Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Slippers

 I made a new pair of slippers this week to replace the first pair I made last year. Again I followed the same pattern instructions as before and used more of my scrap fabric (yeah!,  I am on a mission to reduce my fabric scrap pile to nothing).
To make then safer to wear on floorboards I added anti-skid gripper fabric (the stuff on kids pyjama feet) to the soles. The soles of my first pair were felt and it was easy to slide in them across the room, the anti-skid fabric should give a little traction to prevent falls.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pyjama Shorts


This week I made 2 very comfy pyjama shorts. The shorts are super easy to make. I have made them once before, this time I replaced  the drawstring waist with an elastic waist and stitched a small ribbon bow on the front. The fabric is a soft chambray with a whale print. It was a end of bolt I picked up at Joann, only 1.7yds of fabric. Not enough to make two pairs of shorts without a little creativity. After cutting out the first pair I pieced the left over fabric to make a  piece large enough to cut the second shorts  from. The pieced section I positioned on the back.
Incidentally, there was an excellent article on piecing recently in Threads magazine. The pyjama pattern is from Simply Sewing issue 7.
Happy sewing!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

My five favourite sewing books

Here are the books I reach for most often when sewing or looking for inspiration.
 
1. Biblio Craft by Jessica Pigza- I love books and this book is all how books from the past can inspire new creative projects. Its also a visually pleasing book. The sewing projects are ideal for a beginner.
2. The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible by Wendy Gardiner and Lorna Knight- This book covers presser feet. There are four chapters devoted to the different presser feet  available for the home sewist. There is a description of each foot, how it works and what can be achieved using the foot. It covers the familiar (zipper and zigzag foot) and the not so familiar (flower attachment and chenille foot).
3.School of Sewing by Shea Henderson- This is the book I recommend to my beginner students. It covers basic sewing techniques with practical and useful projects to make.
4. The Better Bag Maker by Nicole Mallalieu- I have made 10 out of the 11 projects in this book. The instructions are clear, the techniques many ( how to install a zipper pocket, patch pocket, how to make four fold straps, bagged out straps, adjustable straps, corded strap handles and much more).
5. The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing by Singer- Every sewists needs a good reference books. This is the one I own. It covers the basics (reading a pattern envelope, laying out a pattern, making adjustments, sewing  darts, sleeves, cuffs, collars, pockets, closures and more). It also has a section on home decorating (cushions, curtains and placemats).

Please note I am not affiliated with any of the authors or links.
Thanks.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Work in Progress

I could be the only person who makes a quilt for their washing machine, but you see I like to keep the top of my front loader clean from dust and spills, this pass weekend  we replaced the old machine and the new one is bigger, so a new cover was needed, hence this black, white and red quilt top.
I only had two objectives when I started- 1. to use only red, white and black and 2. to use what fabric I already had.  I cut and pieced until I had a 28in (71cm)square. Despite my lack of prior planning I think it's a success, well I like it. The red draws you in and allows the eye to travel around the piece.

Friday, March 31, 2017

2017 Challenge Update

I am extremely pleased with the progress  I am making with my 2017 challenge.
The Lizzy Dress

The Lizzy Dress- back
Firstly this month I made the Lizzy Dress in a black linen/cotton blend, It looks more gray than black. I wore the dress last weekend. This dress pattern has a lot of ease , knowing this from making the toile, I used a wider seam allowance then was suggested. I had trouble sewing the curved pockets so instead I shaped my pockets differently.
I also made the Daisy Dress in a floral blue and white stretch poplin ( pictured below) I added an in seam pocket to the side without the zipper. I am looking forward to a nice hot day so I can wear this dress.


The Daisy Dress
Finally this month I also made a toile of the Joni Dress and am now looking to buy fabric.
 

Friday, March 24, 2017

How to Make Piping

Piping is a decorative trim stitched into a seam. Often seen on a cushion edge, it adds sophistication and strengths the seams. Ready made piping choices are limited, making your own gives you the freedom to choose your own colours and patterns.
To make your own piping you will need the following items- cotton cord, fabric and a zipper foot.

Step 1. Measure the cords circumference and add 3 cm (1 1/4 inch) for seam allowances.  This is the width of you fabric strips. ( The length is determined by the project. On how to join fabric strips see below)
Step 2. Find the bias of your fabric and cut fabric strips using the width measurement from step one.
Step 3. Wrap the wrong side of the fabric strip around the cord, align the raw edges.
Step 4. Using a zipper foot and a long stitch length, sew close to the cord.
I have positioned my needle to the far left, to get close to the cord.
piping is now ready.

To Join fabric Strips 
Place fabric right sides together at a 90 degree angle. Pin and stitch diagonally from lower left corner to upper right corner. Trim seam allowance to .5cm (1/4in). Press seam open.
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review- Bag Boutique

Bag Boutique- Making Fabulous purses and totes by Amy Barickman was published 12 years ago, its out of print now but last week I picked up a second hand copy for $1.
The book covers general bag making information on different closures available(a new to me closure mentioned is a hex-open frame), handles and straps , interlining a bag and how to transfer an image to fabric. It also has 18 projects plus variations for each projects.
I made the pocketbook purse. The template instructions stated to enlarge by 111%, I did not, what I did instead was to add a 1/4 in seam allowance to the template. My bag measures 13 x 8 in. A little smaller that the project bag but still a good size. I went with variation 2 without the patches or quilting. My favourite feature of this bag and the reason why I made it is the bias binding handles, so easy to sew.  I found the instructions concise and easy to follow.
What I like about this book is that  each bag is shown in a least two different fabric variations. What I don't like is having to enlarge templates. Some of the bags appear a little dated and fussy, however the bag making  techniques shown make this a good book to add to my collection.
Bag Boutique is great for someone with  some sewing experience and bag making knowledge.

New Slippers

 I made a new pair of slippers this week to replace the first pair I made last year. Again I followed the same pattern instructions as be...