Sewing giveaway

Just a quick post to let you know about a great sewing giveaway. Tilly and the Buttons is hosting a fab set of items all to go to a single winner – could it be you?  Hop on over to the blog to take part and see if this could be your lucky day.  Draw closes on 8th December. One lucky reader will win ALL of this: * Three digital sewing patterns of your choice from Victory Patterns * * 2m of fabric of your choice from Eternal Maker * * Sewing-themed fat quarter fabric bundle from Frumble * * Lace peter pan collar kit PLUS £15 of fabric of your choice from the Fabric Godmother * * 3 100% linen tea towels, perfect for embroidering, from Ada & Ina Natural Fabrics * * The Betty High Waist Panties sewing pattern from Ohhh Lulu * * Christmas-themed fat quarter fabric bundle of … 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

Is it a purse or a handbag?

You may have noticed from my writings that I am British.  Or maybe you didn’t.  I was born in the UK and lived there living a ‘normal’ life for many years.  Until my husband and I decided to get away from it all and lead the lives we should have lived when we were younger.  So we became scuba diving instructors and moved to Thailand – quite a departure from real estate and accountancy in grey England. We now live in Grand Cayman, in the Caribbean and have been here 5 1/2 years.  Naturally we now come into contact with very few Brits and very many Americans.  In order to make ourselves understood we have to modify our language – the boot of the car is now the trunk, a tap is now a faucet, the rubbish = trash, and … Continue reading

Paper Bag skirts

Clearly I was going to be at a great disadvantage in sewing my own clothes if I could not do zippers and with my zipper foot a long way off on the horizon, I scoured the internet for ideas for clothing that didn’t need either zippers, nor buttons (too advanced for me !) Most elasticated waist skirts are for little girls and simply look too frou frou for the more mature lady 🙂 but then I came across the paper bag skirt.  Not actually made of paper or bags but cinched in at the waist, top of paper bag style.  Perfect, no zipper needed. I found the very best example for ladies and a great tutorial here at The Sewing Dork. The example in this tutorial is a really eye-catching striped skirt but I settled for another brown remnant for … Continue reading

My first real limitations

I am heady with excitement as I head back to my sewing machine for my next project.  The ‘Cute dress !’ comment about my Nancy dress leaves me salivating for more new clothes courtesy of the remnants bin. I read all over the web about making clothes from your existing ready to wear favorites.  I actually have a really well fitting simple a-line skirt which I had made to measure during a trip to Vietnam (I am such a lucky girl) so I tried to give this one a go.  I pinned out the skirt, drew around carefully and made my pattern pieces.  I checked the measurements, everything was good. Ah, then I ran into my first difficutly – this skirt needs a zipper.  I rummaged around in the box the borrowed sewing machine came in, found nothing, called my … Continue reading

The ‘Nancy’ easy knit halter dress

Buoyed by the success of my first sewing project with the pink apron, I headed straight onwards and upwards and became (too ?) ambitious for my next project.  I wanted to make a dress.  The remnant bin this week produced a rather random print in blue and brown which I am never to sure about because this was the color of my old school uniform.  What’s more the fabric was stretchy and I had no idea what to do with it.  It cost about $5 and I bought some dark brown thread for 70c. I came across the Nancy dress pattern and thought – yes, its only rectangles, I can do this ! So I cut out my rectangles according to the pattern pieces and measurements, sewed them up (in like, 5 minutes) and tried on my new dress.  Er….. sack/shroud? … Continue reading

My first sewing project – a half apron

So I had some cotton, a pink printed piece from the rummage section.  About a yard and a half, bought by the pound.  The remnants are weighed, and you buy by weight – I don’t remember now what this cost, but its $7.50 per pound. What to make?  I’ve not sat in front of a sewing machine for over 30 years, but I know straight away that I want to make things to wear, clothes, things I can get use from.  But I don’t know anything about fitting, don’t have any patterns.  And the fabric isn’t the sort of thing I would normally wear. So let’s start nice and easy and make an apron.  I’ve seen some lovely aprons for sale on Etsy, using mixed fabrics, with ruffles, bows, fabulous vintage or fashionable prints.  And really they are only rectangles … Continue reading