Cute and cosy kids gillet with sherpa fleece

My daughter loves a cosy little jacket to wear over her party clothes at this time of year. When I saw the sherpa fleece come in stock I knew this would make the perfect cosy little gillet!

I found a free pattern online fromThreadsewingschool.com and printed it off and followed the instructional video on their YouTUbe channel

This is a great stash-busting project too and a great one to sew with children as it’s a really simple tutorial to follow and then they can customise the gillet with patches, badges, applique or embroidery! This is a reversible pattern too so a really versatile fun and quick project.

I printed off the pattern and made it using the sherpa fleece and star print cotton for a festive feel…

Once you have cut the pattern pieces out you stitch together the shoulder seams of both the main fabric and lining fabric. Then pin the main fabric and lining fabric together with right sides together. Stitch around the armholes, neckline and bottom of the back piece leave your side seams open. Once you have sewn around the armholes and neckline, and back, clip your curves and turn through to the right side.

Now, pin the sides seams of your main fabric, right sides together, and sew. Do this on the other side. Then close the gap in the lining at the side seams using a slip stitch.

The full instructional video is on their YouTube Channel and the project probably only takes an hour or so.

A patchwork version of this would be lovely and a great way of using your offcuts!

 

 

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

Cute wrist pin cushion DIY!

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!

It’s very easy so here we go…

You will need

  • Fabric ( I used the FIGO Terrazzo cotton)
  • Leather or pleather or thick felt
  • Elastic
  • Toy stuffing
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

Step 1

Cut out 2 circles in your main fabric (approx 10cm in diameter) and an oval shape in a thick fabric (leather is ideal…it’s just to protect your wrist when you stick the pins in the cushion!)…

Step 2

Measure out a piece of elastic to fit comfortably around your wrist…

Step 3

Pin the elastic to one of the circles of fabric, fabric right side up

Step 4

Sandwich your elastic between both pieces of fabric right sides together and stitch around the outside leaving a gap for you to turn it through

Step 5

Cut notches around the edge to give a smoother edge when you turn it through…

Step 6

Turn right side out and stuff with some toy filling, then slip stitch the hole closed

Step 7

Stitch the leather or pleather patch to the underside of the pincushion

Et Voila!

Let us know if you make one and share on Instagram using the hashtag #showcrafty

See you next time!

Alison @aliivens clever storage solutions!

Beautiful storage for a kids room!
 
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!

Alison

Marsha @sew_on_a_journey makes a beautiful summer dress

The Butterick B6205

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!

Marsha

Ten Steps To Becoming a Macrame Master

Macrame is so hot right now and we’re totally addicted. There are some fantastic macrame kits out there, but to get started why not grab any yarn, string, embroidery thread or twine you have lying around to get you started. 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

Let’s start at the beginning. Here are the basic Macrame knots. Once mastered can be the base for thousands of designs and patterns.

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.

Here is a more detailed explanation on honestlywtf.com

3. Up Your Game

Working with this principle, and these rainbow colours because, what could be better, why not try this slightly more detailed pattern by the dolls at Macrame School. Again, its a lot simpler than it looks! And so fun!

Macrame School Youtube

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. Also by Macrame School.

6. Master the Tension

There are a million ways to create the tension needed to make nice tight bracelets. But using a clipboard and craft foam is our favourite.

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 here 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. Check out this video from Macrame School – they really are the best.

Macrame Owl Video

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 in the comments or on social at @samanthaclaridgstudio

Check out our Pinterest board on Macrame to see some more wonderful ideas, knots to learn and video tutorials from some of our favourite makers.

Sammy x