Summer holiday make!

Lisa's perfect holiday top!

 
 
Hi again
It’s time for a new blog post, and as I write this one I’m currently 40,000ft flying over Miami!  I’ve got to admit this is a good distraction as I’m not the happiest flyer!! Grab yourself a cuppa and have a nosey what I’ve been up to and my thoughts on the fabric and pattern.

 When I got the email to choose my fabric for July for the #scdesignteam project, again I had difficulty choosing from all of the fabulous fabrics that Sammy stocks on the website.  Much dithering and I eventually decided to go for one of the white lace fabrics with a plan to make a top aware that I didn’t have much time before I left for our holiday to complete a more intricate make.  I decided to do the #cufftop pattern (by The Assembly Line) which seems to be quite popular on my Instagram feed at the minute. I admit that when it first surfaced I wasn’t overly taken with it. In fact I didn’t like it at all. But the more that have appeared the more its “grown” on me.  

White jupiter lace

When the fabric arrived I got it straight into the pre wash and it washed and dried lovely in no time.  It’s a very crisp white with good detailing. I’ve been anchoring after a white shirt for a while and this was going to be ideal.

 

White Jupiter Lave £4.50 per half mtr

I motored on full steam ahead without thoroughly reading the instructions in typical Lisa stylee!  Well what I hadn’t realised was that there was an option to miss out the centre seam on the front and back which, had I read them, I would definitely have done for this top as I feel that the lace is enough to speak volumes on its own without the need for added detailing.  Anyway too late as it was cut out and ready to sew together so seams it was! It’s quite a quick an easy make so didn’t take long at all. It was important though with this fabric to get the lace straight as it has vertical lines running through it.  

As you can see from the photos you can only just see the join in the front and the topstitching as it gets lost in the pattern which is another reason I would have cut it on the fold rather than having central seams.  The sleeves have 2” wide elastic encased at the hem, which Sammy sent with my order and I have to say it’s a lovely quality elastic. Not hard and stiff like some elastics out there.

I shortened the length by about 4” and I think its quite a nice length especially if the bottom half you are wearing it with is relatively high waisted too.  I plan on wearing mine lots whilst on holiday as it’ll be perfect with #MNflintshorts or my spotty #MNflintpants. I was slightly worried about how see through the lace would be and whether I would feel too exposed but I think because it isn’t the same lace all over it doesn’t seem as revealing as I first thought it might.  I do however plan on making a nice bralette to wear under it too so will see which I like best.

 

 

 

 

Overall I’m super happy with how this top turned out and think this lace works perfectly with it.  Whilst I was choosing this lace I noticed another, the Daisy Lace so maybe I might need to make another 😉

Hope you enjoy reading and maybe it might give you a nudge to visit Samantha Claridge Studio and have a peek for yourselves to see what gorgeous fabrics are available.
Happy summer
Lisa
@sewlastminutelisa

This fabric was gifted to me as part of my #scdesignteam project however all opinions are honest and my own.

Bees!

Carol's jersey raglan tee!

 

 

I just knew this would BEE terrific!

 

 

 

 

When I saw these two complimentary fabrics on Sammy’s website, I knew I just had to have them in my life! 

Then I spent a little time thinking in what way I could show them off to their best advantage.

I knew I wanted to use both colour ways and rather than colour block I decided to make a raglan with contrast sleeves!

I have owned the “Patterns for pirates” slim fit raglan for a few years. In fact, it was the first pattern I ever made in jersey. So, I knew it would make up beautifully in the bee’s fabric.

 

I pre-washed at 30 ° C as usual and line dried. The fabric washed and pressed beautifully.

I pressed it on the cottons setting and my iron at this temperature did not adversely affect the bee print on the face side.

Now, I think that’s testimony to the quality of the fabric, as with so many surface printed fabrics you have to avoid ironing the pattern like the plague (I’ve melted a few)

 

The first thing I did before making my first cut was to mark on my pattern piece where I didn’t want a bee to be! No Boob-bees allowed!

You can see here where I’ve marked the position on my front pattern piece!



Then as I wanted to try to line up the sleeve with the front and back, I drew in the diagonals.

 

These I used to mark where the first sleeve would meet, then I laid the first cut sleeve over the fabric to cut the second.



As mentioned on the website the print doesn’t go all the way to the selvedge but the fabric is lovely and wide so that was no problem at all.

 

 

 

I decided to give my raglan cuffs and used the wrong side of the fabric for those as I thought the plain cuffs would add a simple touch.

I really love my new raglan, its super soft and warm without being thick or bulky. I think it will get lots of wear as we commence the autumn and then under a cardi in the winter it will be a super layering piece.

 

If I had not chosen to make my raglan, I think the fabric would have made a super toaster or Linden top. Or even a Blackwood or Kinder cardigan, what will you make?

 

I hope you like all the garden pictures I thought the bees should be photographed in their natural habitat!

 

Till next time keep chatting and stitching!

Carol 

aka @chatterstitch https://chatterstitch.wordpress.com/

 

The Sallie Jumpsuit

Alexa shares her summer jumpsuit

 
I’ve been meaning to make a new Sallie jumpsuit for months. Ideally I would have joined in with #sewtogetherforsummer but just never got my ducks in a row. Then Samantha got these gorgeous new organic jerseys in and it tipped me over into action.

This is my third Sallie, I wear my first one, which is years old, all the time. The second one had poor recovery and bagged out at the knees so badly that I ended up having to recycle it. This one has its own characteristics because of the fabric. As sewists we are always learning about fabric and how it can change the garment.

This cotton is fairly stable and sews up like a dream. The only alteration I made to the pattern was to chop a good few cm off the bottom, I’ve just had to re-hem my first version as it was too long and I’ve actually walked a hole in the hem. The print of this fabric is gorgeous and I love this jumpsuit, however, being less stretchy than I’m used to, it clings a lot more, not one to wear when going out for a big meal!

I try and be as sustainable as I can in my sewing and fabric choices, avoiding new where I can and reusing and recycling as much as possible. So it was really lovely to have the option to try out an organic cotton jersey, it’s nice to think that this garment has had slightly less impact on the planet than others as it hasn’t had quite as many chemicals involved.

I had some scraps left over from making my jumpsuit and so decided I was going to make some matching knickers. I used the Megan Neilsen acacia pattern which is becoming one of my go to patterns at this point. I realised I didn’t have any matching foldover elastic in my stash so Samantha kindly sent me some from the wide collection that they have. So now the insides can match the out!

Thanks to Samantha Claridge studios for the fabric and supplies which were gifted to me, all opinions are my own.  

Seed jumpsuit

Maria shares her girls jumpsuit project..

 

Summer is definitely here and jumpsuits are a big trend. Despite not having made one for myself yet, I adore seeing my girls wearing them as they are comfortable, practical and of course, look great.

 

 

 

To make F’s jumpsuit I’ve used the Seed Pattern by Sewpony, that comes with several options. We opted for the shorts jumpsuit with front ruffles and omitted the pockets. I made a size 9, based on her height and probably should have made one or two sizes down at the chest but, based on past years, she will probably have a growth spurt during summer and I want (need, really!) her clothes to last at least one season.

The fabric is Cotton Chambray Denim Light and I must say it is lovely. Perfect weight for a summer jumpsuit as it is not too heavy neither too light. It would work wonderfully for a long sleeve blouse for myself to wear in autumn…

One of my favourite things in sewing, is the opportunity to make a garment truly mine (or in this case for my daughter) by adding details. Sew Crafty has a lovely selection of trims and some even come in one of those cute wood pegs. So, I used the Narrow Cotton Lace Frill in colour lime to add some detail and a pop of colour. I really like how it turned out and how it adds some interest.

The only change I made to the pattern was in the construction, when adding the ruffles. Following the instructions, I should have added the ruffle on top of the front piece but instead, I have cut the front pattern piece in two, through the line where the ruffle was meant to go and added a seam allowance to both pieces. I then pined the ruffle to one side, basted in place and only after I’ve sewed it to the other part. The only reason I did this was because I prefer how it looks. Nonetheless, it doesn’t change much to how it looks.

The fabric, matching thread, elastic and trim used in this project were provided by Samantha Claridge Studio but the opinion is my own and I can tell you that I am genuinely pleased with all the supplies. The jumpsuit turned out really cute and comfortable. Both my daughter and I like it a lot and most importantly, I am sure it will get a lot of wear.

Thank you Samantha Claridge Studio for the supplies and you for reading.

Happy sewing,

Maria x

Hi-Lo top

Alison's fabulous summer cover up!

 
For my second project for the Samantha Claridge Studio blog (previously Sew Crafty Design Team) I thought I’d go for a garment this time and chose the Pattern Emporium Make it Happen Hi-lo top. I won this pattern back in March when it was released and I’ve been itching to make it ever since, but it’s not particularly UK winter appropriate (PE is an Australian brand)! But I figured that if I wait for a sunny day I could be waiting a long time! Turns out we’ve had a few good ones lately!

First off, I would absolutely recommend this company. I love this pattern and most Pattern Emporium patterns I’ve seen have multiple options which is great as it gives you so much variety for different styles. This top comes in three different lengths, two different back versions, 3 sleeve options, two neckline heights and two front lengths… phew! I went for the high neck, one piece back, maxi length with dolman sleeves and regular front length. This required 2.5 metres of woven fabric so I chose the blush leopard stretch cotton because, well, I couldn’t resist an animal print!

The pattern consists of two pieces with an additional sleeve overlay and a piece for making the neck binding. Simple!
 
The fabric washed and ironed well. Being cotton it cut like butter! It’s not a heavy cotton and it has a decent drape to it. It’s also got a sight sateen-like sheen to it which makes it feel lovely but I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘stretch’ fabric as it’s only got 3% elastane and this doesn’t really give it any stretch just a little bit of give.
 

The instructions are brilliant and the top came together really quickly, in only a couple of hours, and most of that was spent at the ironing board doing the bound neckline and turning up the miles of hemline! But the fabric was beautiful to sew and did what it was told when ironed! I would have liked to finish the insides with french seams but the seam allowance was only 1cm so I just zig zagged the exposed seams to neaten them up. My only negative comment about that pattern was that there was a fair amount of fabric waste because of the way the main pieces were cut on the fold, but I’ve obviously saved the remnants and can probably piece together something for my daughter at a later date.

Please excuse the windy day photos! I love the finished look, it feels a bit ‘extra’ with it being so long and flowy – I’ve even had a few comments in the school playground! And the fabric helps! I’m really looking forward to wearing it when we get some warmer weather but in the mean time I might make a couple more!

Sustainable kitchen roll!


Plastic free July ideas!

 
 
 
After starting plastic free July I realised my house has a serious disinfectant wipe habit! We use them for loads of things around the house and having dog’s means there is always a mess somewhere to clear up! I started to think of a way around this and came up with reusable kitchen roll!

I used a meter and a half of cotton and a meter of towelling from Samantha Claridge Studio. The towelling is the softest thing ever, I’m sure it’s softer than my bath towels! It would be perfect for baby bibs and such things as it would be lovely and soft near their skin. Below is how I made it, its super easy and hopefully something you’d like to do too.

1.     First thing I did was a little maths. I measured my current kitchen roll and each piece was 8” square. This seemed like a good size for me and the fabric was 55” wide which meant I got just under 7 sets. I just made the last one ¼ of an inch smaller but you wouldn’t notice on the roll.

2.     I then cut the cotton and the towelling into 8” squares.

3.     Once cut I paired them up with one of each and stitched a diagonal across the middle of each square keeping the two pieces together.

4.     Then I overlocked around the edge of each piece.

This could be your finishing point but I wanted mine to go on the roll like kitchen roll does.

 

  1. I then attached the prim poppers to each side so I could attach them on the roll. You need to attach them as you go along to make sure you alternate the way the poppers are attached or you won’t get the cotton all facing the same way. I have a feeling once I have washed this my husband won’t sit and re-popper them so will end up using the basket for clean ones too! Watch this space…

I also made a little box for the dirty ones to go in once they are used so that I can wash them all together. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube on how to make a fabric basket, I switched mine from wadding to stiff interfacing which made the side of the basket more box like which I thought would be perfect for throwing all my cloths into.

Hopefully this will reduce our need for more plastic around the kitchen but definitely perfect for spills and mopping up as the towels are super absorbent!

Summer Time Separates

@missmaker shows us her summer wardrobe staples!

 
 
You may recognise this georgeous fabric from my previous project, this soft drapy cotton viscose from www.samanthaclaridgestudio.com was too beautiful! I just couldn’t tuck it away as a coat lining so I used a small amount for the yoke of the Jade jacket lining and saved the rest for a rather more summery project…

My basic idea was to cut a half circle skirt so the grain of the skirt would run across the bias and drape beautifully with lots of movement. I wanted a full length skirt so measure from my waist to floor then added 4cm to play with. My hip measurement divided by Pi (3.14 – back to school days!) gave me the diameter circle I would need, and as I wanted a half circle I used that as the radius for the waistline instead. To make the very most of the fabric I had to then spread this half circle to give me a slightly flatter curve

I also had some fantastic pale grey cuffing with a coral, pink and white stripe (also available at Sew Crafty) which I though would work perfectly as a comfy waistband, I joined the back seam and sewed the cuffing to the top, marking quarters and stretching the cuffng between to give me a stretchy waistband that still sat beautifully flat with subtle gathers when topstitched with a small zigzag.

A small rolled hem was all that was then needed to complete the skirt, so quick and easy I can see a couple more of these being whizzed up before summer is out!

Then is was on to the top half. I have a New Look pattern (6095) that I have made about 10 different variations of so far.

The fit is fab and actually works perfectly without the zip in the back so I’ve taken to cutting the back as one piece for relaxed fit versions.

I wanted two separate items that came together beautifully as one when needed to, s, once I had the basic shape together I popped it on my dress form with the skirt and thought about the proprtions of the neckline and how bind and finish it.

I opted for a sleaveless look with simple fold over binding, a laced front created using a rectangular facing turned to the outside, topstitched and used button holes with a long rouleux threaded through them (I still might change this to a cord made with emroidery thread matched to the coral stripe of the cuffing but that’s for another day)

TOP TIP: The binding on this top used one of my go to techniques for a lightweight finish. Cut a strip of binding about 5cm wide from the fabric you are using, not on the bias as this is too stretchy but at about 25 degrees. Fold the whole thing in half and press. Place the binding on the wrong side and line up your three raw edges (two for the binding one from the neck or arm hole you are binding). Stitch round the whole thing (folding your ends neatly where they join) Trim the raw edges down to about 0.5cm, fold the entire binding to the outside. Top stitch into place.  Supr neat, super light and super strong for this kind of drapey fabric.

And there we go! Time for a try on. I have just got to decide which combo is my favourite now!!!

New Arrivals from some of our New Suppliers

Check out these New arrivals from some brand new suppliers.

First up is this sewing themed collection called Shades of Grey (stop it!) from Sweet Bee Designs. We have four prints from the collection, and I think the writing one and the scissor print are my favourites.  They will make beautiful sewing accessories and quilts obviously.

Click the image to view the collection.

Next up, also from Sweet Bee Designs, is a collection of blenders that comes in a few gorgeous shades. The cutest thing about these is the little print is that the little triangles/semi circles look a little bit like tiny tacos. Available in Navy, Ice Blue, Mint, Grey, pink, pea green and tasty orange.

Click the image to view the collection.

Paintbrush Studios is also a new to me brand and when I ordered these back in February at Stitches I knew it would be a hard wait, But sooooo worth it. These Donut prints are part of a collection called ‘Food Truck’ that also includes ice creams and cocktails, with a fab retro vibe.

Click the image to view the collection.

This was the collection that I had bought even before the rep had the shade card out of his bag, and if you know me you will know why. The Blog A Beautiful Mess and the sisters Elsie and Emma who run it are a massive inspiration to me. I have been following Elsie since she was a papercraft designer over 10 years ago and honestly feel like she is a marvellous role model.

This is a fabric collection designed by the sisters and their in-house designer and you can tell I couldn’t decide which ones to have because I chose a massive eight prints form the collection.

Click the image to view the collection.

These three fabrics are from one of my favourite new fabric brands Figo Fabrics. As well as stoking their Lucky Charm collection I have also ordered a few cute fabrics from other collections including theses fun novelty prints from Promenade by Danielle Kroll.

Click the image to view the collection.

And then these beauties from a collection called Rolleken by Cathy Nordstrom a name you may recognise from past Dashwood Studio fabric collections. I Love the colourway of these prints and they look as good alone as they do all together.

Click the image to view the collection.

The Margot Playsuit

Lisa makes the perfect summer playsuit

Hi Again

I’m back this month with my favourite summer playsuit.  It’s the Margo Playsuit from Sewladida Vintage. This is actually my 3rd of this pattern that I have made however it’s the first time I’ve used lace.

Browsing online recently and I came across a RTW dress in bright yellow lace that I really really liked.  Now, obviously as a sewist, I wouldn’t dream of buying a dress would I? (Well not at the price they were trying to charge anyway!)  ;). I did have some reservations about the yellow as it’s really vibrant and I definitely wouldn’t have chosen anything this daring before I started sewing my own!  I then started to wonder whether the yellow dress would get much wear what with the iffy weather in this country but knew that this would be perfect for my holidays!

 

 

 

Anyway after much procrastinating (did I tell you I’m queen of procrastination and my old neighbour nick named me Last Minute Lisa ☺) I decided the Margo would be perfect for the lace.  So I made my wish list and chose the yellow crepe to line the lace with and the lace for the outer.

 

 

When it arrived it did not disappoint!  It was just as gorgeous as it was on the picture on the Sew Crafty Website.  I quickly got it pre washed and dried and set to work. I got to say the fabric washed and ironed beautifully.   Looking at the fabric it is scalloped on both selvedge edges so I decided that I would trim off the edge just leaving the scallop so this would then form the hem of my shorts.

I started to cut out and realised that because its stretch lace it was gonna be a slippery little fella but tacked it into place using long basting stitches on the diagonal and this worked really well.

The first thing to do is the shorts and they came together very quickly.  Once the shorts were done I knew I was gonna love this suit. To reduce the bulk in the seam allowance I trimmed away the lace between the crepe.

I decided that for the bodice I would treat the crepe as the bodice lining as per instructions rather than try and fit another lining in as well.  I made sure to under stitch as much as I could wherever possible to stop the crepe from rolling to the front side and this worked really well.

I opted for the lemon invisible zip and I was relieved that it went in first time and lined up just right.  Whenever I put in an invisible zip into a garment with a waistline seam, to try and get it lined up when I get to the second side I zip up the garment and I use my tailors chalk to put a mark on the zip at the waist seam line then all I need to do is line it up with the waist seam and (fingers crossed) it lines up perfectly.   I generally tack the zip in then zip the garment up to check my cross points. Once I’m happy they match I go ahead and stitch it in.

 

 

 

And as you can see it lines up

All that was left then was to wait for a day when the sun decided to come out so that I could get some nice sunny photos to go with my lovely jumpsuit.  Well fortunately this weekend we got a day!! I wore this jumpsuit out to go shopping then went to our local reservoir for pictures. I got so many compliments whilst I was wearing it.  I definitely think it’s going to be a fab holiday outfit for my imminent trip to Mexico.

Hope this has inspired you to try something that you wouldn’t usually wear whether it’s a fabric choice or garment.
Until next time, happy sewing ☺
Lisa x
* This fabric was gifted to me for my monthly Sew Crafty Design Team project however all opinions are my own and honest.

Sew Crafty is becoming Samantha Claridge Studio

sew-crafty-online-is-now-samantha-claridge-studio

You may have noticed some changes around here, especially if you came here after looking for Sew Crafty Online. Well after 15 years as Sew Crafty, we have decided to change our name to Samantha Claridge Studio.

There are lots of reasons why Sew Crafty didn’t feel right any more but the most compelling one was that when we decided to change the name back in 2005, after two years of running it in the name it came with, we were a small local shop, with no plans to go online. It didn’t matter that there was a company in the States with the same name and there weren’t a million small businesses with the name either, we were the only Sew Crafty in Berkshire, and that was great.

In the past 10 years or so since going online and the world being linked by social media that way it is now, the name ‘Sew Crafty’ has become less and less unique.

I thought it was about time the shop had a name that was as unique as the collection of products that I stock, I always have and will aim to only carry fabric and supplies that I would use in my own sewing room. So, Samantha Claridge Studio seemed to be the perfect name to take the business in to its 18th year.

Obviously, our Gorgeous group of makers are still very much onboard and are now members of the Samantha Claridge Studio Design Team. You will be able to see all their projects here first and shop the fabrics and supplies they have used in their projects from their blog posts.

With a new name came the opportunity to create a brand-new website, something we have been wanting to do for a really long time. Hopefully this will become our dream home in the internet, it has functionality and gives us options that we have never had before which means we can offer you the best service possible.

We will still be sending out a fortnightly newsletter with all the newest fabric arrivals, special offers and discounts. If you want to sign up head to the home page and fill in the form to get on the list. Of course you can still follow us on Instagram too @samanthaclaridgestudio.

We have some fun new features for all of you that choose to sign into an account when you shop with us. There is now a dedicated account area where you can view your Wishlist, past orders, available coupons and gift certificates. It is also where you can keep a track of any downloadable products that you purchase and edit any personal details.

As you can imagine, this is quite a big deal for us and has been something that we have been working on for a really long time. I am so happy that I can finally share it with all of you.

Thank you for your continued support.

Samantha