Monday, October 29, 2018

Ginger Jeans

I live in jeans, almost exclusively in skinny jeans since they arrived on the high street despite being plus size and all the magazines etc saying that it wasn't a good look for my body type.  Screw them, I like my skinny jeans...

So now it's my first time making Ginger Jeans by Closet Case patterns.  This is the mid-rise version that is PDF only from their website.

I picked out a lovely mustard stretch denim from

Printing and sticking PDFs together is a task all of its own, it takes a good amount of time for me to do, but the advantage of having the patterns ready to print anytime rather than crunching it all back into an envelope is exactly what i need.

I made these up in 15 minute sewing sessions so it did take a while.  I picked a really geometric mustard print from my stash for the lining, it was originally purchased for quilting with but I've gone off the print in a major way.  I also got to try out my new overlocker and I'm really pleased with how finished the inside looks. 

All done!

I'm really happy with the fit around the waist and hips, not so much around the legs - it needs some tweaking for sure since I'm approximately the shape of a toffee apple.  The next time I make them (there will be a next time as soon as I find more denim I like), I will have a mess around with it and see what I can do.  In the mean time, these are perfectly serviceable and I've been wearing them out and about with no worries!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Day 1 - 50 Days of Hand Quilting

I was aimlessly browsing my instagram feed this morning and noticed that someone (@jeanakimball) had made a hand quilting challenge that was all about simply pushing forwards on projects.  So I decided to join up as I like a self-challenge

The premise is to simply make some progress with your hand quilting for 50 days out of the 80 odd that are still left in 2018.

Day 1

As you can see, the middle is almost complete (have the hoop marks to prove it!) - so I want to work on the next couple of borders for my challenge.  Here's hoping that I am able to make some progress!


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Birthday surprises!

It was my birthday last week and I'm happy to say I received a few nice sewing things, so I thought I would share!

A new (to me) overlocker!  Yay!  Now I can wave good bye to raw edges forever and ever.  This picture was taken during a project - I threaded it myself and felt pretty smug about it.  Going to spend some time collecting different colours of thread.

A copy of the Harriet Bra pattern by Cloth habit, which I am currently excitedly assembling all the bits and bobs for.. After all, if I can figure out bras, I will never have to buy anything from a clothes shop again.

A copy of the book about the 1718 coverlet that I saw at the Festival Of Quilts this year.  The fabrics here are all pulled from my stash and I like the jewel-tones that are emerging.  I finally have a project to use my little pile of Oakshott cottons on!  I think I need some stripes though.  Super excited about starting this one, shan't lie!

Last but definitely not least, some custom tags.  My sister in law drew a little caricature of me and she and my brother had them made up - they are awesome!  It says 'Hand made from Beth' then on the back says its 'made from 100% free range Beth' and the care instructions are 'Eh, throw it in with the rest of the load'  They know me so well :)

Monday, September 17, 2018

First attempts at hand quilting...

Having never quilted by hand before, ever.  I honestly feel I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Turns out you can learn how to use thimbles really effectively when your fingers start to hurt.

I have no idea what I'm doing... but the results aren't horrible? I plan to get lots of practice on this as I go through all the cosy winter evenings with it on my lap.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Quilt top all done

It's my birthday next week.  I was hoping to get this top all done in time so that I could start other things as my gifts are usually new fabrics, and I am amazed to say that thanks to a big push at the last of those clam shells - I did it!

I didn't have enough space inside to take pictures of it, so I took a couple while it was all squooshed (that's a real word!) up waiting to be pressed.

 It looks so cosy.

Then I managed to get it outside with small helpers... It measures about 55"x 58".  A bit on the small side maybe, but it's big enough to cover me :P

I was concerned with the mitred corners on the clam shell border as they don't match in any way at all, probably because it's a rectangle and duh- maths.  But as I look at it now, they just don't bother me - it adds to the busy-ness of it all and I love it.  The plan now is to hand quilt it over the winter in the evenings, just need to motivate myself to do that pesky basting stuff, oh and choose a backing. 


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The End of Summer Report.

The elder children have returned to school after a long summer. Hopefully I will start finding a little more time to sew now.  I did finish the boys much needed winter knitting just in time for this colder weather.

The jumper is a pattern by Stylecraft knitted up in Stylecraft Wondersoft and James C Brett Stonewash DK.  I like the subtle striping that came out of mixing up a solid and a non solid colour, I will probably do that again.  The hat is just 2x2 rib in leftover aran weight yarns, it sports a massive 10cm bobble that I made with a proper pompom maker instead of the old fashioned cut-a-couple-of-rings-out-of-cereal-boxes method that my Nan taught me.  I have to say, the pompom maker is loads better than my old method (sorry Nan).  I like how they came out and the boys like being warm, so everyone is happy.

Clam shells continue.. 

I have almost completed 3 of the 4 sides now.  I have about 3 clam shells left to sew onto the 3rd side - it's slow going but I am really enjoying the mindfulness of it.  In fact I have enjoyed the handwork so much that I am going to quilt it by hand too.  Now I know I said I wouldn't buy new stuff but I have never done it before and had to spend the last week or so acquiring the bits and bobs to do it with.  That doesn't count right? Because it's for an ongoing project? Right? Right.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

New Tee's for the Toddler

I have been looking around for a super basic tee pattern for ages and after being stung by a couple of free patterns over the summer I think I finally stumbled across one that is a) simple looking, b) easy and c) sized for both of my boys.  I got the 'Made by Me Kids Tee' pattern.

This is my first time sewing with knits on my normal sewing machine (armed with Jersey needles).  Jersey feels so much different to sewing with a woven but I'm hoping to master it, an overlocker is a lot of money.  I would love one eventually but I have achieved something that looks okay-ish without the expense so I'm happy.

The first I made from a fabric I saw at Birmingham rag market and was only £3 per metre.  I love the swirls and I hope to make my other son a hoodie from the same fabric.  I edged it in ribbing to give it more of a sweartshirt feel than a tee.  I think it works!  I wish I could finish it a bit better on the inside but without the overlocker I'm not really sure how to go about it - I'm just happy it sewed up at all.

The second is made up from cotton jersey, I admit - this was much easier to sew.  The neck binding and the patch pocket is actually made from one of my youngests older t shirts that has no hope of ever fitting him again and was in too much of a state to give away.

I really like this pattern a lot and as someone who usually buys a basic set of tees in all sorts of colours for each boy at the beginning of a season I foresee that this will see a lot of use.