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Quick and easy gathering with Dental Floss!

At last! A quick and easy way to gather long pieces of fabric with out breaking the gathering threads, ever. The secret is in the dental floss!

I nearly went crazy today.  I’m working on a new pattern and it requires gathering a longer fabric into the shorter piece of fabric.  Lots of it, lots of times in very long lengths.  The end result is going to be very pretty I know, but I wasn’t sure I would get there. No matter how careful I was, how slowly I did it, I kept on breaking my gathering threads.  Over and over again.  And I’d have to unpick and start again.  And again.  My fabric was starting to fray and really suffer and I was getting no where.  That’s when I threw it all the floor in disgust and took a break for coffee and a Creme Egg.  I like to brush after eating sugary snacks, and when I opened the bathroom cabinet to get my toothbrush I … Continue reading

Cool It Can Cozy Pattern

Perfect gift for guys, gals and geeks. Make your own can cozy pattern. Use funky fabrics and make these for everyone you know!

  Do you remember that waterproof can coaster I made for my husband for Valentines Day?  It’s a hit and he uses it everyday.  He loves it, because he no longer gets nagged at for leaving wet rings all over the table and I love it just because he uses it.  Aww. I thought it would be nice to make him something to go with it. I had some Insul-Bright left over from the pot holders and oven mitts, and was looking for something else to do with it.  An insulated can cozy that will keep his can cold longer, and it soaks up the condensation too – double win.  This has been another hit – he uses it all the time.  Makes me happy.  Makes him happy.  Can’t get a better sewing project than that! I even made a … Continue reading

Vote for US in the Crafty Awards

Crafty awards

Awards season has plenty to offer TV actors, movie directors and jazz-fusion musicians, but what about crafters? They toil long into the night on artistic creations that may be gone in the gulp of a wedding reception or wrinkle of paper. The Craftys Awards, coming in spring 2014, is a brand new, exciting way to celebrate work in sewing, scrapbooking, knitting and many more creative disciplines. Launched by CraftFoxes.com, The Craftys will give away thousands in cash and prizes to designers in 10 categories. This is a fantastic opportunity for talented indie designers to gain recognition from a huge online audience that may not know their work. Voters will be asked to choose their favorite entries in each category. With the launch of The Craftys.com, designers and their fans are being asked to help pick the final categories, such as … Continue reading

Sewing machine practice sheets

Learn to sew and use your sewing machine with these Sewing Machine Practice Sheets.

I get a lot of visits from search engines from people who are looking to learn to sew, or looking for sewing tutorials and easy patterns.  If you are one of them – Welcome!  You’ve come to the right place. (I think…) Sewing is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, fueled by shows like Project Runway, the UK’s Great British Sewing Bee and a similar show being filmed right now in the US by Love Productions.  So if you want to learn to sew, or want to help someone learn to sew, a child, grandchild, friend, then learning to use a sewing machine is one of the very first steps. How can you learn? Get the Sewing Machine Practice Sheets If you’ve not used a sewing machine or are a bit rusty, then you’ll want to practice your stitches before tackling … Continue reading

Design your own Handbag – class review pt 2

Review of the Craftsy class Design your own Handbag. Plus 50% off the class through So Sew Easy.

I’m presently taking the Design your own Handbag class from Craftsy following my sad and tragic experiences with sewing the World’s Ugliest Bag.   Here’s what I’ve covered so far in the class.  If you are interested, you can also read Part 1 of my review. You can also get this class at 50% off . Class review – part 2 Lesson 3 – Reinforcing your Fabric. Bags go through a lot of wear and tear and being thrown around and if you spend a lot of time and effort making the bag of your dreams, you want it to look good and to last.  This lesson looks really in depth into how to make your bag strong, durable and looking good.  No one wants to carry a flimsy looking handbag! Covered are: woven versus non-woven interfacing fusible versus non-fusibles … Continue reading

On a Roll T-shirt – free sewing pattern

Free t-shirt sewing pattern with video tutorial.

It’s time for a wardrobe basic and a shirt you’ll want to sew time and time again.  Out with the ball gowns, and in with the real clothes for real women!  This is one where you can sew what you actually wear everyday. The free sewing pattern for this month is the On a Roll T-Shirt. Features: 3 sleeve lengths No difficult to sew neck bindings No darts or zippers Roll-over wide neck Easy to fit to your shape Range of sizes, from 31 to 46 inch bust Versatile – cosy and casual for the daytime, or make it slinky and draping for a night out Full sewing instructions are downloaded with the pattern pieces Video tutorial too! Apologies for the wrinkly looking photos!  My regular hubby/photographer was unavailable so the self-timer had to do.  And it didn’t tell me … Continue reading

Make It Yours Contest – 1 month to go

Make It Yours clutch bag sewing contest on So Sew Easy. 3 categories with lots of fun sewing prizes. Sew a bag and win!

So we are one month in and one month to go.  Your entries for the Make It Yours Contest must be in by 30th May 2014.  Are you planning to enter – don’t leave it till the last minute! Sew the Make It Yours Clutch Bag from the free sewing pattern supplied, then add your own embellishments and design elements, or use some funky materials. Submit for voting by the readers and the bags with the most votes win cool sewing prizes. Juliette from The Netherlands has submitted this fabulous bag made mostly from reclaimed materials: “A couple of months ago, I picked up a faux suede jacket from a charity shop, along with a satin blouse, total cost €3.50. My intention was to use them for a bag, but at the time I had no idea of the style … Continue reading

Cayman’s first ever sewing meet up

CRUISE-2014-046

If you follow a lot of other sewing blogs, you’ve probably seen the increasing number of sewing ‘meet ups’, where bloggers all meet up to say hello, swap unwanted patterns and fabrics and then shop for even more fabric together so they can encourage each other to overspend! Sounds like heaven.  Except here in Cayman, I’m rather a long way and usually two flights away from any of them. So what to do?  Make my own sewing meet up right here in Cayman! I was so delighted when Robin wrote to tell me that she would be visiting Grand Cayman with her husband Joe.  Robin was enjoying a Quilting Cruise that stopped off for the day in the Cayman Islands as part of its Caribbean route and so we arranged to meet up and spend some tourist time together. It … Continue reading

Sewing for Mothers Day

Mothers Day

Was it your mother who taught you how to sew?  Or a grandmother?  If so, they gave you a precious gift of knowledge that makes every day better and will be with you forever.  Perhaps one day you’ll pass on that knowledge to your own daughter or grand daughter. The day will soon be upon us when we celebrate the special relationship we have with our mother and I think making something handmade is the perfect way to say thank you and show you care.  A handmade gift takes time, thought and an investment greater than simply popping out to the shops to buy some flowers or a box of chocolates. Show your mum/mom you care with these handmade goodies to create with fabric. Sewing for Mothers Day

The Turned Under Seam Finish

One of the simplest ways to create a neat finish on the inside of your projects and ideal for beginners

Continuing on in the series about how to sew seams, for those of us without a serger. Today, a simple one suitable for lots of applications and one I remember being taught in school a long, long time ago.  Even if you have the simplest of sewing machines that only does a straight stitch, you can still get a neat result with this seam.  I’ve seen this called either the Turned Under Seam Finish or a Clean Finish seam. If you have a stable fabric that holds a crease well, this easy finish creates a nice neat look on the inside with minimal fuss and fancy stitching.  Raw edges are protected and hidden.  1.  Sew your seam as usual. 2.  Press seam open. 3.  Turn under raw edges 1/4 of an inch and press again neatly. 4.  Try to make … Continue reading

Use bias tape for a neckline or arm hole facing

Bias tape facings

  Do you have garments you’ve either made or bought that have facings?  How do you like them?  Some of mine seem to work well, others are too big, floppy, irritating, show through to the right side, or just keep getting in the way somehow.    So how do you finish the edge of a neckline or armhole without facings or doing a full lining? Have you come across sewing patterns that tell you to simply fold over the raw edge to the inside and stitch in place, either on the neckline or armhole?  That’s fine with knit fabrics that stretch, but on wovens – really!  How is that going to work then, when you have to turn the shorter edge in and make it lie flat against a longer edge? Well, I can tell you that it just doesn’t … Continue reading