Thursday, 2 December 2010

2 More Done .............

 I'm glad these wallets are done because I'm seriously bored of them for now ..................

Tidying up to make room for the Christmas tree at the weekend, one finds all sorts of bags stuffed with embroidery bits .........................

Setting the scene ready for the festive season.  In reality I expect it will be long gone by then but this is last night ...................

It's been snowing for over 24 hours now virtually non-stop albeit very light so we have a mere 8" yet still enough to be snowed in !!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

One Happy Mummy

I'm pleased with this so fingers crossed for Christmas morning ..............

about 10" high (not including handles) ............

 Zippered top panel ...................

 A zipped inner pocket ..........

A learning curve, there's a couple of things I would do differently ............ no less an inner elasticated pocked (for a mobile phone etc..) where I stupidly followed instructions from a book and should have done it my own way from the beginning and a big thankyou to the ladies at TSF for suggestions and advice on how to attach the frills.

Especially for Jackie ................ inserting a zipper panel (my way not necessarily the right way!).  Cotton quilt/dress weight fabric interfaced with woven cotton interfacing/stayflex.  The finished width of each strip adjoining the zip is 3/4" so cut strip double this width plus 1" for turnings and required length (plus 1" for turnings on the length).  Turn edges under/press 1/2" along all raw edges and fold in half lengthways, press.  Slip this casing over the zipper fabric ensuring pressed edges are equal both above and below the zip and stitch short edges and along zipper close to the edge through all layers to attach zip.  Repeat for other side.

The folded edge on the outside is pinned to the lining (through one layer only - the lining is turned back on this pic just to show the zipper easier) and stitched close to edge.  I stitched the zipper panel 1" down from the top of the above bag.  On the bag a few posts ago I stitched the zipper panel through both the lining and bag outer but tried it a bit different this time by just stitching through the lining.  It's better if the zipper overhangs the adjoining panels by a few inches so the bag can open fully.  Very easy in reality but expect it sounds clear as mud!!


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Ruffles Bag

 Still sewing ........... with more zingy colours ...........

That pink frill doesn't look quite right .................. like I've run out of fabric ..............

so another floral frill I think ...................

I thought the Christmas present list was dwindling but I have another purse to do, the one in the last post having gone to a new home so no time to spend on here really - handles, lining and fastening to think about and get on with too.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Christmas Stuff

Shirt no. 1 .............

Shirt no. 2 was nearly finished when I noticed my fingertips had devloped a navy tinge ................. from the batik print!  First thoughts were that it would probably be ok for an initial wear (with jeans) but then my husband said "what if it rains?".  Oh yeah!  So it's been in the washing machine and lost quite a lot of dye but still looks ok (pic is prewash) so it's just waiting for some buttons.

A wallet (or purse) ............. just a few French knots acting as random "quilting" stitches.

Opened out .........

A present from her mum for her first married Christmas, mum decided to redress her 1961 Christmas tree fairy but this is as far as it got!

I'm going to redress her but not with the old bits of lace in the pic ............ something more in keeping with her time (evident from her facial features and hair) I think.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

First Christmas Present Finished

I've had quite a good week!  In addition to processes learned and refreshed on the dress, the knitting bag is finished (not quite sure about the "rosette" but it will do) ............ and I worked out how to insert a top panel for the zipper.  On reflection, some interfacing would have been beneficial so I'll try and remember that for next time (if there is a next time) ............. 

The sunflower didn't get finished but I had a large jigsaw puzzle in reserve so that was fine.  Mum and dad found these pretty tassels in a "garage" sale kind of thing on their hols ............ mum thought they'd be ideal for my bags or even to hang on the Christmas tree ............. they'll probably go on the tree - very pretty for 40p.

Thankyou for all your comments ............. I do read them all.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

It's been a Productive Day

The bag now has a lining ..............

The actual bag panels can be quite tricky to put together for the first time as in Easy Japanese Quilt Style so here are a few pics and notes for constructing the lining (the outer is the same but I had already done that)

Lay out the panels as above with the long side of "A" to the left, the long side of "B" against the short end of "A", the long side of "C" against the short end of "B" and the long side of "D" against the short end of "C".  My fabric is laid out right side facing and I have numbered the stitching points for ease of reference when making up for the first time.

Flip panel "A" down over "B" right sides together ............ the short end of "A" lined up against the long side of "B" thus numbers 1 and 2 matching.  I have marked stitching line allowing a 1cm seam allowance.

 Machine stitch, starting and ending 1cm in from each end.

Press seam allowance open.


Line up panels again

Flip panel "C" over on to panel "B" right sides together (long side of panel "C" to short end of panel "B") making sure panel "C" is  overlapping the previous seam 1cm at the top to allow seam allowance for turning.

Stitch seam from the previous seam ending 1cm from the bottom again .......... press open.


Lay out the panels again

Flip long side of "D" over short end of "C" ensuring "D" is overlapping the previous seam of "C" by 1cm as in picture though move the fabric up so raw edges meet (I have just lowered for the picture to show it a little clearer.

The panels should now look like this

Now stitch the short end of "D" to the long side of "A".

The above pic shows the intersection between panels "A" and "B"

Using the pivot point of stitching match panel  "B" to panel "A" right sides together and pin working out from the pivot point towards the end ........... it should overlap a little at the top as in the picture.  PLEASE NOTE ........... if you are stitching patched panels together then it is important to match the centre of the squares which will come in the centre of the seam to be stitched.  If necessary stitch from this centre point out towards each end of the seam otherwise continue as follows ............

 At this point you might find it easier to stitch the reverse of the pinned side ............ it is easier to see where the previous stitching ends thus where the new stitching should start to ensure a good corner.  Press seam open.

It should now look something like this.  Again, using the pivot point between "B" and "C", right sides together, bring the long side of panel "C" to the short side of panel "B", pin and stitch as previously.

The camera ran out of battery at this point but, as above, stitch panel "D" to "C" and then "A" to "D", press last seam allowance open.  You should now have a "square" bag with the bottom of the bag having seams going from corner to corner and meeting in the middle  (see top pic).

I hope this makes sense and helps somewhat.

A Distraction .............

One good deed deserves another so this is our (surprise) return favour ................

Yeah, it kind of bends the rules with large prints for babies but then if I'm making it, it's got to be fabric that I like .............. I could never be a professional seamstress!

Using McCalls pattern 4351, I positioned the print as best I could with the limited fabric I had ........... not to mention that the print was out of line on the fabric!  Fully lined, I omitted the net interlining for the skirt as the cotton lining gives quite enough body and I added some piping along the skirt/bodice join (didn't have enough to do any more).  If I were to make it again, I would probably hand hem the skirt and not, as the pattern suggests, machine straight stitch plus think about reducing the bulk from the gathered skirt in the bottom of the bodice.

I like it and am quite pleased being as the last time I made a baby/toddler dress was 1991 and before that back in the 70s!  It shouldn't be long before I find out if mum likes it and, if it fits!!!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Even More Stuff to Do

I am loving this months issue of Through the Needle free magazine and hope to start a "Foot Book" 

I did a number of MB samples for C&G but they were various sizes,  and encompassing a number of techniques, mostly executed on mum's old Bernina which has lots of satin stitch patterns.  Not limiting to feet but seeing what I could get from the limited stitches on my 1008 could be fun. 

Then there's this jacket which is so "me" ........... in a different colour ............ a different neckline ............ .  I have an old Indian patchwork jacket that has lost half the mirrors and got partly wrecked in the washing machine ......... this is an idea for a replacement then!

As if I haven't got enough planned ............ think I need to get doing with less looking (and stay away from the dyes or at least remind myself that they are dyes)!!!!!!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Sunflower Progress

Had it been sunny the lustre of the silk might show more but getting there .............

Lifesize, at a guess, 8-9" diameter and an expensive project with acid and/or disperse dye on 2 different blouses this week ................. oops!!!!!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Onwards and Upwards

Well, I've done a lot of trialling with the sunflower idea on how best to stabilise and transfer the design on to the silk.  Am still at the leaves stage but think I have it sorted now and spent ages transferring outlines onto interfacing before realising it was stitch n tear duh!!!  That'll teach me to put things away that I no longer need but, hey, tomorrow is another day!

One of the bags that I did earlier in the year .................

I was doing another as a knitting bag for an elderly friend in her 90s who knits all day and evening now her mobility is not so good.  The stretch on the bias of the gingham threw the patchwork into disarray but I can remedy that with some fabric flowers .............

Said friend has a little dog.   As she's knitting, she keeps the wool in a carrier bag to stop dog messing around with it and I had thought about that and have some slippery fabric for the lining (might even use PVC coated stuff if it isn't too bulky) but I had forgotten that she ties carrier bag into a knot to stop the dog getting in it whenever she has to leave the knitting ......... this style of bag is open.  The bag is a bit too bulky to use drawstring plus I think it would reduce the usable size too much so I was thinking what if I open it out and insert a zip within a gusset of fabric at the top (will have to look up the technical term) leaving the ends open a few inches so the wool can be pulled though?  That's what I plan to do unless I come up with anything better!

The last of our Christmas boxes .............. just making sure it all fits and that there's enough room for a packet of crayons and some sweets before wrapping ............


Thursday, 30 September 2010

Books and Patterns For Sale

I'm offering some of my books and patterns for sale - please leave me a comment if you are interested - all prices inIclude p&p to the UK

Brilliant Bags (Deena Beverley) £6 SOLD

Bags with Paper and Stitch (Isobel Hall) £12
The Machine Embroidery Handbook (DJ Bennett) £10
Embroidery Illusions (Gary Clarke) £12

Magic Wool £3
Making Birds and Insects (Barbara Snook) £2.75
Papermaking Techniques Book £8
Exploring Cross Stitch £2.75

Vogue 2915 Ladies Jacket/Coat S-XL (Uncut) £4.99
Vogue 7907 Ladies Jacket L/XL (cut to  XL) £2.99
McCalls 742 Cushions (uncut) £2.99
Style 2558 Bags and Scarves (uncut) £2.99


McCalls 5291 Dog Chicken Frog Sewing Caddies (part cut) £2.99
McCalls 3136 Bags (uncut) £2.99 SOLD
Butterick 4977 Lobster Glove (uncut) £2.50

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Just the thing to brighten up these dreary days.  I've done lots inspired by sunflowers in the past, here's a couple  ............ my first ever box adorned with a stumpwork sunflower .......

Gosh, look at all those french knots worked in one strand ................ that was a long time ago!  The box is 4" square and has a subtly quilted sun inside ........

and shanked buttons for the feet .............

A sunflower inspired tudor style headpiece (one of my C & G pieces) designed to be viewed from afar (drama costume) but here's a close up .............

With so much to do, I'm taking a shortcut with inspiration from this book and coloured up some silk ............