Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Case for Pockets

Gathered skirt with in seam pocket
Pockets are essential, if I make a bag and don't include pockets I later regret it. sometimes carrying a bag  with or without pockets is not practical, like when visiting amusement parks, with their no bag on ride policy or at the entrance waiting in a long bag check line. That's when a pocket on clothing is necessary to carry essentials like keys, cash and phone.  Sadly its rare to find pockets on ready made skirts and dresses, my main summer wear.
So I made a skirt with pockets. Making this skirt is easy enough, and there are many tutorials on the internet and in magazines. I consulted a number of books  and magazines before I started and consolidated the techniques I liked to make the skirt, my instruction follow.
The in seam pocket pattern you will find in issue 26 of Simply Sewing magazine or draft your own.

Gathered Skirt with Pockets in 10 Easy Steps 
1. Measure waist and multiply by 2.5 for fullness. Divide by 2. This is the width of the front and back pieces.
2. Measure from waist to knee  add 3cm (1 1/4 in),  this is the length for the front and back pieces. (my width measurement was less than the width of fabric, so when calculating how much fabric I needed I multiplied the length by two)
3. Cut 2 piece of fabric using waist and length measurements.
4. Cut pocket pieces from fabric scraps.
5. Place pocket 15cm down from top, Right side down on right side of skirt front, align pocket straight edge with side seam and sew with a 1/2cm seam allowance. Repeat with corresponding back piece.

6. Open pocket pieces away from skirt, press flat. Place front and back pieces right sides together with pockets extended away from skirt. Stitch down side seams and around pocket using a 1cm seam allowance. Clip into seam at top and bottom of pocket. Press seams open. Repeat with other side. Neaten raw edges of sides and top with zig zag stitch.
Do not stitch the section with red pins.
 7.Cut elastic to waist measurement plus 2 cm. Join short ends using 2cn seam allowance.Measure width of elastic add 1.5cm to measurement, fold under towards wrong side top of skirt by that measurement. 
8.Edge Stitch close to fold. Place elastic within fold area. Stitch casing closed without catching elastic. A zipper foot is helpful here. As you stitch shift fabric around elastic. It will gather up.

9. Distribute gathers evenly around waist. When you are happy with gather distribution stitch in the ditch at side seams to hold elastic.
10. To hem skirt fold towards wrong side  1/2cm, press, fold again 2cm, press. Stitch hem.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Pot Holder Make

I used Sedef Imer's Pot Luck project (from issue 25 of Simply Sewing)to make this pretty and functional quilted potholder.
However I did a few things differently:-
1. I machine appliqued the flower design using a narrow zigzag stitch.
2. I did not round off my corners.
3. because of reason two I did not need to cut my binding fabric on the bias.

Please note: I am not affiliated with any links. Thanks

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Walkley dress

 I made 'The Walkley' dress this week. A free pattern with Simply Sewing -issue 18. Its super easy to make. Just two pieces, a front and back, cannot mess it up. I have used this pattern once before to make the top version.
The fabric I picked up from my local Jo-ann store. Its a blue knit with a random green anchor print. I used a ball point needle, with a straight stretch stitch for the seams and a regular straight  stitch for the hems. And that's it really, have a good week.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Update on my 2017 Challenge

In the last two weeks I have made 3 muslins of the Daisy dress bodice. Finally I am happy with the fit. Now I need to buy some nice fabric to make the dress in . Can't wait.
I got stuck while making the first muslin. Turns out the original instructions included with the pattern were incorrect. The corrected instructions are on the simply sewing blog.
Other wise the pieces come together beautifully with all the notches matching up perfectly.

Friday, January 20, 2017

How to tranfer an image using a water soluble stabilizer in free motion machine embroidery

Transfer the design
In this project I am using a fibrous water soluble product called Wash-n-Gone 541 by Pellon. If like me you don not own a light box then, tape the image you would like to use on a window. Next tape the stabilizer over the image and trace.
I use a pilot Frixion ball pen or pencil. Don't use a marker as it can bleed when you rinse the stabilizer off and ruin your work.
Once you have traced the image onto the stabilizer baste it onto the right side of your fabric. I also fuse SF101 onto the wrong side of my fabric prior to basting the stabilizer

Stitch the design
Attach the darning foot to your machine, lower the feed dogs and stitch over the drawn image. I go over the image a few times to give it a bolder look. For this project I am using a grey all purpose thread.
Once I have finished stitching I pull the thread ends to the wrong side of my fabric and trim them. Next I carefully trim away the excess stabilizer and remove the baste stitching.
Finally I rinse the fabric in water to dissolve the remaining stabilizer and hang to dry. When dry I press the fabric and continue with my project.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

3 Benefits to Making a Toile

1. Size and Fit
This is the main reason a toile is made first. Use cheap fabric, I used an old bed sheet to make my Rosie dress toile. After trying it on I made some minor adjustments to the fitted waist.
2. Style
Just like when buying ready made clothing you can try it on and decide if the style suits you. After trying on the Rosie toile I realized that the V neckline was to low for me.
3. Practice Skills
I use the process of making a toile my chance to practice my sewing skills . Normally you would not finish the edges but I go the extra step and do. I finished the neckline with self-fabric bias binding and I installed the zipper. Practice makes perfect right? so, I don't see it as a waste of time more like a future investment for when I make the actual dress, I have reduced the chances of messing it up.

Friday, January 6, 2017


My first finished make for 2017, a pair of slippers, loosely following the cozy toes project from Simply Sewing issue 24. Instead of faux fur I used flannel for the lining and  also instead of lining the sole I used binding to hide the raw edges.
Cozy indeed.