All posts filed under: Tutorials

Molly Top Hack #SOICITYBREAK

I’d say the majority of the fabric in my stash is in 1-1.5m lengths.  As I’m very lucky and surrounded by lots of real life fabric stores I tend to pick up quite a few bargain remnants when I’m out and about.  These keep my stash topped up and I can usually make a top or skirt from these shorter lengths.  If they’re less than a metre I often have to have a mash up of 2 remnants and let the creative juices flow. Like this cardigan….. boiled wool and a ponte knit….who’d have thought these would have gone together so well: And these 2 pieces of jersey fudged together for a Molly Top: So as you can see I usually have a happy ending when it marry up patterns and fabric. But the Molly Top from SOI has had me almost loosing sleep.  The grown on sleeves just make it that little big too fabric hungry for some of my remnants that are just shouting out to be a Molly.  Like this wide striped ribbed knit I …

An Invisible Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Because not all invisible zips are invisible. SewPhotoHop from Rachel of House of Pinheiro is back! It’s day 2 which is “Your Favourite Skill”.  Knowingly or unknowingly we’re all quite a skilled bunch out there and a lot of them skills we don’t know we have.  We’re also a generous bunch too who like to share our skills with other lovely sewists out there. Over on IG i’ve posted that my favourite skill is inserting invisible zips, or zippers depending where you are in the world.  I also mentioned I could share how I do it as it works a treat every time with no pins and no tears.  As there were quite a few who wanted  me to show you, here we are. 2 things for me when inserting an invisible zip are important. it’s invisible any seams match up So here’s how I do it. Gather your supplies: an invisible zip a pencil iron on interfacing if your fabric is anything other than denim or a robust fabric. a normal zipper foot   1  Open …

A quick way to make a thread looper

I’ve made thread loopers in the traditional way by hand.  But usually when I get to the stage of making the looper it means I’ve nearly finished whatever I’m making and I want a quicker way to do it.  That’s when the machine stitched looper comes in.  I also find it stronger than the more conventional way. Here’s a hand stitched one I made when I attended the GBSB Sewing With Silk class.  This was the first hand stitched one I’d ever done and wasn’t too neat and also a bit too big. My next attempt was much neater, but just as time consuming: When I made my recent colour blocked dress I went back to my favourite lazy way and used the machine and had it done in about 2 minutes! Here’s how….. Take a long length of matching (or contrasting!) thread and fold it in half, then twice more so you will have 8 strands of thread: Set your machine to the widest zig zag stitch.  The stitch length doesn’t matter as you’ll be pulling …

The Octopus Scarf

You’ll just have to humour me.  I know they have 8 tentacles and my scarf has a lot more but it still does remind me of one!   A few of you were interested in how I made Mo’s scarf in last week’s Sunday Sevens so I thought I’d buy some wool and make another, taking a few pics along the way. I’ve only been crocheting a couple of years and I think I’m somewhere between a novice and an intermediate sort of crocheter. I’m hoping this makes sense! I much prefer to crochet and knit with variegated yarn (stripy!) as I find it exciting to see what’s coming next! And with this scarf it also makes the tentacles different colours or shades depending on the subtlety of the colour change. This yarn was also different thicknesses.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn on so it was kind of an experiment.  Click HERE to see it on the Sirdar website – there’s some gorgeous colours.  2 50g balls cost me less than £6. The label recommended a …

My Colette Wren – The Nitty Gritty

I had a vision! + = POSH FROCK Here’s how it happened! After taking my measurements I opted to trace off size large.  I didn’t notice the chart for the finished measurements.  If I had I would probably have saved myself some time.  The pattern has negative ease and my fabric (being a ponte knit) wasn’t quite as stretchy as suggested. The left photo shows my first muslin in a large.  I recut it in a XL and lengthened the pattern pieces by 4cm (on the shorten/lengthen lines). A lesson to all – Trace your pieces!  I’d have been snookered if I’d have cut into my PDF pattern and would have had to print and stick it all together again! The lower back bodice picture above is the first muslin.  As you can see its tight and also there is excess fabric in the lower back.  I lengthened the bottom by 4cm and then did a 5cm sway back adjustment – following this tutorial. I ended up with a very odd shaped piece but it …

Finishing A Cowl Neckline

I recently made Lekala 4119.  If you’ve tried Lekala you’ll know the instructions generally expect you to have a fairly decent knowledge of garment construction or time to google.  Or both. These are the complete instructions of the top describes as “Blouse with Draping” INSTRUCTIONS:  1. Sew side and shoulder seams. Serge and press toward back.  2. Serge neckline, fold to wrong side and topstitch.  3. Serge armhole, fold to wrong side and topstitch.  4. Sew bottom part into ring. Fold in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and sew to hem, stretching a little bit. The seam is at the left side seam. Serge the seam. This is a great easy to wear top.  Cowls are in, but sleeveless ones narrow down their wearability. With this there’s no sleeves to set in so it’s a really quick make – if you know what you’re doing!  I like a clean finish on all my clothes – makes them last longer, they look more professional and less home made. I thought I’d share how I finish my tops …

Draw String Bags & Production Line Sewing

Pump bags… Party Bags…. Could even be made as a smaller version for a bridesmaid in pink….. They’re the good old draw string bag! I was asked by my bestie if I would make some party bags for her son’s 7th birthday party. They needed to be big enough to put a small Easter in, and a few other little goodies. ‘Course I will’ I heard myself saying before I’d asked how many.  30? ….’yeah, no worries’ (T-H-I-R-T-Y……my brain was shouting…..!)   …oh well. In for a penny in for a pound! So here’s how I made them. A little tutorial so to speak. This could be useful if your making 1, a hundred and 1, or any number in between. The secret is to be organised and do it in bite size stages I started with 5 metres of a stable Jersey knit (cotton, or any fabric t that presses well will do). It turned out there was 6 metres, and I did need the extra metre! I planned to make mine 10″ wide and 12″ …

The Awful Dressmaker’s Book

Today I’ve spent an hour or 2 rummaging through a friend of a friend’s Mum’s stash.  We came across this book which really made us chuckle: The book was published in 1967 and there were other books in the series. Two extracts caught my eye. The first was instructions on how to change the elastic in your knickers!!  Check out the paragraph underneath too…telling you not to tie knots in the shoulder straps of your slip as it may chafe your armpits!! The next I thought might be a handy tip for Amanda over at Sew Deputy.  She reckons she’s a wonky sewer, but has made the best trenchcoat you’ll have ever seen.  So Amanda, be sure to have a good read of this next picture and how to rectify those crooked seams! Can you imagine what people will be thinking in 40 or so years when they’re reading our blogs!!  It’s amazing to think our blogs are keeping such a great record of how things are done now. Wouldn’t it be fab if we …

Matchmaker – Dahlia meets Mr Zip

Whilst inserting my zip today into my Dahlia dress I decided to take some photos of how I match everything up when inserting zips, as it can make or break a garment. This is just how I do it.  There might be an easier way out there, but after making 5 Yasmin Yoke Skirts I feel practiced and competent enough to share my way with you. Firstly, buy a decent zip!  I learnt the hard way today: This post will not show you how any special tricks to inserting a concealed zip, there’s loads of fab tutorials out there and even a free craftsy class (I always refer back to this if I’ve not inserted one in a while). Insert one side of the zip. Zip up the zipper and mark the important seams that need to match: Unzip and place where it needs to be.  Pin if you like but it doesn’t make it any more accurate!   Stitch in place – long basting stitches just near the seams that need to match: Now, zip it …