Getting started in paper piecing quilts

Getting started in paper piecing. A look at beginner level to expert level paper piecing, links to free patterns.

Well, not actually a how to, just sharing how I started out with a little paper piecing.  I’ve mentioned a lady called Lucy several times now who lives in the US and comes to Cayman to scuba dive with my hubby. She’s helped me out with her long arm quilter, and while she was here last time, I insisted she give me an introductory lesson in paper piecing. Lucy makes the most amazing quilts and sometimes shares them in our sewing chat group.  Here is one of her recent ones. Blown away!  She tells me that it’s ‘easy’.  You just follow the pattern, sew along the lines on the paper and it all comes out perfectly.  Well Lucy wasn’t that familiar with my slapdash way of sewing so when I insisted she showed me how this is done, she didn’t … Continue reading

My second attempt at a bra – fitting

Review of the Craftsy Class on Bra Making, Construction and Fit. Adding lace and working on the perfect fit.

So I made a bra from following along with the Bra Making: Construction and Fitting Class on Craftsy.  It looked amazing and I was SO happy with how it came together.  But no matter what it looks like, it only really works if it actually fits.  Did it fit?  No.  Sadly not.  It was actually a pretty good fit in most places, but the cups were far too small and I had some top overspill as well as feeling constrained.  It felt like my boobs were being pushed flat. [Read part 1 of my class review and more about my first bra sewing experience here.] The neckline edge of the cups was also too tight.  I almost always have this in store bras too and think I must be fuller in the upper chest than ‘average’ which is probably why … Continue reading

My first (and last?) quilt is finished

Beginner quilt - my first ever quilt. A jelly roll baby quilt.

I got through it in the end and finished my first ever quilt, but it wasn’t without plenty of errors and snarling along the way.  I started this a couple of weeks back, then got to the point of spray basting it all together, but wasn’t sure how to actually ‘quilt’ it. I’d already made a bit of a problem for myself because I hadn’t thought in advance about what size it was going to be, and you know how one problem often compounds to make a project a disaster?

Oliver the Owl nursery pillow with piping

How to sew this cute owl nursery pillow

Did you see the owl applique I made following the instructions and pattern as one of the projects in the Fun with Fusible Applique course?  He was destined to become a nursery pillow, nothing ‘too cutesy’ by request, but still colorful and fun. But so far he’s just on a plain ivory colored cotton panel so I thought he needed a bit more color.  I wanted to make a patchwork border, but couldn’t face sewing lots of little squares together!  It’s just not me.  Match this fact with my lack of sewing time this week, a raging headache and just being overall in a big rush and he didn’t exactly turn out as I had imagined.  Moral of the story – sewing can’t be rushed if you want to do it properly. Watch out everyone, there’s another sewing failure on … Continue reading

My first quilt – a WIP

My first quilt - a jelly roll quilt for baby - a work in progress.

Did you read the review of the FREE Piece, Patch, Quilt class that I took.  It really did give me all the skills I needed to make my first quilt a success – except I hadn’t really thought it through properly when I ‘designed’ my quilt.  Before we go any further, don’t worry, this is not turning into a quilting site, and the way my first ever quilt is going, I’m not sure there will ever be a second! But sharing things that don’t quite work out is often more fun than those that do…

World’s Ugliest Bag – latest sewing fail and GIVEAWAY

World's ugliest bag! Don't fall victim to sewing failures - take a class for God's Sake!

Oh dear. Oh deary deary me. (In my best British accent.) Just what happened here then Miss?  The sewing police had better not be reading this or I’ll be prosecuted for sure.  Thrown in sewing and fabric jail for such an epic failure. The charges: Woeful waste of fabric Wasting precious sewing time without due care for the consequences Failure to stop when I could tell it wasn’t ‘right’ Sewing without due care and attention Failure to properly execute a muslin Sewing while intoxicated?  I got cleared on this charge, which is almost a shame because I could have used it as an excuse. Inspiration had struck while I was asleep.  It often does.  In this dream, it was just an ordinary day at the grocery store, but I was carrying the bag of my dreams!  I can see it … Continue reading

Easy pattern rating? Kiss my behind Butterick B5353

Butterick B5353 pattern review. For one true to sizing, and far too small for me!

I had desired this dress from afar for a long long time – the Butterick B5353.  The model looks so cool, sophisticated…and the dress so slimming and flattering.  I felt as my sewing skills had come on some way in these last few months that it was time to tackle this pattern that had been sitting in my stash. The pattern rating is easy – yay – should have this done in no time.  I also threw a little caution to the wind. EVERY SINGLE pattern I have made up to date I have made according to the pattern envelope sizing and I have found when I cut them that they were always huge and needed a lot of alteration.  So I had no hesitation in reading that apparently according to the sizing a size 36 bust needed a size … Continue reading

Knit crossover top from Lekala patterns

Lekala patterns review

Has anyone out there ever bought a pattern from Lekala patterns?  Nicole Lekala has a range of 386 patterns on her Craftsy page at the time of writing and is often adding more.  But what makes Lekala patterns unique is the promise to draft you a completely personalised pattern based on your own measurements.  This was too good an offer to pass up on so I thought I would give it a try. I picked this pattern to try out - obviously because it was free so there was nothing to lose!  Its a cross-over front top with long sleeves designed for knit fabrics.  So how would it fit?  I sent in my measurements and the pattern came back quickly in PDF to print and piece together.   What do you get? Lekala patterns include a line drawing of the design, and … Continue reading

What the hell is THIS ? (Burda 113 06/2012)

I was naughty and it was therefore my own fault that I got caught.  There is no one else to blame but me and karma came my way and kicked me in the ass.  I stole.  Plain and simple.  And I won’t do it again – promise. It’s just that I wanted to sew a nice dress, and I didn’t have the right pattern.  Burda magazine isn’t available here (although I have now signed up for an international subscription), and my fabric shop doesn’t sell patterns apart from a few things for kids.  And I had this fabric just calling out to be made into a dress.  All these are excuses of course – I still stole.  :-( While doing a search for a Burda magazine subscription to send from overseas, I actually came across a place where I could download a … Continue reading

My DIY Duct Tape Dress Form

Duct tape dress form - the finished body double. So Sew Easy

How to make a Duct Tape Dress Form – and how NOT to ! You might have seen these before. At some point or another, all sewers need to fit clothes so that they look flattering and are comfortable. But if there is just you, fitting and pinning alterations on yourself while you are wearing what needs adjustment is just plain difficult and sometimes near impossible.  This is why all keen sewers love a dress-form – a mannequin with their own measurements (as near as possible) so that the clothes can be made on the model and fitted to the person who will be wearing them. Sadly my budget does not extend to importing a dress-form so I decided to try to make my own body double using duct tape, newspaper and expanding foam.   How to make a duct tape dress … Continue reading

Eva Knit Dress – Free pattern

So Sew Easy - Eva knit dress

I found this great site for free patterns – Your Style Rocks.  There are only a few patterns but they are awesome!  I was immediately drawn to the Eva dress.  Their photo on the dress form looks so slimming and sophisticated that I had to make it.  Except mine didn’t come out quite like that. It is described as a classy and elegant dress with a beautiful cowl neck.  I chose to make it in a plain black, although with the design across the front being in different pieces, I think this would look great as a color blocked dress. I used a light-weight slinky knit from my local store and I think this is mostly where I went wrong with this pattern.  My fabric is simply too light and thin to have the smooth draping called for to make this look … Continue reading