Back to school – DIY Project bag tutorial!

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.

This works brillaintly in the Rico cotton canvas in Rose   but would also work brilliantly with quilting cotton….a little patchwork one would be fabulous! I’ll definitely be making a few more of these!

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

Scissors

Cut the fabric as per the template below and use a 1cm seam allowance unless otherwise instructed…

Step 1.

Pin outer bag fabric with right sides together and stitch along long bottom edge. Press seam open.

Step 2.

Press interfacing to wrong side of outer bag fabric. the interfacing is slightly smaller than the main fabric

Step 3.

Once you have ironed on the interfacing, fold this piece in half with right sides together and stitch down each short side.

Step 4.

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 .

Step 5.

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.

Step 6.

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!

Step 7.

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.

Step 8.

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!

Step 9.

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.

Step 10.

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

Step 11.

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.

Step 12.

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.

Step 13.

Fold the channel in half with wrong sides together and the raw edges meeting and press.

Step 14.

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.

Step 15.

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.

Step 16.

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.

Step 17.

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.

Step 18.

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

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

Trimming inspo

Looking for a quick and easy way to jazz up an old T-shirt or add a fun element to a tired dress? Why not add some Ric rac? It’s a fun and easy trimming which has a lovely vintage vibe but can also be made to look modern if used in the right way! We love the Navy blue dress above trimmed with jumbo white ric rac, this would be a great way to revive and old outfit.

Or how about adding it to homewear like cushions, blinds and lampshades…

It’s such a versatlie trimming and comes in so many colours and sizes…what would you do with it?

Faux jumpsuit!


Kathrine shares her jumpsuit plans

 
 
This summer, jumpsuits seem to be everywhere both ready to wear versions and sewing patterns are all over social media. Last summer I failed with a couple of versions, so I decided for my June #scdesignteam project to try a faux jumpsuit consisting of a top and matching trousers. 

 

 

For the top I decided to use New Look 6464 and for the trousers my old trusty New Look 6160. I had seen a blue stripe ready to wear jumpsuit on the high street, so I was thrilled to find the perfect blue stripe fabric in the Samantha Claridge Studio shop. 

 

 

 

 

I decided to cut the top on the bias so that I could have a chevron design with the stripes, this required some careful stripe matching, lots of pins and tacking.

 

 

 

I was struggling to get a neat hem around the curve of the neckline, so I dug in my stash and came up with this floral bias binding-I do like those pretty hidden details.

The pattern called for a ribbon fastening but instead I decided to make a fastening from the fabric. The photo here shows my first try on, there were a few alterations to come. I liked the fit and shape at the front but despite having made a toile in a different fabric which seemed ok I wasn’t happy with the back. I think the bias cut was to blame, I had a lot of excess fabric across the top of the back and it stuck out and didn’t give a flattering shape. I put it on Madeline (my tailors dummy or body double as my OH calls her!) but then resorted to putting it on and giving my OH the pins. He then videoed it for me and kept pinning until I was happy, these OHs can be useful.

 

The trousers were simpler as it’s a pattern I’ve made many times. The only change was that I had planned full length trousers but when I tried them on I wasn’t sure. I pinned one leg to a cropped length and was deliberating in front of the mirror when my 20-year-old son appeared. His definite verdict was cropped was better and more trendy-20-year-old students can be useful too! I think I wish I’d cut the pockets on the bias too to tie in with the top, but I’d already finished when I had that thought. Look at the stripe matching too, you almost don’t know they’re there.

So, the finished garments……… they don’t do what I want them to do which is look like a jumpsuit. Apparently as I’ve learned from another 20-year-old co-ords are very fashionable, to me they’re just too matchy, matchy. However, I’ve worn the top with plain linen trousers and the trousers with a plain white top and I like them both-just no jumpsuit yet!

Summer Time Separates

@missmaker shows us her summer wardrobe staples!

 
 
You may recognise this georgeous fabric from my previous project, this soft drapy cotton viscose from www.samanthaclaridgestudio.com was too beautiful! I just couldn’t tuck it away as a coat lining so I used a small amount for the yoke of the Jade jacket lining and saved the rest for a rather more summery project…

My basic idea was to cut a half circle skirt so the grain of the skirt would run across the bias and drape beautifully with lots of movement. I wanted a full length skirt so measure from my waist to floor then added 4cm to play with. My hip measurement divided by Pi (3.14 – back to school days!) gave me the diameter circle I would need, and as I wanted a half circle I used that as the radius for the waistline instead. To make the very most of the fabric I had to then spread this half circle to give me a slightly flatter curve

I also had some fantastic pale grey cuffing with a coral, pink and white stripe (also available at Sew Crafty) which I though would work perfectly as a comfy waistband, I joined the back seam and sewed the cuffing to the top, marking quarters and stretching the cuffng between to give me a stretchy waistband that still sat beautifully flat with subtle gathers when topstitched with a small zigzag.

A small rolled hem was all that was then needed to complete the skirt, so quick and easy I can see a couple more of these being whizzed up before summer is out!

Then is was on to the top half. I have a New Look pattern (6095) that I have made about 10 different variations of so far.

The fit is fab and actually works perfectly without the zip in the back so I’ve taken to cutting the back as one piece for relaxed fit versions.

I wanted two separate items that came together beautifully as one when needed to, s, once I had the basic shape together I popped it on my dress form with the skirt and thought about the proprtions of the neckline and how bind and finish it.

I opted for a sleaveless look with simple fold over binding, a laced front created using a rectangular facing turned to the outside, topstitched and used button holes with a long rouleux threaded through them (I still might change this to a cord made with emroidery thread matched to the coral stripe of the cuffing but that’s for another day)

TOP TIP: The binding on this top used one of my go to techniques for a lightweight finish. Cut a strip of binding about 5cm wide from the fabric you are using, not on the bias as this is too stretchy but at about 25 degrees. Fold the whole thing in half and press. Place the binding on the wrong side and line up your three raw edges (two for the binding one from the neck or arm hole you are binding). Stitch round the whole thing (folding your ends neatly where they join) Trim the raw edges down to about 0.5cm, fold the entire binding to the outside. Top stitch into place.  Supr neat, super light and super strong for this kind of drapey fabric.

And there we go! Time for a try on. I have just got to decide which combo is my favourite now!!!

Plastic free July!

Design team member Rudy is taking part in Plastic free July!

Are you like me trying to do plastic free July? It’s super hard! You can’t buy anything convenient! It has made me so much more organised, especially with packing my own lunch to take to the office…

To assist with this I decided to make some beeswax wraps. I picked out some awesome printed fabric from Sew Crafty, rainbow for me (obviously!) and the black for my husband because he is boring and wouldn’t take my rainbow ones to his office ha ha! I got half a meter of each which has left me with plenty spare. Wraps are said to last about 6 months, where you can re wax them or start again. These fabrics are perfect for it as they are pure cottons which don’t react when heated up in the oven, I would be wary of using polycottons as I’m not sure how they would react in the heat.

 

I set about my research for the best recipe for the wraps, which apparently was much more complicated than I had intended. Some recipes call for pine resin, coconut oil, jojoba oil and bees wax, others call for a variation of the above so I decided to look a little deeper.

Pine resin is a) expensive! And b) not very good for humans to ingest. I was wondering why this seems to be a key ingredient in most the wraps recipe but came to the conclusion you aren’t actually eating the food wrap, but as my food was going to be very close I decided not to risk it.

Coconut oil is readily available and I already had some in the cupboard, though when you use it on your wraps it makes everything a bit slimy! I did variations to see the best recipe and I think I will omit coconut oil now. Whilst it helps with the bendiness of the wraps I feel like the oil is coming off on my hands every time I touch it.

 

Jojoba oil is expensive too but something I’d probably use more often as a carrier for other essential oils etc. I bought the one from Holland and Barret but I’m sure any health food shop would have something similar. The jojoba oil has disinfecting properties which helps keep them clean and fresh for the next batch of food.

Bees wax is easily bought from lots of places. I bought mine from Ebay. I made sure it was food grade pellets which are easier to melt when you put them under heat. As this is the key ingredient you can’t really do without this one but if you wanted you could just use beeswax as I think this works really well also.

So there’s some background into my research I’d love to know if you have anything else to add to help with the wraps?

My method is as below:

1.     Cut the fabric to you desired size, and overlock the edges or pinking shear them whatever you have available to make sure the fabric doesn’t fray. If you are making them into pouches sew the sides together at this point as the wax will soak into multiple layers.

2.     Use an old baking tray and line it with greaseproof paper. If you get wax on your baking try you probably don’t want to use it for food again so bare that in mind when selecting the tools.

3.     Heat the oven up, I did mine at about 180’c

4.     Lay your items out on the tray, if your wraps are too big for the tray don’t worry the wax will seep through layers so fold them over.

5.     Sprinkle the beeswax over the fabric. I probably use too much as there is wax deposits on the outside of my fabrics so use it sparingly.

6.     Put in the oven for about 2-3 minutes, or until all the wax has melted.

7.     When you take them out the over sprinkle a few drops of jojoba oil over the fabric while it cools.

8.     Leave it on the tray until it is cool. If you are making pouches or layered items it’s worth separating the layers whilst it is still warm so it doesn’t stick together too much.

I hope this is helpful and you have many more picnics to follows!  I even made some to replace the cling film i use in the fridge, for when i have leftover in a bowl or need to cover over some fruit so it doesn’t go dry. The wax lets it mold around things.

See you next time!

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.

 

The Margot Playsuit

Lisa makes the perfect summer playsuit

Hi Again

I’m back this month with my favourite summer playsuit.  It’s the Margo Playsuit from Sewladida Vintage. This is actually my 3rd of this pattern that I have made however it’s the first time I’ve used lace.

Browsing online recently and I came across a RTW dress in bright yellow lace that I really really liked.  Now, obviously as a sewist, I wouldn’t dream of buying a dress would I? (Well not at the price they were trying to charge anyway!)  ;). I did have some reservations about the yellow as it’s really vibrant and I definitely wouldn’t have chosen anything this daring before I started sewing my own!  I then started to wonder whether the yellow dress would get much wear what with the iffy weather in this country but knew that this would be perfect for my holidays!

 

 

 

Anyway after much procrastinating (did I tell you I’m queen of procrastination and my old neighbour nick named me Last Minute Lisa ☺) I decided the Margo would be perfect for the lace.  So I made my wish list and chose the yellow crepe to line the lace with and the lace for the outer.

 

 

When it arrived it did not disappoint!  It was just as gorgeous as it was on the picture on the Sew Crafty Website.  I quickly got it pre washed and dried and set to work. I got to say the fabric washed and ironed beautifully.   Looking at the fabric it is scalloped on both selvedge edges so I decided that I would trim off the edge just leaving the scallop so this would then form the hem of my shorts.

I started to cut out and realised that because its stretch lace it was gonna be a slippery little fella but tacked it into place using long basting stitches on the diagonal and this worked really well.

The first thing to do is the shorts and they came together very quickly.  Once the shorts were done I knew I was gonna love this suit. To reduce the bulk in the seam allowance I trimmed away the lace between the crepe.

I decided that for the bodice I would treat the crepe as the bodice lining as per instructions rather than try and fit another lining in as well.  I made sure to under stitch as much as I could wherever possible to stop the crepe from rolling to the front side and this worked really well.

I opted for the lemon invisible zip and I was relieved that it went in first time and lined up just right.  Whenever I put in an invisible zip into a garment with a waistline seam, to try and get it lined up when I get to the second side I zip up the garment and I use my tailors chalk to put a mark on the zip at the waist seam line then all I need to do is line it up with the waist seam and (fingers crossed) it lines up perfectly.   I generally tack the zip in then zip the garment up to check my cross points. Once I’m happy they match I go ahead and stitch it in.

 

 

 

And as you can see it lines up

All that was left then was to wait for a day when the sun decided to come out so that I could get some nice sunny photos to go with my lovely jumpsuit.  Well fortunately this weekend we got a day!! I wore this jumpsuit out to go shopping then went to our local reservoir for pictures. I got so many compliments whilst I was wearing it.  I definitely think it’s going to be a fab holiday outfit for my imminent trip to Mexico.

Hope this has inspired you to try something that you wouldn’t usually wear whether it’s a fabric choice or garment.
Until next time, happy sewing ☺
Lisa x
* This fabric was gifted to me for my monthly Sew Crafty Design Team project however all opinions are my own and honest.

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!

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!