Anyone else always dropping pins while sewing or is that just me?
I decided one rainy afternoon to make a little pincushion that I could wear on my wrist to stop the inevitable pin drop and save my poor toes from further pain! The FIGO fabrics terrazzo collection has been calling me since is first landed in the shop so this was a nice quick, satisfying project to use up a small amount!
Last year we decorated our daughter’s bedroom, mostly because we were forced to since she’d already started peeling the wallpaper off the walls around her cot! So we carried on, stripped the walls and painted the whole room white. She already had some decorations in the room which were blue and pink and I figured at some point we’d paint a wall one of these colours but she would choose which (spoiler alert – she’s leaning towards pink!). A few months ago she got her ‘big girl’ bed which is a mid sleeper which helps to make the most of the space in her very tiny room. But since then I’ve been wondering how I can add to the existing decorations by sewing a few items of storage. I’ve been collecting ideas on my Pinterest board for a while and chose to make some fabric trays, storage pods and some bunting to decorate under her bed. From the Sew Crafty website, I chose three colours of their star cotton to make these items. The colours are fantastic and being 100% cotton they iron and cut beautifully.
For the fabric trays, I cut two A4 pieces for each tray and lined them with batting to give more structure. I’ve made them quite deep so her hair accessories and jewellery are easily stored.
The storage pods were made from a tutorial by Sewing 4 Free and were very easy to put together. I like the way they are easy to access her toys but I think they could be bigger. I might make some more but double the size but for now, these are perfect for things like here small collections of lego.
I drafted a small triangle template for the bunting, cut 14 pairs and, once sewn, attached these together with 3m of pink bias binding from the site. I think these might be my favourite, they’re so striking, and who doesn’t love a bit of bunting, right?!
The space underneath her bed is really coming together now and when her bedroom is tidy it’s a nice space to be in. I’d like to get her a small desk and chair to go under there but I think that will come when we sort out the rest of her bedroom furniture. For now, she’s happy with it!
It’s the 1st of June and the sun is out. I sit here in the coffee shop with my husband with a pot of herbal tea and red velvet cake as a treat, as we wait for our daughters to finish their drama lessons. I am so excited to be sharing my first ever blog post.
I have been up since 6 am this Saturday morning whilst everyone else sleeps, so I can get the ironing done and get breakfast ready before we all dash off to drama lessons. I am a busy mum with three girls and my time is limited. My sewing style reflects my busy life, I don’t always have time for more detailed makes. I’m a store brought jeans kind of girl, teamed with me made tops as my mum daytime wardrobe. However as soon as the sun comes out, I love to wear me-made floaty dresses.
When I was asked to be on the design team for the Sew Crafty Shop, I wanted to use this as a way to show my sewing journey as a busy mum and how I still manage to create an on-trend wardrobe without too much time on the sewing machine. I love patterns that give you instant gratification.
I found the Butterick B6205 dress pattern on the Sew Crafty Shop Website and it was love at first sight. The pattern even states it’s easy and fast!
With three different dress lengths to choose from, elasticated waistband and neckline, shoulder ties and wait…. I haven’t told you the best part, IT HAS POCKETS!
I will confess I am a bit of a cotton viscose hoarder! I love how it drapes and it’s perfect for summer makes. When I came across the Black Floral Print Viscose, I knew it would be perfect for the look I wanted to create. I wanted a dress that would suit evening and daytime wear, for summer holidays or when the British weather is nice. When the fabric arrived, it was a lot sheerer then I expected. As the bodice is lined, that wasn’t going to be a problem, but I couldn’t have a see-through skirt on the school run now could I. After speaking with Samantha about what was in stock to line my dress, I went with the Regular Black Viscose.
I made a toile from a viscose fabric I already had. From here I noticed a few things I could change. Having a contrast fabric as the lining instead of the same main fabric would draw more attention to the shoulders.
I decided that since I was using the plain black viscose as the skirt lining, why not use this as the bodice lining as well.
I wanted a very floaty dress and went for option A with the curved hem. When taking the lining into consideration, I didn’t want the dress to lose the floaty drape that my toile dress had. I decided that not hemming the skirt lining to the same length as the main skirt was best.it would then create that slight sheer look at the bottom. I cut the skirt lining with a straight hem just above where the skirt curved hem starts to dip. As there weren’t any instructions for lining the skirt, I used the basic methods I have picked up over the years. I followed the instructions for the main skirt to construct the lining but didn’t add pockets to the lining. I hemmed the lining before pinning it to the inside of the main skirt and using my sewing machine to baste them together.
When making my toile of the dress I noticed that the instructions of the pattern, as clear and easy as they may be to follow, they are missing a few basic finishing steps that make the garment more professionally made.
When sewing the side seams of the main bodice and the lining together, the instructions don’t ask you to press the seams open. By pressing these seams, this will allow them to sit better once you sew the two bodices together.
The one thing about making my own clothes is I pride myself on being able to have skills to finish the inside of the garment like a store-bought one. The pattern lacked any instructions on finishing the side seams of the skirt or the pockets. I went ahead and used my overlocker before I started any construction of the garment and serged the skirt seams and when the pockets were sewed in, I used my pinking shears so the pockets wouldn’t fray.
I love the outcome of the dress. It will be a great summer basic to layer up with a cardigan when the weather isn’t great and dress up and down for evening and daywear as I wanted. I can see me on holiday in Turkey in August wearing this sitting with my kids in the evening enjoying a cocktail. The drape of the curved hem is perfect and I am glad I didn’t make the lining hem the same length.
I will be making this dress again; the construction and cutting are easy enough to get this made in a few hours so will be great for those last-minute holiday makes. I will go for the maxi dress option next time and maybe look at what a faux button trim down the bodice centre front would look like. I could see this fabric making amazing maxi dresses, summer blouses and on-trend summer PJ shorts and cotton vest-style PJ tops. It was a dream to work with.
The sun is out, I am off to take my dress for a spin!
We have this awesome palm print fabric in at Sew Crafty HQ and I knew as soon as I saw it that it was the one I had to use for this project. Then I couldn’t decide if I wanted a shopper style or a clutch bag, so I made both!
This fabric is a little heavier than the normal fabric we have in my shop, it is more like a light weight canvas, so I would recommend using sturdy fabrics for this one, or re-enforcing it with interfacing to give it more strength if you are using a normal cotton fabric. Lets get into the how to!
1. Start by looping your webbing around and joining the two ends together to create your strap. 2. Cut out a rectangle of your canvas fabric 45cm by 70cm and hem the two shortest ends. 3. Lay out your main fabric and mark the middle of the hemmed edges and pin your strap in place 4-5cm away from the centre pin. Then pull the strap across the body of the bag to the other hemmed edge and again measure 4-5cm and pin the strap in place. Do the same for the other side of the strap evening out the webbing to make the straps the same length on both ends. 4. Sew along the length of the strap to attach it to the body of the bag.
5. Fold the body of the bag, with right sides facing and measure a 4cm square into the bottom corner and mark it with pins.6. Pin up the open edges of the bag above the square you have just marked. Sew up from the edge of the square to the top of the bag to join the sides together. Then repeat on the other side.7. Cut out the square you marked out in the bottom corner.8. Fold out the bottom of the bag so the side seam is in the centre of the cuts you have made and the square is now straight across.9. Sew along the opening joining the two edges together to create the base of your shopper bag. Then turn your bag right side out. 10. To make the clutch bag (or I use it as a bag to hold my valuables in the open shopper bag) start by cutting another piece of fabric 25cm by 30 cm, then take your zip and pin it with the teeth to the right side of the fabric. Un-zip the zip half way and repeat with the other side. 11. Sew the zip in place then fold the zip open from the fabric and top stitch the fabric down to the zip tape. 12. Take your bias tape and fold it over and sew along the edges to give it some extra body.
13. Insert the tab you have made from the tape into the clutch, making sure you leave a cm or so sticking out. 14. Sew straight down both sides of the clutch bag and cut away any excess fabric 15. Turn the clutch the right way out. 16. Sew or use your popper tool to attach one side of your popper to the end of the tab nearest the bag and the other side of the popper on the far end.
You can then use the loop tab as a wrist strap or you can attach it around the handle of your shopper to keep your valuables safer.
I couldn’t wait to try this awesome thing out! I mean look at it! It just looks cool, and feels like something I would get a lot of use out of. I also wanted to test it out to see if it would make a good gift, its a resounding yes! It took me about 4-5 hours altogether to complete. I wanted to get it perfect so did have to “rewind” a couple of times, but I think it turned out really well. I thought about drifting away from the pattern it came with, but I’m glad I didn’t. It meant I figured out exactly how much thread came with it. There’s definitely enough to make another wristband. So if you get the kit, you can pick up the solo wristband and make 2 with just one lot of thread! Bargain!
What comes in the kit:
– All the thread you need and more
– Faux Leather Wristband
– Guide with design idea and tips
The guide recommends you split the thread into sections of 3 little threads. I also recommend cutting smaller lengths at a time first, then splitting to make it easier. Working with one long huge thread just gets you tangled.
The best results with cross stitch always come from:
1. Starting from behind the work.
2. Picking a top corner, then going to the bottom corner, then coming up through the opposite corner and back over the diagonal.
3. Always make sure the top stitch is facing the same way on every cross.
4. Its tempting to do one row of one diagonal, then going back and crossing over them. In my experience this encourages tangles and can confuse things somewhat, it also makes for a messier back!
When starting off the first thread, leave a tail and stitch over it on the back to seal. When finished a length, thread through the back stitches a couple of times and cut! Most of the time this is the neatest and strongest way to finish. Knots can come undone and often make the back messy with looser ends.
If you’re keeping to the pattern, do keep looking back. At one point I thought I had to unpick a whole row! Turned out I just had the image and the wristband upside down from each other… But honestly, now I’ve finished it, I know I didn’t need to be strict. The pattern is a guide, and there’s plenty of thread if you differ off the path.
It’s so satisfying seeing it coming together!
Finished! It looks like something from a high end clothes shop. I love it so much!
Both me and the fella tried it on (hes the hairy one) and I think it looks great on both of us!
This is what the back looked like in the end – just for fun!
Macrame is so hot right now and we’re totally addicted. There’s some fantastic macrame kits out there, but to get started why not grab any yarn, string, thick thread or twine you have lying around and try some of these gorgeous designs. Or why not pick up our Lucky Dip Embroidery Thread bag to get you started. We’ve packed 20 threads in this bargain bag. The threads are usually 95p each, but this bag comes in at just £9.50! Perfect for beginners, or your next macrame party! This is a thing. Is this a thing? I might make this a thing.
1. Simply Braided
Lets start at the beginning. Here is the basic Macrame knot. Once mastered can be the base for thousands of designs and patterns. Click the image to head to icreativeideas.com’s tutorial.
2. The Next Step
This looks tricky but is actually a lot simpler than it looks, I think it actually looks super impressive! Its literally just knotting 2 threads next to each other, together, 2 at a time. See, super simple. The creativity comes in the colours you choose, and the pattern. Click the image for the Pin I found this on, which shows the step by step images.
Working with this principal, and these rainbow colours because, what could be better, why not try this slightly more detailed pattern by the dolls at Macrame School. Click the image to go to their YouTube tutorial and try it yourself. Again, its a lot simpler than it looks! And so fun!
4. Go Glam
This super glamorous and dainty design is the natural next step. You’ll have made 100 bracelets for yourself, so now you’ll want to start making some as gifts, or maybe to sell at a craft fair? Learning different patterns like this is a great tool to your belt. Picking softer colours and neater thread for something like this works wonders. Click the image to go to another Macrame School tutorial video.
6. Master the Tension
There are a million ways to create the tension needed to make nice tight bracelets. Here are just a few of our tried and tested favourites.
7. Put your heart on your sleeve (wrist)
Its time to add embellishments! Start with this simple heart then the world is your oyster! This shouldn’t be hard now you’ve mastered the basics. You’ll be sticking these hearts on everything! Click the image for the tutorial.
8. Graduate Up
Time to try a necklace? Use your skills to create a “chain” with your favourite macrame style, then add a gorgeous precious stone, rock or memorable trinket to the bottom by learning how to make a quick bespoke net. The beauty of this is you don’t have to dig out perfect beads with holes in them, you can literally turn anything, OK maybe not the cat, but close to anything, into a necklace pendant! Click the image for the tutorial from Quiet Lion Creations.
You could also try wrapping the pieces with this tutorial from Ecocrafts.
Or go back to bracelets and pop a net in one of them instead with this tutorial from True Blue Me and You.
9. Have a Hoot!
Confident? Why not make your OWN charm? I am so in love with this owl design. Its gorgeous. Who wouldn’t love receiving this for their birthday? Wear this out and you’ll get tons of comments and questions. Click the image for another video from Macrame School – they really are the best.
10. Get Creative!
Look on Pinterest for inspiration, and use your new skills to make something incredible and unique! Maybe something like these incredible creations by the amazing Lesh Loom. I’m in love! Have fun guys! If you delve into macrame, especially if you use any of our bits, then let us know on social by using #showcrafty or tagging us @sewcraftyshop!