Down the Rabbit Hole

Hi crafter’s, how are you all coping out there. I should have been abroad so took a week off work anyway. Went back to work as a key worker but have now been furloughed.

Comments on Instagram make me believe we are all in the same way of thinking. It’s hard to concentrate too long on anything. My house should be spotless and my garden perfect but it isn’t, yet!

What we all need are little projects that hold our attention for 30 mins which we can put down and come back to later. Cooking, baking, sock knitting and a little hand sewing.

Sarah @fabricsforall has created lots of little kits and her latest kit is a picture kit of a hand embroidered hare I was lucky enough to be one of her testers for this kit and really enjoyed the process.

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Everything comes in a little paper bag, instructions, fabrics, threads and a pattern ready to cut out.

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After cutting out the pattern you have to choose which fabric you would like each piece to be made of.

When you are happy then you can trace the shapes onto Bondaweb and fuse to the back of the fabrics in reverse ready to cut out.

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The plain backing fabric is also provided and you can then bond the pieces in the right place.

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Then the fun starts and you embroider around or on top. Eyes, nose and outlines.

You can see this can all be done in little stages, it can be put down and picked up when you need to keep your hands busy.

I loved doing this and can imagine it in blue or pink fabric highlights, framed with a child’s name and date of birth above and below it. It will make a lovely keepsake.

I had forgotten how much I love hand sewing and have ended up buying the Luna Lapin book ready to make a rabbit. Sarah has all the different felts in stock for Luna and has provided me with some to make my first Luna. Go have a look at the website and guess which colour I have chosen. Sarah is still posting out regularly and I have just bought this rhapsody fat quarter pack ready to make Luna some clothes.

Thanks to Sarah for the embroidery kit and for reigniting my love of hand sewing, also for the felt ready for my first Luna. I think I am ready to fall down that rabbit hole.

Happy sewing K xXx

More Filey than Fuerteventura

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Hello and welcome to a little ray of sunshine in this very unsettled world.

This is me last year in Fuerteventura and should be me next week but……no. In the great scheme of things it’s not the end of the world but drastic changes are happening and not all of them are in our control but we have to support local shops that we would like to still be there when we come out of the tunnel, whenever that is.

On that note this is my March blog for Fabrics for All in Leeds. Sarah is still open for business in person and on line and its up to us to help and support her and our other local shops

So…..that top I am wearing is no longer with us. I came home with a new pair of black shorts and this top ended up in the same wash load and was ruined. It’s a Maria Denmark Signe Top  and dress. My original top was in a single jersey and I knew I needed something with a little more body but really good stretch and recovery as I wear this over my bikini top when we go walking so I don’t get strap marks. Sarah has a lovely selection of suitable jerseys for this top and I chose this cactus print. Look at the other choices though.

This is such a quick and easy make. The front is double layers with the upper front and  straps all in one piece. The two layers are sewn together and turned right side out, then sewn to the lower front piece. The back piece has elastic sewn to it’s top edge then it’s turned over and sewn again enclosing the elastic. Sew sides together, hem and finish, easy.

By this time I was really into #memadeholiday2020 and having bought this lovely gold dotted fabric for Christmas decided on a Burda pattern I had seen @fehrtrade make for herself and her mum. I hate tracing out so bought this pattern from the US Burda site as a single pdf. Very faffy but well worth it.

I am really trying to slow down and finish my makes neat and tidy. This Okeo Tex Glitter Dot Poppy fabric sewed like a dream. As usual I washed it first then had a panic about ironing and melting the dots but it actually took the steam iron perfectly with no change. The very odd shaped sleeves are a double layer of fabric. The inner curve you can see is where they are sewn to the armholes. I took my time and fully basted these before sewing to make sure everything went together ok and it did.

The neck band went on perfectly by using 75% of measurement and I zig zagged the seams down to finish. The hems were pressed up, sewn and trimmed on the inside with my trusty Ernest Wright duck billed scissors. It leaves a really neat edge.

Last but not least is my Maria Denmark Birgitte Basic Tee I make a new one of these for most of my holidays. It has a lovely shape, not too fitted but not boxy and the neck line for me is perfect (also just seen it’s on sale!) Again I was looking for a jersey with some body and excellent recovery. This seagull fabric is certainly more suitable for Filey.

Carefully pinned fabric for stripe matching and my trusty walking foot meant the sides look ok. For the neck band I measured 75% again and made sure the dark blue edge showed.

So I am beach ready now whenever we can fly again or desperately hoping for a fantastic Yorkshire summer.

Thank you to Sarah Fabrics for All for providing these lovely fabrics. The fabrics and patterns I made were my choices.

Lets stay safe out there and try to ensure we all come out the other side by supporting our local shops.

Happy Sewing K xXx

Springlike Camden

Last month I went to some of the Sewcials run by Sarah at Fabrics for All after hours on a Thursday. These are a great way to meet new like minded Sewists and share all the different techniques. It’s also an opportunity to stroke all the fabrics. Whilst there I spotted a beautiful roll of corduroy just in and couldn’t stop stroking it. This one is called Rose Pavillion and at first I thought it was a perfect autumn fabric but on looking closer it has pink, gold and light green so is perfect for spring too.

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See what I mean?

At first I thought this was perfect for a Tilly and the buttons Ness skirt and it is (because I have a purple cord one) but I have never lined a skirt and I have the Nina Lee Camden pattern and that has instructions for lining so I thought I would try that and learn a new technique. Cord skirts stick to tights so really need a lining.

Did I mention it also has massive pockets!

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Look at those pockets!

These are huge, you line them first, trim and turn and then topstitch onto the fronts. In the spirit of trying to use up spare pieces of fabric I found this slippery fabric that has beaten me as a top but was perfect for pocket linings. It’s actually a lime green stripe but you can’t see that unless you look inside my pocket. Another newish technique for me was to insert an invisible zip and gosh I kept putting this off. YouTube is perfect for seeing things done, I am a visual learner and one trick I learnt was to iron on tape to support where the zip goes.

This is my older Bernina 801 but this is the one I have the right zip foot for. I oiled her and tried all the stitches on plain fabric to make sure she was running ok then tried to insert the zip. Oh dear!! good job I supported the zip area with tape. Corduroy doesnt like to be unpicked but thats what I had to do, twice!! In the end I gave in and used my newer Bernina 350 with its narrow zip foot, almost perfect. Except by procrastinating for so long I should have added the waistband before inserting the zip. No worry that’s what hook and eyes were created for. You are also supposed to line the skirt before the zip so I got everything in the wrong order. My fault not the instructions. I used a brown anti static lining and decided to french seam the sides and narrow hemmed the bottom making sure it is shorter than the skirt.

I wear my Ness skirt every week to work and want this skirt to be the same. Lining it makes it more comfortable to wear and prolongs the life of the skirt. Win, win. I wanted to finish the hem of the skirt with bias binding but for now I have overlocked and turned up a small amount. I want to be sure after wearing a few times its the right length.

Yorkshire has had three weekends of rain and gales, not very good for blog photos but on Sunday we had a window of sun so off we rushed out to the garden.

I love the length and think it looks fine with thick tights and boots. With the light colours I also think this will be lovely with sandals and a tee shirt so I am really happy now with this make. I will make this pattern again probably in a dark denim for next winter but for now I am moving onto Spring and lighter colours.

My blog for Fabrics for All next month is all about jerseys for holidays. Expect cactus and seagulls.

Thank you to Sarah at Fabrics for All for providing the fabric. It was my choice as was the pattern I decided to make.

Happy Sewing K xXx

No wrinkles on this Nora!

 

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Hello, Happy New Year and Decade!!

This first blog had to be a bit special as I might look back on it in 10 years and give the kids a giggle. It was supposed to a quick blog back in December but life got in the way so hey, here we are. Another lovely french terry from Fabrics For All for their first blog from me for 2020. As soon as I saw this I knew it needed to be a snuggly cardigan as it has a lovely soft brushed back that feels warm as you put it on and such warm colours.

Tilly and the Buttons had released their add on cardigan pattern to the Nora jumper at the back end of last year and I have to admit as soon as I saw it released my PayPal money was winging its way across the internet to be swopped for a pdf. Tilly had already written a way of adapting the Nora but if someone has gone to the trouble of doing all the hard work I am happy to pay. The add on is for the fronts and bands, you need the original pattern for the back and sleeves.

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Tilly

Gorgeous isn’t it!

As ever the instructions are well written as is the pdf and it all goes together like a dream.

 

My walking foot is hardy ever off my machine these days, it just makes jersey, ponte and terry all behave perfectly. As you can see in these photos I used the inner foot guide for the first topstitch pass of the band and washi tape for the second.

And did I say, it has pockets!!!!

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Pocket, bottom band and side

This is a close up of the fabric showing the pocket, double stitching of the front bands and the bottom edge. It’s a really clever construction for that bottom edge, everything gets concealed inside when its turned around.

Trying to take good photos at this time of year is a nightmare as these silly out takes show

So when the sun came out this afternoon we were straight up to Morley. The top photo is taken in the Beryl Burton memorial garden. A local lass who achieved 122 National titles and 7 world titles. She dominated distance cycling and held records that took years to be beaten by both women and men.

The Nora add on is a pdf and cost £6.50, well worth it as its beautifully drafted.

The fabric was provided by Fabrics for All but was my choice and I chose what to make with it. Thank you Sarah.

Also Sarah has started a social evening on a Thursday and I am looking forward to meeting more people there and sharing ideas.

Until next time,

Happy Sewing K xXx

 

A Snugly Skye Wrap

Hello and welcome to my November blog for Fabrics For All Leeds.

It’s a quick one as this pattern is so easy to make. It’s been on my ‘to do’ list for ages and now I have made one I have so many more ideas for mixing and matching fabrics.

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This is the Skye Wrap by Coolcrafting even if you don’t make this just go and have a look on Google at the images as there are some really clever fabric combinations. It’s a simple pattern and there has been a lot of chatter on Facebook and the likes about whether this should be a pattern as its is just a combination of fabric sizes but I ignored these comments and bought the pattern. Its £5, so not a bank breaker, and some clever person at Coolcrafting has gone to the trouble of checking fabric widths and measurements to make sure this wrap has little fabric waste and sits really nice on the shoulders of most people. I believe it’s important to credit the pattern owners as it takes both time and money to publish patterns.

On that note Sarah has some of here own creations for sale as kits in the shop. Next time you are in the shop have a look. Sarah, get them on the website!

Fabrics For All has quite a lovely selection of wool fabrics in store both plain and patterned. Some time ago on Instagram Melissa @fehrtrade bought some pink graphic print from Dublin and I lusted after the fabric but didn’t feel up to pattern matching. When I saw that Sarah had this in the shop in both blue and pink check I had to have some of the pink for the wrap (obviously the straight edges and lack of pattern matching had a big influence). Lots of people have their Skye Wraps lined in beautiful cotton lawns but Sarah advised if wearing this as an outdoor garment I was better to have a silky  lining then it would slide over jumpers and not stick. Plenty of lining choice but once I saw this pink nothing else mattered.

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For once I didn’t wash my fabrics. As an outer wrap I don’t expect it to get too dirty and I didn’t want to take the body out of the wool. The main fabric outer is a measurement of minimum fabric width and you buy the correct length to get the outer rectangle. With this print being checks it was easy to square off. My lining fabric was a little shorter than recommended but it doesn’t matter too much it just means the outer fabric is folded in a bit more.

This is me trimming and pinning on my landing as you need a big floor or table space.

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The two shorter edges are sewn together first and I just overlocked them. It’s a good firm seam and it trimmed to size and finished all in one go.

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The outer is larger than the lining as you can see here so the two outer sides fold over inwards so when finished you just get a peep of lining. Then you can pin and sew the long edges leaving a large gap to turn out.

The gap is hand stitched closed and then measurements are given for button placement. I bought some hot pink buttons to match my lining. These are sewn through all layers and that’s the Skye Wrap finished.

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A really easy sew and so versatile. What about making it in a fleece or a chunky rib jersey with a soft lining. Mine is perfect for travelling to work in the car, my arms are free but my shoulders and back are covered and warm. Speed wise there is plenty of time to make one for either yourself or someone special as a Christmas pressie.

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I wonder how many of you also have this on the ‘to do’ list? Go on give it a go.

Thanks to Fabrics for All for providing me with the fabrics, the pattern and choice of what I made were my own.

Happy Sewing

K xXx

 

Which came first?

Not the chicken or egg, although that is a puzzle, but fabric or pattern.

Hello and welcome to my October Blog for Fabrics for All.

Sometimes I just have to have the fabric and I have an embarrassing amount of patterns so sometimes a fabric just tells me what it needs to be. That’s what happened when I was scrolling though Fabrics for All website and came across this,

Tropical Print French Terry Fabric

The photo doesn’t do justice to the colours. It’s a french terry and its glorious, really soft with a great recovery and I knew it would make the perfect Monarch Jacket I bought this pattern through Indiesew a pattern by Allie Olsen.

Monarch Jacket Waistband | Indiesew Sewing Patterns

Most of the images online show this with contrast sleeve and collar and I knew I had a good choice of colours to pick out of the fabric.

So armed with my pattern I went to talk to Sarah at Fabrics for All. This is the beauty of shopping local. I took my idea and she developed it for me. I could have picked green or blue to contrast but she had a beautiful hot pink terry from the same manufacturer so weight wise these were a perfect match. More choice here. My plan is for this jacket to be available next time my hubby springs a holiday on me and also it’s a great lightweight jacket for mid season.

I am really trying to learn new techniques with sewing and new stitches on my machine so after washing and cutting out I tried using all the different stretch stitches on scrap pieces and discovered stitch 21 on my Bernina with a increase on basic stitch length gave me this stitch I told hubby it looked like a heartbeat. He did tell me in that case I am poorly but it gives a really good stretch to the terry fabric.

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Haha my poorly heartbeat!

This is such a clever stitch as it’s flat on the left side so when you press you get a nice edge.

The pattern starts with the front edges. As these get poppers on them later they are interfaced and then folded back. It suggests different finishes as the edges are not seen and one of them is bias binding. I had some pink in the stash so that was a new to me technique and I think it turned out well.

The sleeves are then added to the front raglan edge, then the back raglans, then you sew from the cuffs to the bottom edge. Very quickly this starts to look like a jacket.

The collar is a work of art!! There are 3 pattern piece options for the collar all depending on the amount of stretch in your fabric. Mine had between 30 and 40% so mine needed the largest collar. This is so the collar stretches across the neck without gathering the top of the jacket but tight enough to lie flat against the neck when wearing. Brilliant!! It’s basted on first and when I knew it was OK I over locked it on for a tidy finish. Since finishing this I have seen how you can add ribbon or tape across the back neck to give a better finish so I might go back and do this later. The collar is lined up to just pass the edge of the jacket that will fold back, then the front is folded back, right sides together first, sewn, so when turned back, wrong sides together, the collar edge disappears down and the front hides the seams (look at the photos below)

The first photo is sewing on the collar, the second is folding back the front to sew and the third is when you fold it back so all neat and tidy.

The waistband is applied to the bottom of the jacket the same way, leaving all the seams hidden and tidy.

And we are nearly finished, cuffs next, usual cuff attachment and then snaps. There are only 3 snaps down the front. These are marked on the pattern and are half inch or 13mm. I have the Prym vario pliers and used the anorak silver snaps. These are a great tool, so useful.

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And yes I know they are not evenly spaced as hubby pointed out. So I told him I need a Simflex spacer for my birthday if he needs his OCD calming.

So sorry but since I made this jacket it’s done nothing but rain in Yorkshire but the lovely Christine is always available to model on my behalf.

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It looks sunny outside but it is raining, again, still!!

Am I pleased? definitely yes, both with the pattern and the fabric. I have had french terry before but it was stiff and rough. This is soft and warm and so stable it’s easy to sew for beginners and on another note I didn’t use my walking foot, just the standard foot. Will I make it again? Yes, I can imagine it in a cable knit as a short cardigan/jacket.

Monarch jacket pattern is $14 or £11.39.

I sewed a size 14 and found the size to be true to guide.

Fabric was gifted to me for a blog review but I chose both the fabric and the pattern.

 

Have you seen Fabrics for All are starting classes and craft workshops?

Free motion embroidery, Christmas bunting, patchwork and applique. These are on weekends and also through the week so looks like something for everyone.

Also they are having 2nd birthday celebrations this weekend 12th-13th October so you can go check out their new workspace and find out about New Year sewing classes.

Hope to see some of you there,

Happy Sewing K xXx

 

 

Mix and Match PJ’s

I love to see the amazing fabrics and clothes others seem to find in charity shops but the people of Morley must have true Yorkshire thrift as I search but never seem to find anything suitable. We do have a lovely Wilko and when passing the soft furnishing area I can often be found stroking the duvet covers on display. This one especially. Foliage has been a massive influence on fabrics this year and I love them all (especially this one!)

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Whilst ironing tee shirts I decided a plain RTW green tee was no longer suitable for outside wear but would be OK still for nightwear. Ooh that meant I needed some fabric and a whoops a double duvet fell into my shopping basket. This is a reversible duvet, greens on one side that look broken as if over washed and similar pattern on the other side but in a light and darker cream colour. A double duvet is 2m square so plenty of fabric.

Quite a while ago I bought an online class by The Thrifty Stitcher Claire-Louise Hardie I often think I have bad habits and taking a class like this is full of hints and tips. If you don’t know you are doing something wrong, you will just keep on doing it wrong. The class I bought has a pyjama bottom pattern perfect for my duvet. Simple, quick, elastic waist, perfect.

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Tatty tee and new long jimjams

Then we had the heatwave week, or summer as it was called in Yorkshire!!

I am never ready with shorts pj’s for summer or holiday so it seemed a good time to try a pattern with my duvet fabric. My pattern stash included the Reef Camisole & Shorts by Megan Nielsen, perfect for a contrast fabric. What a great pattern. Everything went together so smoothly. The crossover back straps are comfy and don’t fall off your shoulders in the night and the fit has plenty of drape to keep you cool. The hem is curved so I pressed up a narrow hem and used the right inside notch of my standard foot to sew close to the edge, then I trimmed with my duckbilled scissors and pressed up again a narrow hem. Then I used the left inside notch of the standard foot to sew again. It worked really well as you can see in the photos. One seam line on the outside but two lines on the inside. A really neat narrow hem.

The pattern bottoms have 2 choices and I chose the higher rise. They have an elasticated waist and shaped facings along the bottom edge. You sew the shorts then add the facings to enclose the bottom edge by top-stitching. To make sure this didn’t all slip I actually basted. So relaxing and for the short time it took me it meant a smooth, flat result with no puckering.

The gold/yellow thread is the basting thread. I am trying to make things better and finish things off well. Especially as pj’s have a lot of washing/wearing in their lives.

So here they all are and I love them all, even if I have to put the shorts away. Its getting chilly here now on a morning. Must be due another holiday hehe.

In case you are interested, yes I have fabric left, mostly the lighter colour. I have already lined a bag and still have enough left for another pair of either cropped or long leg pj’s. I think I will try wearing them for a while and see how they wash. The scraps will not be put away but totally used.

Thanks for reading,

Happy Sewing K xXx