Occasionally it seems that world is in pure chaos with nothing making sense, but that doesn't matter as long as I can sew. Sewing is a form of art, or at the very least creativity, and a form of expression. A great outlet for the tension of everyday life. Also you can make cute things. The craft revolution is truly taking place, old skills are being revived by a new generation, but with a seriously modern twist.

I've made Mario pillow cases, a giraffe print background, and turned duvet covers into summer dresses. I enjoy making something unique, special, and me- then I like wearing it and watching it fall to pieces or not fit properly. Then I enjoy (slightly less) fixing it.

One day I shall have a room filled with glorious fabrics and boxes of notions, and on that day I will have found my nirvana. But until then this blog will exist as my virtual haberdashery and sewing room. Hopefully you'll enjoy looking at my creations as much as I enjoy looking at other blogs, and you'll be inspire to make something of your own.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Fabric Remnants Score

I would quite like a job, or some money, so that I can start buying fabric off the role, rather than foraging through the remnant bin. I see fancy sewing ladies at the fabric store, who I bet know what interfacing does, who are looking for pieces for specific projects.  It's hard for me to plan a project in advance, instead I search for cheap pieces of nice fabric and then see what I can do with them.  Without being able to plan ahead I never get the right linings, fastenings, or whathaveyous.  Which means I often end up with skirts that are essentially rectangles with zips.

But you can find nice pieces of fabric in remnant bins, in big enough pieces to make things, but small enough that they are cheap enough to buy.  And so to today, as I was in town to sign on at the job centre I thought I'd stroll across the road and spend the money I don't have at the Fab Works fabric store (awesome shop).  I foraged through remnant bin (which is mainly upolstery stuff) and found some nice stuff.  Some randomly sized pieces such as 1.4meters by 40cm, but I added it up roughly and it came to about 7m (if you glued all the scraps back into meter squares), and cost £7!. 

I'm plannng to make cropped trousers from the green striped on the left (it looks more green in real life), the other stuff will become three skirts (I'm gonna pair the purple and silver together as they're too short on their own and I think having a two toned skirt will be nice), and black bit is actually two pieces of black lace (one 40cms, one 1m) that I might make into a bra or the top of a bodice top I have a pattern for. 

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


I saw this great How To on Burdastyle for a Tulle Tutu and had to try it.
It's a simple method- you use a stretchy mini skirt, or make a simple one, then sew the Tulle (net stuff) all around.  I didn't have a mini skirt but when I searched for any stretchy fabric I had I found the left overs from another project.  I had cut the sleeves off a hoodie to make some sleeves (see blog post from a few months ago), and had the body of the hoodie left over.  I was wondering what I could do with it, since it seemed a shame to waste it but it had an unwashable stain on the front- so turning it into a skirt covered in Tulle seemed perfect.
Obviously I pulled the top on as a skirt to check it fitted me, and it did although it was quite loose in the waist.  So the first thing I did was to take in the waist, and then add elastic to it.

My elastic skills still fail to emerge and the elastic got twisted and moves around inside the wait band but it'll do. :)My next task was somewhat more labourious- according to the How To I needed 8yards (sigh did no one but me go metric?) of tulle, cut into 9inch by one yard strips.  I have plenty of tulle (another reason for making the skirt) which I bought cheaply online ages ago, in a variety of colours.  With the skirt being beige/cream I went for a cream and orange combination fo tulle.

My tulle is quite stiff and large holed, for a future project I might like to use a more delicate form of it.  Also the colours I have (not chosen by me, I bought a pre packaged pack) are quite bright and gaudy, although I do have some gold which is fancy.  To cut the tulle I first needed to cut it into 4 yards by 54" pieces (which is the size of fabric the How To lady had) before cutting those pieces into 9"strips, then cutting the strips into quarters. I could use my ruler for the 9" strips, but my tape measure is all cms baby.  So I estimated the cm equivalent for the bigger sizes, the process is defo not a super accurate one but it doesnt really matter.

One I had all my strips it was time to pin them to the skirt.  Four of the strips make one layer around the skirt (so I guess if you are a bigger size you would want longer strips?), but one strip is much longer than one quarter of the skirt because they are rooched (I don't know how to spell that!).  So the side seams split the skirt in half, and I put a pin in the front and back to split it into quarters (just so I could see where I would be pining the tulle).  The way I chose to pin it was to pin one end of the tulle strip to the side seam, and the other end to the middle pin.  The I found the middle of the tulle and pin it to the middle of the skirt quarter, then I found the middle of the skirt eighth and pinned the tulle to that, and so on.  I started at the top of the skirt and pinned the tulle pointing towards the top of the skirt- so that after sewing it would fold over nicely hiding the stiching and adding more poof. 

As you add more layers it does get fiddlier to pin the tulle, mainly it's getting you hand underneath the fabric so you pin through it (don't do what I kept doing and pin the two sides of the skirt together doh).   Also after you've added a few layers of tulle one end of the skirt will be significantly bigger and tullier than the other taking up half your table.  I found it was also tricky to pin the tulle in a stright line, and it may have been benificial, although time consuming, to draw some lines on the fabric before I started sewing. 
By the time I'd finished I'd done 9 layers of tulle, and decided this was enough.  Because of how I'd held it and flattened it when sewing the layers had got a bit scrunch so I'll need to sort them out, but I'm quite pleased really.  Now just need an event!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Pencil Skirt update

After the success of my green pencil skirt which came out rather nicely (erm despite not fitting, but I blame my body not my sewing), so I made it up again in some stripey apolstry fabric.  I added 2cm on the waist and hips, and was able to make the skirt longer as I had a little more fabirc, although I think it's still a bit too short to be a proper pencil skirt. 

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Green 1am Skirt

Hey dudes, I used the following link:
to make a basic skirt block, adapted it to be pencil skirty, and then made it.  I use fabric I found in the remnant bin; a thin piece of green tweedy stuff, and a thick green lining.  The outer fabric was only half a metre wide, so it's a little short, and I didn't allow enough ease into the pattern so its rather tight.  But I'm quite pleased with the finished result, a professional looking skirt imo. :) 
Firstly I cut out the basic block for the skirt out of paper, then traced it onto some grease proof paper and made the alterations which took the bottom of the skirt in to make it a fitted pencil skirt.  The pattern pieces amount to 1/4 of the finished skirt, with two different pieces for front and back.  Each piece has a dart in the top to take it in at the waist whilst allowing the skirt to fit over the hips.   The grease proof paper worked well, it curled quite a bit annoyingly but will store easier that  big sheets of paper.
 Next time I planned to use only one pattern piece for the front to avoid the seam down the middle.   Then I cut the pieces out of the fabric, cutting the same from the outer and lining fabric.  I then pinned the four outer pieces together before sewing them (leaving the back seam undone).  And did the same in the lining.  The I sewed the darts into each piece. I now put the outer and lining fabric right sides together and sewed the top of the skirt; the waist.  I then sewed up the back seam, leaving room for the zip.  I then attatched the zip.  Actually the first time I sewed all the way up the back seam and then attatched the zip, which did not sit well on the skirt.  So I had to redo, but eventually I got it.

 Then I turned the skirt the right way around, and all I had to do was tuck under the hem and sewed along the bottom. 

Et Voila!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Getting Shirty

Made this slightly 70's style shirt for my friends for christmas.  Not quite finished yet, cos he insisted in going to work instead of coming for a fitting. Grr. 
I drew my pattern pieces by drawing around one of his other shirts, then adding a seam allowance, and cutting out the fabric.  The shirt body was quite easy to put together, as were the sleeves.  The collar was a bit trickier because I did it wrong, but I've learnt my lesson for next time.