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Friday, 31 August 2018

100 metre project

I've been using the stash shrinker spreadsheet to record the fabric sewn. The wool mix cardigan got me to 99.5 metres sewn, and then I wasn't sure what direction to go for my 100th metre project.

This was resolved by my friend B asking me to make storage bags for her folding outdoor chairs. She wanted drawstring tops and a strap to carry them.

She came over and we picked something suitable from the fabric I was planning to donate, then found co-ordinating drawstrings and webbing.
I then made the bags to fit the chairs comfortably with matching thread and lots of double stritching so the handle and bag bottom was secure.

It was quite a refreshing way to sew as I did not use or make a pattern, just measured by laying a chair on the fabric and cutting it long and wide enough to go round it. I then measured the cording and webbing against the size of the pieces cut.

Construction was as follows:-
  1. overlock all the way round the piece of fabric.
  2. sew up the long side seam, leaving a small gap in the stitching for the drawstring.
  3. finger press side seam open, fold over the drawstring casing and stitch.
  4. thread cord through casing and knot.
  5. finish ends of webbing. stitch webbing at top of bag (below casing), fold over and stitch again.
  6. stitch bottom of webbing strap to the bottom of the bag
  7. turn inside out and sew up the bottom seam, encasing the end of the webbing
Sewing the bottom of the bag last enabled me to have the webbing ends encased and tidy and most of the construction was straighforward (ie not trying to sew the bottom of the strap to the outside of the bag with it closed).

For this project I used just over a metre of wide poly woven fabric which seemed strong and not prone to mustiness when damp. Let's hope they see many years of service!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Autumn Sewing Direction

I'm not quite sure where my Autumn sewing direction is heading.
At the moment I seem to be sewing lots of black or charcoal with burgundy or teal.
Maybe that's fine and I just need to keep going with these three colours for a while moving on to some actual teal or burgundy pieces once I tire of the grey.

In the conceptual works (ie I have fabric and paterrn pairing but nothing cut out)
  • teal and black striped tee
  • grey checked PJ trousers
  • grey linen striped waistcoat
  • grey jersey tee.

Not quite sure which I want to be the next project.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Mixed media cardigan jacket

This cardigan was made with a short remnant of wool mix sweater knit in charcoal grey and burgundy red, which I used for the body and front band (matching the print as best I could) and black ponte and faux leather sleeves (a little hard to see).
I used the cardigan from New Look 6735 shortened slightly and left off the belt.

It worked out quite well.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Refashion #2

In May 2013 I made a jersey dress which was part of my SWAP 2013.
I wore it quite a bit. It shrank a bit. I chopped the upper bodice off and made it into a skirt which I didn't wear much.
I decided I would enjoy it more as a top. So I whipped out New Look 6725 and cut the front and back from the front and back of the skirt. There were only funny shapes left so the sleeves and neckband are from a plain black viscose jersey fabric.
I did have enough fabric for some print cuffs, but I pinned them in place and didn't like the effect so stayed with the 3/4 length sleeves as per the pattern.
This works well with the charcoal and teal pieces so some progress on my SWAKOP.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018


3 years ago I decided to try the Kirsten Kimono tee, and I made a dress based on the pattern.
The dress was OK and I wore it a few times, but it was overall fairly light being made up of black, white and pale pink stripes.
I overdyed it with a burgundy colour, which did not dye the black or white, but turned the pale pink into a deep rich burgundy. I liked it better but it still did not get worn very much.

I thought I would wear a t shirt more than the dress, so I shortened it and added sleeves cut from the lower section of the skirt.
A fairly successful refashion!

Burda August 2018

I buy Burda magazine every month and enjoy looking at the magazines, but the whole tracing thing puts me off making things from them unless I really really love it.
I do learn a lot just by looking at the garment drawings and the shape of the pattern pieces in the layout diagrams.
I have in the past had good results with their trousers but had a disaster earlier this year which put me off rather.

There's a few things I like in the August magazine.

101/102 interests me as the yoke/sleeve is all one piece and I wonder how it would look in a stripe jersey as the stripes change direction from the front to back and how they would intersect with the front raglan sleeve seam.

122 also interests me from this perspective as the pieces are a different shape to 'normal' trouser patterns.

I like those sort of jigsaw patterns which don't have the normal recognisable pattern pieces but then sew up into a garment.
Perhaps I am talking myself into sewing them!

Monday, 13 August 2018

Patchwork Tee Thoughts - Ottobre 5/2018 #8

I came across this from Ottobre 5/2012, which I don't currently own, but was fascinated by this as a way of using up knit scraps.

I wonder if the magazine contains instructions for cutting the pieces? If it is just the basic tee pattern I could use one I already have and make patchwork yardage out of my knit scraps. I sippose to be harmonious one needs to have some coomon theme in colours. I suspect there is a great deal more art in this than would appear initially.

I wonder if anyone actually made this as the patchwork version, and if so if I could see the photos of their projects?

I now cannot bear to throw away my knit scraps as I am imagining a fabulous casual top like this!

I suppose a start would be to sort my knit scraps by base colour and see what speaks to me. It could be a while before anything actually pops out of the sewing room though.
Someone who has this kindly told me.
It is a basic t-shirt, it shares the back and sleeves from #11 and #13 in the same issue. The instructions say that you should preshrink and press your knits, trace single layer front and back pattern pieces and draw the horizontal lines from the pattern markings and the vertical lines for the patchwork by eye. Then cut pieces and sew for each row, then sew the rows together, then cut out the front, back and sleeves.

Looking at the line drawing, there is definitely a pattern and a balance to the patchwork. It's based on horizontal rows divided unequally in to three or four parts. The sleeves are just horizontal rows, no vertical divisions.

Thanks for the Link EveUK

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Sewing Room Improvements

I have been doing some sewing room improvements. I had a big TV with DVD player which I almost never watched as I prefer music when sewing and have a CD/radio as well. So I have taken that out of the room and bought an 8 cube unit from Argos (smaller than the similar Ikea one).
I have magazine files of Burda magazines along the bottom row and fabric drawers in the top row.
I now need to use this to get the room quite a bit tidier. Wish me luck as I would generally rather sew than tidy up.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Sew – the Garment-Making Book of Knowledge - Winner

Hi all, glad you enjoyed the review. I am still enjoying my copy of the book very much.
I printed all the commenters names off and drew one from the hat.

The winner was Lyn J.

Lyn commented
"I'm like you -- I've sewn for a number of years, but I'm always on the lookout for good tips and tricks to make my sewing time more enjoyable and productive. Plus, I've enjoyed Barbara's blog (and "conversations") for a few years so I'm sure there will be plenty more of the same in her book. It's now up there on my wishlist! Lyn J."

So looks like your wish has come true Lyn, please email me at <sew.ruthie.style@zoho.eu> so I can arrange for you to get a copy of the ebook.

I have not been sewing recently due to DIY, work and weariness, but hope to resume shortly.


Thanks Lyn I have received your email and passed it on for the ebook, might be a few days as its the weekend now. Thanks Ruth

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Sew – the Garment-Making Book of Knowledge

SEW... The Garment –Making Book of Knowledge

Real-Life Lessons from a Serial Sewist

Barbara Emodi

I ordered a hardcopy of Barbara’s book as soon as it was available in the UK and have really enjoyed dipping in and out of it over the weeks since then. So it is a great pleasure to be part of the blog tour, sharing with you what I loved about it.
I think the book is particularly suited to someone who has got a sewing machine, attended some sewing classes, made a few garments but wants to know what they could do next. However I’ve been sewing (mostly self taught) for about 30 years and have learned some new tricks from this, as well as been reminded of some other stuff I had forgotten I knew. I wish something like this had been available in the past as it probably would have helped avoid some of my more disastrous sewing projects!

I felt very affirmed by the book. Barbara offers all sorts of helpful tips, but also encourages us to find a way and style of sewing that works for each of us. I’m pretty sure this is the only sewing book I own which has a chapter called ‘Sewing For Joy’ (Chapter 9 if you are interested). And for me sewing is a joy (as long as I get to choose my own projects and timeframes).

This book is therefore so much more than a collection of tips for improving your sewing, more like a wise sewing friend (or auntie) being by your side with some suggestions. You can try them, or go your own way, but at least you got the information.  

Here’s some of the bits I liked best this week (I might pick other favourites on a different occasion as there are many goodies to choose from.)
Top Left - from Chapter 2 'What to Sew', looking at the Lifestyle Pie

Top Right -  from Chapter 3 'Finding the Right Pattern' on how to do an easy zippered pocket (I'm going to try this and will share it with you when I do!)

Bottom Left - Chapter 4 'If it fits, they will wear it', looking at the detailed Personal Measurement Chart, which has adjustment hints as well (with page numbers)

Bottom Right - Chapter 6 'Choosing and cutting fabric', Mini Lessons on cutting striped fabric (which I used on my previous project and a very clever piece on matching print motifs.

Barbara walks the sewist through the process from determining what garments to sew to fit with your lifestyle and wardrobe, (something I struggled with for years), choosing and fitting patterns (ongoing frustration), fabric, equipment, (I really must get me some duck billed scizzors) and then your strategy for sewing for joy going forwards.

For some reason the publisher didn't include an Index, so if you want to find which page has the handy tip on a full tummy alteration you have to do a bit of work with the index and flipping through the chapters  to find it (it is on page 114 btw), however the more I read and re-read the book, the more familiar I am with the different sections and their contents.

C&T Publishing have offered to give away an eBook copy of the book to one of the readers of SewRuthieStyle.  If you’d like to enter please leave a comment about how sewing brings you joy, and I'll draw a name on Thursday 9th August.

The blog tour schedule is as follows:
Please do have a read of the other reviews for a different perspective.  

I bought this book full price, with my own money and was so glad I did. I recommend it whole heartedly!
Although Barbara has targeted her book towards the beginning sewer (who will find it immensely helpful) it is also invaluable to  those who have been sewing a bit longer. I'm hugely grateful for Barbara for putting all those thoughts into a book. When the thread breaks late at night and I stop sewing before I make it worse, I spend 5 minutes with a cup of tea and SEW.. and know it'll all be OK tomorrow.


The winner was Lyn J. Please email me so I can arrnage for you to get the ebook.