Zipper Pouch Tutorial and Gallery

So Sew Easy: Free sewing pattern, zipper pouch tutorial

I made bags – a LOT of bags!  I never knew it could be so easy after struggling along following some of the tutorials I had found online.  Suddenly once I found the right tutorial it was quick, easy and fun. Er em, here are a few of the bags I quickly made….. Of course Craftsy came to my rescue when I wanted to get it right – I might just be in love with Craftsy. And this was one of their FREE classes too.  Bag-Making Basics: Reversible Tote & Zipper Pouch.  I haven’t watched the Reversible Tote sections yet, I jumped straight in with the Zipper Pouch.   There are a total of 6 video lessons, running time a total of 75 minutes, with Kristin Link from Sew Mama Sew. The Zipper Pouch is available in 4 sizes, with a free … Continue reading

More free patterns

So Sew Easy: FREE sewing patterns

I might be dragging behind everyone else, but I’ve just come across a new website with lots of free sewing patterns.  Although the site isn’t actually new – it’s just ‘newly found’ by me.   It’s even called Free Sewing.  I must be a dunce to have missed this one.  There are links to lots of user submitted patterns and tutorials. Enjoy – and if you find any patterns you make up, why not post a comment below with a link to your finished item. Authored by: So Sew Easy  

I drafted and made my own leggings

You can’t turn a street corner without seeing someone in leggings at the moment, and they are everywhere because: leggings are comfortable leggings are versatile they can be worn dressed up or down they can be modest under clothing or figure hugging on their own leggings are perfect for lounging leggings are ideal for exercising they can be plain, fun or funky and lots more reasons I had looked all around for a good way of drafting my own leggings pattern, but when I came across this tutorial video from Cal Patch I knew I had found it ! Starting with a few simple measurements taken on myself and a blank sheet of paper, in just a few minutes I had a custom made-to-measure personal leggings pattern.  And there is only two pieces so they sew up in super quick … Continue reading

A Gazillion Free sewing patterns

OK, not a gazillion right now, but who knows how many we could find if we acted together ! Read on to find out how to join the Pinterest Free Sewing Patterns Group Board and find 1000’s of free patterns. I was looking through my Pinterest boards of Free Sewing Patterns: Dresses Tops and blouses Shirts, shorts and pants when I started to search for other boards on free sewing patterns.  I found a LOT of them. Clearly it’s a subject a lot of people are interested in and like to pin and share. Which got me to thinking – wouldn’t it be great to have a central repository of the best of the internet’s free sewing patterns all in one place, where everyone could add something they found.  Then we could all just refer to the once place to … Continue reading

So dull I really can’t be bothered

I had an email to tell me that the new Spring 2013 patterns were now on the site for Simplicity.  I was keen to take a look because I’ve recently bought a lot of patterns from Simplicity that I liked and I was sure (worried !) that I would find a lot more in the new collection. Oh dear – so DULL.  In fact so dull I can’t really be bothered to post about any of them.  Maybe its the styling or the fabrics?  Or all those shapeless clothes, round necklines and silly hemlines.  Maybe its just the presentation on the website.  They really don’t seem to try very hard.  I would like to see some nice photos of the finished result, big clear line drawings on the first page etc.  Something other than just a picture of the front … Continue reading

I like to ride my bicycle !

[Note – this post has been edited to remove all of the photos, as Google told me I am not allowed to use copyrighted material and these pattern photos belong to McCalls.  Sorry Google.  So the post is still here, but the photos are removed.  Somehow, it’s just not so interesting or fun anymore.] I had an email to let me know that the new McCalls Spring patterns had been released so I popped over to take a look and was rather bemused.  Why were all the ladies changing tyres, carrying bicycles or looking like they had just fallen off one?  And in the most inappropriate cycling garb. She doesn’t look happy and I’m not surprised as she is made to stand on one leg in very high heels while balancing a somewhat heavy bicycle.  No doubt going through her … Continue reading

Vogue 8724 – animal print knit dress

Vogue 8724

This was such a quick and easy pattern – I recommend Vogue 8724 for all new sewists. What I liked about this pattern and the finished dress: Custom fit – different pieces for different cup sizes.  I used a B cup. Princess seams in back for great shaping and easy to make fit adjustments. Cross over front with not too low neckline. Skirt with small front pleats to add comfort but not volume. Quick and easy to make Knit fabric makes for an easy fit According to the pattern envelope, I should have been a size 16, but experience shows that I am never the size on the envelope – always at least 1 or 2 sizes down.  So I cut a straight size 14 which was the largest size on my pattern. My material is a lycra ITY knit … Continue reading

The Blue Bag – a mess of glue and bling

Random bling bag

I’ve been making a new skirt. It’s in a lovely slinky-drapey navy fabric, but it’s not finished yet because it needs a zipper and I’ve been struggling to insert one without a proper zipper foot – so all zipper projects are still on hold.  But it’s all cut out and ready and I have some fabric left over. I’m a sucker for matching accessories – I made the Molly bag to match my Paper Bag Skirts.  So I decided to make a new handbag to go with this navy skirt.  But I only had a little fabric left over and looked around for a pattern that would only use a small amount – and I came across the Buttercup bag – perfect. The pattern is free to download with great instructions and the bag was ready in no time.  I … Continue reading

Pant Fitting Techniques – Part 3

I’ve been following the Pants Fitting Techniques course with Craftsy.  As a new sewer, I have a lot of trouble with fit and pants must be the ultimate fitting problem – hence the course.  Here are my first two attempts: Pants Fitting 1   and     Pants Fitting 2 For this third attempt, I tried to vary the back length because I found that if I lifted up the back center waistband, a lot of the excess fabric in the back leg seemed to disappear. I removed 1/2 inch from the top center of the back waist, tapering to nil at the side seams. Then I scooped out the back crotch curve 1/2 inch to make it more of a U shape than an oval to compensate for removing length at the top. I cut in the center at … Continue reading

Pants Fitting Techniques – Part 2

Having made my first test piece for these trousers, I had a better idea of what alterations I needed to make to my pattern pieces.  I re-watched the videos from the Pants Fitting Course on Craftsy, and got to work with my pens and waxed paper.  I made a lot of small alterations, here is what I can recall: Swayback adjustment – removed 1/2 inch from the top of the center back waistband. Drew out the pattern for the full legs, tapering to a smaller size from the crotch downwards. Took in the princess seam on the middle top of the front legs 1/4 inch on each side, to replicate a dart, about 5 inches long. Removed 1/4 inch from the front crotch seam at the waist, tapering to nothing at crotch curved part. Cut waistband a smaller size to … Continue reading

Pants Fitting Techniques – Part 1

I recently enrolled in a course with Craftsy.  Pant Fitting Techniques – how to get a good fit on trousers that you make from a supplied Vogue pattern.  It was a new course so there weren’t many reviews to go on, and no finished student projects, but pattern fitting is an area where I am very interested to learn more. A pattern comes with the course for a pair of slim fit trousers with a princess seam down the front of the leg.  The idea behind this pattern is that there are now 4 seams you can adjust instead of the regular two only at the sides, and by having so many places you can adjust you will be able to get a great fit.  I’ve never sewn real trousers before so this seemed ideal.   As I am overseas, … Continue reading