A little bit crafty

3" & 4" pin cusions

3″ & 4″ pin cushions

I have yet another little ditty to share with you this week, which is again steering slightly away from the norm for me. I noticed a couple of months ago, one of my sewing friends has a rather fabulous pin cushion so I decided to tell her so “I’ve got to get me one of those little beauties, it’s gorgeous” I said. Rather than telling me where she got it from she suggested making each other one. My first reaction was, what a great idea, my second reaction was, I make clothes I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea how to make a pin cushion!

At the time I was in the process of making a couple of projects for sewing-online and didn’t really want to multitask by starting something else (that is my excuse and I am sticking to it). The weeks went by and I continued to make my clothes, still conscious that I hadn’t attempted to start the pin cushion (talk about elephant in the room).

Prompted on by my husband I decided to finally take the bull by the horns and have a go, Firstly I looked into what would be needed to stuff it and then the design itself. Due to this being my first attempt I decided on a basic one, constructed from four pieces of fabric, all of which are leftovers from previous garments I have made. These are all sewn to create a rectangle, the corners are then brought together leaving one of the seams free for the innards. This consisted of part rice and part soft doll stuffing, I used the rice for two reasons, one being to weigh it down at the base and the other to absorb any moisture to stop the pins from rusting. The middle was pulled tight with cotton and the button put in place to give a decorative finish, and there we have it a cute little pin cushion, which has now been sent to my friend (along with some dressmaking fabric) and gratefully received.

Fabric received from one of my friends

Fabric received from one of my friends

Knowing I was about to receive a pressy in the post from another of my sewing friends, I made another pin cushion and sent that in the post too, It has been an exciting week swapping fabric and goodies with my new found sewing pals, it all adds to what has become a fantastic and rewarding pastime. It will be great to see what they decide to create and just as much fun deciding what to make myself out of my new fabric stash.

The pin cushion received from my friend

 

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Vintage glamour

Here we have another step in a new direction for me and I TOTALLY loved every minute of it!Full Front View Inside

The pattern is Burda 7132.  I was immediately drawn to the design, I very much liked the Audrey Hepburn style. The fabric is a medium weight wool mix courtesy of Minervacrafts. I had already decided before I hunted the fabric down that it had to be dog-tooth check.Front View with Jacket

The dress consists of two halves, the top front is made up of three front panels to create the shape (something I am becoming very familiar with). The skirt front has two pleats either side to create the wonderful box shape at the top (this helps to hide a multitude of sins in the stomach area). The back has a concealed centre zip and vent at the bottom. The neckline, being very straight, is slightly different from other dresses which I think adds to its individuality.  Finally it has little capped sleeves which are sewn on with their facing.  On the whole it was fairly easy to put together, the skill involved was matching all the checks.

Front View with LabelNow we move on to bigger and better things, the jacket. I can honestly say the construction was  straight-forward, the reason being the fabulous instructions put together by Burda. Anyway, this. after 14 months of sewing is the first fully lined jacket I have attempted and I was ever-so-excited with each and every step.  We will start at the beginning, each of the front and back panels are sewn together and the sleeves (still in half at this point) are attached. Then the top seams on the sleeves are sewn to create the overall shape, the collar is then inserted (4 times I might add, we know how much I love to unpick!).  After which the whole process starts again with the lining. The two are put together using the collar and its facing and turned inside out (I was very giddy at this point). Time to add the cuffs, do a bit of hand stitching and away we go.

Full Back View

I particularly liked the box pleats in the back lining creating a pocket to prevent it from ripping when I am doing joyous cartwheels in it later. The one thing I didn’t do was stitch the lining to the inside along the fold at the hem, this again I think will give more maneuverability.

I would say this is definitely another win;  some you do and some you don’t.  I would definitely recommend Burda patterns, I really liked the seam and marking numbering on the pattern pieces, it all adds to the enjoyment of making such a wonderful garment. I am chuffed to bits with how it all turned out, so much so that I have decided to make a trouser suit next, including another fully lined jacket, I think I will need another wardrobe soon to accommodate my new clothes.

A summer evening in the garden

Front ViewI decided due to the nice weather today I would venture into the garden to take pictures of my latest creation and do a full head shot too, I am being brave. This top is from the Butterick B4132 pattern. The material is a lightweight knitted viscose, perfect for the lovely weather. Continuing my quest to try anything that stretches and doesn’t need a zip, this one again is along a similar line as previous tops I have made recently. They all have facings on the inside to reinforce the neckline which produces a layered effect. BUT they all have their own little differences which continue to take me by surprise. SleeveIn this case it was the sleeves – oh how I loved inserting these sleeves (I know I have mentioned before but gathered sleeves are a bugbear of mine). Anyway I digress, these sleeves fitted the armhole beautifully, although I was a bit dubious when I first saw them. Sleeves in, time to relax – no – the underarms still needed sewing to the facing, lots of fiddling, and scratching of the head ensued but I got there in the end – I think, who knows, they look ok, so I’m going with it!

Just a little bit crazy revisited

This is the second time I have made this New Look 6940 garment. I had some leftover fabric from a previous top I made, so decided to make another everyday top (two for the price of one, I do love a bargain).

Front View

Without zips, pleats, or tucks it was simple and quick to make.  I am finding my gathering skills are coming along nicely.  This top has horizontal and vertical gathers through the centre, this being my second attempt at the horizontal gathers, I think they worked much better.  I do have to mention though that gathering sleeves is a bugbear of mine and subsequently I don’t feed I do the best job, I would much prefer to fit and wear a flat sleeve rather than all the puffiness on a garment of this nature.

The top has a centre back seam, a centre front seam and a v neckline which was steering towards round rather than v shaped once the bias tape was  added, I inserted a couple of stitches at the centre and the v returned 🙂

I think my next creation will again be one I have made before but the fabric will be more vibrant, there has been quite a lot of black recently, stay tuned.

A little less ordinary

Front ViewMoving on with my knitted material, I am on a role now and getting quite used to how defiant some fabrics can be. I bought this particular material before I had a design in mind. I thought it needed something slightly different, a bit out of the ordinary and a touch adventurous if I am honest. So a little off the shoulder number was just the job.

The top comprises of a gathered shoulder seam, inside half length facing and a casing with elastic around the underarm to keep it in place. I used bias tape again on the armhole. All in all it took me about four hours to make, not enough time for the fabric to start curling at the edges out of sheer boredom.

Now all I need is a night out so I can wear it 🙂Shoulder

Knitted and fitted

Front ViewI made this top from a new Simplicity pattern 2364, which includes a number of different versions which are made from knitted material.   I wanted to make something that I could wear every day, at home or work.  This type of design is typically me.  I decided to use simple black fabric that would go with everything it also has a slight stretch.  An easy option you might think but this particular pattern relies on right and wrong side of the material very much and plain black does not have a right and wrong side, that was my stumbling point, the more I manhandled it the more it decided to curl up in protest at the edges.

The yoke is sewn onto the back, gathered and attached to the front under the armholes, I thought this was a lovely alternative to a traditional plain round neck.  The front section is folded through the centre to give a reinforced neckline which gapes slightly and can be teased into various different positions.

The material is extremely soft and comfortable to wear and quite flattering too.  I can see this becoming a favourite of mine, I also had enough material left to make something else 🙂

A little bit of extra detail

I am really getting through my old patterns now, it has saved me a fortune and while I am currently in the “learning” phase again it has been good to refer to my old favourites. Some I remember making years ago and some I don’t (probably didn’t emerge out of the wardrobe when they were finished).

Hem Detail

This design is part of a pattern for a dress which is altered, the same as the previous top I made. Again, I used a concealed zip in the back. As always bias tape was used on all the facings and I put a little added detail on the bottom to make it more interesting.

Front ViewThe material is very thin, so making the top was more of a challenge than I first thought, a few obstacles to overcome as usual, one of which was my first casualty in a long time, my sewing machine needle broke in the middle of my creative flow, I suspect it had a tussle with a pin that was hiding in the garment 🙂