Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Pattern Aquisitions!

So my first pattern arrived in the post today - exciting! It is this one:

Butterick B5209

On first glance it is absolutely terrifying, with instructions such as " Gather lower edge of two bodice front sections between small circles" Huh??? What circles? However on closer inspection of the pattern this instruction began to make more sense, which made me panic less. However the pattern is on ridiculously thin paper so i am defiantly going to trace it, and make a muslin first before i brave proper fabric!

After admiring the lovely dress made by Laura: in a tangle i also went ahead and ordered the New Look many pretty dresses, the only question will be which to make first (or, rather, which best suits my limited ability in that it is the least likely to go catastrophically wrong!).

New Look 6557
After advice from comments on my last post to start with something simple such as a skirt, i am also considering taking part in the Sewaholic Crescent Skirt Sew along, although i am a bit worried about whether i will be able to keep up. If anyone has any easy skirt patterns they would recommend for my first attempt, suggestions would be very much appreciated!

Just noticed that all but one of my posts have "Pattern" in the title....i will attempt to be more imaginative next time!

K x

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Gifts Galore and Pretty Patterns

OK so gifts "galore" might be a bit of an exaggeration, as it implies lots and lots, but i just couldn't resist the alliteration :)

So, since my last post i have delivered my first two handmade gifts! The first was the shoulder bag i made for my mum, which she was very impressed with (and i am mostly sure she actually was, rather than just saying it because she's my mum!). The second was a birthday present for a very lovely friend of mine who is partly responsible for reintroducing me to the wonderful world of crafty goodness! (Hello if you read this!). I can now post pictures as she has opened her gift! So her present was a little bag intended for the storage of sewing bits and bobs. I chose some gorgeous fabric from Leicester market for the outside, and managed my very first "external" zip which was much easier than i expected.

However, i think my absolute favouritist bit about this bag (and yes i realise that is not a real word) is the awesome is this!

I found it in a local department store and just knew i had to have it. The perfect finishing touch!

I have also begun my tentative foray into dressmaking by buying my first dress pattern: (once i had overcome my horror at the dress size i required from these vintage patterns!!)

I really like both versions of this dress. I haven't really thought about fabrics yet, but probably a light cotton, something summer-y (i live in hope!).  

I still have one more March gift to complete (so many birthdays in March!) but i am a little unsure about it, there may be some reworking involved. I am making a little purse and was planning to use some bias binding to finish it off. However, this turned out to be more difficult than expected, largely because i can't figure out how to sew it around the corners. I am considering making a rounded flap to overcome this problem....basically I'm making it up as i go along! We shall see....!

K x

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Labels and Patterns and Feet Oh My!

Today i arrived home to find two very exciting items of post on my new zipper foot, and also my very first set of personalised labels! Yes i realise i may be getting slightly ahead of myself here, as i have finished precisely one homemade item so far, but after admiring such labels on a number of other blogs, i took advice from Handmade Jane given in her excellent Craft Fair Tips post, and ordered myself a set from here at the bargainous price of £3.99 for 72. I cannot possibly imagine a time in the future where i will have made 72 handmade goodies, but you never know!

Here are my beautiful labels....

In retrospect perhaps pink was not the best colour choice, at least in this font, as they are quite difficult to read, but ah well i now know for next time :) The best bit is, they arrived in time for me to pop into my first homemade gifts, which are due to be delivered this weekend! It was very satisfying sewing one into my bag, although i think i may have underestimated the task at hand as it was surprisingly fiddly. Yet again my hand sewing let me down, but hopefully it will not notice too much!

I did have some problems with fraying of the ends which i am not sure how to solve...melting them perhaps? The proximity to fire scares me a little here though. I would welcome any tips!!

In other news, after encouragement from the lovely Marie i have started looking at dress patterns. It is quite shocking for me to admit that i do not currently own any clothing patterns at all, but this is something that i intend to rectify very soon. I am a little scared of venturing into the world of garment making, but i am hoping that i will be able to find something relatively simple to start me off and give me some confidence. The kind of thing i am looking for is what i would call a "sun dress", something strappy and with a full-ish skirt. I am planning a month in America this summer (excited is not the word!!), including time in California and Las Vegas, where it is going to be HOT!! My wardrobe is not built for this kind of weather, so i figured it would be nice to make some lightweight dresses that i could take with me. I think my favourite dress styles are from the 50s, with their flattering fitted bodices and slightly full skirts, so that is the kind of thing i am after. After browsing on eBay i say some nice patterns but have not committed to anything yet, as i am a little unsure about the sizing. I have heard that they are different to sizes we would use these days, so i think i need to check my measurements before buying anything! Any advice/recommendations would be gratefully received :)

Right, best get sewing....i have another present on the go which needs to be finished tonight (nothing like working to a tight deadline.....!!)

K x

Monday, 7 March 2011

My Very First Post we go! Welcome to my Blog :)

I have recently rediscovered my love for all things crafty, after many years of studying which basically left time for little else. Now i am finally a "proper grown-up" with a "proper job"(!) i am hoping to have more time to dedicate to crafty endeavours. 
I am basically pretty much a beginner, having done some bits and bobs when i was younger but having forgotten mostly everything in the intervening years. But i'm willing to learn, and i will try anything once!! To help me on my way i was given a sewing machine for Christmas, which i am hoping to become more proficient at using in time. I have also been inspired to document my attempts in a blog, from reading the blogs of many other enthusiastic sewists! I am hoping that this will be a way to gain tips/ideas/share experiences and basically to encourage and inform me. And i'm hoping it will be fun too! I find it hard to believe that anyone would be interested in my ramblings, but you never know.

Here are some things i have made....

- My very first recent project was a super-chunky long and skinny scarf. I am very proud of it as it the first thing i have knitted recently, and have been wearing it non-stop since! Even better, since it is very chunky, it took just two evenings to knit.

- I have been on a couple of the Amy Butler Sewing Courses held at my local John Lewis store. These have been fabulous and have taught me many things, including how to sew on a button and fit a zip. Plus we get to use amazing Amy Butler prints! In the most recent one we made a cushion cover...

- My very first cushion attempt all by myself...i am rather proud of the zip!

- My most recent project (finished yesterday!) is a bag, destined to be a birthday present for my mum. I had this in mind for a while but lacked a suitable pattern and was not quite brave enough to make one up from scratch. However, i stumbled upon this excellent shoulder bag tutorial at Tiny Happy, which is just fantastic, and voila, i have a bag! I learnt an awful lot whilst making this, for example how to match prints (note the large front pocket which hides the fact that my print is not aligned) and also that my hand sewing is shocking and needs some serious practice!!

I haven’t really ventured into clothes yet, as i thought it best to start small. But am i halfway through a Pattern Cutting and Garment Making evening course, which has already given me loads of tips so hopefully i will be brave enough to venture into the world of garments in the near future!
Here is a sneak peak of some gorgeous fabrics that i have recently acquired....i just can't help myself...

This is my favourite...gorgeous! Not sure what it is destined to be yet though....ideas welcome :) K x


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