Making … not sewing

I haven’t been sewing as much as I’d like this last year. My sewing space has moved upstairs and the space isn’t working the way I’d like it to… odd how a change of surroundings can really impact on the flow of making.

But, it has meant that I’ve started to try out a few new crafts that don’t take up too much space downstairs!

I wanted to try making some polymer clay earrings for a while, and over Christmas I watched some tutorials on YouTube and clipped some pictures for inspiration:

clipped inspiration

I bought a few colours and started by rolling out 2 different coloured flat slabs and adding torn pieces, before flattening again with the roller.

Playdoh tools came in useful for this part!
I pierced two holes into each of the flowers so they could be used as buttons

Then I cut out pairs of shapes using little metal shapes that I bought at ‘The Range’ , I made a hole in each piece using a toothpick.

They were baked in the oven and I added earring hooks to some of the hearts.

Happy heart earrings!


I’m pretty happy with how they turned out! Except I only really needed one pair of each colour design! Not sure what I’ll use the other pieces for…next year’s Christmas presents maybe😉.

Oh and the earring storage was made from a charity shop purchase… a letter board turned sideways!

Before…
And after!

I’ve made a list of new things I’d like to try out this year, so I can tick polymer clay off of it … and I have been doing some crochet with a plan to teach myself how to follow a written pattern properly.

And in sewing news …. I cut out a dress. It’s from the Feb 2020 Burda:

Dress 113 Burda 02/2020

I’ll update its progress…!

Pj sewing , sewing for dolls & Saving time & fabric!

Hi there! I hope 2019 has gotten off to a good start. I’ve enjoyed seeing everyones sewing and knitting plans for 2019, but I know better than to declare any plans of my own, because I’ll never stick to them!

St.Brigid’s cross

Because its the 1st of Feb, a fair few school children will get to try weaving today, and will arrive home with battered and squished rushes/reeds made into crosses. It’s ‘Lá ‘le Bríd’ , first day of spring. It was traditionally a time when you’d leave a small item of clothing outside overnight for St.Bridget to bless. We did it as kids, but not anymore, and probably just as well – judging by how far the swing set got blown across the garden last night! We’d probably have found our scarves scattered around the parish !

Hopefully it’ll inspire some kids to carry on with weaving and maybe knitting and sewing too…!

Speaking of kids (+sewing), I had a lovely morning in November with one of ours and her friends. We made skirts for their dolls. They loved using the sewing machine and the simple gathered rectangle was a good beginner project for 9 yr olds.

Then in December I made a last minute effort to get some jammies and dressing gowns made for Christmas presents.

Flannel pyjamas

The pj top had a boxy shape with straight side seams, so I eliminated the side seams by pinning the pattern pieces together.

Pinning back and front at side seam

Then traced as one pattern piece.

This also meant I didn’t have to match stripes at the sides when sewing.

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The pj ends side seams were also gotten rid of, and I narrowed the legs a little so I could fit everything.

I cut out a section of the pattern for the grainline so that I could easily see the fabric lines, and cut each leg separately to get the stripes evenly matched.

Then a quick stitch up and they were done over two evenings. I bought the fabric in Guineys and it was only about 3 euro per metre. Well worth making these because the tall recipient can never buy pyjamas that are long enough in the legs! A second pair has been requested so they should probably go on the 2019 to-do list !

The dressing gowns were made from pink fleece and a New Look pattern 6170. I embroidered a unicorn crown onto the backs using my Pfaff creative 2144.

New Look 6170

That machine is about 12 yrs old and still working fantastically. I used the embroidery unit alot when I first bought it. But the last few years not so much, because I can only transfer the designs using a really old desktop that runs windows 98!

I also changed the pattern a little to make the facing cut on instead of a separate piece. This cuts down on extra bulk at the seams.

Facing cut as one with the front.

The collar is unlined to reduce bulk, I overlocker and turned the edges.

So there ya go, some of what I’ve been making! I also just finished knitting a child’s cardigan and a hat for myself, so will share those soon. Slán go fóill ☺

Ps..the hat I knitted was a free pattern from Kelbourne Woolens, they’ll be releasing more as part of their ‘Year of Hats’.

Shirtdress details :Simplicity 8014

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Beautiful pink sunset from my wild back-garden

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:

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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 :

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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!

Slán go fóill!

 

Burdastyle Cape Jacket 105 03/2018 (part1)

This jacket really stood out for me when I picked up the March copy of Burdastyle magazine. I don’t buy every issue as I’ve collected so many over the years and I’ll never get through all of them.

Do you think people still have an interest in blog posts? So much sewing has moved onto instagram and I’ve noticed less people blogging.  I’m starting to miss hearing from some of the makers I follow. I know I like to see more detail behind the making so I’ll keep sharing when I can. I have  something new to show right now!

Burda cape jacket

It’s described as having “..sleeves tucked into an inverted pleat” and has a difficulty rating of expert. Burda magazine is known for it’s minimal(!) instructions, and I don’t always follow them.

This time I wanted to line my jacket and took some photos as I went along to show what I did differently.

I fused strips of interfacing to all the hems and pressed them before assembly…just a habit I have with jackets.

Next I sewed the sleeve pleats :

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They got pressed flat, and I stitched through the centre of the pleat, just at the top.

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I was going to leave the sleeves unlined,  and hemmed by hand. But I wasn’t happy with how it looked. I removed the hand stitches, added lining – machine sewn to hem allowance (lining was cut shorter than the outer sleeve ) so the sleeve is bagged out similar to the body of a coat.

You can see the difference in the picture : left/before – right/after

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Then the sleeve was sewn between the front and side front panels. I used a medium weight crepe and the pleats looked bulky after pressing:

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So I trimmed the excess away on the crepe and the sleeve lining:

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Below is how it looks with the sleeve caught between the front panels, before being attached to the back panel.

The lining is definitely not matching…but I liked the colours together and prefer not to buy new fabric if I have usable leftovers!

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Half way through it started to remind me of a dress-up set I had as a child..

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But I love it anyway..! And I still have to make a dress or skirt to wear with it….More to come..😉

Quick Tip – Button sewing

I hope 2018 has started off smoothly for you? Luckily I didn’t blog about any new years resolutions or I would have to go back to delete that post!

It’s been a while… Blogging was abandoned while annoying distractions like work got in the way… So to ease back into 2018, here’s one I made earlier 😉

A little thing that catches my eye is when buttons are stitched on so firmly that they pucker the garment.  If the button is sewn on too tightly, there isn’t any space for the layer with the buttonhole to fit.

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Ideally with a flat button, you should leave some room between the button and the button band, so that the buttonhole layer fits nicely, and doesn’t look either squished or too loose.  The amount of space depends on the thickness of the layer on top.

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Which brings me to my old black cardi… I’ve been working my way through some alterations – after having a big clean out of clutter.  I had bundles of clothes given to me by family members to re-use, along with bags of fabrics – mostly curtain remnants.  I sent the bulk of it to recycling – and I was left with just one box of clothes that were worth altering, and one box of clothes that I might re-use at some point.  All the extra stuff had just gathered over the years and was getting in the way. Now I can finally see all the pieces that I actually want to use!

One item for a quick fix was a cropped black cardi that was missing some buttons.  I found 6 buttons that were almost exactly the same …sometimes close enough is good enough!

 

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I used a hairslide under the button to give a little breathing room:

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Stitched through a couple of times

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Then removed the slide, brought the thread up between the button and fabric and wound it around 4-5times, then brought the thread to the back and knotted it off. Job done!

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I’ll keep dipping into that box of alterations, and hopefully it won’t start to grow into multiple boxes again!