Monday, 30 April 2018

Blocks, blocks, blocks

I seem to have become reacquainted with my sewing machine and have been playing catch up with an online block of the month club. Several evenings of cutting and sewing saw me complete the blocks for January to April and I am now ready for  May’s block to be issued.


I have also completed the first of 35 low volume log cabin blocks for a Project Linus quilt challenge in the same online community. We are limited to two colours and neutrals and I think my interpretation might be stretching the rules a little, but hopefully will create a modern quilt suitable for an older child.
(Apologies if the formatting for this post is a little odd - I’m trying a new app to write posts from my iPad.)    

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Lucy Locket's Hidden Pocket

I’m always slightly annoyed by the general lack of an inside pocket on women’s jackets and coats. So much so, that on many of my coats I have inserted a zipped pocket between the lining and facing. Seeing as I needed to add such a pocket to a jacket recently, I took photos while I was sewing and have written a tutorial showing how to add this hidden pocket to a lined jacket or coat.


If you choose a zip that matches the inside of the coat or jacket, then the pocket is almost hidden when closed. The pocket fabric can be as matching or as contrasting as you like. For this pocket I used some silk and stabilised it with a light weight iron-on interfacing, though if you use quilting cotton or a similar fabric, interfacing would not be needed.


These pockets are not suitable for carrying anything too heavy, but can cope with a passport and boarding card or a set of keys or similar. If your coat or jacket has buttons, the size of the pocket may be limited by the distance between the buttons as these are often sewn on through the outer layer and the facing. My jacket had a zip, so I wasn't limited to a certain size and made my pocket to fit my passport.


 
The tutorial can be found as a pdf file in my Project/Tutorials section.


If you do use this tutorial to add a pocket and find any of the instructions unclear, please get in contact and I will try to help.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Flying FPP

This month I have started a new project as a result of a challenge posted in an online sewing community. The challenge was the “Soaring Compliments” pattern from Bryerpatch Studio.


At first I thought this challenge was not for me – I’ve only done two FPP projects previously and the rainbow colour scheme was not my cup of tea. However, I did a bit of digital colouring in and looked at my stash of Oakshott and the next thing I knew was the challenge had been accepted.
 
Before the sewing could start, some more computer wizardry was required to print the pattern as a tiled PDF and resize it so I could use the charm squares for the geese. My resized pattern is now ~15” instead of the original 25” and so far the smaller scale has been OK for the flying geese sections.
 

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the pattern comes together at the reduced size.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January – comings and goings

Just a quick post with a few bits from the tail end of last year and some plans for this year.

Christmas (which seems so long ago) saw some new sewing arrivals for me – a FQ bundle of Liberty’s English Garden quilting cotton and a Fiskars folding ruler.


I’ve no project in mind yet for the Liberty FQs, but I know the ruler will be great to take on the train when I go to Leeds MQG. To make space for the new FQs I destashed a few FQs online, though the net result was still a gain but at least some fabric has found new homes where hopefully it will get used.

 

After missing 4 months of meetings I finally managed to get to Leeds MQG this month and spent the day sewing some POTC blocks. I’m still working on the joining blocks but now I have decided on the two fabrics for these, once I have a few more made I think it will make it easier to pick the fabrics for the “cross” blocks.



The only other sewing this month has been sewing name tags on to clothes for my Mum who is having to spend some time in a nursing home (and which probably will become a long term stay). For such small items, they seem to take a disproportionally long time to sew.


Next month’s sewing is likely to be a FPP quilt for a friend’s baby which I need to get done it time for her return from maternity leave and her daughter’s first birthday. It is my first attempt at an entire quilt using FPP blocks, but at least if I get stuck I will be able to take it to the next MQG meeting for help and advice.

Friday, 29 December 2017

2017 - my sewing year in numbers



This year has been more productive than last year and finished quilts actually make an appearance in my annual round up. Again, small and quick projects feature quite strongly and for some projects, a needle and thread has been replaced by glue and a brush. I've started a new EPP project (Lucy Boston's Patchwork of the Crosses), but progress has been slow and I have only got as far as chosing the fabric for the linking blocks, and have not started going through my Liberty fabrics for the main blocks.

Not too much fabric has been added to my stash this year, and now Standfast & Barrack no longer sell Liberty lawn in their factory shop, I can't see my Liberty stash increasing much in 2018. I did buy a few dressmaking patterns and fabrics this year, so perhaps some garments will appear in next year's montage.

In summary, this is what I have achieved this year:
  • 6 spotty coasters sewn
  • 5 boxes/cases repurposed and covered in Liberty fabric
  • 4 quilts finished
  • 2 garments refashioned
  • 1 mini quilt stitched
  • 1 cushion made and gifted
  • 1 insulated lunch bag designed and created
  • 1 bag customised with Liberty EPP
  • 1 replacement iPad case completed
  • 1 peek-a-boo pouch made
  • 1 new EPP project started


Thursday, 30 November 2017

Replace and Reuse

Just a couple of quick bits of sewing to report for this month. First up is a replacement iPad case for my godson who left his case (along with the iPad) on a train. This was a very quick make as I had only a couple of hours to make it while he was home from University. I adapted the pattern that is available in my tutorials so that the zipped pocket was quicker and used the first non-girly fabric that came to hand.



The other piece of sewing was to find a way of reusing a skirt of mine that somehow has “shrunk” while it has been hanging in the wardrobe. The length was never quite right on me and seeing as the waist was no longer right now too, there was nothing to lose. I chopped off the skirt just below the zip and made a casing for elastic using a length of Liberty lawn. (The skirt is needlecord which would have been too bulky to fold for a casing.)


Seeing as I never wear tops tucked into skirts, this was a quick fix and resulted in a skirt that is very wearable, but very difficult to photograph.



I might use this method again should any more skirts shrink in the wardrobe 😉.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Last of the Liberty (thank heavens for a stash)

October has been another quiet month sewing-wise, with just one item being made, no sewing progress on my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt, and some news that will impact my Liberty stash.

At the start of the month, I met up with Di whom I follow on Instagram. Di was in Liverpool for a few days and was looking for suggestions of where to go and what to see. We arranged to meet for lunch followed by a trip to the craft cotton bargain baskets at Abakhans. I didn’t want to turn up empty-handed, so I made a quick “Peek-a-Boo” pouch using the free pattern from Sew She Can. Unfortunately I forgot to put anything in the pockets when taking the photos, so you’ll have to take my word that there is a vinyl pocket on the inside.






I had warned Di that the craft cotton baskets can be a bit hit and miss at times, but we struck lucky on our visit. I found some Tula Pink and Art Gallery Fabric; Di found some backing to complete a cushion and started planning ahead with the purchase of some Christmas fabric.


Although I’ve not got any further with my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt, I have got as far as deciding on the final fabric for the joining blocks – the centre squares will be in Liberty “Penny”. I've not sewn any of these blocks yet, but Photoshop gave me an indication of how they might look.


Talking of Liberty, I was saddened to learn last month that Standfast and Barracks will no longer be selling Liberty seconds in their factory shop. Apparently printing has been moved to Como in Italy, which probably explains the lack of newer designs and the half-price sale in the Lancaster outlet. I bought a few metres of the Wild Cat design (from the Autumn/Winter 2016 collection) before they stopped selling on Ebay, but it looks as though this will be the last of my bargain Liberty purchases.