

I only hope she will wear it…

Alterations · Clothing · Uncategorized

Alteration! (Or: I want to wear this tomorrow, but not as a dress)

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about five years ago, I bought this lovely dress. I’d had a baby (daughter E, now five) and wanted something light and summery I could wear that also let me breast feed. I’d decided that I was going to wear dresses, that summer of maternity leave, and possibly gladiator sandals, with my hair perfectly tousled and some understated yet on-trend sunglasses balanced on my head. This dress fit that picture. Real life, however, did not. I wore jeans and shorts and normal t shirts. So the dress stayed in the wardrobe and occasionally I would see it and paw the lovely fabric and pattern and then ignore it for a few more months years.

since then, I have actually worn the dress. With a belt because it was a bit baggy after I’d lost the baby weight. Then ignored it as I got pregnant, had the boy and again failed to wear it as by that point I realised that I loved the fabric and the top part of the dress, I didn’t like it as a dress. It was too baggy to wear without a belt, but when I wore it with a belt it became too short and the excess fabric bagged out, making me look GINORMOUS. So I ignored it again.

but this week, I pulled it out and thought “wouldn’t this make a gorgeous top?  I wish I had a top like this.” Then I basically slapped myself on my forehead, shouted “you IDIOT, it COULD be a top.”

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So I made it a top. I tried the dress on, and pinned it where I thought it would be a good length for a top. It turned out to be 9 inches, so I hacked it off. Then the lining, well 10 inches came off that because I don’t want to have the lining hanging out. Who would, right?

I pinned up the outside fabric by half an inch then sewed it up. Then looked at it and cried, because the tension was too high for such a light fabric and it had pulled atrociously. I ripped out the seam at approximately midnight on Thursday night. Sobs.

Half an hour ago, I repinned both the inner and outer fabrics by half an inch, turned the tension waaaaaay looooooow and, starting on the lining, I sewed nice and slowly and ended up with a lovely hem. Hooray. Then I did the same with the outer fabric, took it even slower and… No pulls. Brilliant.

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And done!

im going to wear it out tomorrow for lunch. And yes, I will tell everyone that I altered it myself. It’s my first ever alteration. I am proud. And very pleased that I now have an item of clothing that I will wear, rather than some gorgeous material I occasionally remembered about but never wore.

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Sewing block

or “why can’t I just cut the nice fabric and sew the clothes?”

I have all sorts of patterns and a pile of lovely fabric just waiting to be turned into new clothes. But can I get myself to cut the fabric? Can I get myself to commit to a pattern? Gah. No.

I’ve spent the last few nights weeks endlessly searching for “the” perfect pattern for a skirt or a top. I don’t quite know what I am looking for, and strongly suspect I already own them, but I am stuck into a loop of procrastination that is stopping me from actually making anything.

I also tell myself I’ve not got enough time to start making anything, but I say this as I waste time scrolling through pattern and fabric websites looking for patterns I probably already have… It’s not looking good, is it?

one of these days, I will bite the bullet and make something with the lovely fabric. Because if I don’t actually make anything out of it, then I’m just wasting it. And that’s possibly even worse than making something that isn’t perfect.

how do you get out of a sewing block? Any suggestions to kick me out of it?

 

Uncategorized

I am in actual love with my new sewing machine

This Christmas my husband gave me a new sewing machine. Not just a new-to-me sewing machine, an actual brand new new-from-a-shop sewing machine!

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This is my new Husqvarna E10 sewing machine. Isn’t she beautiful?

I got it a few weeks before Christmas but wasn’t allowed (boooo!) to open it before the big day. But then we were away for Christmas so I didn’t get to open it then either. And what with one thing and another (well, mostly due to the non sleeping baby) I’ve only just this evening set it up to sew.

and OMG I love it. It was soooooo easy to thread. I had a bit of a mare with the bobbin but once I understood how the front loading bobbin works, threading the bobbin was quick enough. And it’s quiet. And efficient. And quiet.

I will blog about the skirt I’m making, but just quickly here I’ll say that I’ve whiz zed through the initial three bits of sewing. With the old machine it would have taken me FOR-EVAH to sew even that, with lots of cursing and swearing and maybe a bit of a tantrum too. But with this? Well. I cut out the fabric pieces on Monday (bank holiday in Scotland. We get the 1st AND 2nd of January off for Hogmanay because we celebrate it so much. And if they fall on weekend days we get the next working day off. Score!) and decided to sew tonight. I threaded the machine up at 9.30pm and at 9.45pm I was finishing off the third and final seam I needed to do. The majority of the time was spent marvelling at the machine, stroking it a bit and asking my husband if he could believe how quiet it was (he couldn’t).

machine in action:

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Just LOOK at it. It’s so lovely.

But what will I do with my old machine? Well, I’m going to put it on freecycle like I did my machine-in-a-cupboard. I don’t need it and can’t keep it. Someone will make use of it, and hopefully with a bit of service and tlc they will learn to swear at it too.

 

Christmas · Sewing Projects · Uncategorized

Christmas stockings!

Here’s another one of those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” projects. I rashly promised my daughter that I would make Christmas stockings for her and her brother. And then for their two cousins too. I had decided that I’d do a lovely patchwork design and they would be LOVELY.

Ahem.

it took many, many weeks to make these. And many, many swear words too. I’ll update with a “finished product” post soon, but here are the “how I made my stockings” work in progress pictures.

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I bought a few different festive materials for the stockings. The red Nordic style is disappointingly thinner than I’d hoped for. And the grey reindeer fabric is very, very similar to the colour of the blue reindeer fabric which caused me quite a headache when planning out the pattern. But I LOVE the reindeer print  and the red Santa print is super cute. I bought about a metre of each and cut the fabric into an approximation of equal sizes.  And that’s where it stopped for a while. Because I had LOADS of time you see, and didn’t have to hurry to make the stockings.  (I am a FOOL and should stop listening to myself when I witter on like that in my head.)

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I started to piece together the squares into a stocking shape. To make matters as complicated as possible for myself, I decided to patchwork both sides of the stocking. Sooooo much pinning…

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Here they are after starting to sew the squares into rows and rows into stocking shape. How jaunty!

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And this is the inside material. Even more festive! I love the gingerbread pattern. The fabric is quite thin but fine for inside the stockings.

now, the complicated bit wasn’t making the patchwork outside, it was trying to figure out how to get a nice “quilted” appearance on the stocking. I read around a gazillion online tutorials and blog pieces about making a stocking and pretty much ignored all of them. Instead I did what seemed easiest to me:

  • stitch the lining to the outer with right sides together, leaving a little gap to pull the fabric through leaving both right sides outside. This made one side of the stocking.
  • then I stitched diagonal rows back and forth across the stocking adding a bit more interest.
  • I did this on both sides of the stocking, so 8 times in total (2 for each stocking).
  • then with the outer parts facing, I just sewed around the edge leaving the top open.
  • i thought they looked a bit plain so added some left over white fleece around the top.

hey presto! Only 26385 hours of sewing, 28887295 swear words and 300 metres of red thread later, 4 stockings were made.