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Tuesday 28 June 2016

Panda Print PJ Pants

I cut the Panda PJ Pants from a child's duvet cover I bought in the Debenhams Sale.
Limited options for print placement, but no worse than if I'd bought them so I'm OK with it.
Hopefully I can use the spotty print on the reverse side of the duvet cover for another pair of PJ pants and get a top or two from the leftovers.

Thursday 23 June 2016

White Collection: plans

I'm not sure it really will be a white collection as such, but there is going to be some things sewn with white thread.
This is going to include
Panda print PJs from Burda December 2007 #127 Pyjama Trousers

And probably at least two tops - the red and white floral and the red and white stripe.
Oh and some casings for some foam I've cut to boost the rather thin seat pads on my garden chairs.
And probably something else I have not thought of yet.
And when I'm fed up of white I think its ivory next, but we shall see.

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Red collection: paused

I think I am going to pause on the red collection. Lots of the pieces are in circulation already. The knee length skirt will be worn with tights/boots in winter, I have worn the other items, some multiple times. The only thing in question is this top, which is not working out too well.
Unlike the dummy which has a nice flocked finish which keeps the drapy rayon in place, on me this bags out and gapes horrendously. I added elastic to the neckline, recut the side seams etc, but its basically too large all over (including too long/wide sleeves) so I am going to cut it apart at the seams and recut it smaller, though probably at a later date when I am less cross with it.

My next project is going to be some PJ pants in a fun print. These need white thread so tonight I will be rethreading the machines in white and give myself a break form the enormous red gaping top!

Sunday 19 June 2016

Red collection: red sandals

I fancied some red sandals to wear with my Red Collection, so I bought these:-
Heeled Red Sandals for wearing with skirts.
And also these Flat Red Sandals for more casual outfits/wearing with trousers.

I already have several different red bags and a giraffe print bag with red accents which work with one or both of the pairs of sandals plus many red necklaces and several pairs of red earrings, so I am now covered from an accessories point of view.

Next up two more red tops before I switch over the the stripe/print ones.
Remember I will not wear an entirely red outfit, but these will liven up the taupe and navy from SWAP.

Friday 17 June 2016

Red Collection: Wrap Front Top

This is based on the wrap front top from Simplicity 4076, though I added at the side seams, cut the two fronts the same, added a centre back seam and straightened the long flared sleeve.
It is slightly loose, so I think will need a cami under it at least until it has been through the wash a few times.
I've taken out the cardi wrap (for B) and cushions (for craft stall) as I am not keeping those, so here's what the RED collection looks like now - two cardigans, two tops and two skirts which I will mix in with the SWAP pieces.
I am on the lookout for some red sandals as well as I did not find any in my size at the Clarke's outlet last week.

Wednesday 15 June 2016

RED Collection: Simplicity 4076 top plans

I washed (and partly tumble dried) the red viscose (rayon) fabric as well as two other red knit pieces I found in the stash.
I'm going to use Simplicty 4076 from my pattern stash. It is from 2009 but I think still works.

I discovered previously that I don't like the flared sleeves so I will make them straight.

I will do one of the wrap front (the green below) and one with the gathered front (the pale pink below). The knot front is very low, so if I do decide to do that one I will add a faux cami panel into the front if/when I sew it.

Monday 13 June 2016

Red Collection: Ponte Cardigan

This is the cardigan from new Look 6735 with a forward head/round back alteration and shortened by about 2 inches. I left the buttons and belt off.
Here's how it looks with the other items in the RED collection.
 I only have one thing left to sew which is a red viscose (rayon) jersey top. From this fabric
I'm currently undecided on what pattern to use for this, however once it is done I will switch out the red thread and move on to white.

Sunday 12 June 2016

Red textured heart cushions

Not part of the Red collection, these do use scraps of the Gurli throw for the outer and scraps of the red ponte for the inner. They are about 12" across and will be for the next charity craft stall.
I've started trying to use the scraps up at the time of making when the machines are all threaded and it seems to be working reasonably well.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Craft Make - Button Drawing Pins

A way to use up the odd buttons in the button tin and have a fun way to pin things in the sewing room.
What you need
  • small flat buttons
  • drawing pins (thumb tacks) with a flat head
  • super glue
  • disposal latex gloves (optional but a good idea) 
  • cork tile offcut or similar base board

Take an offcut of cork tile or use a cork noticeboard or similar.
Push the drawing pins into the cork so they are in firmly and level.
Get a selection of small buttons ready.
Put on the latex gloves and open the super glue. (The gloves avoid sticking your fingers together).
Working a row at a time apply the super glue across the top of the drawing pin surface.
Carefully drop the button onto the glue and position lightly with a gloved finger tip. Try to touch as little as possible to avoid getting stuck to it.
Leave to dry. Check all the buttons have adhered (you can tip the scrap of cork to see if anything falls off) reglue any which were missed or did not stick well.

Take up to the sewing room and pin up inspiration, pattern sheets and anything else which you want pinned.


Monday 6 June 2016

Thinking about some new feet.

I hear good things about a Walking Foot and they had them recently on the Sewing Bee.
I'm looking to buy one from a reputable supplier (not cheap chinese import) and just wondered what the main pluses would be of having one? This would be for my normal sewing machine which is a Janome Memory Craft 4000,
The one I am looking at is this one which I'm told by the seller will fit my Janome machine.

I'm also looking to get a binding attachment for my Janome Coverpro 1000 CP as this seems to make attaching binding and FOE easier for some people. Does anyone have any tips on what to get (particularly with a picture of the attachment itself?)
The two main styles I have seen look like this

Is one preferred to the other?

Thanks Ruthie
Updated to add that the Janome Coverpro apparently needs the specialist foot. It looks like this.

These are available but are about £89 each which is a lot of money!

Sunday 5 June 2016

RED Collection: Charity Chilli Chutney!

Not really part of the RED collection, but here's some super hot chilli chutney DBF and I made, we'll sell them to help fund some specialist medical treatment for the father of a friend.
 Maybe back to sewing in a bit
I did sneak in some fabric in the shape of these (overlarge) jar covers.

Friday 3 June 2016

Red collection: ponte cardiwrap

This one may get given away, but we shall see.
This is the same red ponte knit as the knee length skirt. The pattern is Simplicity 2603 as before.
The collection is hotting up nicely with 5 pieces now. Not quite time to switch out the red thread on the machines :-)
Quick question about the red striped jersey, do you think this would be better sewn with red thread or white thread?
That's all for today.

SWAP results are out

The SWAP results have been announced.
Well done to the winners.
2016 Winners:
2nd Place: Treefrog
Grand Prize: Stephaniecan & Demented Fairy

Treefrog (more pics if you click on the link)

Stephaniecan (more pics if you click on the link)

Demented Fairy (more pics if you click on the link)
Introspective bit here, feel free to skip.

Sadly I have not placed (and have never placed in all the years I have been doing SWAP).
Having had a look at the winning collections again this year, they contain mostly woven items (rather than my favoured knits) and are more complicated items like dresses, woven blouses, tailored pants etc.

Each year I have a charity craft stall at an event which happens at the end of SWAP, so all through the SWAP period I am sewing bags, cushions, and etc. I also work full time in a quite demanding job and spend my weekends with my DBF (so don't normally sew at the weekend).

I suppose if I did want to place in future I'd have to invest more time sewing more complex garments as well as somehow doing better photography (perhaps even lose some weight so I look better in pictures?) as well as doing more self promotion (not a big thing this year, but looked to sway things in the past).

So I expect that it is probably not important enough to me to do the things I think would make me a future SWAP winner. I guess I need to decide if on that basis I continue to participate in SWAP in the future knowing I am exceedingly unlikely to place with what I am able and willing to turn out or if I just stick to the 6PAC sew alongs. 

In reality I expect I will continue to sew co-ordinated wardrobe collections because I like doing that and it works for me. And occasionally when my brain has the capacity to look at more stretching things like pants which fit - I have learned one new thing which is that I need a Low Butt Adjustment!

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Red collection: ponte knee length skirt

The next item in the Red collection is a red ponte straight skirt.
This is such a super cheat item for a collection as its only two pieces.
I take the skirt pattern from Vogue 2989 and just cut out two backs (lengthened by 6 inches), sew up the sides, add elastic at the waist and hem on the coverhem machine.