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Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Linen - Cotton Blend Shift Dress

A MCBN post 






This is a lovely dress which can be made in a variety of fabrics , the pattern even shows an option which has a lace overlay.

To make this dress I chose a linen- cotton blend fabric. Linen can often be a nightmare to wear because it creases so much but add cotton to it and the problems disappear. This is a very easy fabric to sew, it has a great texture and lends itself to a great variety of garments - skirts and tops and jackets as well as dresses all look fabulous made in this fabric. It is bright and cheerful and I can't wait to wear it.

Unfortunately this design has been so popular that it has sold out, but there are lots of other choices so head over to the Minerva Crafts Website and read my post in full and see the fabric options The New look 6261 dress

Thank you for reading this.

Angela




Monday, 3 September 2018

Sweet Pea Machine Embroidery Australia Cutest Cupcake Collection

A Jaycotts Post


Sweet Pea "In the Hoop" Machine embroidery designs.


A while ago I was fortunate to meet the Sweet Pea team and see their amazing designs close up.





Sweet Pea were invited by Brother UK to do a roadshow in the UK and Germany and we were very fortunate that Jaycotts was chosen as one of the few locations to host an event promoting their incredible in the hoop embroidery designs


Cutest Cupcake Collection

Since then Jaycotts have been able to stock three of their designs to sell online and in the store. 
If you have not come across Sweet Pea before then you are in for a treat. This is embroidery at its most exciting, the designs are mostly made entirely in the hoop,and what stunning designs they are!


Saturday, 1 September 2018

Bags of style!

A  post all about bags and what you need  to make them.


Fabulous gift idea



There's a youtube video showing all sorts of bags and other interesting things to make 

Labels

Bags
Decovil
Fleece interlining




It's not difficult to make your own bags, in fact they are one of my favourite things to make. I use them myself and give them as gifts. Quite often I am out with one and I end up giving it away and then I have to go home and make myself a replacement!
I sometimes make one to match an outfit or for a specific purpose, such as a beach bag,and I have shopping bags everywhere!
The other great thing is that once you have a few basic supplies you can use up odds and ends of fabrics which you would otherwise not have a use for. It's all win-win!





This is one I finished last night, it's a saddle bag and I made it from remnants of tweed fabrics.



This is a special bag which I made for my school bestie Margaret for her birthday. I was in such a rush to finish it and post it that I didn't take many photographs of it before it went off to Devon!

Please note that in addition to Jaycotts and MinervaCrafts, bag making supplies are available from Crafter's Companion. They sell absolutely everything for any sort of craft from papercraft to sewing and quilting fabrics, they are amazing! Do look Crafter's companion

Bag supplies from Crafter's companion  click on the link to take you  directly to their vast selection of bag making equipment. But do look at the rest of their site.



Friday, 31 August 2018

How to sew very Easy Totes and Shopping bags

A jaycotts.co.uk blog post







I am often told that many of us are inspired to make our own bags and we go and buy a lovely pattern, but that's as far as we ever get - mostly. The reason seems to be that these patterns require so many different and unfamiliar fabrics,interlinings and other notions which are either hard to obtain or are too expensive, or both.
In this post I am going to show you how to make a very easy Tote bag for your shopping and then I will  adapt the same design by first of all adding a lining, and then by making the bag larger to make a practical beach bag and finally a stylish faux leather large Tote with embroidery. 
Although I am using my wonderful embroidery machine - which is quite honestly the best thing I have ever had - it takes sewing to a whole new level, you can omit the embroidery.
Why not use a patterned fabric, do some simple applique or even hand embroidery, it doesn't really matter. In fact it's a great way to use up fabric scraps or even discarded clothes. The whole point is that we all need shopping bags and if you know how to make your own you will never be short of a bag again. The best thing is that if you use leftover fabric they are free!


Skills learned

Labels

  • French seam
  • Machine embroidery (optional)
  • Making a basic tote
  • Adding a lining
  • Sewing with faux leather 
  • Using a commercial bag pattern
  • Adding a zip

Saturday, 25 August 2018

How to sew a Blind Hem

This is a Jaycotts post talking about the Blind Hem Foot

I have been asked to show you how to sew a Blind hem using the Blind Hem foot. If you have a Brother Sewing machine it is foot R
This is a great way to stitch the bottom of skirts, trousers, blouses etc the effect is almost  invsible.
Once you master the technique you will find it quick and easy every time.


This is the blind hem foot.
This presser foot has a guide which is positioned against the fold of the hem to keep the stitching the same width all the way round the hem.



Thursday, 23 August 2018

Everything you need to know about Seams

This is a tutorial about working seams and finishing seams. 

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post


Labels

Seam allowance, self bound seam, Flat felled seam, Hemmed seam, Hong Kong Seam,  French seam, Overlocked seam, Curved seam, stretch fabrics,

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.




Sunday, 29 July 2018

Parkinson's, Sewing and Me.


With thanks to Jaycott.co.uk.

Please note that these tools are suitable for most disabilities, not just Parkinsons


See also Parkinsons UK for lots more information about Parkinson's

I have been asked many times to write this blog post and I kept putting it off. It is not easy to write but if it helps anybody then that makes me very happy.
The tools and equipment featured are all from jaycotts and I will give you the links as we go along. Please note that the products featured are suitable for use no matter what your disability, be it arthritis or poor eyesight.

Well, Christmas is here and it's a nightmare! The shops are busy, my town centre is being " updated" and half the parking is gone so I can't shop here until the roads reopen, it means a 15 mile drive to the next big town.
And the crowds, shopping is stressful enough at the best of times but add to that busy stores and car parks, queuing it becomes an impossibility.




Food and medication have to be carefully timed, I mean meticulously timed, it's no good eating or taking meds an hour long of sync, that just makes my symptoms worse. Yes I can enjoy a drink, but not too much because of the medication.

I haven't sent Christmas cards because I can't write them. Life is so very different. If you know anybody with Parkinson's do look for ways to make things easier for them. If they are eating with you ask what time would be best for them and they will give you a window. Food and medication often have to be taken an hour or so apart, and some foods cannot be eaten at all. A discreet conversation would prevent embarrassing moments on the day. Cut your guests turkey very thinly and add lots of gravy as swallowing is affected by the disease. Provide a steak knife too, they do help.
I might make light of my condition, but it isn't easy to live with.



Parkinson's is not what I want for myself or anybody else for that matter,quite frankly it stinks. One day I may feel well (ish) there is always an ish! Other days I cannot even get out of bed.

Currently around 127,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s, an incurable, degenerative neurological condition which leaves people struggling to walk, talk and sleep

It's made harder by the fact that I live alone, people with disabilities become somehow undateable, I mean it's not the best chat up line in the world is it? " Hi, I'm Angela, I suffer from Parkinson's, I have chronic fatigue, I drop things constantly, I can't always find the word I want and I might fall over and appear drunk" come on! Yes I know I am positive and I am a fighter but sometimes I don't want to be, you know? I want to be " normal" I don't want to have to collect two carrier bags of medication every month and spend two hours every week sorting it out.



And I am really not complaining because I am grateful, but I would love to be able to earn my own money and not be means tested. Hey I'd love new carpets! Correction I NEED new carpets but I don't have that sort of money! I cannot just go out on a whim if I am feeling low or buy myself a treat - like those carpets, or anything really.
I lost a 30K + salary when I was diagnosed, now I have to prove to people that I really do qualify for the little I get, just like millions of others.
I didn't want to give up work. Early " retirement" was not an option. It was tough giving up a career I loved.



Saturday, 14 July 2018

Get the fit right! The denim pencil skirt with exposed zipper


Why go to the trouble of making a beautiful garment if it does not fit you perfectly?


Labels

Exposed zipper
Fitting
Top stitching 


I don't know about you but I read a lot of blogs and I see a lot of people showing themselves wearing lovely hand made clothes which quite frankly just do not fit.
What's the point? Why go to all that trouble and expense only to end up with a garment which is either too big, or worse far too small?





I bought some stretch denim Stretch Denim from MinervaCrafts as I wanted to make a skirt. Some stretch fabrics - as this one does, just stretch across the width, some stretch in all directions. You need to ensure that with a two way stretch fabric the stretch goes across the garment.


Friday, 8 June 2018

The Simplicity 8543 Amazing Fit Dress

 A Jaycotts post. Simplicity 8543 Amazing Fit Dress

Labels

Fitting
Measuring yourself
Toile
Monogram foot
Reading a pattern
Zipper



This is a Simplicity Amazing Fit Dress if you have not made an Amazing Fit pattern before then you should.
This pattern has a choice of sleeves, a shaped midriff and a flattering neckline.
More importantly it has many different size variations within the pattern.
It comes in two choices of size ranges, 10-18 and 20-28.



The princess seams are very flattering for any figure and you have the option of sleeveless or a short sleeve - with or without a flounce.




The pattern gives comprehensive instructions on how the finished dress should look on your body, so I do suggest reading the pattern thoroughly before you get your scissors out!


The pattern has a very good guide on how to choose your correct pattern size and how to take your measurements.
There are separate pattern pieces for A to DD on the pattern size I chose which is the option for sizes 10-18. And there are also separate pattern pieces for slim, Average and Curvy fit.




Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The simplicity New Look Denim Coat and Tote bag

The Simplicity New Look Denim Coat A MinervaCrafts Blogger Network Post


Label
Hong Kong Seam

I was watching the Royal Wedding and looking closely at what people were wearing. What struck me was that the best dressed and most elegant women wore simple A-line coats over a dress. The look is understated but very classy. That got me thinking that I don't actually own a summer coat and how useful one would be.

This is one of my most favourite makes ever. It goes well with trousers, jeans or a shift dress. The pattern comes with trousers top and skirt too and the outfit can be made very smart for a wedding or more casual for everyday wear. I love how the coat has an Indian feel to it with the stand collar and slits up the side. It really is a very useful and wearable garment which I never knew I needed.



Do make one and have fun with the inside, see the post fo how to make the seams.
It looks and feels so special with the Hong Kong (bound) seams and the matching bag is pure inspiration in my opinion!

I guess you have realised that I LOVE my new summer coat! PS there is a tote bag to make too.

NB if this particular fabric is not to your taste then take a look at these alternatives, starting at under £5 A metre. Denim, plain and patterned

The rest of the post is here My Simplicity New Look Denim Coat Do read it and leave a comment


Thank you
Angela

#simplicity #NewLook #denim #coat #sewing #sewingblog #tutorial



I would love to see your version.