Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Create your own fabric with By Hand London

Well hello there! Not much sewing has been going on round these parts, instead it's been lots of cuddles with a sick wee boy who's thankfully on the mend now. I have been spending a bit of time arranging my sewing space and organising my fabric so hopefully I'll have something to show for it soon. In the meantime I thought I'd share some really exciting news from the By Hand London girls. I'm a bit late with this so I bet you've all already read about it but just in case now here goes..

I love the By Hand London patterns and their enthusiasm and support for people sewing up their patterns, so any new venture by them is going to be worth getting excited about. However this is like a dream come true - they are fund-raising to start a venture whereby we can design and print our own fabric!! So like Spoonflower but the fabric will be printed here in the UK, using ecologically friendly inks, and printed on demand so no wastage. What a fantastic idea! They've launched a Kickstarter to fund this and I so hope they reach their target! Going by the sell out success of their first fabric I'm sure they have no worries!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Baby tartan

My first make for our wee one - I wanted to make him something special to wear to attend his first wedding.  As his dad was the best man I thought it would be lovely to make him something tartan to go with his dad's kilt.  I was kindly offered some scraps of the tartan wool used to make the groom and best man's kilts so I decided on turn-ups for a pair of trousers.  Rather than go out and buy some trousers to attach them to I used Made by Rae's free newborn trouser pattern.  I think this is really meant for woven fabrics but figured as long as I measure it against a pair of his own trousers I'd be fine making it out of jersey.  I did consider real turn-ups but I couldn't work out how to do them, and the tartan frayed something terrible!  Afterwards I was told that tartan is usually cut on the bias for kilt making for that very reason.  So what I did was cut a rectangle of tartan for each leg, sew it at the side seam then fold it in half and attach it the same way you would a neck or arm band on a jersey t-shirt - by putting the raw edges together stitching then pressing it out.  It looks like a turn-up as long as you don't look too closely and was very quick to do - which, given I was doing this the evening before the wedding, was essential!  I did a jersey waistband as well, attached in the same way.  They did turn out too long but at least you could still see the tartan.  At the last minute I decided to make him a matching bow-tie and he looked absolutely adorable! The bow-tie was just stitched on to a white t-shirt, don't worry I didn't make him wear anything uncomfortable!

I totally forgot to take any close-ups of him at the wedding as he was only actually there for a few hours (we were very lucky that his Grandma and Grandpa brought him along to the reception for a few hours then looked after him at the hotel so we could stay for the dinner and party!)  So I got him dressed up in it again and tried to take some photos.  You can see he thought I was pretty silly for doing so!

These were such a quick make and I really enjoyed it - I can't wait to make him more clothes!  Does anyone have any favourite patterns they would recommend? There seems to be far more patterns for cute dresses and skirts than for clothes suitable for a baby boy.  I was given the black jersey by a friend as it was left over from a project of hers and the tartan is offcuts from the kilt so although I didn't use anything from my stash at least I didn't add to it! I know I'm totally biased but I thought he was the best dressed guy there - asides from the groom and best man of course! 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Home makes no.1 - red pouffe

My first make of 2014 - and one I've been meaning to do for, ooh just about a year!  It feels very satisfying to have finally got round to it.  It didn't take very long at all once I started sewing as it was just a few straight lines.  My mother-in-law very kindly made this pouffe for us years ago when we were living in Glasgow and we both love it.  However it gets used as a footstool, pizza table, red wine table etc and as a result was looking pretty dirty and worse for wear.  It was time to give it a new cover.

You can't see in the photo but this is a lovely soft fine cord fabric.  I picked up a few metres of it really cheaply at a Peter Jensen fabric sale I went to with some lovely ladies including Kathryn, Alison, Elisalex and Joelle.  That was a long time ago and it's been languishing in my stash ever since.  That means... that my first make of the year also qualifies as the start of my Stash Diet 2014 - win! Initially I was going to make a pinafore style dress but since our new arrival I've changed my mind and would like to make him some trousers or dungarees with what is left.

This was really easy to make as I haven't covered it at the bottom - this means I can remove it easily to wash it, but also meant less sewing - another win in my book. I just measured the top and sides of the pouffe, added a 1.5cm seam allowance then started cutting out the squares.  I then sewed the top and two sides together in a line before adding on the other 2 sides. I pinked all the seams as the cord really frays.  Oh, and I added a pocket, well actually 2 pockets.  One for the remote controls and one for toys. I'm really pleased with it and it looks great in our living room, which has a lot of turquoise, red and orange in it. 

Here it is below with some other new additions to our house - a gorgeous sewing box which my hubby bought for me from our friends website - Thriftola.  And a stool I got reupholstered by the chair man in Walthamstow, who used to be based in Wood Street but is now in the back of Penny Fielding's shop in Orford Road (I realise this is only of interest to anyone local to the area but it's always nice to recommend local businesses).

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Stash Diet 2014


I mentioned in my last post that I was going to join the Stash Diet 2014 that Gail and Andrea have initiated so I thought I would lay my goals out here.

My goals:
1. I can only buy 1 new piece of fabric when I have used 2 pieces from my stash
2. I cannot buy any new patterns until I have used at least 3 existing patterns. This can include patterns I've already used before as well as all the patterns I have which haven't seen any use yet
3. I will go through my patterns and fabric and try and swap or giveaway any that I don't think I'll use.  I can use the Stash Diet swap that Morgan has organised for this.

My exclusions:
1. If I want to make something specific for the wee one I can buy new fabric, ditto with baby patterns
2. I can buy notions, muslin and lining fabric as I haven't built up much of a supply of these
3. Fabric bought during travels - if I'm visiting somewhere else and see some nice fabric or a pattern then I can indulge

First up - I will need to sort through my fabrics and patterns, upload what I don't think I'll ever use to the Flickr group for the swap, and start a sewing plan! I'm excited about trying to work through the fabric I have as I really was quite surprised by just how much I've managed to accumulate in the past few years! It's also so nice to take part in these group challenges

So are you joining the Stash Diet 2014 or the Stashbusting group set up by Cation Designs? There's always so much going on it's difficult to select what to take part in. This year I'll not have much time for sewing but I'm definitely up for the Sewcialists Pink April and Me Made May 2014 (Zoe has already mentioned it so I'm super excited it's going on this year too as last year was so much fun!).
What about you guys? Any sewalongs you're planning on taking part in or pledges you've made about your sewing for the next year?