Thursday, 29 October 2015

Teacup pincushion tutorial

I'm really sorry to anyone who thinks that this is far too early to be speaking about Christmas but a) I'm a Christmas nut and b) handmade Christmas presents require time to make.  If any of you were thinking about making some Christmas (or any of other kind of) gifts for sewists in your life, I thought I'd post this tutorial.

This is a really quick make and has such cute results. 

You will need: 
Teacup and saucer
Glue gun and sticks or superglue
Scrap of fabric approx 18cmx18cm
Toy stuffing/leftover wadding

I found this teacup and saucer in a local charity shop and it's going to be perfect for someone special in my life.

First thing to do is thoroughly wash and dry the cup and saucer. Then sand the bottom edge of the cup and the inset circle on the saucer, this will help the glue stick.

Apply glue to the bottom rim of the cup and stick to the saucer. 

Now create a ball of stuffing big enough to sit in the cup and not fall to the bottom

Take the scrap of fabric, (some of you may recognise this as a leftover scrap from my birthday Belladone) iron it if it looks as creased as this one, and place stuffing in the middle and fold the edges round the ball.

Roughly stitch edges together on under side of ball. You don't need to be super neat about this, this bit of the ball will be invisible and glued inside the cup. It's just to hold it altogether while you do the assembly.

Put glue in a ring all round the inside of the cup, about 1cm down from the top edge. 
Put the ball into the cup and push it onto the glue. 

And you're done! All you need to do is add pins! I love that there is also space for other bits and pieces in the saucer. 

This is ear marked for someone special in my life. Right, I'm off to play Christmas elf, I've got lots more presents to make, only 8 weeks to go folks!  And on that note, have a happy Halloween.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Lace Belcarra Blouse

Today I have one of those sods law tales to tell you.  I made the top that I'm wearing months ago, wore it a couple of times and it promptly disappeared.  I was so upset as I really liked it.  I searched for it for ages and eventually I decided it must have been lost when my boyfriend moved house and resigned myself to making another.  Literally about 20 minutes after finishing sewing the new top, I discovered the original one hiding in the back of a drawer!  Oh well, it has been gifted to a friend and I am going to move on with my new top!
I hadn't realised quite how rumpled I look in these photos, they were taken at the end of my holiday and my linen skirt really could have done with an iron!

On my uni days I am surrounded by 23 well dressed women whose clothes I am always staring at and trying to work out whether they would work on me and how I could recreate them.  Thanks girls for the inspiration (sorry boys, I'm not spending much time on your clothes).  Anyway there have been a lot of lace tops featuring in the girls' wardrobes recently which I guess is reflective of the summer trends and I really wanted one.  And so my next Belcarra blouse was born.
I knew I wanted to have the front piece as a lace panel and originally I was considering creating lace sleeves too but having never sewn with lace before, I thought I would keep my life simple and just stick with the front panel so that I didn't need to worry about working out how to hem the lace.
The main fabric is a cotton jersey that I bought from Simply Fabrics in Brixton and the lace was an offcut that I bought on the same trip. Although the Belcarra pattern is not meant for stretch fabrics I thought I would give it a go and it seems to have worked.  I simply tacked the lace panel to the jersey front piece and then just sewed following the instructions.  The only part I changed was that I eliminated the sleeve bands as I wasn't crazy about them on my first version and also I wanted slightly shorter sleeves.

Now does anyone have any other suggestions for top patterns?  I'm always on the look out for good tops, I don't know why but I really find this the hardest pattern to find to suit my body type.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Making progress with my fall essentials

Hi all, I hope you're all having lovely weekends. I'm on holiday in Spain so things are pretty good in my world. 

On my fall essentials planning list I planned to make a Dolores batwing top by the lovely Zoe.  Never having made the top before I was so delighted when my first one was such a hit that I immediately made a second version. So today I have 2 tops to show you, be warned this post is full of lots of gushing!

The first one is a long sleeved Dolores tunic in the fabric I had planned.
I really love the shape of this top and it's flattering over all ones lumps and bumps. Although it's harder when wearing jeans as their hardware creates extra sticky-out bits.
I love this fabric, I slightly feel like a giant peacock when I wear it! 

The second is a mustard gold short sleeve tunic. I'm describing it as gold because for the last couple of years, since mustard became trendy I have been objecting to it and declaring how gross I found mustard.  However when I saw this viscose jersey in my local fabric shop I snapped it up immediately, so I'm declaring it gold so that I don't have to budge on my decidedly anti-mustard position. 
I've spotted a couple of posts recently, like this one by Megan Neilsen about how important it is to press knit fabrics, just like you would wovens. I'm really guilty of not pressing my knits but I really found that I needed to with this viscose jersey. 

This is a great patten and so easy to sew. It's the perfect instant gratification project, I'm sure I was able to get it from pdf to finished top in less than a couple of hours. 

I've been spending a lot of time in uni recently and these tops have been such a godsend to throw on with a pair of jeans or a skirt.  I wish I hadn't put off buying the pattern for so long now.  I was afraid that it wasn't going to be flattering for someone of my shape, however, I really love the shape of it on me so I'm sure more versions will turn up in my wardrobe at some point.

Right I'm off to catch the last of the Spanish sunshine before I have to head home.  I hope you all have lovely weekends and if you haven't voted yet in the sew independent challenges please, please go and do so here and here

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Bow backed Nettie

Hi all, I hope you've had a lovely weekend.  We've had, what I suspect, is the last of the summer sunshine which has made everything very cheery and I've been able to relax and enjoy catching up with some friends.  At the risk of becoming a Closet case files fan girl, I've got another Closet case files pattern to show you today; a Nettie dress.  I love my previous Nettie dress and bought this fabric to make another, months ago.  I found it on the Birmingham rag market, on a trip with my boyfriends family.  They were very long suffering as we did a tour of the market and Barry's. I got the stripey jersey for my boat necked lady skater on that trip too.

This time I wanted to make a Nettie hack that I had spotted on Tilly and the buttons a while ago, the bow back was really calling to me.  I used the tutorial that Tilly had posted but obviously used the dress version of the Nettie pattern.
The bow is not lopsided but it's surprisingly difficult to photograph a back!

The guy who sold me the fabric claimed it was a cotton jersey but I'm not sure I believe him as it doesn't feel like any cotton jersey I've ever seen.  Although I haven't been bothered to do a burn test to find out, I think I'm dressed in 100% poly ponte!  This fabric has very little stretch which means my new Nettie is definitely not a dress to wear on a body-conscious day.

I got my boyfriend to take some pictures of me in this on a lovely walk around Morden Hall Park.  It was such a perfect autumnal day and we got some lovely pictures.

Also some daft photos where we established that I am  not suited to being a model, you should have heard me whinging about the sun in my eyes and uncomfortable lumpy bits of the tree poking into me.  Clearly I am not prepared to suffer for my art.  

I wanted to enter this dress for the 'dressed to the nines' category over on sew independent so we also took some photos once I was ready for an evening out.
Belt from New Look and sparkly shoes from Dorothy Perkins.

If any of you reading are following the Sew Independent 2015 contest could I make a polite request for your vote!  Have a lovely week all and happy sewing.