Friday, 13 October 2017

DIY Kids Costumes

Do you fancy trying your hand at making your kids Halloween costumes? I love making costumes and have made many over the years, they are all linked below, click on the photos to take you to the posts on my personal blog!

A couple of non sewing but fun crafty things:

Even more inspiration on my pinterest board!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Learn to Sew Zips

If you are wanting to learn how to sew zips then this is the place to be. Normally I would do my own tutorials for these things but why reinvent the wheel! All the blogs and sites I link to in this post are great places for information and projects.

When I started sewing I would actively choose patterns that didn't have zips in until I found this tutorial from Make it & love it. It is a fantastic step by step guide and will teach you how to install a normal zip.

If you would like to learn how to insert an invisible zip, like the ones on the back of most dresses,  then a detailed invisible zip post and video can be found here on the Colette Patterns blog which is full of fantastic information.
I should add that I only just got my invisible zip foot in November so it is possible to insert them with the normal zip foot (I did the one in the photo above with a normal foot), this is a fantastic tutorial for doing just that.

If you are after a simple project that uses a zip then this is a great tutorial from Melly Sews. I used it to make these zippy pouches a few years ago.

 After you have mastered these the sewing world is your oyster! Have a look at my Learn to Sew Zips pinterest board for more fab tutorials and projects.

Still not mastered it? Mail me any questions and I will do my best to answer them.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Summer Top Sew Along Day 6: Bias Binding and Hemming

Today is the fiddliest bit about this top, attaching the bias binding.

The pattern instructions for this are very clear so I would go to page 7 of the instructions and follow them as printed.

Here are a few pictures of the process, this was my neck, you will need to do the arm holes as well:

Pin bias tape to the wrong side of top leaving a 'tail':

Sew along fold in tape - should be 1/4 inch:

Leave a tail at the end as well:

Pinch tails together to see where to sew:

Sew ends of tape together:

Fold tape over to right side of top:

Press then sew along the edge of the tape:


Now on to the final stage, hemming.

First turn up 1cm along then bottom of the top and press in place.

Then turn another 2cm and press.

Now, sew 1.5cm from the bottom of the top and you are done!!

I would love to see photos of any finished tops so I can share them here.  I hope you have enjoyed this sew along - what shall we do next?!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Summer Top Sew Along Day 5: Shoulder and Side Seams

The sewing today is simple, 4 straight lines.

Shoulder Seams:

You should have a front and back piece for your top, match these up with the right sides of the fabric together.

Now pin the shoulder seams in place (or just hold them if you fabric isn't slippy). Sew your seam with a 15mm / 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Side Seams:

Do exactly the same as the shoulder seams, make sure your dart is pressed towards the bottom of the top before you sew the side seam.

Try it on!

Try your top on for fit. Hopefully it will fit fine, if it is too big you can take in the side seams some more, if it is too small you can unpick and use a smaller seam allowance. If you have any fitting issues either comment here or email me and I will point you in the right direction!

Finish your raw edges:

You can do this by using pinking shears (like I did here) or do a zig zag stitch close to the edge, this should minimise the fabric fraying.

Press the seams open.

That is you done for today, come back on Saturday and we will attach the bias binding and hem you tops then you will be done!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Summer Top Sew Along Day 4: Bust Darts and Front Pleat

Today we get to do some actual sewing, in fact, one of the hardest bits of this whole top.

Bust Darts:

The bust darts are marked on the pattern

 choose your size and mark on the fabric (with tailors chalk/fabric marker/frixion pen).

To mark the bust point on the underside, stick a pin through the bust point and mark the other side.

Now, fold the bust darts, right sides together, so the lines you have marked are lined up, pin in place.

***When sewing remember to do a couple of stitches forward, a few back, then start the seam, this anchors the thread. Do this at the end as well (except for bust darts, only the start for them).***

Sew the darts, start from the outer edge and sew along the line.

 Instead of the forward back stitches at the end you leave a long tail of thread and tie them in a small knot then trim. This avoids any pointy boob issues!

Once you have sewn the darts press them (lots of steam) towards the bottom of the top.

Stay Stitching:

Stay stitching is a stitch that prevents the neck from stretching out of shape. Sew a line along the edge of the front and back pieces just under 1/4 inch from the edge.

Sewing the pleat:

Mark the pleat line on the fabric (both sides of the fold). You will need to put a few markings on the right side of the fabric or mark where the pleat line is with pins

Now, line up your pleat, wrong sides together, and sew down the pleat line.

Press the pleat flat, centre it on the seam you just sewed, you should have an equal amount of pleat either side.

The last thing you need to do now is to sew the pleat in place at the top and bottom.

This is just to anchor the pleat down while you apply the binding.

Time for a cup of tea, see you again on Thursday to sew your top together and try it on for the first time to check fit!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Making your own Bias Binding

I thought I would do a tutorial on making your own bias binding but I found a blog post that does it for me so click here and follow the instructions! Now, you don't need the fancy bias tape maker you can do this.

Come back tomorrow and we will rev up the sewing machines!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Summer Top Sew Along: Day 2

I hope everyone has managed to get their patterns printed and pieced together without too much trauma - that is the worst bit over!

Let's get started,

Altering the Pattern:

Now, you will have cut a specific size and if you are like me and like your tops a little longer then you will need to lengthen your pattern piece.

First, measure the back of a top you like the length of, from shoulder seam to hem, straight down (or get someone to measure you).

Now, measure the pattern piece and subtract 3cm ( you have to subtract the 3cm as there is a seam allowance on the shoulder seam and hem).

If this is close to the number you got from your top then you don't need to do anything, if like me there is a big difference then you will need to lengthen the top (if you need to shorten it mail me but that is highly unlikely as this top comes in pretty short).

First, cut each pattern piece in half...

 Now, get a bit of paper and stick it to the back of the upper bit and mark the amount you need to lengthen the pattern by, measuring from the cut edge down.

Now, line up the bottom pattern piece along your marks.

Stick the bottom piece to the paper and then trim any edges.

That is you done, now to cut out!

Cutting the fabric:

Both pattern pieces need to be cut on a fold and if you have a patterned fabric you may now want to try and match it. If you would like any more info on pattern matching then give me a yell!

I didn't bother with matching the fabric as I only had a small amount left after another project. This is how I cut mine:

Fold you fabric so the right sides are together, to save fabric you can do what I did and fold it only as far as needed to fit the pattern pieces in rather than in half and wasting fabric.

Start with the fabric folded in half , selveges together then adjust where the fold is as necessary.

Pin the pieces to the fabric and carefully cut out. Where there are triangles on the pattern try and cut a wee triangle out from the pattern, not under the paper.

Now we are almost ready to sew but first we need to talk bias binding!

Bias Binding:

Bias binding is used in this pattern to enclose the cut edges of the fabric round the neckline and arm holes. It is a strip of fabric that has been cut on the bias (diagonal) therefore has some stretch. This makes it perfect for going round corners and giving a really neat finish.

You can buy 1/2 inch bias binding for this project or make your own. There is a link in the pattern instructions to a tutorial on making it but I will do a post tomorrow about making your own in a less slick but less brain taxing way.

See you all tomorrow!