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Sunday, 2 August 2015

How to make curtains valance ,bedspread and cushion

I have just had a busy but productive three weeks  replacing all the soft furnishings in our apartment. I knew that spending any longer on it I would be itching to start something else so I had a self imposed deadline to stick to.

I get asked a lot of questions through my blog, twitter or email and almost everybody says the same thing, that they feel daunted by some sewers who , they think, produce nothing but perfection and it puts people off because they do not feel that they can aspire to that standard. So, it set me thinking. I have been sewing for more years than I want to remember and I have been to college too yet I still make mistakes! The thing is nobody is perfect,  go and look at clothes in shops, do they look well made? Probably not, probably that is one reason why you want to learn to sew.
So, what I want to say is this, it does not matter if a seam is wonky or a dress did not turn out as you expected As long as you are happy with it that is all  that matters, at worse you have an awful dress to garden or decorate in!
We only really learn from our mistakes so when your dress does not fit you will know next time to measure yourself properly and cut out the correct size, you will know to make a toille first and use a seam guide if you can't sew straight. These are learning curves so embrace them for what they are.
Anyway, back to soft furnishings.
I am going to keep things simple and also upcycle where I can.




In addition to the new curtains,  lined with a thermal blackout fabric, and new voille curtains,I  also made a valance, a bedspread and a quilted cushion.


This is the lovely furnishing fabric in a rich floral damson colour



I have shown how to make curtains before, so let's do the patchwork cushion. I chose half squares because they are quick,  easy and look good. Choose a couple of contrasting or toning fabrics in a similar weight and using a self healing mat and rotary cutter make squares then cut them into triangles.

Monday, 29 December 2014

How to Sew a Simplicity 1960s style dress

This is a pattern which was given in SEW magazine a couple of months ago. It is Simplicity K1609.



The pattern is a simple shift style which became popular in the 1960s. 
After the austerity of earlier years fashion for the young suddenly became fun and young designers, boutiques and fun fashion, heralded the start of the swinging 60s. 
The key look of the period was mini skirts and short A-line dresses and coats. Graphic  prints were used to create a strong look. It was during this period that tights came into being, so now that young women were free of stockings skirts could become shorter and shorter. 
Boutiques were a new way of shopping for clothes, they were dark and mysterious with loud music playing, sales staff wore the clothes they were selling and chatted about fashion passionately. 
Mary Quant was a pioneer in fashion and she desIgned dresses which were very short, with zips down the front with a circular pull-ring. She used a new fabric called courtelle, one of the first synthetic materials used in fashion.
Of course we cannot mention the 60s without paying homage to Twiggy probably the most famous fashion model of all time.Her waif like figure epitomises the era and the total change in how women looked and dressed. This was the age when fashion was
young and fun, and girls dressed for themselves not as copies of their mothers.


How to make a lined Simplicity shift dress

How to make a shift dress,

I have already made one version of this dress in 1960s style. I think that this style is so easy to wear on holiday that I wanted to make a couple more of them.
This is the previous version in silk fabric

I have some fine cotton lawn and I thought that it would be perfect for this style. It is however quite sheer so I decided to line it.



The pattern is the same as the 1960s style dress  Simplicity K1609. I am however going to make some alterations to the pattern
Firstly I want to lose the back zip and put a zipper in the side seam instead. Now you cannot just swop zip placements as you please without thinking about it carefully.  Because I have made this dress before, and because I made a muslin first I know without any doubt that moving the zip will work.
You also must consider if by moving the zip to the side willmit go over your head? What I did was to lower the neckline by about an inch to make sure it did!