Friday, 30 September 2011

Cushions and Kittens

As I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t have as much time for ‘selfish’ sewing at the moment as my boyfriend and I are hoping to move house and need to dedicate our free time to sprucing up our current house. It’s very frustrating at times because I am longing to get stuck into making the skirts and tops from my Autumn sewing plan. But you have to prioritise I suppose.
Today I have a couple of cushions which I made for our living room recently. It’s ironic, because I hadn’t planned on sewing anything for the living room (the bedrooms need the most work), but when you accidentally put cream cushion covers in the wash with red ones you end up with new cushion covers to sew (unless salmon pink suits your decor)!!
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These have been on our couch for about a week, so they are looking a little crumpled now – sorry about that!!!
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I whipped these up one evening using a very simple envelope method. The buttons are just there for effect, they aren’t functional! The fabric is from Ikea and the buttons I got on Ebay.
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And because I now share my home with two kittens, they were of course desperate to find out what I was doing…
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Biscuit investigating the cushion (or the cup of coffee more likely – that’s not for kittens!!!)
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And then settles down for a snooze. It’s amazing what different personalities these two sisters have. Biscuit is calm and subdued. Bean…is always up to mischief:
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“Hello. What’s this little round thing..haven’s seen this before…”
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Naughty Paw in the air…
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POW!! Kitten attack! Oi – get off my new cushion!!!

…we have to keep our cushions turned with the buttons hidden when we go out for the day now!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Sewing Themed Christmas Gifts at Boots!

To my shock/horror/delight (or all of the above!), I discovered today that the Christmas gift stock is adorning the shelves in Boots already!!! I was having a wee nosey at this years offerings, when my heart  skipped a beat - sewing themed gifts!!! Check out these goodies (p.s. it was hard to get decent images, so if you want a closer look at any of them click through to the Boots website):

Bright as a Button Fragranced Soap - button shaped soap....need I say more!

Bright as a Button Tinted Lip Balms - I would love to carry one of these cute button shaped tins around in my handbag!

Crafty Nana Teatime Cakes Pin Cushion Set - make your own pin the shape of yummy cakes - mmmmmmm

Sew Sweet Pin Cushion - in the shape of a giant wooden bobbin

Sew Sweet Sewing Organiser - this is such a cute sewing box with little pockets to hold things under the lid and space to store small sewing projects (not really big enough for those of us who mainly sew clothes though!)

Sew Sweet Sewing Set - this is my favorite. It's a little metal clasp pouch to hold all your basic sewing notions - LOVE THIS!

In sewing related news, I have actually finished a couple of small projects...I just need to photograph them and then I'll get them up on the blog to share with you all.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tuesday's Tutorial Treat: T to drawstring cami refashion

Tori from Sew Knit Me has just shared the cutest and quickest tutorial refashioning a old big t-shirt into a very pretty drawstring cami. Perhaps a little light weight for a lot of us, so this is one to bookmark for next year. But if you're in the Southern Hemisphere, or on the equator, then this would be perfect for now! If you don't know Tori's blog, do check out her other refashions, she has a really great sense of style.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Tuesday's Tutorial Treat - Wrap Bracelets

This tutorial is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, but looks fantastic. I would love an arm loaded with these in loads of different colours.

From Honestly...WTF, which has a tonne of DIY's and inspirational images worth looking through, find out how to make your own wrap bracelets:



In other news - I've got my sewing machine back! Thanks for all your great comments to my last post, it was fun to see I'm not the only overly organised sewer out there (my 'excuse' is I'm a project manager...but I was like this before I started working!).

The down side is that, although I've got my sewing machine back, I might not get to fire out a tonne of projects straight away. My boyfriend and I are trying to sort out our house so that we can put it on the market, and as much as I would like to say that sewing is my top priority, I have to be realistic and dedicate more time to the house. BUT - I do have a few housey sewing projects that I want to do to spruce the place up for potential buyers, so I'll definitely share those with you. Bottom line - there won't be as many posts on my blog as I would like...but I'll try and update as much as I can!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

What do you do when your sewing machine is in the repair shop.....

This week I have been without my sewing machine as it started sewing backwards (don't ask!), but, as you may know, I have a LOT of plans for my Autumn wardrobe. So what do you do when you can't physically get any sewing done? Prep. Lots and lots of prep of course!

So far I have:
  • Printed out the pattern for the Burda Jenny skirt.
  • Stuck it together and cut out all the pieces (believe me, this takes a long time!)
  • Cut out the pieces for the Toile/Muslin
  • Cut out the pieces for a toile for the Burda 8155
  • Printing out the pattern for the Colette Sorbetto top
  • Stuck it together and cut out all the pieces
  • Cut out the pieces for a toile of the Sorbetto
  • Bought two more fabrics to be made into tops (!!)
  • Played with my Kitties
Do you ever do your sewing like this? Get all the tracing and cutting prep done all at once and then concentrate on the sewing? If you do, how do you keep all your pieces organised? I thought I'd share with you my new way of  keeping all my different projects organised:

I bought a load of A3 clear zip-lock folders and now store all my muslin, paper pattern, envelope and fabric for each project in a separate folder. They have a little name card holder so you can label them too - but because they are clear, it's pretty easy to tell what's in what anyway! I have to say that this is quite a revelation for my sewing room - suddenly it's not quite so chaotic in there (my boyfriend is very please! lol)!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Tuesday's Tutorial Treat - How to visualise fabric on patterns

In my last post, on my Autumn sewing plans, I debuted my new skill - showing patterns with my chosen fabric! I'm not very technologically minded (I used to be...but now I am old (!!) and can't keep up with the advances...!) but I followed a very clear and helpful tutorial done by Melissa from The Curious Kiwi. The bonus is she did a tutorial for Gimp, which is a free downloadable programme! Since I don't have Photoshop this is the version I used.

Photoshop tutorial HERE
Gimp tutorial HERE

P.S. Katy Cameron asked me how I had done my pics, so Katy I hope this helps - I expect to see fabulous fabric & pattern combinations from you now!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Autumn Sewing Planning

You've seen my colour palette, you've seen my let's see what I plan to make!

I'm going to start with the skirts, because I think this 'wardobe' is going to predominately revolve around them.
  • First up is Burda 8155, view B, which I plan to make out of my floral linen. This is suppose to be quite an easy pattern so I hope I will be able to make this up with little hassle (ha...famous last words perhaps!). 
  • Next is the infamous Jenny from A lot of bloggers have made this skirt and all seem to rave about I think I would be crazy not to make this! I'm going to be following the wonderful Pencil Skirt Sew-along by A Fashionable Stitch (back then known as the Cupcake Goddess), and I'll definitely be adding the back vent in place of the slit.
  • And finally I would like to make the gorgeous silk/wool tweed fabric I have into a skirt too. I'm a little concerned about fiddling with narrow pieces of this fabric (such as a thin waistband) due to the fray factor, so I've tried to pick a pattern which I think would work well with the tweed. At the moment I'm planning on using the Burda skirt 07/2010 107B...but we will see how the muslin works out!
  • I'm also going to line all these skirts to make them suitable to wear with tights without riding up while walking!! 

Well if I'm going to make skirts...I need some tops to match too! Unfortunately this is where I am not so sure what to do. At the moment the plan is:
  • Making the infamous Colette Sorbetto top (for anyone who hasn't heard of this - it's a fantastic free pattern offered by the gorgeous Sarai of Colette Patterns!!) out of the scarf fabric from Primark. The photo doesn't do the fabric colours justice, because when held up to both the pink tweed and the heavy purple cotton it actually goes really well. I mentioned in my last post that this fabric is quite sheer, so I would need to wear a vest under this I think. And I'll definitely be doing french seams or it will be another case of fray-city!
  • The second pattern is Burda 02/2011 102A...but I'm not 100% sure about this choice. I have a gorgeous bright pink linen which goes fantastically with all the skirt fabrics. My ideal pattern would be a cowl top which I could tuck into the skirts...but I just can't find anything suitable, any cowl patterns seem to be for knit fabrics only (if anyone has any suggestions please do let me know!). I may try to draft a pattern based on a couple of tops I have....but for now I'm going to say that I'll make the Burda top, perhaps underlining it to give it a bit more stability (although the linen is quite heavy in it's own right).

And finally, I may make a dress too (lol, in my planning dreams I live in a different time continuum where I can go to work, spend time with my boyfriend, have a social life, play with kittens, cook, exercise AND make all of these things over a couple of months!). The plan at the moment is New Look 6557 in the lovely light-weight purple floral cotton I brought back from Thailand. The bodice will definitely be underlined and I'll probably line the skirt. The theory behind using New Look 6557 is that I used this pattern to make my blue lace dress, so it should be easy enough to make 2nd time round.

I'm taking my sewing machine in to be looked at I have no idea whether they will be able to fix it there an then, or if it's a bigger job! Perhaps these sewing plans may have to wait, but I hope not! I shall just have to 'prep' in the mean time.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Autumn Palette - Fabric

Colette Patterns Fall Palette ChallengeSince I first posted about my Autumn Palette Inspiration a couple of weeks ago, I was delighted to see that Sarai from Colette Patterns has announced her Fall Palette Challenge (FPC), following on from her very successful Spring Palette Challenge (SPC). The SPC was really my inspiration to try and create an Autumn Palette to sew from, as I thought it would lead to a more structured sewing experience and ulimately lead to pieces which complement each other!

My first post introduced my colour palette of puple, pink, mustard and blue-grey (to the right) which I explained was partly due to the Pantone Fall Colour palette and partly based on the fabrics I had in my stash. So I thought I would share the fabrics I plan to use over the next few months:

This is a very heavy-weight purple cotton which my Mum gave to me way back when I first got my sewing machine. It has never really inspired me, but right now I feel it is begging to be made into a pencil skirt. I have at least 3 meters of this though, so I could get another piece from it as well if I want.

A medium-weight linen with a lovely floral pattern. The colours look better in real-life, but it's got both bright pink and purple in it so it sould hopefully co-ordinate with a lot of other peices. Again, I see this as a pencil skirt. 

I love this fabric. It's a gorgeous bright pink wool/silk tweed (yep, silk!), which has an orange and a purple slub to it. Again, I'm hoping to make a skirt out of this (yes, I have pencil skirts on the brain at the moment!).

This fabric has almost all my palette colours in it! It's the light cotton that I brough back from my Thailand holiday. At the moment I'm planning to make a dress out of this - it will probably be a transition peice (based on the weather I had better get sewing then! lol).

This is actually a large scarf from Primark but I loved the colour and print so much I bought two with the plans of making something out of it! It's rather fine and sheer so anything I do make with it will either have to be underlined, lined or I wear something under it.

Another fabric kindly given to me from my Mum. This is an absolutely gorgeous heavy Irish linen and I have about 2m of (probably more...I haven't actually checked!). I have a few ideas for this so at the moment I'm not sure. But I know it would match well with a lot of the other fabrics here, so perhaps a top would be a good idea. Maybe I should go and find out exactly how much I have because I would also really like a dress out of this!!

Hmmm... I realise I don't actually have much in the line of 'Bamboo' or 'Quarry' here! I think, certainly for Bamboo, that these colours will be introduced into the mix via accessories. I've spotted a lovely mustard moleskin online which I think could be pretty amazing made into an obi belt and perhaps an envelope clutch.....I just have to persuade myself to pay for the steep postage (or add lots of other things I 'need' into the package to justify it! Ha...does that logic sound familiar to anyone else!).

P.S. Another thing which is quite difficult to get done with kittens is blogging! I'm currently sharing my lap with my laptop and one of the kittens....who is trying to eat my top at the moment!!!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Furry Sewing Assistants

As I mentioned on Monday, one of the reasons why I haven't been sewing so much is because my boyfriend and I just got two new additions to our family:

Meet Bean and Biscuit! I have been wanting a cat for so long so I am really really excited about these two little girls. We only got them last week so they are still rather shy, but they will relax into their new surroundings soon I'm sure.

 This is Biscuit - she is already very friendly and loves playing with string

And this is Bean - a little more shy but gets up to a lot of mischief!

They are staying in the living room at the moment but we will let them out to explore the rest of the house in about a weeks time.....who knows what mischief they will get up to in my sewing room!!!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tuesday's Tutorial Treat - Reversible Scallop Skirt

I missed out last Tuesday - whoops!

Anyway, we are back with a very cute tutorial today. Scallops seemed to take the blog world by storm this year and the trend is still very much going strong. Carrying on from that here is a very clever tutorial to make a reversible scallop miniskirt by Meream from Bored and Crafty:

Click Here

Monday, 5 September 2011

Autumn Fireworks Skirt

Hello! I disappeared last week didn't I! Sorry about that but I seemed to lose my sewing and blogging Mojo for a bit. I guess life does that to you sometimes.

Anyway, although I have lost my sewing Mojo a bit, I did manage to whip up a quick skirt - and I mean quick! I found a length of jersey in the remnant bin in my local fabric shop for £3 and although I have never sewn with jersey before I just couldn't pass it by! So because this was my first foray into sewing with jersey I kept it nice and simple and just made a gathered skirt with an elastic waist. And as proof as to how easy I kept it....I cut it so that the hem was the selvedge, which reduced the chances of crappy sewing!!!

Another 'location photo-shoot' - this time I'm at the Hillsborough Fort. If you ever get a chance of coming to Northern Ireland I definitely recommend a short visit to the town of Hillsborough - probably one of the prettiest towns we have, with lovely little shops, cafes, traditional pubs...oh and a castle which the Queen stays in when she comes to N.I!

Unfortunately, I have discovered that my sewing machine has started acting up so I need to take it in for a service. No idea when I will back up and running, but hopefully not for too long as I have lots of projects waiting to be started! I guess I can do all the tracing and cutting prep while I wait so that I can launch into sewing as soon as the machine is back.

P.S. I have another reason why I haven't been sewing very much recently...I shall post about it later this week! Prepare for cuteness overload!
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