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Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Nina Lee CARNABY Dress

It's nice to see a young designer doing well and I am certainly impressed with this pattern by Nina Lee. This Carnaby dress is very Chanel in style, the pattern is very adaptable, simple to make, stylish, fun...what more could anybody ask for?







I was given this pattern to test by Elaine of Sewing Belle. Elaine has workshops on lots of sewing projects held in her premises in Nottingham. This dress will possibly feature in a workshop next year.Sewing Belle Workshops  so do please contact her for details of upcoming workshops
If you want to buy this pattern it is available on Elaine's web site, The Nina Lee Carnaby dress


I wanted to make myself a new dress for Christmas,  a dress which is comfortable and easy to wear. I have a few lunches to go to and this dress will be perfect for them. I will also wear it on Christmas Day. Well,my Christmas Day will be a few days before yours as my son has to work all over Christmas and he is too far away to be able to get home this year. It will be my first Christmas without him, so we decided to do it earlier in the week, which is the only compromise we could come up with.
The fabric I chose is this beautiful wool jersey with a foil print on it. It glitters and sparkles but it is comfortable and snuggly. Perfect! I bought this length of fabric a long time ago and when I spotted it on my shelves I knew it would be ideal.
There are some metallic foil fabrics on The MinervaCrafts web site if you want to take a look Sparkly fabrics remember the fabric can be woven, it does not have to be a jersey you will find lots of other fabrics on their web site
I also really love these tartans, don't be afraid of using a tartan as these particular ones are not difficult to pattern match, some of these glitter too! What's not to love about them? Sparkly tartans and other fantastic fabrics


The pattern comes with a booklet explaining each stage in great detail. Sewers of all abilities will find the instructions very easy to follow and this pattern is therefore suitable for beginners upwards. Somebody with more experience can experiment with different fabrics and finishes, a contrast skirt would look fabulous as would a dress made in a tweed and lined.
What I really appreciated was opening the booklet and finding size charts, finished measurements and fabric requirements all on the first page. This is a major gripe of mine, hunting for measurements, usually they are hidden away on a bit of the tissue paper, if they are there at all.



How I stitched a coat with a zipper closure

A zippered coat




Continuing my determination to have a whole wardrobe of coats to choose from I made yet another one this time with a zipper closure.
This one was not the easiest garment to make but I will explain why as we go along.
The machines and tools are from Jaycotts.co.uk and the fabric is from MinervaCrafts. The pattern is Simplicity.


I love coats and I wanted a choice to wear instead of just having one for best and one for cold winter days shopping. So I have made several.
This time I wanted to explore making a coat with a zipper. The last two coats I made have included poppers - note I have not been using buttons and buttonholes.

Friday, 24 November 2017

The Bernina 350PE Sewing machine

This is a review of the Bernina 350PE sewing machine from Jaycotts

This is my own sewing machine and I want to talk to you about why I love it.





This machine is a strong workhorse which will serve you well for many years to come. Bernina are so confident of the longevity of this machine that it comes with a seven year guarantee.

The Bernina PE (Patchwork Edition) comes with a lot of extras making it especially good value.
As you might expect one of the many accessories which are included is a patchwork foot.
Also included is the totally invaluable walking foot and an extension table meaning you can get started on your project straight away.

The machine has a vast selection of inbuilt stitches with 20 utility stitches, 52 decorative stitches 11 quilting stitches Two memory buttonholes and a full range of automatic lettering and font.
It is incredibly easy to select each different stitch in the LCD screen but what really makes this machine so outstanding is its ease of use, smooth running and accuracy whether you are a beginner or experienced sewer.
Take a look at the machine on Jaycotts web site, and if you want more information or to try it out just give them a call, contact details are below Bernina 350PE at Jaycotts






Saturday, 11 November 2017

Machine Embroidery and the Brother NV800E

The Brother Innov-is NV800E 

This embroidery only machine makes short work of embelishing anything from garments to bed linen and home wear. But it is not just an embroidery machine, it does free standing lace and applique too. The long arm makes it suitable for larger projects but it is equally at home with small intricate designs. Interested?

Not only does it embroider beautifully it appliques with ease and makes free standing lace. I make these bookmarks to give as gifts.



Watch this short video to see it in action



It's such a pleasure to use this machine , and so uncomplicated that within minutes of it being delivered I was producing my very first embroidery.


This is one of a set of velvet cushion covers I have been making. Velvet is notoriously difficult too work with but this machine had no problem with it whatsoever. More about how I made them later.



As you know I recently spent a day with Jaycotts to ask owners of the wonderful Brother Innov-is VQ2 sewing, quilting and embroidery machine
 The post is here if you would like to read it. The Brother Innov-is VQ2 .

Many of you already own a sewing machine which you do not want to replace, but if you  would like to own an embroidery machine too,  look no further than the NV800E from Brother.
I have this machine at home and I wanted to tell you more about it and why I like it.



First of all it has a large colour LCD touch screen. This is the place where you select your pattern and make alterations to it.
Once a pattern has been selected you then have editing options, so you can easily change the shape, size and position of the design. Not only that you can also change the thread colours and rotate the design creating a mirror image.
Each design gives the total time to sew and the amount of time before the next thread change.
It is easy to combine patterns and to change the font on your lettering.
A useful feature is that you can easily check that the embroidery fits inside your chosen frame.
Once you start embroidering the LCD screen displays the thread being used and the minutes it will take to complete that section. The colour list and thread number moves after each colour is stitched and puts the next colour at the top of the list.
There are many other functions easily accessible on this screen,  for example you may need to go back a few stitches or save a design to a memory stick. There is also a stitch counter which comes in handy if you need to turn the machine off and come back to it later
Once editing is complete the design is previewed in full colour.


Thursday, 2 November 2017

A review of the Horn Nova Sewing Machine Cabinet from Jaycotts.co.uk

THE HORN NOVA SEWING MACHINE CABINET



I used to long for my own sewing room,and when my son left home there was my opportunity. Of course he still comes home as much as he possibly can but he is a busy man and that does not happen as much as I would like.
As I now have his room for most of the year I decided to purchase a Horn sewing cabinet so that I am able to tidy everything away neatly when I have finished sewing.



My sewing table was a rickety, very old small square table and the legs kept having to be fixed back on. I also had to keep swapping my chair from one side to the other whenever I wanted to change from overlocker to machine and back again.
It was he who suggested the  table had to go and be replaced with something "proper"



Well, there was not much thought went into ordering this beauty.Yes they are not cheap but just look how elegant and beautiful it looks.Of course I needed the chair as well!


Introducing the Innovative and Intuitive Brother Innov-is VQ2


The Brother Innov-is VQ2 from Jaycotts.co.uk

I recently spent a day instore at Jaycotts finding out from owners of this wonderful machine just what it is that excites them so much.

What became obvious very quickly was the tremendous amount of enthusiasm and passion for this machine shown by both owners and staff, so I had to find out more!

I interviewed a group of  Jaycotts customers who all own this fabulous machine and have put their comments and thoughts together so that you can see it though their eyes

Quilt by Sue from Liberty Bell Chester
Ann has been sewing all her life and has not had the VQ2 for very long so she is still learning. She loves the electronic side of it, in particular the extra-large colour touchscreen which is so easy to use
All Ann needs to do is to simply touch the screen to edit stitches, customise the settings, change to one of 13 built in languages and set the clock. She also loves the on screen video tutorials and built in tutorials and help guides which recommend the perfect settings for her project.
Another feature which she loves is the lighting. This machine has ultra-bright LED lighting giving a crisp natural light, it is also adjustable, so it can  turned down or brighter as you require .The lighting is not just in the needle area as usual though - this machine goes better than that as the whole arm area is illuminated.

The VQ2  with quilting by Elaine
As soon as Elaine saw the VQ2 she knew instantly that she had to have it. She loves the way the fabric is fed through easily which was instantly apparent when she went for her demonstration.
Elaine recommends that when doing free motion quilting you practise first on a small sandwich of your quilting fabric, wadding and backing until you are happy with the effect you want to create.