Monday, 15 July 2013

A Season By Hand - Handwork Frame Purse

Today I am over at Clover and Violet to take part in the wonderful Season By Hand series. There have already been lots of wonderful posts covering lots of different handwork topics. Find the full schedule here. You can also find details of the wonderful sponsors and prizes here.

Today I am going to show you how to make your very own frame purse. I use my purse for my English Paper Piecing, it is really cute to throw in my handbag and I always have a little project in there ready to go. You never know when you are going to have an emergency that might require and little sewing first aid!

Follow me over here where I will take you step by step through how to draft a pattern for your purse and make up the fabric pouch and glue it into your purse. I recommend Gutermann Textile Glue HT 2. Any extra strong clear adhesive will work but Gutermann have a wonderfully fine point on the nozzle which helps to get the glue right up into the frame.

If you are wondering about those tiny pieced feathers, they are paper pieced using the Feather Templates from Anna Maria Horners quilt, printed out at around 25% of the original size. They are not as time consuming as you might think and are great for using up precious scraps too small for other projects.

I hope you have a go at making a purse, they are really quite easy once you get the knack of gluing it in without grafting on a third hand ;-) !! And they also make wonderful gifts too. Take your hand sewing out there into the summer in style in a pretty purse!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Date Night Dress Debut

I was over.the.moon when the gorgeous April Rhodes asked me to test her latest pattern, The Date Night Dress.

I had really enjoyed the hype around the Staple Dress and I knew this too would be a wonderful pattern. I was not wrong.

In the purposes of being through, I have made two versions of the dress, with a third ready to be cut! And only because I am through you understand-not because I am addicted to this dress ;-)

thedatenightdress take 1

Firstly I made a *very* sheer chiffon dress, which would have made for a rather revealing date night dress ;-)

Thankfully the clever April included a Simple Slip with the pattern (two dresses for the price of one!) So i whizzed up a little black slip in a slinky viscose to layer with my dress. And I mean literally, it was a very quick make.

The dress itself is a dream to sew. With clear and well written directions, easy pattern pieces and simple techniques that combine to make the most beautifully shaped dress.

the date night dress detail

I really, REALLY love the shirt tail hem, it makes me feel so swishy (is that even a word?!) I choose to shirr this dress to pull it in and give it some shape, infact after the photos I added a couple more rows which I think made it look more balanced.

I think this dress will also be a great beach cover-up!

the date night dress take 2

My second version was made up from the same soft light viscose as my slip. It was a delight to wear today during the untypical British heat! I exaggerated the dipped hem on this one and brought the front up slightly too, rather hard to see in this photo whilst I am being cat attacked!

This one I left un-shirred, so I could belt it. I LOVE it! The dress is so quick to make up, the beauty is that it has french seams throughout so it is unbelievably comfortable to wear, whilst still looking glamorous - the dress, not me that is ;-)

For my third I am going to shorten it into a top, I cant wait to sew it up! If you need a new dress in your life, or if like me you really don't because you have about 30 already but can't resist a new addition, I wholly recommend you try The Date Night Dress, I believe it is set to release this week coming, yeay!!!!

Now all I need is my lovely husband to take me on some dates to wear my new dresses!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Who Am I?

I am writing this post in preparation for the madness that is Fat quarterly Retreat in just under 2 weeks, if you are not going, or are going and have no interest in talking to me or finding me, feel free to skip!

I am shy, honest. I hate writing this sort of stuff about myself. I have great trouble talking to people I don't know. I find that there is a direct correlation between the amount of time I spend sewing and the decline in my social skills! Thankfully I have also discovered that many other sewists seem to be as disadvantaged as me when it comes to talking about oneself or putting themselves out there. Unfortunately I am one of those really annoying nervous people that once whilst trying to overcome the initial nerves I act nervously overexcited and talk too much, then once I am comfortable with you I am overexcited and talk too much.

Anyway, if you can see past all that and do want to come and say hi, this is what I look like (on a very very good day. Please, no  petitions of the mis-sale of goods act should I happen not to look my best in London!)


I will most likely be wearing something hand-made, perhaps my pyjamas?! Very briefly, I am married mum to 2 girls, I live in the countryside and have chickens and various other 4 legged friends. I teach sewing at local patchwork shops and LOVE my job. I live to sew, it is my tonic. FQR is going to be a blast! Cant wait to see you all there!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Almost done swooning!

Ahhh, WIP how I do not love thee!

Being a virgo and a natural neat freak I cannot stand WIP's! They simultaneously make me feel guilty for neglecting them and annoy me by cluttering up the place.

Swoon is different. I am glad Swoon stayed a wip for so long. When I first finished the top I really did not like it. I was unsure on the colours and the prints I had chosen. So she hung up on the wall in my studio waiting to be quilted. I told myself that once the frame came I would quilt her, because she was pretty big and that was probably a good idea. Once the frame arrived I told myself I needed to wait a while longer, after all I needed to practice didn't I?! I even had the backing and wadding ready, but kept making excuses.

As with most things, I suddenly took a whim one day and pulled it down from the wall and loaded it up. I find that this is by far the best way to do things, I always work better when it is spontaneous.


I quilted it in a small infinity loop with a lovely 40wt Metler cotton

swoon quilting

I am slowly learning how to work within the limits of the small throat space that I have on my machine. Whilst the frame is amazing it can be frustrating to be restricted by the space I can work in. Oh for that long arm of my dreams!

But for now I am content with what I have, especially when it helps me achieve such a wonderful quilt.

Finished quilting my #swoon quilt just in time to catch the last of the evening sun.

The binding is all sewn on, all that remains is for me to find a spare moment to hand stitch it down, something tells me Swoon wont mind, after all she has patiently waited over 6 months to get this far, she won't mind hanging on a little longer :-)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

You say Ikea quilt backing, I say..... pyjamas!

I have had this top in my head for some time, yesterday I took the bull by the horns and got it sewn up. Trouble is the bull decided it needed matching pj trousers too!

new pyjamas!r
(Spot the photo bombing toddler!)

So now I have lovely breezy new summer pj's in text print with neon pink trim, perfect!

The top is the Tiny Pocket Tank from Grainline studio and the trousers are the free Simplicity 9871 which Kerry will be teaching at FQ Retreat next month. Both are pretty simple to sew up, great for beginners, so what are you waiting for? I want to see matching jammie buddies at FQR!

Oh and if you see me wearing the top during the day, I am TOTALLY not wearing my pj top in public, it was always intended to be a daytime wear, its just those jammie bottoms crashed the party and made it into a set!