Fat Quarter Project…

Modern quilt wall hanging...

I’ve had the Figo Fabrics Lucky Charms and Perfect Day Terrazzo in my stash for a couple of months now and have been looking for the perfect sewing project for them. I already blogged a little pin cushion tutorial (read it here!) with part of the white Terrazzo fabric (and still had enough left for this project too…what a win!) A few weeks back I came accross a crochet wall hanging on Pinterest that jumped out at me for it’s geometric design (it sparked all the joy!) I thought it would translate perfectly into a quilt project…so here it is!

I used my trusty cutting mat and rotary cutter plus my handy cutting square which I used to cut my blocks (I simply cut round as it gives nice size block for this project)

I plotted out the pattern…below 

I worked out how many triangles I would need of each colour way and cut out the squares, then cut them in half diagonally and matched them up with their partner! I then laid out the whole quilt and stitched it up row by row, pressing the seams open as I went for a crisp finish.

I used the crosses cotton in grey to back it with as I had it in my stash and it goes nicely with the FIGO Fabrics.

I simply overlocked the two layers together (probably not the proper way to do it but I love using my overlocker as it gives quick and neat results…very satisfying!

I made my own binding out of the left over bits of fabric and I’m so pleased I did as it really ties the whole quilt together so nicely.

I stitched the binding to the back first…then realised I should have done it the other way round so unpicked it (I hadn’t done too much thankfully…no-one likes un-picking lets face it!) and then I stitched the binding to the front then folded it to the back and hand stitched it down.

I like using these little clips for holding the binding in place while I hand stitch so I don’t get pricked when the quilt is in my lap!

So here it is!
 
This project would work brilliantly with any fabrics as long as you have a dark and a light in there for the contrast.
 

Tag us if you make one! #scstudioblog

Autumn wardrobe staple

The Jamie Cardigan

So, you know when you find yourself down an Instagram rabbit hole and come across a pattern or garment and you think it immediately has to go to the top of your sewing list?! Well this is what happened to me a couple of months ago! I found the Ready to Sew Jamie Cardigan and fell in love! I love the slouchy style and, of course, the big pockets, and I think it’s something that could be dressed up or down. Despite my self imposed pattern purchasing ban I decided I just had to have this cardigan in readiness for the autumn and  spent some of my birthday pennies on it. I’ve also been keeping my eye on this amazing giant leopard print jersey – we all know how I feel about animal print, now, don’t we?! So when it came to choosing my next #scdesignteam project it was as if the stars had aligned!

The cardigan comes in two options – view 1 is hip length with long sleeves and patch pockets and view 2 falls at the waist with slightly shorter sleeves. They are quite economical with fabric with the longer version only taking 1.5m so this was the one I decided to go for to make the most of my fabric. 

Jamie cardigan pattern

I was very excited to use my new overlocker skills and constructed the majority of the cardi on the overlocker. This made it super quick to make. The pockets aren’t very neatly sewn on as the machine struggled at the corners with the multiple layers of fabric, but nobody will notice that except me. There were a couple of parts that slowed me down, one was the gathering of the sleeves to attach the cuff. For some reason my long straight stitch just wouldn’t gather in this fabric so I ended up removing it and hand sewing my gathering stitch which worked absolutely fine in the end. And the button holes were a bit of a nightmare because the thread kept breaking half way through and I had to unpick the whole thing and start again… at least three times! 

But despite these issues I absolutely love it and need to make the short version now! The fabric is gorgeous and soft and the perfect weight for the kind of project. And it’s quite a statement piece in this fabric! And that just makes me love it more! Nothing like a bit of leopard print to jazz up a pair on jeans! The day I took these photos it was 26 degrees outside, but two weeks before on my rainy summer hols in Cornwall it was a lovely cover up in the evenings when it got a little chilly. Initially it seemed a bit odd to be making this in August but I think it’s going to be the first thing I reach for whenever I want an extra layer.
 

Green Jersey Ruska Tunic

A wardrobe staple with Lucy Hannah...

One of the sewing books I’m obsessed with at the moment is Named Clothing ‘breaking the Pattern’. I got it for Christmas and I’ve made so many things out of it this year! The Ruska pattern is my go-to for t-shirts at the moment, but one variation of the pattern I hadn’t tried yet was the Tunic dress. I want to build up a selection of clothes that are comfy for working from home in, but also look nice if I need to jump on a Skype call. So I figured the Ruska Tunic paired with a lovely jersey could be just what I’m looking for.

Samantha Claridge Studio has so many lovely jersey fabrics on the website and i couldn’t resist the Bottle Green Bellissima Jersey It’s such a lovely colour! When I was ordering I took advantage of the thread matching service, it’s always a worry when ordering fabric online that you’ll choose a thread based on a photo but it won’t be quite right against your fabric when you get it, but the thread matching service makes it easy. The thread I got was a perfect match! The Bellissima jersey itself is a beautiful fabric. I got so excited when I opened my parcel and got my hands on the fabric. It’s super soft, such great quality and has a lovely drape. It’s softness would make it great for children’s wear or loungewear.

 

The Ruska tunic is a much looser fitted garment than the style I normally go of so I made a toile out of some jersey I had in my stash, and it seemed to fit fine, so I went right ahead and cut it out of my bottle green jersey. I chose the medium length sleeve, and accidentally sewed the side seams of the tunic before I’d attached the sleeves so just sewed them as set in sleeves which worked fine. I love a bit of top stitching so finished the neckline off with a row of stitches. I like the added detail it gives and I find necklines sit a bit better for me when they’re topstitched. I used a twin needle to hem the tunic and sleeves – and this is where having the right colour thread really makes your garments look well made.

Once it was finished I felt like the split up the front of the tunic was a bit high for me so I closed the opening by about 2 inches with a zigzag stitch. My husband wasn’t too sure about the dress at first, he’s used to seeing me in prints so I think a solid colour and the fact it was looser than my normal style kind of put him off. I had a little wobble at first when he didn’t like it ( I thought it was lovely!) and I ended up taking about 2 inches off the waist, and actually, he was right. With a bit more shape to the waist it’s much more me!

The Bellissima Jersey was an absolute treat to work with. It was easy to cut and sew so it made the project really quick. It’s a lovely texture against the skin and has kept it’s softness after washing. I need to think up some more ideas for the other colours now! The mustard version is gorgeous!

Transitional dungarees

Romy's summer to Autumn overalls...

When I was deciding what to make for my July blog post I thought it’d be good to make something that would suit the indecisive British weather where it can often be cool and hot in the same week.

I then experienced 42 degrees on a trip to Paris followed by torrential thunderstorms and 18 degree weather back in the UK! 

Luckily my July make is pretty versatile so I’ll be able to wear it all through the unpredictable summer and into autumn.

I recently purchased the Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls after seeing versions popping up on Instagram. I probably wouldn’t have chosen it a couple of years ago but this summer I’ve been really into jumpsuits and trousers and thought it looked really comfy. I had seen the Indigo Chambray Denim on the website and thought that would make a lovely, light version and after checking with Sam that it was the right weight, I decided to go ahead with it. 

The package arrived wrapped up very nicely as usual and after prewashing and cutting out my pattern I started sewing. I even remembered to wind an extra bobbin at the beginning as I always end up running out mid-seam and swearing at my machine.
 
I chose to make a size 16 as this fitted my measurements, and I thought it was better to go big and take it in than for it to be too tight around my hips and not be able to sit down. The pattern gives you information on how to adjust the fit depending on your size and how to solve common fitting issues, which is helpful. 

 

 

I overlocked the inside seams to keep it neat and the bib is enclosed with a facing so looks very tidy on the inside. I am always looking for opportunities to use scraps from my stash so went with this sweet shop print for the facing. It’s not exactly subtle and you can see a peek of it from the outside but it makes me happy when I see it so I don’t care!

The construction was fairly simple, if a little time consuming and fiddly with the topstitching and making pockets. I decided just to go with the chest pocket for simplicity but there are also front and back hip height pockets included. I attached the chest pocket upside down as I wasn’t sold on the triangle top style on the pattern, and think I prefer it that way.

I was planning on making the straps longer and tying them in a knot as it’s a look I’ve seen quite a lot with RTW jumpsuits, but when I found these two buttons in my stash I thought it would be a shame not to use them. I think they came in a mixed button bag from the Sewing Weekender; it’s always satisfying to find the perfect buttons in my stash, especially when they’re quite unusual.

The finished overalls did end up being too loose at the waist for my liking. I have a small waist compared to my hips so think having that area too wide doesn’t flatter my shape. I ended up taking 10cm off the waist and grading out at the hips, then tapering the legs down to the ankle and am happy with the fit. I foolishly didn’t add a side zip as I thought I could wriggle it on easily enough, but it is a bit snug and the side seams have started to pull slightly as it’s a lightweight fabric, so next time I’ll definitely add one. 

I haven’t actually hemmed the trousers yet as I couldn’t decide between a normal hem and the turn up look that many people have gone with, but think I prefer the plain hem I’ve gone for here. I was tempted to turn it into a playsuit for warmer weather but think I’ll get more wear out of it like this, especially paired with a long sleeved t-shirt in cooler months.
 
I’d definitely recommend this fabric for a light jumpsuit or trousers; it’s really cool and comfortable on warmer days and enough coverage for breezy weather, and sews up really easily. 
 

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/

 

70s vibes!

Rachel's fabulous 70's inspired dress

For my second make for the sew crafty blog I was immediately drawn to this stunning 70’s chiffon over in the Sew Crafty Shop, having not worked with chiffon much in my sewing journey, I knew this fabric would need careful handling but also which pattern would show off this amazing print to its fullest, Vogue V9253. I have made a version of this pattern before but don’t let the extremely low cut front neckline put you off, its very easy to alter it to make you feel less exposed!

This pattern was released by Vogue a couple of years ago and is one of their easy makes, the pattern consists of a front and back bodice with grown on sleeves and a front and back skirt,  the caftan design with waist ties can be made knee or maxi length and features pleats in the front bodice and skirt, an invisible back zipper and ties which are stitched into the back seam and tie at the front, it comes in sizes XS though to XL and I cut the size S, I lengthened the bodice by an inch but apart from that made no other adjustments to the base pattern. Due to the design of the pattern pieces, this pattern is very fabric hungry and I needed almost 4m of fabric to create this dress.

For this version I omitted the stitched in ties and created a separate belt that was detachable. I also partially lined the bodice with some ivory lining fabric from my stash, and created a short underskirt as chiffon by its very design tends to be fairly sheer. I chose to sew a narrow hem which gave me the opportunity to practice this sewing technique and finishes the dress off perfectly.

 

This chiffon is fairly sturdy to work with but to make it even easier to handle, I sprayed it with spray starch first, this is a great tip for working with floaty fabrics and washes out easily.

With some left over fabric I created an additional headband to complete the 70’s vibe and I absolutely love the result, it’s totally ‘Margot’ from the good life and perfect for swishing in and swanning around the garden with a glass of something.

 

As always, thanks to the Sew Crafty Team for gifting this fabric to me.

 

Romy’s floral jacket project

Romy shows us her floral summer jacket

I’ve been sewing for nearly 4 years now and love sharing my makes on Instagram, but there’s only so much you can write in a photo caption, so I’m very excited to be blogging properly for the first time!  

I spent ages trawling the Sew Crafty website; I tend to buy fabrics without a plan and keep them in my (rather large) stash until I find a pattern I want to make, but as I had to pick a project fairly quickly I decided to go with a pattern I had wanted to make for ages and find some fabric that would work.  Enter the Joy Jacket by Chalk and Notch patterns.  I bought this last year as I wanted to branch into making outerwear, but just hadn’t got round to it.  They recommend a tencel or viscose fabric as it’s meant to be quite a light and drapey jacket, but the Navy Floral Scubahad already caught my eye and I thought it would work well for this pattern.  

 
 
When the fabric arrived I almost wished I was making an elegant dress or skirt as it was so pretty but stuck to my original plan as I don’t have many occasions to wear fancy dresses.  I chose a plain navy viscose for the lining so that it would feel soft and cool against bare skin, as I’m planning on this being a summer evening type jacket.  The only other notions I needed were a zip and some interfacing from my stash, as I decided against adding any hardware or drawstrings for simplicity.  The pattern calls for stretch interfacing but I went with a regular lightweight one as the fabric doesn’t need to stretch to fit and that worked fine.
 
Navy scuba fabric samanthaclaridge studio fabric shop
 
 
 
I spread the cutting out over a few evenings as there are A LOT of pattern pieces and I didn’t want to rush and make a mistake.  I’d planned to pattern match the pockets but didn’t have quite enough fabric, but I don’t think it matters as the print is quite big and doesn’t have an obvious repeat.  The instructions call for stay stitching around the neck hole but I used iron on stay tape instead as it’s quicker, and that worked fine.
I decided to follow the sew-along instructions as I find it easier with a photo of each step, and they’ve even put little videos in when there’s a complicated bit, which really helped.  The way the pockets are sewn did confuse me a bit, as they’re not bagged out like I had expected.  I think next time I would try and do that as the way they recommend leaves you with raw edges inside the pocket.  It’s not noticeable and probably won’t bother me but I think it would give the pockets a neater finish.
 
The fabric sewed up really easily.  I used a stretch needle and walking foot to make sure the stitching looked neat, and I’d definitely recommend that because my machine struggled a bit to feed the fabric when I used a regular foot.  I sewed the main jacket seams with a zigzag stitch but as it’s quite a relaxed fit you could probably use a straight stitch.  As it’s a scuba it wasn’t the easiest fabric to press, but using quilting clips and topstitching where recommended really helped to keep the fabric flat and looking neat.  You could also overlock the seams to help with stretch if you were making something more fitted.
 
I have to share a tip I saw recently on Facebook that I used when making the hanging loop.  It’s a godsend if you ever make rouleau loops and need to turn them easily.  
Step 1: Sew your loop with right sides together and trim excess.
Step 2: Push a drinking straw down inside the loop.
Step 3: Using a wooden skewer, push the end of the fabric down inside the straw and keep pushing until it’s fully turned through.
Step 4: Admire your finished loop!
 
You can thank me later 😉
 
The rest of the jacket came together fairly easily.  I like how the insides are neatly lined and finished with facings so that you don’t have any raw edges showing.  
 
It also has a lovely V detail on the front which gives it a bit more interest.
 
I’m definitely going to make another, probably in a plain fabric so I can pair it with more things.  This one has already had a trip out to walk the dog in the evening, between the seemingly constant rain showers we’re having, and was really comfortable and nice to wear.
 
 
 

That’s all folks, see you soon for the next one!