Simplicity bag project

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all keeping well and are able to distract yourselves from the mad world we find ourselves in. I normally live and work in London but decided to decamp to my parents’ house for the duration and luckily brought my sewing machine with me, so have been finding some escapism in that every evening.

I decided on this project before any dreams of a holiday were dashed, so I’ll just have to enjoy my new toiletries bag from home.

I fancied making something that wasn’t clothes and have had this pattern in my stash for years – I think I bought it in my first year of sewing. It’s described as a jewellery roll in the pattern but it’s quite big – I never take that much jewellery away with me – so I think it’s better used for toiletries. I though it would be a nice, easy project but it was actually quite time consuming. I’ve never quilted anything before and that was quite a long process, so I can’t imagine quilting a whole, bed-sized quilt! Quilters of the world, respect! But I had my trusty walking foot which was essential and made the process a lot easier.

I used the lovely rainbow fabric (now out of stock but this is also lovely)  with a pink contrast cotton (similar here )with the pockets made from this mesh and clear PVC 

 

I did enjoy seeing it come together, and it was fairly easy once I got my head around how it was constructed. You quilt the main body and top and bottom pockets, and then sew the middle pockets and zips together separately. Then you attach them all at the end and bind around the edges.

It was a bit tricky to sew by the end as it gets quite thick with all the layers and on my machine you can’t adjust the presser foot height, but we got there in the end. I foolishly cut my bias binding too narrow so it was quite hard to attach, but it’s fine if you don’t look too closely!

I’m really happy with the finished object and will definitely be using it to keep my toiletries organised. I also added a cute Kylie and the Machine label so everyone knows I made it (though I’d probably tell them first anyway)! I might try to add a popper too to keep it closed when it’s rolled up. There are plenty of other items in the pattern set but I’m not sure I have the patience to make a whole bag!

 

What have you been making while you’re stuck at home?

 

 

How to make a Macrame wall hanging

Macrame is back and we are LOVING it! 

This textile craft based on knotting strings in patterns can be used to make bags, wall hangings, jewellery and plant hangers.

We’ve just had some beautiful Macrame cords and metal hoops delivered, you can find them in the New In section of the shop. So give this cheap and easy craft a go!

Below is a little tutorial to get you started…

Step 1.

I started with one 25m ball of cord and a 20cm hoop in brass. I love the cmbination of this peach cord witht he brass ring 🙂

Firstly cut 9  x 1m strands of cord

Step 2.

Take your first piece of cord, find the middle of the rope. attach to hoop with a larks head knot

Step 3.

Make sure the rope is underneath the hoop and attach with a double half hitch knot.

Step 4.

Then attached a rope either side 

Step 5.

Taking the inner strand wither side create a square knot

Step 6.

Start your knot approx 1.5″ down from the top of the hoop.

Step 7.

Attach the ends to the side of your hoop as in Step 3

Step 8.

Taking the outer strands and create a reverse square knot then attach the ends to the hoop as before

Step 9.

Repeat all steps adding the remaining rope and reversing the square knot each time until you have used all 9 cord stands.  Then trim the ends to form a point.

Et voila!

Ideas with Washi Tape – 5 fun crafts to make…

We’ve probably all got a few rolls of washi tape in our crafting stash. It’s great for wrapping gifts and sticking up those fun motivational postcards you get with your fabric orders 😉

But, what else can you use these pretty rolls for? Well, we’ve scoured Pinterest and found 5 fun projects you could try this weekend!

 

Clockwise from top left…

Organise your charger cables by covering the cords with washi tape and allocating a designt o each erson in your household…great for stopping those pesky arguments about whose cable is whose!

Decorate plain white envelopes by trimming the edges with washi tape

Jazz up tea lights with a strip of tape…so cute!

Organise your keys and make them easy to spot in your bag with some bright tape on the ends

Why not DIY yourself a new phone case with strips of washi inside a clear case…

 
 
We have the Rico Paper Poetry set of washi tapes in stock so why not give these fun crafts a go. These projects would be great to do with the kids too, minimal mess, lots of fun…this definitely counts as an Art lesson!

Carol’s Closet Case Ginger jeans with stretch cord

Ginger Jeans review

Hey there, hope you’re doing okay? #sewingkeepsmesane is certainly relevant right now!

I know I’m really late to the game with my first ever pair of Closet Case Ginger jeans, but I must admit to being a bit nervous of making jeans. I kept thinking, I don’t need to make my own I can just buy the ones I want, I’ll make all the pretty things and leave jeans to the experts!

Well, I’m so pleased I finally bit the bullet as I absolutely love my custom fit Gingers and I’m sure you will too!

For my first pair of Gingers I chose this lovely soft stretch cord from the Samantha Claridge Studio, I confess to loving corduroy its so soft and cosy, just perfect for these colder months!

I ordered the black cord along with a matching colour of Gutermann sew all thread, its so great to order the thread along with your fabric. Sammy chooses the best matching colour and sends it along with your fabric delivery, how great is that!!

I recently made a pair of Carolyn Pyjamas in size 18 and the trousers are a perfect fit, so I cut my Ginger jeans in a size 18. Well they are supposed to be skinny and there is no way the 18 was skinny fit on me!

So, I unpicked and cut down to a size 16, this was still too big, so I enlarged the seam allowance from the 5/8” up to ¾ and that was much better.

The Closet case sew along is really great, even as a seasoned dress maker I found it really helpful and informative, so I’d definitely recommend it at least for the first attempt at jeans!

I had a few attempts at pocket placement, my final version is actually the third attempt, but do you know what I really enjoyed making these, it was so satisfying working towards the best fit, I never once got fed up.

 It was so satisfying, and I really love my Ginger Jeans, this cord is so soft and the stretch makes them so comfy, they are real secret pyjamas!!

Thanks for reading!

Update last years straw bag with some raffia embroidery

 

Last year, straw bags were a massive trend.. I bought two as I thought they were so cute and affordable and the big round one was the perfect bag for a country wedding I went to.

This year I thought a great way of jazzing up my bags would be to add some cute and colourful embroidery, like on some of the incredible bags I’ve seen on Pinterest! Below is a slection of the gorgeous designs I found…they look incredibly tricky so I’ll be sticking to something simple for now!

Raffia is the perfect ribbon to do this as it’s a simliar fabric to the straw bag and gives a rustic feel and finish! We have 3 colours in stock so I decided to use all three and do a simple flower design…

Warning…pushing the neelde through the bag lining (if your bag has one) hurts!! So maake sure you use an embroidery thimble!! I’ll be working on this in the evenings in front of the telly so I’ll post a pic on Instagram when it’s finished!

What projects are you working on in front of the telly at the mo? And what are you binge watching?!

Easter wreath DIY with ric rac flowers

Rudy's fun Easter craft!

The spring weather is finally starting to arrive and I am loving all the lovely spring flowers popping up everywhere. I thought I would make a nice Easter wreath for the door as we always have one for Christmas but never Easter.

This project was super easy but amazingly effective and I’ll try and explain it as well as I can so you can re-create it if you’d like.

First I bought a foam wreath base and gathered all my materials. I’m using the Rudy Star society fabric as my base so I ordered half a meter of this along with a selection of different ricrac’s from Sammys amazing collection.

I decided I wanted the rugged edges of the fabric to show and give it the shabby chic feel, so instead of cutting my fabric strips I ripped it along the grainline, giving it a lovely fluffy edge. I ripped three strips of 15cm to cover my 25cm wreath base. I pinned one end into the polystyrene and started wrapping so that each strip overlapped about half of the previous strip. Once that strip was finished I pinned it and then pinned a new strip on top and continued the process. Once all the strips were wrapped around I took all the pins out and it held everything together as I had wrapped it very tight. I used a little hot glue to fasten the final strip down, and make sure the others would stay where they were supposed to I used a tiny dob of glue on any exposed edges along the back.

Then on to the ricrac flowers, these give varying results depending on what size ricrac you use so my suggestion is get a bunch and try it out to see what you like best. I found how to do this on pinterest and it is super easy! 

First cut your ricrac into two lengths. I have used 1m for each flower so about 50cm each run. Then you need to weave it together, like in this picture, so that you get the wiggles on both sides then sew it all the way down the middle. Then all you need to do is coil it up around itself, and either hand sew it together at the bottom or I used hot glue in a zig zag fashion to keep all the pieces together. Once is ricrac is all coiled, cooled and secure you can then start to turn back some of the wiggles to make the petals. This is more effective with the larger ricrac so bare that in mind when you are selecting.

For comparisons the white and fuchsia flowers are made from jumbo ricrac. The violet is 13mm and a wider wiggle. The light pink is 12mm. The silver is 9mm. The yellow was the most fiddly at only 4mm, and to be honest I gave up because it was making my brain hurt!

I then glued all the flowers onto the wreath with the hot glue, and sat back and enjoyed my creation! 

 

This was a super quick project which would be great to do with kids or for a quick project on your own. I think these flowers would look brilliant as hair clips and button holes I’d love to do more with these and see where else I can use them.

Floral Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Pinafore Dress

The dress that should have been a top!

 

 

This make is a tale of inspiration and indecision! 

I had in mind a sort of sports lux sweatshirt- apparently that is an actual thing as I learnt from a girl at the hairdressers! She was wearing a sort of cross between a blouse and a sweatshirt made from a lovely woven print but with ribbed cuffs, hem band and neckband. I came home from the hairdressers with a new haircut and full of enthusiasm to recreate this garment. I was immediately attracted to the colours and patterns in this cotton on the Samantha Claridge Studio website. I searched further and found a perfectly coordinating Merchant and Mills ribbing.

Beautiful, however this is where things started to go wrong!

In my enthusiasm and hurry to get on with the project I hadn’t read the fabric description in detail. This lovely fabric is a much heavier weight stretch cotton, gorgeous but not for the project I had planned (reminder to self-read carefully, check and if unsure order a sample which Samantha is always happy to send!)

So……… I have this beautiful fabric-what do I do?

I spent several days stressing, looking at patterns, googling, searching Pinterest and asking for ideas on sewing sites. The morning after a sleepless night spent thinking about this fabric, I knew I had to make a decision. Suddenly I knew what I wanted to do and that was to make a reliable Tilly Cleo Pinafore.

I’ve made 3 Cleo’s previously, a rust corduroy, an indigo denim and a black and grey polka dot velvet but not a floral so this would be completely different.

After so much indecision suddenly this floral pinafore was the thing I wanted most in the world and so I made a start straight away. 

I find Cleo suits my body shape as I don’t have a very defined waist and so I struggle with the lovely vintage style waisted dresses. With Cleo being narrower at the waist it gives a nice illusion of shape.

The first thing I discovered was that the direction of most stretch with this fabric is lengthways rather than widthways. However, this was not an issue as the fabric is so wide and Cleo doesn’t take a great deal of fabric so it was easy to cut it out across the fabric.

The Cleo pattern always goes together nicely and this time was no exception. 

I thought I had a set of dungaree clips but when I looked more closely I found I had the clips but no buttons. Luckily I had some fabric covered buttons in my stash that I bought a couple of years ago at the Hebden Bridge rag market and the colours toned perfectly so it was a great opportunity to use them.

 

After a false start I’m pleased with the result and I have enough fabric left to experiment with some kind of garment using my ribbing. The sports lux blouse is still in my head but next time I will pay more attention to the fabric description!


See you next month! 
Kathrine x

Helen’s Closet Pona Jacket

Rudy's Pona Jacket

You know when a new pattern comes out, from a designer you LOVE and you are desperate to try it?

This is the tale of the Pona jacket by Helens closet…

I bought the pattern right away without a thought in the world as to what fabric I would make it out of! I had thought maybe a denim one at first or a bright coloured solid one but off I went on a hunt for my fabric.

I came across this Suedette from Samantha Claridge Studio and immediately knew that THIS was going to be my Pona jacket. The suedette making it perfect for a spring jacket which is when I tend to wear jackets more as ever other time I’m in cardis and coats!

 

I cut out a straight 18 in the jacket as there is a lot of ease in the pattern and I didn’t want it to look overly big. My measurements could have fit into a size 16 of the finished garment measurements but I thought I wouldn’t risk it and made a straight 18. I did however before cutting the sleeves make sure it wasn’t going to be too tight as there is nothing worse that tight arms on a jacket.

I decided on the short version because I thought it would look quite rock chick and cut at just below my waist to look great with jeans, and dresses!
I cut out the pieces on holiday with a little help from my Murphy dog as usual, terrible pattern weight! I wished I’d brought my cutting mat a rotary cutter though because the fabric is quite ‘sticky’ in that it sticks to itself a lot so cutting it with scissors was quite a task.

Suedette is a mean sew, I mention earlier about it sticking to itself it’s quite like sewing with brushed cotton, but I had to be thankful I wasn’t contending with stretch as well!

I used black interfacing as well with this project, I’m usually of the camp ‘ach no one will see the insides’ but I thought I wanted the jacket to last and last so I did everything properly this time.
I love the gold sparkle on this fabric and even when I was sewing in low lights in the evening it still had the spectacular feel to it. Also the benefit of suedette is you don’t need to worry about finishing a lot of the edges either because it’s not going to fray. I also use the wrong side of the fabric to make contrasting cuffs and pocket tops, which I think gives it a cool look.

I have some spare pieces of fabric I salvaged from my pattern tetris and I think I am going to make a clutch bag to match. This fabric would be an amazing bag as it has a hard wearing feel to it. It does however have quite a bit of drape so it was also make a great mini skirt or something like that. It’s not my style and I’d never wear it but now I’m dreaming of making a matching wiggle skirt and making a very 80’s feel suit!

I love how the jacket turned out, and can see myself throwing this over the top of loads of outfits for a bit of warmth and some extra style!

Debbie’s handmade wardrobe series

Thrifting and up-cycling

As well as handmaking some key peices for my wardrobe this year I’m also thrifting and up-cycling.  That way I can get my dose of retail therapy with craft thrown in for an extra treat, whilst also remaining ethical and sustainable…phew!

I love button down shirts, they just have that cool look that elevates any outfit and are so versatile; you can layer them , roll up the sleeves, tuck them in, wear them open with a graphic tee under…just a great wardrobe staple. 

I saw this green/ khaki one in my local Charity shop and picked it up for about £4 I think…It still had a tag in so it’s basically brand new!

We have some really cute iron-on motifs in the shop at the moment. I grabbed these ones but was tempted by the cupcakes too!

I thought the greens in the motifs would tie in really nicely with the green of the shirt…

I played around with the placememt…

But, decided I definitely wanted them on the collar. I ironed them in place using a scrap of cotton as a pressing cloth. The shirt was very long so I also decided to crop it (not too short mind!). I might leave the edges raw for a grungy look…or I might overlock and hem it, I haven’t decided yet!

This was such a quick and easy up-cycle and now I have a funky shirt to wear this weekend and a light jacket for the summer! Let us know if you give this a go, it would be a great project for kids clothes and also a great way to cover up the odd hole or tear in your clothes too!

Debbie x

Debbie’s Handmade Wardrobe 2020: February

How I plan my makes...

I’m really enjoying the planning process this year. I’ve been doing lots of Instagram stalking of my fave makers, fabrics and patterns and I’ve managed to narrow my key projects to the following nine (which also includes something for my other half and my daughter too)

I thought setting myself the #makenine2020 challenge would be a great way of keeping track of my ideas and setting realistic goals.

This is not to say I won’t be making more than this…or multiples (I’m already cutting out my second Kalle as we speak!) But it’s my kicking off point and the things I really want to make this year. None of them are massively ground breaking but they are great wardrobe staples for me and I’m so excited to get going…that’s what it’s all about isn’t it!

Top row from left to right:

The Kalle shirt – I’ve already made this version in blue and now I’m making this in the Pink anagram Ruby Star fabrics -eek!

McCall’s M7889 I’m using the  black plaid for this and View B

The Ilford jacket -I’m going to make this for my husband, I haven’t started looking for the fabric for this one yet but think it will work well in a cotton canvas

Middle row:

Fennel Fanny pack -I’m going to make this in the ABM Flower market fabrics which will be such a great summer bag!

The Myosotis dress by Deer and Doe in a nice denim cotton chambray 

I live in dungarees and pinafores wherever possible, I actually don’t have a plain black pinafore so I’m going to make the Cleo in black with white top stitching to make it a bit edgy!

Bottom Row:

I’m going to make some more clothes for my daughter this year. This McCall’s M7829 top and dress combo is so cute and right up her street, she likes matching me so no doubt you’ll see some matchy matchy dresses from us!

Another sundress (McCall’s M7950)..I love dresses so much and I reckon I can layer this with a t-shirt too for those chiller days. This would be great in a gingham, plaid or chambray. I haven’t decided yet.

Finally, the indigo dress I made with Figo Treehouses fabric…this wasn’t the first and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last!!

I’m also documenting all my makes in the #scdressmaking journal. It’s great because you can pop fabric samples in and jot down all your design ideas too. I’d highly recommend it if you always have a million ideas in your head!

So, what are your plans this year and are you also documenting them? We’d love to hear about them! I’ll be reporting back soo with an update on my #makenine2020 !

Debbie x