Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tulip Skirt

Pattern- The Tulip Skirt by Sew Over It. It's a  Simply Sewing sew along  from issues 5 to 7. The sew along offers optional steps such as belt loops, piping at the waist, lining the skirt and adding a lace trim at the hem. The skirt features front pleats and back darts , a waistband with invisible zip and inseam pockets.
Fabric - 100% corduroy cotton an off white tribal medallion on black background. It cost me $8.98 per yard

I made a size 12 and  added  black piping to the waist of my skirt. The inseam pockets are reinforced with a small zigzag bar at the lower opening. If I was to make this skirt again I would draft deeper pockets so my phone would fit inside the pocket, and I would use 1cm seam allowance for just a little more breathing space at the waist.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


My daughter asked for warm and comfy pyjama bottoms so I rushed over to my local Joann and found the cutest print ever in the sale section , best of all its 100% organic cotton. After the first wash the flannel feels so soft and silky to touch, I am thinking its because its organic.
The Pattern: Sew and Sew B5517 by Butterick. View C.
Fabric: Dolittle by Cloud 9. $7.49 per yard.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy new year

I set myself the goal of learning to sew my own clothes in 2017. There are 4 me made dresses and skirts hanging in my closet. Yes, if you look at them closely they are not perfect , but despite the flaws I enjoy wearing them.
One of the biggest challenges in the begin was  making the toiles in my size. Ready made clothes and pattern sizes differ so much and I had a hard time believing that I should make a size 14 when I wear a size 6. I made many snug fitting toiles, once I allowed myself to trust in the pattern information and make clothes that correspond with my measurements I discovered making clothes that fit with minor adjustment is  easy. Size Wise in the December 2017 issue of Sew News by Joi Mahon explains it so much better than I am.
Picking fabric also is a challenge mainly because I only want to make and wear clothes from natural fibres. The closest fabric shop is a smaller Joann with a  limited apparel selection and although online shops have a larger selection each time I have opened my package I have been surprised, there is no substitute to seeing and  handling the fabric before buying, I guess I should buy a sample first but I am impatient and that just increases the wait.

The goal for 2018 to double the number of me mades in my closet. Here is to another year of happy sewing!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Ornament

 I saw this project in a magazine last Christmas and purchased the plastic ornament but it sat around collecting dust for a year. After making the Christmas stocking I remember the project and used the scraps to cover my dusty plastic ornament (after I wiped it clean). Super easy and quick to make.

clear plastic ornament

Monday, November 13, 2017

Christmas Stocking

Its beginning to look a lot like... well you know the rest.  The pattern for this patchwork stocking is in issue 35 of Simply Sewing. The fabric is a Winterfest Bundle from Joann.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Library Book Bag

A lot of people would argue that no one visits libraries anymore, but its simply not true. I personally visit my local library weekly and on those visits I need a lightweight bag to carry home all the heavy books I borrow. The library book bag is perfect for that trip to the library. There is a front patch pocket with pintuck details for the library card. The bag base is reinforced with interfacing ( nothing worse than the bottom falling out of your bag) and  the bag is unlined making it very lightweight. Finally the side seams are neatly finished and the straps are secured with a box stitch.


24 inches (60cm) woven decorator fabric main fabric
12 inches (30cm) contrast fabric quilting cotton
2 buttons

Seam allowance 5/8 inch (1.5cm)

2  17 ¾ x 13 ½ in bag body from main fabric
2  31 x 4 straps from main fabric
1  10 x 13 ½ in bag base from contrast fabric
1  8 x 6 in pocket from contrast fabric
1  8 x 4 interfacing


Cut a 2in square from each the bag body base corners.

With bag body pieces right sides together stitch base . If using directional fabric make sure it’s running the right way.

Press seam open. Press  raw edge of seam allowance under towards  the wrong side by ¼ in. Stitch 1/8 inch from folded edge through seam allowance and bag.
Centre and fuse interfacing to bag base.

Fold under ¼ in  to the wrong side both 13 ½ in sides of the bag base.  Find the halfway point of the 10 in side and match this with the seam of the bag. Place it right side upon the right side of the bag

Pin in place. Edge stitch at the folded edge on both sides. Backstitch at the start and finish of each seam. (Optional you can use a twin needle to stitch two rows)


trim corners

two rows of stitching
Fold under top  edge by ¼in.  Press and fold again ½ in. stitch to hold (optional twin needle)

Measure and mark down from the top 1in, 1 1/2in and 2in. fold on each mark and stitch ¼ in from the fold. (Alternatively you could use a pintuck foot)

Press under the sides and bottom by ½ in. Trim corners to reduce bulk.

Place pocket ½ in up from the bag base and 2 ½ in from the edge, right side up on the right side of the bag. Pin. Edge Stitch from the top right hand side down to the base and up the left hard at the top left hand side pivot and stitch a second row ¼ in  in from the first row.. At each corner with the needle down lift the presser foot and pivot the bag. Pass thread tails to inside of bag tie off and trim.

trim seam allowance

Place right sides of bag together and stitch bag sides. Trim seam allowance of the bag body between base seam and bag base. Do not trim bag base seam allowance. Press seam allowance towards the wrong side on each raw edge as before. Stitch 1/8 in from fold edge through seam allowance only.
Fold strap  in half lengthwise with  wrong side together. Press, open and fold raw edges towards  the crease. Press and fold again to conceal raw side. Edge stitch lengthwise on both sides.

Turn bag right side out.
Place strap 2 ½ in from sides. Pin to right side with raw edges aligned. Tack ¼ in from raw edge to hold in place. Ensure strap is not twisted. Trim ½ in of seam allowance at top to reduce bulk.

Press to wrong side ¼ in top of bag and again 1 inch. Tuck straps into bag. Topstitch lower  fold, start stitching at side seam. Pull straps out of bag and top stitch edge of bag stitching straps down.



mark and stitch triangle
 From right side flatten base corner to create a triangle. Make sure that side seam and base seam are open and lying flat on the inside.  Fold triangle back so point meets the top of the base. Press to crease. Unfold triangle mark crease and stitch across. Fold triangle back towards bag and stitch at top to hold triangle. Backstitch to secure. Sew a button  at each triangle point for decoration. Give the bag a final press with the iron.
decorative button

box stitch for straps

seams finished neatly

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A New Skirt

After the success of my Erin skirt I have made another skirt. This time however I had many false starts. Firstly I purchased the wrong size pattern. Then the fabric I wanted to use sold out and finally I had set my mind to using white bias tape only to discover that the white of the fabric is not the same white as the bias tape back to Joann for more bias tape. In the end I went bold with my favourite colour combination red, white and black.
Pattern- Simplicity 8420 or D0718. The skirt comes in two lengths and four patch pocket options. I made view D.
Fabric- from, its a 100% cotton corduroy. The bias tape is by Wrights/Simplicity.
Techniques learnt and final thoughts- I learnt how to sew double fold bias on the pockets and hem. Also how to sew a waist facing.
I made a size 16 since I measure 30 at the waist and 40 at the hips but when I tried the skirt on it gaped at the back ( I often have this problem with RTW jeans). I took in the excess fabric at the back darts. This is the only adjustment I made to the skirt.
I like the pockets but I don't think them useful. I suspect anything I place in them will slide right out when I sit down. I plan to make this skirt again with different pockets.

Tulip Skirt

Pattern- The Tulip Skirt by Sew Over It. It's a  Simply Sewing sew along  from issues 5 to 7. The sew along offers optional steps suc...