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Sewing

When Mum and Dad were visiting a little while back, we went shopping in London and I wanted to replenish my summer wardrobe a little. I’ve been feeling in the mood for more day dresses recently you see. I tried on LOADS, but only came home with a few. The problem was that many of the dresses in shops these days are SUPER short. I’m not really in the habit of flashing my knickers at every Tom, Dick and Harry in the street so this meant that my choice was limited. I usually end up buying a dress that could be worn over leggings or thick tights (but in the summer I rarely want to be wearing thick tights, do i?). I picked up two stripy dresses, one red and the other navy. Nothing overly special, but i thought they were cute, albeit a bit plain. So i decided to experiment with the navy dress, and add a little sunshine to it, whilst at the same time adding length to keep my modesty in check! 🙂 Below is a photo tutorial (which means its a long post..sorry guys). I hope you can follow along. Disclaimer: I am NOT by any means a professional seamstress, but i like to play with my sewing machine every now and again. It’s a bit messy in bits, but I don’t really mind that. I hope you enjoy taking a peep at the tutorial.

Take a strip of yellow fabric fold in half lengthways and sew along the edge. I used a stretch stitch which kinda acts a bit like an overlocker.

If you need more length, do this twice and sew both together to create one lone strip of material. Once again I have used a stretch stitch to prevent unravelling of this seam.

Next set your machine to a long straight stitch and adjust the tension. As you sew the fabric will start to ruffle itself.

Let the machine ruffle the material of its own accord.

When you have done the entire length, it will look like this.

Find the bit where you joined the two pieces of yellow fabric together and pin it to the bottom of the dress, matching up the side seam of the dress with the seam in the yellow fabric.

With navy thread and using a straight stitch, sew the fabric to bottom edge of the dress, making sure to keep the visible length of yellow fabric consistent the whole way around. I kept a ruler at hand whilst doing this bit.

When you have gone the whole way round you will have two edges. Sew together with the zigzag stretch stitch once more, just like in photo 2.

Next I made the belt. I had some fabric left over and i also thought that it would tie the whole dress together. Here’s a photo walk through.

Take a Looooong strip of fabric and iron in half lengthways (right sides facing each other) and sew along the long edge with a straight stitch. Turn the right way out and iron flat with the seam in the middle. Next sew along the outer edges to neaten.

Fold a piece of fabric in half and draw around a leaf template with a pencil (i sketched the leaf shape freehand onto a piece of scratch paper). Sew along the pencil line, leaving one end open. Do this twice so you have two pieces. Cut notches and then turn right way out.

Take a rectangular piece of spare scratch fabric and sew the leaves to this piece. Pinch the fabric first so the leaf will ruffle a little.

To prevent the corners of the rectangle peeping out, tuck them back to create a point and add a few stitches to hold in place.

To make the know, take another piece of fabric about 5″ long and 2″ wide, fold in half lengthways and sew along the long edge. Turn inside out and sew along the edge to neaten. Next tie a loose knot into the fabric.

Match the two tails of fabric together and sew with a straight stitch.

Push one leaf through the knot and wriggle into place. The knot should sit snuggly in the middle.

Next find the middle of your belt length and sew a button hole. The button hole should be as wide as the knot tails (see photo below)

Tuck the knot tails into the button hole.

First I used a zigzag stitch along the edges of the knot tails to prevent unravelling then using a straight stitch, sew back and forth to attach to the belt. If you are careful you can sew over the top of the seam which is already there which gives a really neat result.

To finish I added another button and a button hole at either end of the belt so I could fasten it around my waist. I made the button fasten inwards (so the button is against my back) but as an embellishment I added a big fancy yellow button.

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This is my new girlfriend. She’s beautiful, and didn’t come cheap I’m sure { thank goodness I was a good girl all year and Santa splurged on me}. All the more reasons why I was a little disappointed that It didn’t come with a proper case or cover.

My old beast came with a solid case which was great. The plastic was sturdy, like those old suitcases, but had severely yellowed in its old age so it was by no means pretty. But I strongly believe that the old man lasted so long because he had a protective case to ensure that he was safe.

At first I thought I would just use the old case. Nah! It was u.g.l.y. Not suitable for my new dream machine.

Then.
It came to me.

CAN YOU SAY D’UH!

Err, I could make one. Y’know, with that new machine that I just got!

It was one of those moments of brilliance that makes you embarrassed that it took you so long to get there. Lol.

I didn’t use a pattern (a what now!?). I just used my tape measure to measure the height of the machine and the depth, then cut fabric with extra so I could allow for any mistakes. I wanted to include a flap so that I could carry my machine with the carry handle whilst covered, and it didn’t take long to work out the logistics of that. Once I had sewn the top edges together I sewed the corners to make a box shape (not sure what that technique is called), then tidied the bottom edge my sewing a seam.

I’m not sure if I’m done yet. Maybe i’ll add some embellishments and pretty it up a bit, perhaps some frills or something cute. But for now, it’s a functional cover. That I made. Love it!

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Valentines Treats – Paper Hearts

I wanted to do something special for the guys at Piper’s nursery who work so hard to make each day different, exciting, educational and FUN!
I always love reading the little section on her day sheet that tells us what she has been up to that day.

I got some jellybelly jelly beans {everyone loves those right?} and got crafty, here’s what I came up with…

First i took some copy paper and cut out a heart template, then i traced around the template, onto the back of some scrapbook paper. Next i cut out the hearts with my scissors {note to self: BUY some heart shaped dies!!!}.

I dug through my stash and found some mulberry paper – geez that was a blast from the past! I’m sure i bought it in Glasgow when I worked at Millers Art Shop. It’s also called Silk Straw paper in case you try to find it.

I chopped up pieces of silk straw paper that were bigger than the hearts and then took to the sewing machine. I wasn’t caring about being exact, so i stitched 3/4 of the way around the heart, pausing for a few moments to push in 3 little jelly beans in between the scrapbook paper and the mulberry paper, then i carried on sewing the rest of the way around the heart.

Next step – fraying! With a paint brush dipped in water i drew a line along the mulberry paper, just where the edge of the paper heart was. The water seeps into the mulberry paper and softens the fibres so you can gently pull away the excess paper, leaving a beautiful frayed edge around the heart.

A quick hole punched with my crop-o-dile and of course some bakers twine.

Next step…embellishing! I cut strips of cream coloured paper from the Slice Ledger paper stack (love that stack!). Using a square punch, I cut notches into the ends to make a flag type banner. I managed to find a stamp in my stash that said ‘Happy Valentines Day’ which was perfect for the occasion.

A couple of circles cut with my circle dies and my cuttlebug, and then it was all about the layering!

To finish I made little name tags for each of the girls – which was the worst bit because i was so paranoid that i would forget someone. Luckily i didnt…or maybe they were just too nice to tell me! LOL

I hope you had a lovely week, full of lovely LOVE!

Love and hugs,
x



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