Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Hazel,the many faceted hedgehog...

The Fat Stash Brit Bee for June had a request for a hedgehog...A selection of fabrics was sent, to which we add some of our own.. and see what we can come up with.

Hazel number 1

This is a pattern by Oh Fransson, and is a bit fiddly, but comes together fairly well. I had an issue with my machine, which seemed to think it should centre the needle two steps to the left, yesterday, and then one step to the right today. As you may imagine, this leads to a mild inconsistency with sizing... But I think it is OK!

Hazel number 2

Funky was what we were asked for, I think funky is the word?

Monday, 29 June 2015

Secrets revealed

you may recall a tease... from about a week ago... when I showed you this wee chap? This was  part of a cushion I was requested to make as a prize for a school fair.. Beach theme please....
So, I complied. This is what I came up with, complete with Ikea cushion pad, to go inside. I used a 26"x 26" inner pad. 

And, of course there is a reverse... It is only right that the new owners should be able to show a different side if necessary... 
And I inserted an invisible zip into the seam, luckily having the right colour of zip to hand- and if I hadn't, my DD1 had one handy as well!

I hope the folk who won it like it!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Stretching it... warning- wordy!

So you buy a girl a wedding dress- You do not consult her, you just buy it. No trying on.... and then  an adjustment is needed.

Well, to be fair, the wedding dress is rather spectacular, and has quite a good margin for fit with the way it fastens... However, on the back of it is a piece which is a truncated triangle,  which should cover the bare flesh of the back, when the lacing is laced up.
In this case, and she is a very tall lass, the piece does not quite cover.

So, take off that piece, and present it to a friendly soul to make it bigger. We want it 2" wider, and 2" longer.


I have no similar fabric in my stash- so what to do?

Luckily both sides of the placket are in the same fabric. So, that is useful. It is boned, horizontally across in 4 places.
Starting size is

6" across the top, 16" deep, 4" across the base.

So, I need to end up with

8" across the top, 6" across at the 16" level, and 18" total length.

Unpick everything!

Leaving two pieces, of which I turn one upside down, and stitch back together with the other along a side seam, to give one larger piece of taffeta.

From that I cut a piece 8" by 16" with 6" at the base, Then I take the offcut, and attach that at the bottom, and trim to required size. There is not a lot left over, either.

And then use that as a pattern and cut two pieces of white sheeting to match, and put casings for boning, on that, sew all together, inserting
boning at the appropriate time, to give

I think that should work, yes I added an extra piece of boning, but by the time the dress is laced over the top of this, I do not think a blind man on a galloping horse will know any different!

Another wee job ticked off my expanding list!

And no, I would not buy one of my girls a wedding dress without input- In fact, I would probably make it instead- with input!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Black Sheep again

Black Sheep have put up details of the bee on their blog, and they are asking folk to vote for their favourite.

My bag

Ali's tote

Lucy's cushion

Di's boxes

Barbara's wrap

And Jo's rainbow bag

Please, go to the Black Sheep blog, and have a look, and decide which one you would vote for... You can vote on Instagram, facebook or Pinterest.

I think all the projects are good ones and you should enjoy looking, and vote for your favourite!  They are all so different, I am almost glad that my lack of facebook and so on means I would be unable to vote anyway!

We are all winners anyway as we had a fabulous day!

Thank you Black Sheep!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

more secrets..

I have been asked to make something for a special day for someone... no-one in the family, but nevertheless, a make. It is for a prize,

and perhaps this fellow may be involved!

and perhaps there is some of this  also involved...

or even some of this...

But you will have to wait a bit to see!

so I have been busy, even if I cannot show you what is happening yet...

Sunday, 14 June 2015


Hurrah! There are two dresses done! ( I hope) Well, one of them I need to see on the lass before I can confidently say it is done, as I am not quite sure about the finished length.

I got out the rolledge foot on my machine, practiced a bit, made a mess the first time, tried again, and thought I had the hang of it, and went for it! When it is doing what it says on the tin, it works really well, but it does have a slight tendency to attempt to creep out of its nifty little rolling groove, so you do have to not stitch at 90 miles an hour, just go a wee bit steady, and keep checking the positioning. 

That light and translucent fabric deserved either a roll edge or a narrow edge on the overlocker, I discussed it with my daughter and we thought this would be the better finish on this one. 
The worry with hems like this is always the length. There is not much room to get it wrong. If you have chopped the fabric off, it is gone, you cannot put some back on...So, I shall see it on the lass one evening this week and hope!

So, the second dress! I checked length on my daughter before I started- she is very handy, and I felt better checking the paper pattern on her before cutting the skirt- there is not enough fabric to be making big mistakes here! And then I overlocked the pieces. It gives me confidence that they will not fray later. 

 I love when the overlocker ( serger for those of you who know it that way) runs itself to the point where it produces this effect with the offcuts!

I did the under layer on all sides, but the light outer layer I left the hem edge unfinished at this point.
 This is the skirt of the dress!
It does not look much like a dress like this!
 I love my blind hem foot, it just works!
and, yes, I did the same roll edge finish on the dress here. 

Just checking the length before the final hem is done! We wanted it to just skim the floor.

With some Irregular Choice shoes, which give her height! Again, before the final hem is done!

Anyway, it is done now, and I can relax, and let her enjoy it!

and I am linking this with le challenge- because this dress is a SINGLE colour!.... see if they accept that! well, it is all purple all through!

Saturday, 13 June 2015


Well these wonky houses have used a few scraps- so I hope these will count for Mrs SewandSow for her link up !

These both have very scrappy elements in them. I struggle with wonky, but I feel I have managed a bit of a wonk here, one way or another!

And wonky houses are perfect for scraps!

will they do MrsSewand ow?

Friday, 12 June 2015

I have to share..

Some of the beauties in my garden.. 

 This gorgeous iris,

Do you see the bright blue 'caterpillar' on the fall? Is that not just unbelievable? I am amazed by how stunning this is. Sadly, the wind blew it over a bit, and I have had to stake it, but it is giving me great joy. 

 Penny lane looking perfect in her half open state, when she gets a bit of sun on she will smell super, too.
 The veining on the petals ( bracts really, I know) of this clematis are so clearly marked, I love it!
 And this beauty hiding under my little pink rambler... treasures to be found by accident!
and, no, my garden is not manicured, but cottage-y and it suits me! That white clematis does so well, climbing up Penny Lane and sharing it's flowers for everyone to see!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Baa, baa, Black Sheep can I do it again? please!

Today was the day!

A group of us went to the Black Sheep in Culcheth.
There were five of us from 'elsewhere' and Barbara, who belongs to Black Sheep. The dream team consisted of Lucy, Diane, Jo, Ali, Barbara and myself. Each of us had selected some fabrics from the ranges at Black Sheep, and come up with a project to produce a finished item on the day, and the lovely folk at Black Sheep took photos, and made us extremely welcome and plan to blog about it, on their own blog.

Lucy, Ali and Jo
 strange that the phone has taken over from the camera...
 some of the gorgeous fabrics I was given to work with...
I made a bag- I always seem to make a bag!
Almost everything was provided that we could want, in the way of tea, coffee, biscuits and a very good lunch, and their workspace was lovely. They provided machines, and some cutting equipment, we just provided chat and womanpower! And in the afternoon, there was cake... did I resist? No, of course I did not resist- Lovely cake!

Di is working hard- I think she runs on one of those batteries which goes on and on... she never stopped! And she produced super baskets. You can just see one there in front of her, but she made loads of them!

Sorry, Barbara, I managed to miss you on the photo round, I managed to get everyone else..

The other side of my bag

and the pockets inside

We were there from about 10, until about 4, and we all made different things. I suggest you go and look at everyone else's blogs to see what they have done... but I think they are not quite ready yet... so have a look over the next few days!

Thank you Black Sheep! I had a fabulous day in super company!
If you get invited- take them up on it, they really know how to look after you!

and?? then just before we were leaving, in came Lesley with Goody bags! Coats had provided bags with lovely treats inside for us.

well chosen goods in those bags, Fabric , pins, a pen, a book with suggestions for things to make, and the pattern for the 'walkaway dress', and a tin containing a selection of threads.

You can just see a mini roll of 'Tim Holz' Eclectic Elements

 Useful colours

And these fabrics, a range I am unfamiliar with, and could not spot on the website.

I wonder, did we all get the same fabrics?  Perhaps I shall find out!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Play with a pattern...

So, you get a pattern. And the pattern is the 'right' size. So, as it is a special dress, you make it up in some spare fabric you have left over from another project... and look at the fit.

Does the 'right' size pattern fit nicely?


My subject has a bust. And the pattern has the same size bust- but not the same shape bust. Perhaps the bust on the pattern has developed a strange bulge at the front roughly at the level of the armpit, but maybe there are busts out there which do work like that. I am happy that my subject ( victim?) does not have a natural bulge just there!

What did we do?

This is the original side front, which I took out again. You can see a line drawn on it near the top, which is the line I drew, while it was being worn, as a guide for altering things. I then redrew that pattern piece,

The pattern I ended up with is shown below, sitting on top of that original piece.

Quite a difference. In shape as well as size.

Other alterations we made included, taking an inch out of the front, which was cut on the fold, adding darts in the back so it lay nicely, and taking a lump out of the back armholes,. having done all this, we think we shall have a really good fit!  Good job the original pattern was the RIGHT size to start! Much harder to upsize or downsize it!

The dress is now being made. I hope we can show you soon!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Secret projects

At times there is not a lot one can show... I am still sewing but...

There are three dresses to be made, but two are bridesmaid's dresses, so must remain under wraps until the day, one is a prom dress, which must remain under.... You get it!

Some of this may be involved!

Because I was making all these- with a bit of help from DD1 I trust!- I treated myself to a new gizmo...

This little darling will make putting an invisible zip in a complete doddle!  I know, I have tried it! I am able to do it with a standard zip foot, but this one is like magic!

BUT! I have another secret project which I can tempt you with!

Do you know the Black Sheep?  It is a craft barn not far from where i live, and mainly sells all things yarn... silk and wool and bamboo blends, knitting needles and crochet hooks and so on and so forth. They also sell tapestry and embroidery stuff, and fairly recently, in the last year or so, they have branched out into quilting cottons. So, they now have a delicious collection of designer fabrics, all sitting beautifully on shelves, and in little packs of fat quarters, with some jelly rolls and so on to mix in.
They also have zips and buttons, and thread, and really too much option for those of us who like to sew.

And they have allowed a few of us to invite ourselves in, to play amongst their fabrics, for a super little mini sewing bee next week!
So I plan to be there with a few bloggy friends to have fun amongst the fabrics, and make a small something whilst chatting and playing!

see you there girls!  Roll on the 10th!

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