Monday, 27 December 2021

Troubleshooting your Sewing Machine with Jaycotts.co.uk


A Jaycotts Blog post  with Alex Jaycott and myself 


I asked Jaycotts about troubleshooting Sewing machines as we all have problems from time to time and we don't always know where to start to sort it out.


This is their advice:

Alex,

The biggest issue we encounter is mis-threading of the sewing machine 


Having sold and serviced sewing machines for over 30 years I can honestly say that the biggest headaches for customers are actually caused by mis- threading the sewing machine!


everyone does it from time to time whether beginner or expert, novice or sewing teacher 

What do you mean by that Alex, what should we be doing?  Angela





Alex

Well , it is important to thread the machine  exactly as shown in your manual.For example  if someone miss-threads the take up lever, they usually don’t notice it and when the machine jams it looks as if the problem is the bobbin area  - when in fact it isn’t

So I guess my point should be that if you have an issue, the first thing to try is: re do your upper thread, taking care that the thread goes right into the take up lever. Incorrect threading can cause the machine to jam almost immediately.
If you  still have problems after that then go on to checking the bobbin area.




Sunday, 26 December 2021

Winter scarves capes and handwarmers

 I have a lovely little project for you which is so easy to make and you don't need a pattern.


I am going to talk you through making handwarmers and a scarf , which would also make a great gift.


And also a cape which you can either make your own pattern or purchase one ..Both of these simple accessories are suitable for adults and children and only basic sewing skills are needed



Saturday, 18 December 2021

Very simple machine embroidery on any machine

 I give presents in shopping bags which are so easy to make and eco - friendly . 

But don't just think bags . This technique is so easy, and addictive I must add, and you will think of lots of items which could be embellished from cushion covers. Bed covers, jackets, skirts and almost everything in between.

I have plans ! 





Saturday, 11 December 2021

Mimi G Designer Dress. Simplicity S9370

 This dress is amazing. And I do mean AMAZING . It is a sophisticated dress perfect for parties and dances


It is a brand new  Simplicity Pattern details below





This incredible dress is a designer dress by Mimi G for simplicity and is available on this link. Simplicity 9370




Before you read the rest of this post do watch this short video clip and see for yourself how this fabric moves

Monday, 22 November 2021

A very beautiful blouse in fabulous Art Gallery Fabrics stretch cotton Jersey

I do not normally wear blouses and I was thinking about why I don't. I realised that I have always sewn them in a woven fabric and I feel too restricted when wearing  fabrics like cotton  Lawn,  no matter how beautiful  it is , it's  just not me.











So I was glad to have been gifted a length of this fabric and also a copy of the pattern,  so it was the perfect opportunity


Sunday, 21 November 2021

Lovely Warm gifts for you to sew.

 Handwarmer,  body warmer and a relaxing eyemask for you to sew. Plus a very easy neck scarf. Perfect for giving. 

A lot of us suffer in the  cold with aches and pains sometimes from arthritis. These simple garments are designed to help keep you snug and warm. Even if you don't , these delightful pieces make perfect thoughtful gifts



The pattern is Kwik Sew 4318.

If you are unable to purchase the pattern then it is easy enough to draft your own, see my post Handwarmers and scarves

It is so very easy to do as long as you remember to make your pattern big enough to accommodate multiple layers 
. Let me know if you have a problem 
I have used pure 100% cotton from my stash.

But you can purchase  it here Cotton fabric


I made the Bias Binding myself which is incredibly easy to do. I made a video to show you how to make it. Please don't buy it ready made, your own is far superior



Saturday, 20 November 2021

My fabulous Lurex Pants suit

 Channeling my inner Abba in this fabulous pants suit


Have you thought about what you are going to wear for Christmas yet? I wanted something glamorous yet comfortable and a lurex pants suit fits the bill perfectly.




 

The top is the  Simple Sew Nancy tunic which I adapted slightly by cutting the front and back off on the diagonal from hem to just below the armsyce and stitching the triangles on again but this time the front goes on the back and vice Versa.i also altered the sleeve shape . All this was easy to do 







Monday, 8 November 2021

Storage solutions , sewing room and other places.

 These are some of my storage systems both in my sewing room and the rest of my home. In pictures 



Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Re-use, recycle. Will you take the challenge?

 Re-use, recycle.  Make Do and mend. What is this all about?  Why should it affect me?


I am alarmed after doing some research  just how much clothing, some of it unworn, goes to landfill. We purchase a lot of cheaper clothes which soon lose their appeal and out they go. Our wardrobes are crammed with things we hardly ever. Or never wear.

Not just clothes, I have been rescuing furniture too








Friday, 1 October 2021

My Simple Sew Bella Dress in stretch velvet

 This is a wonderful wearable dress in luxurious  stretch velvet from Minerva.com  , see Minerva.com for more details and order fabric  on.   My Bella Dress info



***Fabric is reduced to £3:99 pm see below for link to purchase  

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

An easy way to learn how to sew - and save money

If you are anxious about learning to sew then have you thought of starting off with making dolls clothes? It's how I first learned to sew.



When I was very young I learned to sew by making dolls clothes. I feel that if you have little girls in your family you could also save a fortune as dolls clothes are very expensive Dolls clothes  are easy to make but will demonstrate perfectly how you would make an adult garment   as you use the same processes. Making dolls clothes is a great way to learn to sew for any age as the garments are small enough to be completed in one go.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

The Simple Sew Cocoon jacket in Felted coating fabric

 The Simple Sew Cocoon Jacket









This fabric is currently on sale at a fantastic price , so grab yourself some and if you don't fancy a coat then make a bag, a cape or even some cushions....Fantastic Felted Fabric



The pattern describes this jacket as being chic and stylish and I cannot disagree with that statement

Thursday, 2 September 2021

The Sew Over It Chloe Coat 2- unlined

 The previous post shows  the lined version of Sew Over It  Chloe  Coat, I was asked if a beginner could make it without a lining

So I tried it with a fabric which is reversible, and I must say that the results were pleasing



This is the sort of coat you will want to throw on when popping to the shops, or go for a short journey in the car. Its quite snug actually,  and I can see me getting out of use out of it it is definitely suitable for beginners to make and the thickness of the fabric means that you don't really need to use interfacing which would be totally necessary on the lined coat

Saturday, 21 August 2021

The Sew Over It Chloe Coat

 A #minervabrandambasador post for Minerva.com

My post on Minerva.com




The direct link to this fabric is Chenille Suiting


Have you ever made a coat? If not what puts you off?

Over the next couple of posts I am going to show you little tweaks you can make to simplify the construction.


Monday, 2 August 2021

Vogue V8952 Pullover Tunic Top

 A Minerva.com make

You can read the post in full and view more photos as well as finding out how to order this fabulous fabric and pattern on this link My Vogue 8952 top on Minerva.com

What an amazing pattern this is. I love all three views but in the end decided on the version with the cowl neckline, however I am already planning on what fabric to make the other two versions in. This does seem to be a popular pattern and since purchasing mine I have seen quite a few versions and they all look fantastic 





The fabric I used is a Viscose Jersy knit and it hangs really nicely don't you agree. It comes in four colours and is modestly priced especially as you only need 2m

This isxtgeclink to this gorgeous fabric which comes in several different colours 

Viscose Jersey Fabric

Sunday, 25 July 2021

The Sew Over It Eve dress

A Minerva.com post 




I love this pattern, I have one with the fluttery sleeves, but wanted another one with short straight sleeves 


Wednesday, 21 July 2021

THE MAYFAIR DRESS BY NINA LEE

 The Nina Lee Mayfair Dress from Simply Sewing magazine

Pattern review 



I admit that i do not  normally buy magazines but there are some fabulous paper patterns in this one so I did not hesitate. 

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

McCalls 8064 in cotton jersey

 McCalls 8064 in cotton Jersey from Minerva.com 




details of fabric and pattern are on Minerva.com Cotton jersey dress so please do take a look 



Friday, 28 May 2021

How to sew Jeans




How to sew Jeans.


This is perhaps the most daunting yet the most satisfying garment you can ever master. Jeans are  personal and we all have differing views of what the perfect pair should look like.
Get them right and I guarantee that you will love them so much that you will never buy another pair again. I know I won't

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The dress that almost didn't happen - a beautiful 1940s Tea Dress by New Look

A Minerva.com post



This lovely dress , New Look N6594 very nearly ended in the bin,




( to find out more about the fabric go to this link on Minerva.com My 1940s tea dress in cotton poplin )


It is a 1940's WW2 Style Tea Dress ,looking at the pattern I feel it is more American in design rather than British as our clothing restrictions were much less forgiving than in America where just about the only clothing restricted was anything made from leather as it was needed for sadddles and so on.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Simple Sewing Project - APRONS!

 When I was learning to sew at primary school the very first thing I ever made was a Gingham apron which I decorated with cross stitch embroidery. I suddenly thought that it is a brilliant idea for a first sewing project.




Sunday, 25 April 2021

Cotton Poplin summer TUNIC

 My cotton poplin floral tunic 


Saturday, 24 April 2021

My green floral Jersey Dre ss

 This beautiful dress is also on the Minerva.com website and isn't it fabulous

I feel like a goddess in it .  View the full post on my page on their website too, the link is 

My green Goddess dress

The #BLACK FRIDAY SALE CONTINUES AT Black Friday sale at Minerva



This beautiful green Viscose Jersey can be purchased on Viscose Jersey Fabric

Friday, 19 February 2021

McCalls Siella in Navy Crepe. A version of the BUFFET DRESS featured in the GBSB 2021

  This style of dress, the Buffet Dress was featured in the Great British Sewing Bee episode 1 2021



This post shows alternative ways to style it 
Video at the end of the post 




Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Sew Over It Zoe Dress with The Ultimate Trousers

 I was gifted this fabric from minerva and I knew instantly what I wanted to make with it.





Update.
I love these pants so much that I have recently made three more pairs.  Once you get the fit right these pants can be made in a flash.
If you have never made pants before do try these. Choose a heavy fabric with some stretch and you will be amazed.







Sunday, 3 January 2021

Sewing Seams and Sewing in Straight lines

This is a tutorial about working seams,finishing seams, and sewing straight  seams

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post


Recently I have had people tell me that it is years since they  last used a sewing machine  and could not sew in a straight line.

I remember when I was learning to sew my seams were never straight either. Like everything else it only comes with practice.  Luckily there are now lots of gadgets to help.


                                            A spot of hand sewing


What is a seam?


A seam is much more than joining two pieces of fabric together. A seam can provide subtle shaping to a garment and when correctly made can be almost invisible. Decorative seams add design and interest to a garment.
So what are the rules in sewing a seam?
  • Pin the seam together right sides of the fabric together normally, but there are exceptions which we will come to later
  • Pin the seam edges together matching the ends, notches and any other markings
  • Hand tack the seam. You can omit this if your fabric is easy to handle and if you are experienced at sewing.
  • Stitch the seam with thread which exactly matches your fabric and buy the best quality thread you can afford
  • Finish the seam edge appropriately
  • Trim loose threads
  • Press every seam every time. Pressing gives a crisp edge and makes the thread sink into the fabric making the stitches invisible.
NB Please note that in order to show you the different seam finishes  more clearly I am using a contrast thread. The only time you should sew a seam with a contrast thread is when it is a design feature for example top stitching.

How to sew a straight seam - some tips 





Seam allowances are usually 5/8" wide, there are occasions when 1/4" or 1/2" seams are used so do check your pattern.
Why is this important? 
Quite simply if your seam is too wide or to narrow, your garment will not fit. 
There are lots of ways to ensure your seam is the correct width and straight(ish) The simplest method of all and is what I do is to quite simply attach a piece of tape ,masking tape will do, positioned 5/8" away from the needle. Then when you are sewing align the edge of your fabric with the side of the tape nearest your machine. And there you have it! Straight seams at exactly 5/8" from the edge.