As soon as I laid eyes on the pink and lilac gingham fabrics that Sammy newly stocked a couple of months ago, I knew I needed a picnic blanket dress of dreams!
Gingham is very much my jam but i’ve always stuck to safe old black and white…a classic. But, these colours filled me with so much joy I quickly snapped up 1.5 metres of each planning some kind of mash up of both colours. This is really great quality cotton, it’s soft and brilliant to work with.
(I talk about my plans and inspiration in another blog post so I won’t go into too much detail but there were a few pictures on Pinterest that inspired me… read my gingham plans post here)
I loved the idea of a button down dress that was fitted at the waist and so i thought a Seren Dress (Tilly and the Buttons) hack with tie detail straps would be perfect!
Instead of cutting the bodice back and skirt on the fold I cut the pieces individually and stitched them together so the skirt is pink and purple on the back and the front and the top is the same…rather like a battenberg cake!
I used these gorgeous four holed enamel buttons to top off this sugar coated dress! They come in four different sizes and pink or black options…I’ll definitely be using the black ones at the earliest opportunity!
I’m still considering adding some big patch pockets to the skirt front and making a matching bag…better get on that before the summer is gone!
Do you love gingham? What would you make with this pretty cotton?
I can’t believe we are thinking about back to school already…it’s been such a bizarre year! Back to school may mean the return to school for your kids, you if you are a teacher or nursery carer or just marking the start of the Autumn and a new begininng!
When it comes to Autumn I get excted about the prospect of cosy evenings snuggled up with a hot drink doing some mindful stitching or making some new garments with more of a winter feel.
This year it’s also going to be about getting organised and trying to get back into some sort of routine.
I’ve been scouting Pinterest for a useful bag to store projects or for my daughter to use for school (PE kit etc) and have found some really gorgeous drawstring cotton bags. I’ve adapated the design slightly and come up with a good sized bag perfect for carrying a few craft bits, knittong, make-up, school stuff or just for your wallet keys, face mask etc! It’s an adaptable pattern and could also be used for a lunch bag with some wipe clean fabric.
You will need:
1/2 metre fabric for lining and main body of bag. I used the same fabric for both but you could make the top drawstring part of the bag from a contrast fabric.
1/4m iron on interfacing (I used a heavy weight one as I wanted a very structured bag but be mindful this created very thick layers to work with whilst sewing!)
28″ of 25mm webbing or similar
64″ cotton cord
Cut the fabric as per the template below and use a 1cm seam allowance unless otherwise instructed…
Pin outer bag fabric with right sides together and stitch along long bottom edge. Press seam open.
Press interfacing to wrong side of outer bag fabric. the interfacing is slightly smaller than the main fabric
Once you have ironed on the interfacing, fold this piece in half with right sides together and stitch down each short side.
Now we are going to make some box corners. Pinch the corners making sure the seam line down the side of the bag matches with the fold line along the bottom .
Measure 2″ up from the point and mark a line across the corner. Pin in place and stitch across this line and trim the excess away. Repeat for the side.
That is your outher bag ready for the rest of construction! Give the seams a little press and marvel at those box corners…so very satisfying!
Take your two pieces of webbing and pin to the outer bag 3″ in from each side seam on both the front and the back and stitch in place using a small 0.5cm seam allowance.
Now to prepare the lining. Fold the lining piece in half with right sides together and stitch down each short side, leave a gap of 3″ in one of the side seams, this is where we will turn our bag through later!
Prepare the box corners in the same way you did for the outer bag in steps 4 & 5. You don’t need to turn the lining right side out as it will be attached to the main bag as it is.
To make the top drawstring part of the bag. Fold each piece of bag top fabric in half length ways with wrong sides together and give them a good press with a hot iron
Pin the two top pices together with right sides facing and at each short end mark a 1″ point either side of the centre crease you ironed into the fabric in step 10. This will become the channel for the rope later. Stitch down both sides leaving this 2″ gap open on each end.
Press the seams open and top stitch down each side of the seam you have just sewn, close to the edge, to make a neat opening for the cord to go through.
Fold the channel in half with wrong sides together and the raw edges meeting and press.
Mark a line 1″ from the top fold (where the holes for the cord are) and stitch all the way round, this will be the channel for the cord.
Now we are going to attach the channel we just made to the main bag. With right sides together pin the cord channel to the bag making sure to match the side seams. Stitch al the way around.
Now to add the lining! Pop the bag inside the lining, right sides together and pin the raw edges. stitch all the way around using a 1.5cm seam allowance.
Turn the bag through the hole we left on the lining. Stitch the gap closed. Give it a press and then top stitch all the way around the bag just below the handles to hold the layers neatly together.
Add the cord drawstring by thread through one of the pieces starting at one end (I used a safety pin to help puch it through) then do the same on the other side of the bag and tie both ends in a knot.
There you have it! This is a really great make…we can’t wait to see yours! If you do give this a go make sure to tag us on instagram using #sccrafty
Hope you’re all well in the current climate we are all living in, hat a strange place it is isn’t it?
For my next Project for Samantha Claridge Studio I wanted something summery to brighten up my days and when I saw this fabric it fitted the bill perfectly! It’s called Peonie Print Stretch Cotton and it’s a Medium weight cotton fabric with viscose and 3% elastane so it can work with an array of patterns that needs a bit of give from trousers to dresses and anything else you fancy inbetween.
Now I did decide to make a tried and tested Hawthorn Dress by Colette Patterns but when Jenifer Lauren Handmade brought out the Asteria Dress it was just destiny. Come on how doesn’t love a vintage inspired dress with pockets!
I’m finally getting on top on my health conditions, even managing to lose some of the medication weight and its finally showing in my makes so I ended up making a size 14 with no adjustments.
The fab thing about this fabric too as its extra wide so I was able to double fold my fabric when it came to cutting out the bodice so I wasn’t wasting any fabric.
Now when I start sewing I always need a good cup of coffee to keep me going, this one was a cherry bakewell flavoured coffee
This Dress came together really quickly and love the facing that is used in this pattern as it gets the square neckline down to a T!
Before I stitched in the ditch of my facing to the bodice I put in quite an apt label as I do have a man mog that likes to assist in my sewing adventures… well, sit on everything that I need at the time!
The instructions called for the sleeves to be set in, personally I hate this method so I went against the grain and put them in flat before sewing up the side seams.
Then onto the pockets and skirt pieces and before I knew it I had the dress made! Also remembering to grade my seams down before finishing them which made quite a mess hahaha!
So here is my finished dress and I totally love it! It’s so summery and just the right amount of vintage style yet modern and the waist ties cinch it in really well.
I even managed to get some Alfresco sewing out in the garden which is a bonus! Does anyone else do this?
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!
Are you always seeing lovely things in the shops and thinking ” I could make that” ? Us too!
So, with that in mind, our series on Instagram called ‘Get the Look’ will give you some ideas of how to translate high street trends with fabrics we have in stock in the Samantha Claridge Studio shop!
Quilting cottons are just for quilting! They make the most wonderful crisp summer dresses. These brand new fabrics by FIGO from the Moonlit Voyage collection would be perfect to get this look…
Top right clockwise:
Why not try this look with the following patterns and whip up a gorgeous new dress for work or your summer hols!
You can even make yourself a matching bag with New Look 6095!
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!
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!
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!
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
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!
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 !