Resolution 2013 – Be More Giving to Others

I’ve really enjoyed reading all of the blog reviews of 2012, and everyone’s plans for 2013.  I subscribe mostly to sewing blogs, so this is what I have mostly been looking through – completed items and planned items for the coming year.  Well,  I am too new to sewing and to blogging to do much of a review, so I thought instead I would share my non-sewing plans for 2013. Late in 2012 I was feeling low as a result of my illness and I felt in need of a pick me up.  So I browsed online and came across Kiva.  I could tell you all about what they do, but it’s best to get it from their own ‘mouths’. “We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of … Continue reading

Craftsy courses on Christmas SALE

Yay – just when you thought this time of year couldn’t be any better with Christmas on the way and everyone so excited – Craftsy announce a SALE so you can treat yourself and any other crafty person you know.  (You might notice that during this time the banners on my site will all change to show the sale.) From 22nd to 24th December all the courses will be on SALE from $9.99 to $24.99 each.  Bargain and perfect timing for last minute gift ideas.  What I love about these courses is not only that the instrcutors are highly expereienced professionals in their field, but the videos are there for life.  You watch them when you want, as often as you want and the teaching platform allows students to upload completed or work-in-progress projects, talk with each other and ask … 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

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