Showing posts with label scrap sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scrap sewing. Show all posts

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Japanese Inspired Modern Crazy Patchwork Handbag.


I finally sewed my bag ! I only started this at the end of 2014 ( or was it 2013 ? ) when my old handbag was breaking . But then I purchased a new bag a few months later  and this got shoved aside. But then the ` new `  handbag was starting to perish AND I was in a cleaning up the sewing corner mood so I finally buckled down and tackled the project. The sticking point was the how to make the bag flap.


I was inspired by this project in a very old Handmade magazine from the 90s. I have never sewed crazy patchwork before - the actual sewing is very easy but trying to get the right fabrics in the right positions is sooo hard. I picked out my fabric scraps and after lots of mucking around I realised I  just had to start sewing  but it was all looking a bit bland until I added a small scrap from my Mum that had a bright flower and gold highlights .

The actual bag pattern I used was Butterick 4247( long OOP )  , a really good basic bag pattern if you can overlook the quilted examples on the envelope cover.




I used plain navy suedette left over from sewing my Mum an outfit in 2000. I interlined this with left over fleecy so the bag is more substantial. I added an extra  pocket to the back but had to piece together scraps to make  it  large enough  so I covered the seam with narrow velvet ribbon. I added a magnetic clasp which I had removed from an even older handbag. 

 To the inner lining I added one zippered pocket which was not included in the pattern. I followed the book The Bag Making  Bible to create this but it is very easy to do . I wish now that I had added a zippered pocket on the other side of the bag . Next time !


I love the tassel decoration on the my original inspiration and perhaps I might even make one one day but instead I added a large etched shell button that I pilfered off the back of one of my cardigans .

There is plenty of room for my wallet, keys, phone , glasses , reusable shopping bag and bits and pieces that are absolutely necessary to carry around. Honestly how do men get away with just a wallet ! 
I am insanely pleased with my new handbag . It definitely won`t be the last one I make. I have a couple of Marcy Tilton patterns that I will try  next. 
This is what I have to contend with while I am taking photos !! 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Simplicity 2501 -Silly Unseasonal Sewing .


I have a good excuse this time to be sewing a summer top in winter .
I have used this fabric previously to sew this skirt


and then last month the  bottom of this skirt .


I had a largish piece left over with a wide short piece,a longer narrower section and a couple of small scraps.

Rather than put it away in the cupboard where it had already lived for probably over 10 years I was determine to make a top which made sense anyway to match my new skirt . I pulled out a few patterns but it wasn't until the third one that I managed to fit all the pattern pieces on . The secret being that this has lots of smaller pieces rather than fewer larger ones.

This is the third time I have made this now and I realise that each time I have used fabrics where there is not much yardage. So I highly recommend this pattern in general but especially if you have limited fabric . Of course this pattern is OOP and I was shocked to realise that it was released back in 2009. It has a vintage vibe but I really like the gentle peplum . I never got onto the peplum bandwagon a few years back because I don't think they suit me but with this pattern the peplum does not stick out too much .






The front has small pleats in the bodice while the back has darts . The peplum is finished with a narrow hem but I did not follow Simplicity's instructions for this . I use a technique described in threads where you turn up the fabric and sew  a very narrow hem , trim the excess fabric and then fold this up and sew again which encloses the raw edge . Easier and accurate if you sew slowly. I used bias binding to finish the back neck and front facings but ironically I had to buy more thread to do the last couple of buttonholes as result . Should have just overlocked the facings ! I did not use the supplied facings for the armholes ( not enough fabric ) but more bias binding . I love this fabric , linen being a material I have rarely had the pleasure of using but it is all gone now . I think I will ` retire ` this Simplicity pattern now too as even though all three versions are different , they all still reside in the wardrobe and I don't want to get bored of them. 
Happy Sewing Janine. 

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Wave Skirt - Burdastyle 12/2012 .

skirt front 


I`m still choosing my next projects to sew by trying to get through my recent unused Burdastyle magazines hence making a summer skirt in the slap bang middle of winter. And yes a five year old Burdastyle is recent for me !
I bought this piece of batik in 2010 from the op shop but it was only small - just over one metre in length and only 115cm wide . I also  had this piece of aqua linen bought  from another  op shop but from  years before and amazingly they match really well .(  I have  already previously made a skirt from the aqua linen and after cutting out the contrast waves there was just enough to cut out a top yet to be sewn . )

skirt back 

I saw this skirt in the December 2012 issue and thought it might be an interesting and different way to use my batik . It is a slight A line skirt with 4 darts in the front and back, a centre back zip  and a narrow waist band. The lower bands are gently curved.
I lengthened the main body of the skirt by a few centimetres but did not make any other changes.

right skirt side 

 When I was tracing out the skirt patterns I was lazy and only traced out one back and one front. This made  cutting out the fabric harder because the curves are different on both sides. It meant I was cutting away curves on the tissue paper and then having to add them again when cutting out the contrast bands. It got a bit confusing and I made one mistake luckily rectified. So if anyone reading this wants to make this skirt I would trace out a complete front skirt and two separate backs and follow the layout diagram Burda provides. This would have been much  quicker in the end !
Wave skirt tech drawing
Considering I only had a small piece of batik I was pretty happy in the end with the pattern matching on the back and it is OK on the sides - good enough for me anyway . I will not make this wave skirt again but might make the basic A line skirt pattern . Overall I am happy with the result and only have to wait a few months to wear it now.

left skirt side 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Sewing SOS - Kwik Sew 2943 to the Rescue.



Usually I am OK at matching patterns to fabrics and vice versa but lately my brain has been in a funk and nothing was working . I washed up several fabrics . I traced out a couple of Burda Style patterns complete with lots of hassles which I don`t usually encounter . But I could not get the fabrics and patterns to work - not enough fabric , not wide enough fabric or way too much fabric with useless sized leftovers . I couldn't  face tracing out another pattern so I turned to my trusty Kwik Sew Patterns . I had a couple of small   remnants from  projects from a few months ago  littering my dresser with the idea to make some tanks trialling a new to me pattern . Well higher up forces were obviously telling me now was the time to make  them.                                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                         
This is a really old Kwik Sew of the white pattern paper variety . Like my other Kwik Sews it proved to be reliable but not totally without more hassles . This was all down to the fabric choices though.
I used the leftovers of the burnout velvet that I made a kimono with - the fabric is so pretty I could not waste it . What I did not think about was the  nap of the velvet  so the tank fabric is cut different to the kimono - my astute sewing friend noticed this when we went out for tea ( Hello Kelly ) . Also I used the leftover silk from the kimono bands to make my own bias binding instead of using the facings supplied with the pattern. My bias bindings were wibbly wobbly and at one point I did not sew them properly onto the fabric so I had to cut them off and start again ( no way I was unpicking this fabric which frays easily where the burnout part is ) .But overall the tank top  was a success and has made up a nice `twin set ` .


The other fabric was some crinkly georgette I made using another Kwik Sew pattern for an interesting tunic. This time I did use the facing patterns but boy were they out with this shifty fabric . So I used bought bias binding which is really a bit too stiff for the georgette but since I intend to mainly wear this camisole under the see through tunic it doesn`t matter and I know when to quit and not worry about perfectionism . The bust darts  are  a little low with this pattern . I tried to correct this with the georgette but they are still too low perhaps because of the shifty fabric factor ?? Anyway overall this pattern turned out a winner , great at using up small scraps and for ( mainly ) restoring my sewing confidence.


Since sewing the tanks   I have managed to match up the couple of burda patterns I traced with different fabrics and the paired the fabrics I washed with other patterns so I think I just had to step away for a little bit to sort it all out . Here`s to tanks of the peaceful kind .
                                                           

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Knipmode White Patchwork Tunic .

  

Happy New Year ! I`m off to a flying start finishing off this white tunic and I have cut out two further projects as well.  All of which satisfy my own little resolutions / challenges which I set myself last year.
First off the tunic came about as a combination of using an old but unused knipmode magazine I have been mulling over for ages and my personal competition  to use up smaller scrappy pieces . I had a bingo moment when I realised this dress  pattern from October 2010  would be perfect for my remnant challenge as it is made up of several small pattern pieces. Win/win !


The dress has a front yoke , cuffed two piece sleeves and the lower front is divided into central and side front pieces with pockets . There is even a separate lower front . In other words the front of this dress has 8  pieces ! The back too has 6 pattern pieces so perfect for using small fabric scraps . There are no zips or other closures in this dress.
I used a total of 4 different white fabrics . The front yoke and front side pieces are made of dotted swiss cotton. The back and lower centre front is made of a pintucked , lacey cotton and the sleeves are constructed from  a self patterned white paisley design. The facings uses a self checked cotton. All fabrics were remnants from long ago projects but  just too good or sentimental to throw away.





I made a few  alterations to the pattern , the main one being that I did not make the dress  but left off the lower front/ back pieces and made a tunic length garment . The front slit was quite low so I stitched this up another inch but the tunic is still quite easy to put on .  I also deleted the pockets concealed between the side and central fronts but this is a nice little detail in the original design.  Finally I elongated  the front yoke facing piece to be same length as the front yoke because the dotted swiss is quite see through and a shorter facing shadow would have annoyed me. Otherwise as per usual the knipmode pattern is well drafted and all the pieces went together well. I used a kwik sew pattern to help me with the sleeve vents and this was the hardest part of the whole project. 
Overall I am very happy with my new tunic - a great way to start the sewing year. I extend my wishes for everyone to have another safe and healthy and happy 2017 . 
Happy Sewing Janine. 

Friday, 13 May 2016

Scrap Sewing - Winners and Wadders .



  I might have mentioned I do not like waste and might be a bit of a hoarder when it comes to fabric scraps . Sometimes Mum also gives me little pieces like the blue patterned  cotton voile  fabric above. There was only 80 cms and I accidentally found an even smaller  piece of blue in my scrap bag which matched really well when I was searching for something else  . It was left over stretch cotton from making my husband a shirt for Christmas 2 or 3 years ago .


I really wanted to make New Look 6187 after seeing some versions on the internet and was able to squeeze this  top out using the two scraps . I used the plain blue for the yoke and tunic back and the pattern for the front yoke and sleeves.


I altered the pattern slightly - 3/4 sleeves because I did not have enough material for the full length and I extended the yoke pattern so I could make a button placket instead of a button/ loop closure. Also instead of using a facing for the yoke and tunic back I managed to eke out some bias binding to finish off the neckline.

Always times for pats in our house.




OK onto the next scrap busting project.  One late insomnia filled night I was perusing Pinterest ( not very good for actually helping one to get back to sleep BTW ) and saw a picture of a sewing machine pocket pad . Brilliant ! If I had a dollar for every time I have knocked my tape measure behind my sewing table then I would  have lots of dollars . I was seriously considering making another scrap top with this checked / little Japanese girl fabric but again only had 80 cms . Well for this project I had plenty of material and I also managed to save myself from making a dubiously appropriate shirt and I have a place for my errant tape measure ( and quick unpick /  little scissors/ glasses /secret chocolate stash ) . I was pretty happy with the result so I sewed two more for my Mum and a friend using all stash fabric, wool wadding and bias binding .

Well they are the winners :)
Now for the wadder :(
I had lots of black based scraps ranging in age from just last year to 10 years old . I wanted to use my Knipmode magazines and found a windcheater where the fronts and backs  consist of  3 pieces each  . I had enough of the various scraps but did not have a good feeling from the start of the sewing . I got the point of the hems and adding a neck band but OH in capitals . Gosh seriously ugly.  Too many fabrics  ,  too many differing textures and thicknesses  , too big , sleeves too dropped .  Most of the failure is my fault but the sweater is seriously oversized and the sleeves very low .


This photo does not do justice to how ugly the top is . Oh well  , I gave it a try and no big loss. However Bruna I do think you are right and these scraps should have been in the bin long ago.
I am off to lick my wounds now and have cut out a Kwik Sew camisole pattern - quick , easy, needed  and made before so I know it will be a success .
Happy Sewing Janine. Costings : Fabric remnants free in stash. Pattern - $3.00 . Buttons and thread in stash. Total - $ 3.00

Sunday, 10 April 2016

National PJ Sewing Month.








I couldn`t resist adding in the tag Handmade for a Sweet Little Girl to my teenage DD`s PJs - she did at least appreciate the humour. 

Well it is anyway at my house.
I have sewn more PJs than the number of full nights sleep I had in the first 5 years of my children`s lives. No exaggeration - they were terrible sleepers - hopefully nothing to do with their nightwear !
So I am very tired of sewing that same style easy but plain pattern . Therefore I took an opportunity to make something different - Grainline`s Lakeside PJs .
I only made the bottom part . They hardly took any fabric at all so I was able to squeeze these out of a small remnant less than 50cm I think . I used ready made bias binding because I did not have enough fabric to make my own and the pants took just under 2 metres .
Despite being a bit more challenging than my usual PJ fare they were still relatively easy, the only really tricky bit being the side seams where the bias binding is .
I made size 8 and my youngest daughter loves them. They are comfortable but do not have that excessive ease that the Big 4 patterns can have.  I can see more orders coming in for these from the other DDs .

The longer pair of PJs are a UFO . Now I don`t do UFOS - my projects either get finished or chucked out . This is my youngest daughter`s UFO - so short into her sewing career and already accumulating UFOs ! I have been gently reminding her we could finish these pants up ( OK probably nagging is a better term ) so when she wanted to buy more nightwear I just went and sewed these up myself - only took an hour. The fabric is a Japanese double gauze we bought in Tokyo in 2013 and much too cute to waste - Japanese do cute really really well. In amongst those pink flowers are little panda bears . We used a very old Burda pattern 8785 for the pants - the usual PJ pattern but with added bands at the leg hems and a matching contrast waist band. Again I like Burda for the fact that their patterns fit well .

So 2 new pairs of PJs and now I can get on with the real important business of sewing for myself .

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Scrappy Skirt 2 - The Everyday Version.


This skirt came close to being a UFO which I have so far avoided in my sewing room ( piles of mending and altering tell a different story ).
I sewed two skirts several years ago using this peached cavalry drill from Spotlight. I dilligently followed the pattern suggestions for fabric allowances so had a large grrr  when there were generous remnants leftover  not enough for a garment .A couple of years ago I had a lightbulb moment when I realised that combining the fabrics would give enough material for a skirt and being the same drill and toning colours it should sew up well.


I used a pattern from my Knipmode supplement from October 2010 and finally decided dark on the
bottom , waist band and hips ( supposedly to provide an illusion of slimness) . But the resulting skirt was a bit boring for me. I like patterns, textures, any kind of interest . And this is why this skirt was almost a UFO because it took ages to decide on an embellishment. I found lots of beautiful inspiration on the internet but I currently don't have the time to fulfill those kinds of projects.
I checked out Mum's whizzbang price of a small car embroidery sewing machine and she had some really lovely inbuilt designs so I just went with that. Mum and I had fun choosing some colours and I helped snip the threads . We left the back just plain.
The knipmode skirt pattern came together really well . I even managed to use small cotton voile scraps for the waistband lining and inner pockets.
.

I have discovered that sewing up my scraps has been one of my favourite sewing activities this year. I have had to think of creative ways to make it work and  it feels good not to be wasting resources. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Why You Should Not Stash Fabrics !

  
I have had this piece of light weight denim for about  20 years now . It has been either stored in a covered basket ( when my stash was small ) or in various cupboards ( as my collection grew ) . It has always been kept away from the light . 
Check out that serious fabric foldline fading ! 
This was leftover from making a shirt that well never made it to a shirt. I  kept on sewing the patch pockets unevenly and was so totally frustrated I threw the project out . I remember that so well such was the frustration ! However I kept the large scraps and the sleeves which are in pieces ( I don`t know why ) because it is lovely soft smooth fabric and I paid a decent price for it. 



I was going to sew a knipmode tunic out of this . The tunic is made up of lots of pieces - the sleeves and back are from two pieces and the front from three pieces so I was hopeful that I could juggle all these small pieces onto my irregular scrap. Alas despite my best efforts I could not get those pieces to fit the fabric. Sigh. So again laziness made me turn to an  old pattern that I have made many times and I knew did not take much material. 



I may be trying to reduce my fabrics but I keep hold of old patterns. I bought this one about 10 years ago because I loved the white lace version on the front . Of course I have not recreated that look but I have now made this pattern up three times and I still do intend to make the white lace top. 



To get all the pieces on I had to cut the back from two pieces of material and I barely had any seam allowance. Trying to overlock that seam nicely was impossible so I used a fancy stitch and matching embroidery thread to sew down those seams. 
Then I repeated the stitching along the front neckline and bodice seams. 





I know some people would think why bother sewing with such faded fabric but it really is lovely and soft and as I have probably written before  I do not like waste . I am just calling this my shabby chic top :).
So this is just about the last of my really old fabric I have now . 
But please learn a lesson from me - do not stash fabrics ( well at least not for 20 years ) .