Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Payday FLASH SALE 25% off all fabric until Midnight Thursday

To celebrate Payday I am offering a massive 25% off all fabric on the website until Midnight on Thursday.
Take a look and grab yourself a bargain, simply enter the code PAYDAY at the checkout.

Happy sewing xxx

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coat with leather (ish) sleeves. Part one

In my post My first download(able sewing pattern) I talked about the Wool coat I was going to make with the Burdastyle pattern 101B

I have made a start on the coat but with no images and a brief page of instructions it has been a big challenge, a bit like getting up in the middle of the night in a strange hotel and trying to find the bathroom without stitching on the light. You know it's there you just need to feel your way very slowly
The pattern is labelled as Intermediate, however due to the minimal instructions I would say only tackle this if you are confident with revere collars.

Pattern pieces cut and ready to go
Here are all of the pieces cut and ready to go
I cut the wool fabric out no problem, but when it came to the faux leather (can I just say here I hate the word Pleather, anyone else?)there was more of a challenge. Pinning the fabric would leave holes and my chalk was simply not leaving a mark on the fabric. The solution was to turn the fabric inside out, so that the chalk would work and use weights to hold it down and draw round it that way round.

Cutting out the faux leather
Cutting out the sleeves
The first issue was sewing in the side pieces, with no notches on the pattern I couldn't tell which bit went in which side, eventually I just guessed and it seems to have all pulled together ok.

When I put the pockets in I found that using my zipper foot and moving the needle position meant that I could get much closer to the seam (the fabric I am using is pretty thick and getting it under a normal foot was tricky. 

Zipper foot on wool
Using the zipper foot meant I could get right into the seams
The next big step was the collar, after searching through every website and old pattern that mentioned revere collars it wasn't much clearer so I just followed the steps one at a time, tacking in place as I went to make sure the next bit made sense before committing it to my machine.

Even with the slow small steps I am not happy with how the collar has come out. There is a bit of a bump where the stand and the collar meet, so I think I am going to go back and unpick it and start again. What a pain  but it is such beautiful fabric I want it to be perfect (ish)

I am a self confessed lazy sewer, however if you are planning on making this coat I would really recommend making a toile first out of something like calico to make sure you have got it right.

Keep your eyes out for part two coming soon to see how the revised collar looks!

Looks ok from the back

Not bad from the front...

But wait, what is that big lump inside?

Happy sewing xxx

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Meet Tweet the birdie cushion (+ free pattern)

This weekend my friend Rebecka and her daughter Halo came over for a sewing day.
I worked on my coat with leather sleeves (more about this coming soon...) and Rebecka made a lovely Alma blouse in hot pink jersey with a navy trim (very cute) 

Tweet cushion

However Halo was the star of the day making this wonderful cushion, who she named Tweet! I thought I would share it with you, in case you have any budding sewers in your house who may like to make their own Tweet!

What you need:
PDF pattern
Piece of fabric for cushion (we used orange fleece fabric)
Scraps of fabric for the wings, eyes and heart
Faux leather for the eyeballs
Stuffing (I use budget pillows, much cheaper than buying stuffing)
Fabric glue, scissors and needle and thread

Sticking Tweet together
Sticking the bits together
  1. Down load the FREE pattern PDF 
  2. Fold your fleece or background fabric in half so It is 2 layers thick and trace round the pattern (you will need to flip the pattern over to do the second half)and cut out
  3. Cut out pieces of scrap fabric for the eyes, wings and heart and using the fabric glue stick them on
  4. Cut smaller circles in the faux leather and stick them on to make the eyeballs, then stick on a triangle of fabric for her beak
  5. Once the glue has dried put the back of the cushion on top of the front (right sides together)and stitch all round leaving an opening at the bottom of about 20cm (Halo sewd the cushion by hand then I quickly zipped round with the machine to make sure the stuffing wouldn't fall out)
  6. Turn the Cushion right side round
  7. Cut out 2 legs and stitch in place then stuff the cushion
  8. Finally sew together the gap at the bottom and you are ready to go.

Funny eyes
Funny eyes!

She loves Tweet
Look how much Halo loves Tweet

Happy sewing xxx

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My first download(able sewing pattern)

I can hardly believe it myself but I have never used a downloadable pattern before. So I decided it was high time I tackled that new experience.I love all of the coats in the shops at the moment with contrast sleeve so that is what I am planning on making.


I was recently given some amazing faux leather, it is wonderfully soft and looks so real (nobody will ever know)Perfect for the sleeves. For the body I am using the Aine wool from my website. 

I think Mr Fabric Godmother will be impressed, all of my other winter coats have 3/4 length sleeves, not very practical.

I will be using Burdastyle pattern Long wool coat 08/2012

First thing I noticed was how many A4 sheets I had to print off (44 to be exact) phew that is a lot of black ink, just as well I have a spare cartridge!
I found it easiest to tape up the paper pattern in stages, unless you have a massive house with a huge lounge floor I suggest you do the same. Be warned you will need a LOT of tape.

(There must be a whole tree there)

Once the whole thing was taped together I cut the pattern pieces out, not forgetting to add seam allowances as they are not included in the pattern. I then spent some time playing with the layout. As I am making the sleeves from a different cloth I was hoping not to need as much of the wool fabric. But the fabric I am using is a little narrower than the recommendatory 150cm wide fabric so I needed 2.30m. Still I got here in the end.

I think that is enough download excitement for this sewer this evening so I'm off to bed. Tomorrow I will be cutting the fabric - always the scary bit!

Happy sewing xxx

Halloween costume - Part 1

This Halloween we have decided to host our own Halloween party. As well as spooky food and decorations  we are of course making it fancy dress. (isn't that the whole point of Halloween the dressing up?) I have been using Pinterest to gather ideas, see my board here. For food and decorations but was getting stuck at what to wear.
Then trawling though the internet for costume inspiration I came across the American icon Martha Stewart's website. She has some brilliant ideas for Halloween costumes including this Black Widow one.

I love this costume, so creepy... I straight away ordered over 100 black plastic spiders from Amazon as well as some packs of spider web. I also got this amazing spider web printed net fabric.

I'm not quite sure what to do next, I like the idea of making a peplum top in black and wearing it with a black skirt and fishnets, then sewing the spiders all over the tights in a creepy crawling all over me kind of way going all the way up to my head. But what can I do with the spider fabric?

Anyone got any exciting costumes this Halloween?

Josie xxx