It’s been a while, so here’s some sewing at last!… I made myself a bag, and it started with a piece of textured fabric that I made about 2 yrs ago.
I added texture to some plain grey cotton canvas that I bought at IKEA. A few lines of pin tucks, sewn down in opposite directions. Which I then made into a pocket, and this became the centre panel for my bag.
Bags are one of my favourite things to make because they can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. I like to plan how the bag will be used, so that I know which pocket will hold my phone, and I wanted to fit my lunch in the centre bag and have room for my flask or water bottle.
I took a pattern from a shop bought bag, after trying out the panel for size:
I wrapped some fabric around the bag and traced off a pattern.
The canvas has a very tight weave which was difficult to sew, and impossible to get even topstitching. So I stopped trying and improvised instead:!
The components ready to be joined and straps attached:
I also changed the silver zipper pull at the front, as the zips were salvaged from a child’s backpack and had GAA embossed on them 😂(Gaelic Athletics Association)
Happy New year everyone!! I hope it has started off well. 2020 was the strangest year, and I’ve been going through my photos to remind myself that there were lots of positives mixed in with all the negatives.
I realised that I’ve never looked back at a full year of making before. So I thought it might be interesting to share what I made in 2020, as I didn’t get to show everything on this blog.
Knitting wise I made less than I thought – just 5 handknits. I did cast on other projects, but they were all taken off the needles after a few rows…. I think I just found it hard to settle on anything this year.
My Caramel Cardigan is my favourite, and has been worn almost every week since I made it. I really think it was worth the time it took to figure it out, without using a pattern, and I’d like to try doing something similar this year (and maybe even writing out the pattern this time!)
I’d also like to make another Sunday Cardigan, it’s a shape that really suits me and works up quickly too.
I had wanted to try more crafts this year like embroidery, painting, or weaving. The May Bank Holiday weekend threw some weaving material my way, when my husband was clearing the garden and I used the flexible brambles to make a basket:
It dried out nicely and while it’s not as strong as a willow basket, it held its shape perfectly.
That led to me signing up for a one day, (group of 4) willow basketry course in August when restrictions had been lifted. (I had attended one of these classes a few years ago).
This time I came home with a very sturdy willow basket:
I tried out some embroidery/applique on a RTW tee shirt:
I also tried needlepunch for the first time. I bought an Amy Oxford punch needle that works with dk/aran weight wool, so that I could use up my leftover Yarn:
This isn’t my original design, I saw a beautiful painting and free handed a drawing onto hessian, which I then filled in with yarn. It is now brightening up a wall on my house 😁
I was surprised by how little sewing I had done. I think outside of my day job, I spent alot more time outdoors, hiking, cycling or swimming depending on what restrictions were in place.
My Burda Dress, which is now Navy… I’ll update with a photo soon.
My grey and pink skirt was quickly followed by another version in a striped denim, it just need buttonholes to be done!
I also made a shirt around the same time from a fabric swap. It’s Mccalls M7575.
I took a copy of a sweatshirt I owned and made it in a navy floral scuba, which I gave to my Mother for Christmas and she loved it. It reminded me that I’d like to make more things as gifts, especially for my Mother as she is always chuffed to have something I made. (A cross-stitch Xmas wall hanging that I made in 1992, was hanging by the tree again this year😂
And finally the most recent item I’ve sewn: this is McCalls M7694 and as soon as my silver snaps arrive it will be properly finished!
I hope it’s brought some inspiration, or even a distraction for now.
Anyone remember the Burda Dress I started back in March/April?..
I finished it (finally) and got a few pictures last weekend. It’s fine… But I’m a bit meh about it!
Maybe it’s just too much green? I bought that fabric in Hickeys Fabrics for some jeans-type trousers and I think I should have stuck to that plan.
I’ll wait til the summer and try it with a different top/cami underneath or I might dye it!
Also I’m pretty sure it’ll need extra buttons…
I really like the large pockets and the waist buttons, and I might even make it again if I find the right fabric. Anyway it’s good to finish it and move on.
I’ve had a burst of sewing lately, I got involved in a fabricswap on Instagram that was organised by Gillian from Worthy Design studio and Ann Marie from Craftystudio
I received fabrics and some patterns from 3 lovely ladies and I gave away two pieces of fabric that were sitting unloved. I made a new skirt that I’ll upload soon and I also made a new shirt which is pictured below waiting for buttonholes.
I used McCalls M7575. Its my 2nd time using this pattern – the 1st shirt is made from a white and grey fabric, and even though the colour isn’t great on me, I still wear it to work because I love the fit. (It might go in the dye bucket with the green dress now that I have a replacement!)
Plans for this weekend including hiding from the rain and wind and prepping some patterns for my next burst of sewing. Oh and for anyone interested – I did manage to get in the sea last week for the first time ever in November – not as cold as I expected so I must be acclimatising 🙂
I think I’ve found my favourite fabric to sew and wear – viscose ! (Or Rayon depending on where in the globe you are). I bought this fabric for €3 a metre, total bargain so I jumped into sewing it before it got lost on a shelf.
This is the Adele dress from Simply Sewing Magazine.
I love seeing the growing selection of sewing magazines in Irish newsagents. There were almost no dedicated sewing magazines to be found in Ireland when I was a teenager. I used to buy my Burda magazines by subscription direct from Germany. Otherwise I had to wait for a big shopping trip to Cork or Dublin City to buy vogue or simplicity envelope patterns.
A couple of UK magazines, (anyone remember ‘Me’ magazine?) would include a sewing pattern as part of a craft pullout but the instructions were bare bones.
When ‘Me’ went out of print, ‘Prima’ magazine was the only one with a pattern – although oddly they stopped including a pull out pattern just as sewing got popular again! The current Prima magazines have you phone up to order the pattern, which is too much hassle when you want a quick fix!
Anyway, not to wander off too much…I’ve picked up a few of the new magazines and am gradually working my way through them. In all honesty there’s not much reading in them, a lot of sewing basics are repeatedly covered along with the usual blogger features and pages of adds.
So back to the Adele dress : I made it in viscose and instead of binding the neckline, I lined the top with some black viscose cut from an old maxi skirt. I didn’t line the skirt because I think it’s easier just to have a few slips in neutral colours. Saves time on making up and also on washing/drying.
I usually wear an 8/10 in rtw so cut a size 10. But when I tried it on halfway through it was a bit tight on the waist, so I added two small oval shapes to the side seams. The busy pattern of the fabric means they’re not even noticeable.
Side seam inserts & mismatched thread!
Other than that, it flew together and I’ve worn it loads. The folds in the skirt hang nicely in the viscose -I might try it out in a slightly heavier fabric like a crepe or double knit as it’s the kind of shape I love to wear and the wide sleeves work well with a layer underneath.
So that’s the scéal here, til next time..happy sewing!
We’ve just come out of the longest heatwave I can remember in Ireland, amazing sunshine every day is not something we are used to around here! So you can imagine we’ve spent more time than usual outdoors, and not much sewing has been happening. I have been knitting and made an attempt at joining in with Kate’s knitalong but progress has been slow and there’s not much to show and tell there!
So for now I’m sharing some pictures of a finished sewing object – I’ve made 2 versions of this shirtdress, it’s Simplicity 8014 and they’ve gotten a lot of wear. I think I first saw this pattern on Beth’s sewing blog – Sunnygal Sewing Studio. If you’re not following her, then I definitely recommend it – lots of very useful sewing information from a lady who knows her stuff!
I made a few changes from the original and took some photos as I went . The picture below is of the dress inside-out on my dressform:
I used a black and floral cotton fabric that I bought from the remnants bin, and a lightweight cerise pink poly crepe to line it. It’s mostly underlined (when both fabrics are held together and treated like one piece), except at the hems and side seams, where the lining hangs separately. I’m sharing a few pics that show how I treated the pockets, which are held in the side seams.
Instead of making two separate pockets from lining and fabric, I joined them together from the beginning so that all the raw edges are hidden.
Using 2 pocket pieces cut from fabric and two from lining, I laid them with the fabric pieces right side together, and then two lining pieces on top :
After sewing through all four layers, I trimmed away the excess fabric from the curved edges.
Then snipped as far as the stitching at the opening edges as below:
I caught one of the pink lining pieces at the open edge and held the other 3 pieces together and pulled them through the opening, which trapped all the raw edges between the pink lining pieces:
I joined them to the shirt side seams on the main fabric. When I was sewing up the lining side seams, I left the pocket opening in the seam and pulled the pocket through, so that it hangs on the inside of the dress, rather than between the dress and lining. The lining can then be hand or machine stitched to the pocket edges.
Pocket bag hanging on inside of dress – before ironing!
So there you are, hopefully it’ll be of use to someone! I do still have to finish my burda cape-jacket, but it’s parked up for now, while I decide if I need to shorten it before adding the buttons, it could be a while before that shows up as a finished object!