Black Lives Matter

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Needlebook for Sewing Machine Needles

Not as precise as other machine needle storage but this was made with what I have to hand and has to be better than scraps of fabric with needles stuck in them!

5 felt pages and a cover

the back 5 pages

the front 5 pages

The book with the pages splayed out

the book closed

The needle labels were embroidered with the sewing machine (it does letters).

The book cover is made from home dec fabric and plain cotton lining cut 10.5" x 5.5" then sewn round with a 3/8" seam, turned through and topstitched.

The book pages are felt cut to 9" x 4"

I plan to use the book to store needles which I've used for one project but could use again for something else. Unused needles will stay in their boxes as before.

Monday 13 May 2024

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 6 : co-ordinating bag

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 6 : co-ordinating bag

I used part of a woven polyester shower curtain to make this rucksack style drawstring bag.

It co-ordinates with the trainers (sneakers) rather than matching exactly, but I think it works quite well.

The main thing to remember with this style of bag is that you need the side seams on both sides and a lot more cord for the drawstrings than you expect!

Here's how all my emerald pieces are looking so far!

Thursday 9 May 2024

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 5 : Contrast neckband

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 5 : Contrast neckband

I had a remnant left over from a previous top which was just enough to make a second top.

I added an emerald green neckband to try to bring out the emerald parts of the print.

The pattern is one I made by tracing a favourite RTW top.

Here's how the different ideas work with the shoes

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Palazzo Trousers New look 6438 - version 2

I've revisited the Palazzo trousers. I kept all the alterations but chose a dark navy viscose fabric. I did add larger side pockets as the first pair felt a bit mean.

Here they are flat on the floor, shows the shape of the leg really well

Here they are on a hanger which shows the drape of the fabric.

I am much happier with this pair and plan to make some more for the summer in some of the viscose fabrics I have.

Sunday 5 May 2024

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 4 : Add embroidery

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 4 : Add embroidery

Butterfly Sweatshirt

Apparently the nineties are back. I still have some of my patterns from then, so thought I'd give this one a go. The pattern is dated 1992 and I probably bought it in the mid 90s when I first got an overlocker as it specifically says "Focus on Overlock (Serger) Sewing"

The fabric is a cream coloured french terry which has been in my stash for several years.

Pattern Description:
Sew News Pattern
Misses' unlined cardigan, vest, tunic and pants - for stretch knits only: very loose-fitting unlined cardigan or vest has dropped shoulder, shoulder pads and top-stitching details; very loose-fitting tunic, with collar of self or ribbed knit neckband, has , has dropped shoulders and optional shoulder pads; pull on pants have partially stitched front pleats, side seam pockets, foldback waistline casing with elastic and optional button-on self fabric stirrups.

Pattern Sizing:
Single sizes in X-Small to X-Large, my pattern is a Medium (14-16) which is the size I was in the 90s. These days I'm larger but the garment is so loose fitting it was fine!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made View C, shortened by 7" so it was high hip rather than tunic length.
As the fabric was rather plain I measured carefully and used my embroidery machine to add some embroidery to the front before construction. Afterwards I tore the interfacing away around the design to avoid it being too stiff on the front.
The embroidery design is intended to use different colours to this, but I replaced them with various shades of emerald, aqua and blue.

I plan to wear this with self sewn jeans and of course my emerald green trainers (sneakers).

Saturday 4 May 2024

Rich Resources

I bought some fabric (from Pound Fabrics)

Left to right
Poly-viscose jersey in ivory and black 3m of each
Striped rib knit fabric in green and pink 2m of each
Polyester elastane turquoise print 2m
Plain grey bengaline 3m
Nylon viscose mix fabric in Light stone and black 2m of each
Polar fleece in wine 2m

And was gifted a bag of zips 

I also donated a bag of patterns, trims and fabric which I won't ever use to a local charity shop, gave some curtaining to the person who gave me the zips and made some items for a friend. So the sewing items out exceeded the items in (by volume at least).

Monday 29 April 2024

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 4 : Adapting RTW

 Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 4 : Adapting RTW

Another approach for introducing a specific colour into your wardrobe is through RTW. I had this T-shirt which had short cap sleeves with a band. They were uncomfortably tight and unflattering.

I looked through my knit scraps for something to make new sleeves and found this knit with a similar slubbed texture. I thought the navy and white worked well with the emerald, and could imagine wearing this top with blue jeans and the emerald sneakers.

Sunday 28 April 2024

Palazzo Trousers - New Look 6438

 I used New Look 6438 View D as a starting point for Palazzo trousers.

I wanted elasticated waist trousers, so I omitted the back darts and replaced the shaped waistband with an elasticated one.
I also wanted pockets so drafted up some simple inseam pockets (though I'd make them deeper in a future pair).
I have a non standard crotch curve, so used another pattern I have altered a lot for fit to alter the crotch on these, I extended the front and back crotch depth slightly, and raised the back waist. The result is very comfortable for me.

I decided to use a mystery crinkle fabric, probably polyester - with red threads in one directions and gold in the other. In some lights the red or gold is more apparent, but overall it reads as orange.

This has been languishing in the stash for at least 10 years, so it was use it or give it away.
There's a reason this fabric languished in the stash for so long! When I'd finished the pants, DH wanted to know if I'd got a part in Aladdin. Sigh.

The bright colour, shine and crinkle don't make for very flattering pants.
The pattern is a keeper so I'll be sewing the trousers again in a more suitable fabric - something like plain navy blue or a printed viscose.
NOTE: the legs don't actually flare out as the line drawing imply, they are wide and straight.

Saturday 20 April 2024

Double sided placemats

I sewed up some double sided placemats with sailing boats on one side and whales on the other.

I followed a video from YouTube on how to trim the wadding just outside the stitch line.

I hand sewed the opening closed and did a few rows of stitching to hold things together. I used the size of the other purchased placemats we have (smaller than the video).

Friday 19 April 2024

Whales themed cushion

I made a large cushion for the sofa. It uses panels from a rather flimsy cotton bag from Whale and Dolphin Conservation and some fabric in a whale print.

I interfaced the main graphic panel and added blue textured flanging and then the whale print fabric.

I took 4 small scatter cushion inners (originally on a sofa) and reused all the feathers in a new inner. I did this out in the garage with the main door open and wearing a mask and it was a very messy business!
For the back I used some plain blue fabric and added a button closure.

Monday 15 April 2024

Fabric Box (without interfacing)

There are lots of fabric box patterns out there, most of which start by ironing interfacing onto the back of the fabric. Alison of Acorn Cottage Artistry suggested this blog post  for a basket made without using interfacing. It has pockets which you can slide pieces of card into.

The resulting box is about 6 inches wide and 5 inches tall

I made mine all from the same fabric, but it would lend itself to a contrast for the lining and could be a great scrap buster.

Thanks for the link Alison.

Friday 12 April 2024

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 3 : Fabric Markers

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 3 : Fabric Markers

I had some viscose (rayon) jersey fabric which had been languishing in the stash for many years. It was a bright white background with a fairly sparse outline print of palm trees in black. I don't much like achromatic looks (no colour) so hadn't reached for it.

To add colour I coloured in each of the palm leaves by hand with a green Dylon fabric marker. It took several hours and completed used up the marker.

If I try this again I'll cut the pieces out first, then colour the motifs in.

The pattern I used is Simplicity 1945 which has been in my stash for more than 10 years (it was issued in 2011). I made View B, the mock wrap top with a full round back alteration, full bicep alteration and extra width through the body.

I made a high round back alteration, full bicep alteration and graded out a little at the sides. I also cut the band across the fabric and a bit wider and used it as a neckband rather than a facing. I used my coverhem machine on the hems.

The pattern goes together nicely but I think I'd need to make more alterations for it to be flattering on my body.

I had hoped that the ruching would give me a waist. Unfortunately it hits lower on me than expected and is not very flattering. Perhaps I added too much ease or maybe its just the wrong shape for my body.

I'm going to see if my full busted friend would like this top.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 2 : Use a Print

 Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 2 : Use a Print

the green in the smaller leaves works very well with the emerald colour

New Look 6735 (modified for fit) in a cotton lyra jersey from Fabrique Creations in Skegness.

There are lots of other colour in this print too so it should be a versatile piece in my wardrobe

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 1

Emerald Green - ideas for bringing in a specific colour to your wardrobe - Part 1 : Planning

(This turned into such a long post as I was writing it that I think it'll be a series!)

I like to co-ordinate to some extent, which I'm sure isn't a surprise to you if you've seen all the capsule wardrobes I've sewn!

A while back I attended a dance based exercise class and bought some trainers (sneakers) on sale which I only wore in the studio. I don't go to that class anymore, so the shoes are now available for general wear and now its spring I'd like to wear them a bit more without investing lots of money in new items.

The colour is infuriating, greener than turquoise/teal but lighter and bluer than most of the greens.

I've been collecting ideas and will see how many of them I can put into action. I thought this might be useful for others, so let me know if you found it helpful!

Step 1 - Clothes and accessories you already own

Go through your wardrobe and accessories and see what you already own in this colour. I didn't think I had anything much but found I did have a few things. Don't forget scarves and jewellery. 


two necklaces

A t shirt (sadly with 4 tiny stains which I can't get out, prob splashes of sauce)

Multicoloured tube scarf

I can happily make outfits with these pieces to wear my green trainers now.

Step 2 - Fabric and craft materials you already own

Now go through your fabric and scraps and pull out anything matching or containing the colour (including scraps of quilting cotton too small to be a garment). I also picked out thread, buttons, trim, beads, fabric paint and silk paints.

NOTE: If there is a similar (but not matching) colour in a print it may still work as its less critical that the colour be an exact match.

Step 3 - Ideas for using what you have

1. Use a print. Sew a garment from a print fabric which includes your colour (or something similar).

2. Embroidery. By hand or machine. Add a motif in the colour to a plain garment (or to fabric and make up into a garment)

3. Fabric paint. Mix several colours together to match the colour you are introducing. Keep it simply by painting a stripe. The base can be plain or striped already - overpaint a few of the white stripes.

4. Sew beads in your colour onto the neckline of a top.

5. Add a contrasting patch pocket to a top, you can use quilting cotton for this.

6. Add applique (quilting cotton again) to a garment (use with caution!)

7. Make a garment using the colour for the cuffs and neckband

8. Make a colour blocked garment which incorporates plains and print with at least one mention of the chosen colour.

I am going to try as many of these as possible and will share the results as I go!

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Sewing Machine Covers

I've made soft covers for the machines which I most commonly leave out on my sewing table.

These are just to protect them from dust

There would not normally be 4! though perhaps 2 or 3

CoverPro - this is my Janome CoverPro 100CP, with the damaged thread spools removed (I just use freestanding ones)

MyLock, this is my old NewHome MyLock 134D overlocker from the 1990s

Queenie, this is my main sewing machine a Janome 4300 QDC

Nina, this is my Bernina 800DL overlocker.

The covers are made from an old curtain, I then stitched on embroidered name patches so I know which cover goes on which machine (they are roughly shaped to fit).

I did the lettering on my Janome Memory Craft 200E embroidery machine. I didn't make a cover for this one as it normally lives in the cupboard and just comes out for embroidery projects.

I also have a backup sewing machine (older Janome) and a vintage Singer, but these both have hard cases and live in a cupboard anyway.