Black Lives Matter

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Window seat cushions

 My friend B has restored an old house. She's done a beautiful job and its full of quirky original details.

One of these is a very low windowsill in the dining area off the kitchen, which she'd always fancied using as a window seat.

Ages ago (pre covid) I'd promised I'd make a cushion for the window seat, we'd even selected fabric from my stash but got no further. Recently I asked her to make a template of the windowsill due to the odd shape, which she posted through my door, and I then had great fun making an inner and a cushion cover, and using the leftovers to make a tiny envelope back cushion.

She collected it today, took it home and it fits well, which makes me very pleased indeed. She sent me this photo of it in situ.

(Given the ongoing lockdown in England this was made completely from stash, including the outer fabric, zip, thread, inner fabric, wadding, foam, stuffing etc. I even had the piping cord in my cupboard). 

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

My first quilt - finished

So I have finished my first ever quilt, any proper quilters should look away now as it is riddled with mistakes.

I had huge fun making it though.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

My first quilt block - easy beginners log cabin

Whilst I'm not sure my fabrics are all quite right I've cut a load of 2 and a half inch strips and had a go at making this simple log cabin block.

Log Cabin Quilt Block Pattern Tutorial - Big Block! (scrapish.com)

So far I have made 6 blocks, and I need to cut more strips for the longer pieces.

I'm hoping to make 12 blocks and arrange them 3 by 4.

So it would look something like this

or rather like this.


Friday, 5 March 2021

Black and white print fabrics

 I have a collection of black and white print fabrics, which I planned to make a multiple gore skirt from

The Stitch Sisters

But as I don't wear skirts much I thought this was not a very sensible idea in reality.

Here are the fabrics I planned to use, only the panda print is properly directional.

They are 

top row L to R

black, black with large spots, black with small spots, black with musical notes

Middle row L to R

near black, zebra print, small floral

Bottom row L to R

white with grey and black stars, white with pandas, white with small black stars.

They are all woven fabrics, some perhaps poly cotton rather than 100% cotton.

Any ideas on what I could make with them as most are only 1 metre cuts.

I was thinking

PJ trousers with contrast cuffs

Maybe a small quilt (though apparently you shouldn't use polycottons/very thin fabrics)

Or back to my original skirt idea.

Ideas welcome

Friday, 12 February 2021

Abundance and sewing pause

My sewing is paused at the moment. 

I started to reorganise my wardrobe (closet) and realised that I have an over abundance of clothing, so am not sewing yet more new things at the moment.

I am doing some repairs and minor alterations as I go through a sorting process.

I am using these questions for my sorting process:-

- does it fit me?

- does it suit my colouring?

- is it in good condition?

Items then go into several piles

Keep Definite - fold or hang back in the wardrobe in colour order.

Keep Maybe - try wearing and see if comfortable and works with other items in my wardrobe. Some will stay but many will go after being in the Holding Bay for a bit.

Keep DIY - these go in a duffel bag and are for any dirty/messy jobs as I tend to ruin my clothes! These clothes fit but have pilling or other issues (baggy neckline, pulled threads)

Donate - bagging these up ready for donation later. Tie the top up to avoid second thoughts.

Textile Recycling - not donatable so will go for textile recycling rather than landfill.

I might try to sell a few items as well, but I suspect most will be for donation.

So far I've worked through the main wardrobe, but have not yet tackled out of season or too small stuff. I've decided that apart from one or two very special pieces anything too small will be straight to donate/recycling. 

I've gained weight and changed shape during menopause so although I do want to lose some weight, I don't think I'll find the smaller clothes would work for me so don't plan to save them anymore.

Its going to be quite a journey!

Friday, 29 January 2021

Style Arc Josie Hoody (sort of) in Charcoal and polka dots


This is part of my 'Ready for Anything' capsule, a charcoal grey hoody, supposedly for Pilates but has already been in general wear.

It is based on the Style Arc Josie Hoody, but without the turtleneck section at the front of the hood as I thought this would choke me.

I folded back the hood edge and included a drawstring, but just hemmed the lower edge on the coverhem.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Lined wool trousers

 Lined wool trousers

As I was cutting out the lined wool jacket, I managed to layout the pieces such that I could squeeze in the front and back of my altered New Look 6216 trousers, I cut the back a little wider, shaped the waist and used the plain charcoal fabric again for the pockets and inside of the waistband. I cut the pockets more jeans style so not much of the charcoal fabric shows.

The waistband is a little taller so I could use 2" elastic. As the wool is scratchy I also added a full lining to the trousers. As always I leave off the mock tie.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Lined wool jacket - McCall's 4394


This is the lined wool jacket made from McCall's 4394. It is the length of the jacket on the pattern envelope. I also shortened the sleeves a little.

The lining is a lovely floral print satin in shades of pink and green which picks out the threads in the wool. I've shown it by turning back one of the sleeves a little.

It has inseam pockets cut from a plain charcoal fabric.

The fabric has a black and dark grey weave as the base, shot with contrast threads in red, pink, coral, ivory, pale aqua and small amounts of others. 

I find this type of fabric works works in harmony with me now I'm greying. My hair is still fairly dark overall but with light hairs as well now.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Lottie Blouse in Ivory Viscose Fabric


Here's my version of the Lottie blouse. I lengthened the sleeves by 7 inches and added a cuff.

I got it as a free download from Free Lottie Sewing Pattern Download

I did not follow the instructions exactly, rather I did a different construction technique on the neckline both for the bias binding and the attachment of the collar.

The fabric is an ivory viscose (rayon) with subtle floral jacquard weave left over from a previous blouse project.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

'Ready for Anything' Capsule - side stripe sports tee (refashion)

To go with my Pilates trousers I refashioned a slightly snug RTW sports tee by adding red stripes.

Here it is with the red stripes. They are up the side seam, up the centre of the sleeve and around the armhole. The straight stripes are a 2 inch wide strip, and the armhole section is a shaped piece drafted to fit. Its a lot of fun!

Here's the tee shirt before - plain black and a bit snug.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

'Ready for Anything' Capsule - side stripe yoga pants

 From the plan I posted I decided to start with the side stripe leggings, though they are more yoga pants.

My original drawing from the Plan

The trousers from the side

the trousers from the front

Style Arc Barb Pants

Pattern: I used the Style Arc Barb pants, with style and fit alterations. Style changes - I added a side stripe in a contrast pinky red stretch fabric. Fit alterations - shortened the leg, added 1/4 to the top, scooped the back crotch, angled in the back waist, cut the front waistband slightly longer, and the back waistband slightly shorter.

Fabric: A very stretchy (in all directions) matt black fabric bought from the local B&M roll end shop. It is slightly spongy and seems dense with no see through. The contrast side stripe is from a pinky red fabric with similar stretch properties but a much lighter weight.

I'll have to see how these hold up in the next Pilates class.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Plans for my 2021 "Ready for Anything" Capsule wardrobe

I've been thinking about what I'd like to sew a capsule wardrobe that helps me to be ready for anything that may come in 2021.

3 Plain dark bottoms - leggings, casual trousers, smart trousers

1 Simple dark coloured dress

4 tops - smart blouse, workout top, 2 long sleeved tees

3 layers - sweatshirt or hoody,  cardigan and jacket

My current colour theme is charcoal and warm pink with some black.

I had a look through my fabric stash and came up with some options

The key fabric for the scheme is some charcoal woven fabric with what seems like coral pink and off white variegated threads through it, I think this will be some sort of jacket.

Next I have a charcoal pinstripe that will be trousers.

Black ponte for a dress, black stretch woven for outdoor trousers and black super stretchy fabric for leggings. (I think the leggings could have a pink stripe down the leg)

Blush pink sweater knit for a cardigan.

Grey and pink jersey for knit tops.

Coral pink and off white fabric for floaty blouses.

Grey fleece for a sweatshirt, or perhaps a simple rain jacket from flamingo print fabric (I couldn't resist!).

One garment can be sewn up before the start date, perhaps the leggings with the pink stripe?

Here's what that might look like

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Festive Season Silver Top

 Here's my entry for the 

The Sewing Place Contest : Creating for the Festive Season Dec 1-31 2020

Silvery cowl neck top

I used a novelty knit fabric purchases pre lockdown from my local roll end shop. It is a black crinkled stretchy fabric printed with silver.

I used the style Arc Molly Top though for now I've omitted the front pleat detail.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

The Sewing Place Contest : Creating for the Festive Season Dec 1-31 2020

 A new contest starts today at The Sewing Place website

Creating for the Festive Season Dec 1-31 2020

Rules: Create a festive item (or items) by sewing, knitting, crochet, weaving, leatherwork or any other crafty pursuit you enjoy.
This can be anything handcrafted whether it be a gift, clothing or decorative item.

Timeframe: Construction starts on Tuesday 1st December and the item must be completed by Thursday 31st December.
You can post pictures of your item as soon as its completed, or wait until the end of the construction time. All entries need to be uploaded with the template and at least one photo by Sunday 6th January.

It has been a very strange year for everyone, but happily getting creative and spending time on a crafty project is really good for our mental health. Being in the 'zone' is a form of meditation which helps build resilience.
So please join in and share the amazing, wonderful, quirky, sparkly and creative things you make this December.

For my entry I am planning a silver top to wear for those Zoom parties!

This is a novelty knit, crinkled black fabric with silvery sparkles.
I plan to make it up in the Style Arc Molly Knit Top pattern, as the tucks and drapes should showcase the sparkle nicely.

Monday, 30 November 2020

Cowl neck sweater

 I managed to cut a cowl necked sweater out of the pieces left over from the cardigan.

I used the top from my favourite pattern New Look 6735 as the starting point. Lengthening the sleeves, raising the neckline, flaring the body a little and adding a cowl neckline instead of the neckband.
I added elastic in the shoulder and neck seams to keep the shape.

Here's the sweater and cardigan together.