Clothkits Skirt – Rob Ryan ‘Hold Me’

My lovely Stitching Santa gifter who I now know is the lovely Kate at Fabrickated gave me a clothkits skirt kit for Christmas. I really liked the idea, and seeing as it was Christmas/New Year and I didn’t have as much to do, I thought I’d sew it up sharpish. And to motivate me further, The Monthly Stitch’s first theme of the year is ‘Not Stashed’ (use up fabric before it reaches your stash) – challenge accepted!

If you’ve not heard of Clothkits, they basically print a pattern directly on to the fabric, so you just have to cut the pattern in your size from the fabric!

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The kit was designed by Rob Ryan, and is called ‘Hold Me’.

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So during Chrimbo Limbo (you know the bit between Christmas and New Year) I sewed it up!

I cut the size 10 and it fits perfectly.

clothkits skirt

The pieces included are: 2 x back panels, 1 x front panel, 2 x back facings, 1 x front facing.

I like how there’s not an extra waistband; you just sew the facing right sides together with the skirt pieces and flip it over. I just stitched in the ditch (at both sides seams) and that holds it in place.

clothkits skirt

I inserted a concealed zip in between the back panels of the skirt, sorry there’s no back view photo!

You can add a lining if you wish, but for time and laziness sake I didn’t bother. The fabric is a lovely corduroy, so it’s not see-through at all to warrant a lining for that reason. Perhaps it would have benefited from one to prevent it kind of sticking to my tights, but I’m happy enough without!

I decided I didn’t want a line of stitching around the hem so I took the extra time to slipstitch the hem in place, so that nothing is visible on the front. I’m really happy I did that!

clothkits-skirt-hem

All in all, I would recommend you all to get a Clothkits kit! It was lovely to be able to cut the pieces straight from the fabric, and it took no time at all to sew up!

clothkits skirt

Now back to old fashioned pattern pieces…

Beth x

Stitching Santa2016

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas – and will have a Happy New Year!

I’m here to show off my #stitchingsanta gifts.

I’m not sure who sent these as there was no name, so if you’re reading, do own up so I can thank you properly – I’m really happy with your choices so there’s nothing to be ashamed of! 😉

I managed to save my gifts until Christmas Day, and it was really nice to have something to open! This is my haul…

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There’s some beautiful lace applique, destined to be a collar, perhaps on an upcycled plain dress!

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Couture Sewing Techniques – ooh wow, lots of bedtime reading here! I will be a pro in no time 😉

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A beautiful ClothKits skirt kit – the skirt pieces are printed directly on to the fabric so there’s no need for tracing a pattern, cutting a pattern, and all that faff! I love it! I cut the pieces out last night, now they’re all ready to sew up! Conveniently The Monthly Stitch’s January challenge is to sew up some fabric that you’ve recently received/bought before it enters the bottomless pit that is your stash. Well, I’m determined to get this made up ASAP! 😀

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It was also tied up in the cute tape measure ribbon in the first photo, which of course I am stashing!

And finally a good length of this cotton fabric (rubbish rushed photo, sorry) – I’m not sure exactly what it is but it’s lightweight, maybe I will make some summer trousers with it… 🙂

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Well my Stitching Santa gifter certainly did her homework and got me down to a tee! Refashioning, the colour blue, quick & simple dressmaking project, the need to learn some high-end sewing techniques… yay, thank you so much!! ❤

Finally, my giftee has blogged about the parcel she received from me so if you’re interested, do follow this link! 🙂

Happy New Year!

Beth x

 

Christmas update!

Hello! I thought I’d write a quick post as it’s been a while!! I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth! I have been super busy with my little sewing business, with the mad Christmas rush and all that. But I did my last post office run before Christmas today – I’m DONE! For now! Also the courses I run have either stopped til January or finished completely so I feel I have a bit of time to catch up with some blogs! Hooray! So this evening I have painted my nails for the first time in a loooong time, and that’s stopped my picking up a needle! And here I am, writing this.

Along with all the orders I posted today went my rather last-minute Stitching Santa gift. I didn’t have a chance to take photos of what I bought, as I was in a rush to pack it all and get it to the post office! But hopefully my recipient will blog about it, and I will re-blog! Here’s a photo of it all wrapped up though – in some snazzy Christmas fabric, which is a little gift in itself! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out Sewchet’s post about #stitchingsanta!)

#stitchingsanta gift

I will of course share what I received after I’ve opened it; it’s all here waiting for Christmas, I can’t wait! Thank you in advance to whoever sent it! (A card arrived the next day; I only briefly looked inside to find that it was from the Stitching Santa sender, so quickly shut it and will re-open on Christmas Day!)

stitching santa

So, do you want to know what I’ve been up to?

In a nutshell: skirts, bows, skirts, bows, skirts, bows…!

I can sew up a simple elasticated-waist skirt really fast, and they look great and are easy to fit – so they sell really well. My customers love that you can purchase matching hair accessories; you don’t get that on the High Street!

I’ll just add some examples – I realise I haven’t shared much at all of my Pink Bobbins creations!

This is a lovely fabric; I sold out pretty quickly (note to self: get more practical black coloured fabric next year!)

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But I think this red snowman fabric was the most popular. I didn’t make a single dress out of it, but plenty of skirts and hair bows!

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Talking of hair bows, I also sell them in sets like this, which are really cute! I like making them because I do them by hand; my bag of pre-cut fabric for bows comes everywhere with me!

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Ooh, a dress! I love this fabric!

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And this is by far my best selling bow fabric (shown here as adorable little bobbles) – mustard foxes!

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I think that’s given you a little taste of Pink Bobbins! I do make more than skirts and bows, but I will share more with you another time.

After all the bright colours I’ve been sewing recently, can you guess what colour I painted my nails tonight? Haha – shimmery black!! I was originally going to go for red (Christmas!) then changed to blue, then… black. LOL. That’s got to say something about me!

Ooh, one more thing before I go – on Saturday night, I actually sewed something for myself!! A Tilly & The Buttons Coco dress (my third!) – I will share soon… ish! I need photos! I cut the pieces out many months ago, and finally sat down to sew it up, I am so happy!

I hope to be back with another post soon, but til then… have a wonderful Christmas!

Beth x

Liberty Plantain

I made this aaaaages ago (like, 11 months ago) and have worn it a lot – it has remained unblogged til now for no apparent reason. It only needs a quick post!

I bought this gorgeous Liberty jersey for £8/m in Oxford Gloucester Green market back in the summer of 2015. (Unfortunately I’ve heard that the “Liberty man” hasn’t been there for ages! I hope he hasn’t disappeared altogether!) It sat for several months before I eventually cut it into a plain and simple Deer & Doe Plantain top. [By the way, it’s a free pattern!] I had 1m of the fabric and managed to get the short-sleeved top out of it no problem. Bargain!

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I’ve made one other Plantain and really like the fit and style – so easy to wear, and not too low on the neck. So it was an easy sew for me.

However there was one difference – I made this with my overlocker; the first garment I sewed on it (besides finishing seams only). It was so fast! Fast forward 11 months to now and I LOVE my overlocker. I’ve sewn so much on it. And it’s even a breeze to thread! 😀

liberty plantain

I also used a twin needle to sew the hems and keep the seam allowance down around the neckline. So neat!

liberty plantain

Hmm, what else do I have in my stash for another Plantain… isn’t it great making the same pattern more than once? My least favourite part of dressmaking is probably tracing patterns so it’s nice to sew the same pattern when it’s all sorted fit-wise!

Hope you’re all well and getting ready for the big C. Including Stitching Santa if you’re involved like me! 😉

Beth x

Refashion: Men’s Shirt to Toddler Dress

In November I’m running a course called Upcycle: Sustainable Fashion; it’s all about refashioning textiles into something new. So recently I’ve been sewing up some ideas to bring with me. Here’s one!
A men’s shirt – which most people have lying around – to a girl’s dress.
My inspiration hunt began at Pinterest, and I found a nice tutorial so I actually just used that instead of my own brain… here’s the link to it!

I began with a lovely lilac shirt – not too masculine!

shirt to dress refashion

As per the tutorial and using a dress that fits Little A as a guide, I chopped the shirt up as shown in the photo below, unpicking the chest pocket also. I discarded the rectangle in the middle and the shoulders pieces, and only kept the upper part of the sleeve.

shirt to dress refashion

This is where my in-progress photos ended; but I basically followed the tutorial linked above. It took about an hour in total.

Here’s the finished dress!

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Cute or what?!

Having used this as a practice-run, I then made a dress out of a little girl’s Dad’s old military shirt, as a commission. This is before…

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I made it in a very similar way – I just also had to move some of the Velcro, unpick the zip that was in the way, and unpick the pockets on the sleeves. It was fun! And everyone apparently loved it!

shirt to dress refashion

shirt to dress refashion

Let me know if you have made or do go on to make something similar!

Beth x

 

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse *Tutorial*

I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it. I have a soft spot for peter pan collars! And I’m happy to say I also love the finished garment now I’ve sewn one up!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

It has a beautiful slightly large peter pan collar, slightly capped sleeves, and buttons down the back. There aren’t any darts to get flummoxed over; it’s quite a straightforward pattern. With this tutorial we’ll have you sewing one up for yourself in no time!

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I made a size 8, and needed less than 1m of fabric (Liberty cotton lawn, which I recommend due to the lovely drape).

First off, trace and cut your pattern pieces; there are just three! (Yes, I took a gamble and cut down to a size 8; I actually NEVER usually cut patterns but I was too excited!!)

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

With your fabric on the fold, cut your pieces as follows: top front cut one on the fold, top back cut two, collar cut four. (I cut two collar pieces, then removed the collar piece; pinned and cut two more).

Iron interfacing on to the wrong sides of two collar pieces (these will be on the reverse/underside of the collar). Pick an interfacing that is the same or lighter weight than your fabric (I used a lightweight one).

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

With right sides together, sew around the outside edges of each pair of collar pieces with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving the inner curve open. Clip and trim the edges; or cheat and use pinking shears!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Turn right side out and give each piece a really good press, rolling the seams slightly to the underside (which is the interfaced side). Set these aside.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew your top pieces together at the shoulders (two back pieces to the shoulders of the front piece) right sides together, with a 1cm seam allowance. Finish these seams in your desired way (I overcast them) and press either open or towards the back.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Lay the top right side up. Mark the centre front of the top. Place the collar pieces right side up (interfaced sides down) on top, matching raw edges. You want the collar to meet in the middle and slightly overlap about 1cm; this is so that when you sew the collar to the top with your 1cm seam allowance the collar will meet exactly in the middle – without crossing over and without having too much or a gap.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Pin in place and tack.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew the back pieces to the front piece at the sides. (With right sides together, so straight down with a 1cm seam allowance. Finish the seams in your desired way.)

Now you’re going to hem the sides of the back pieces. Fold and press over 5mm, then to the notch (20mm). Sew close to the inner folded edge.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Hem the bottom of the top (you can do this last but I just did it at this point as the fabric was fraying!) Turn the hem up 5mm then 1cm and sew close to the inner fold.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Now, bias binding. Make some or buy some! I made some 1” wide single fold (you could go smaller). In hindsight I should have made it in the same fabric, but I didn’t want to cut diagonally into it and waste it!!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew bias binding round the neckline, using a 1cm seam allowance, right sides together.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

When you get to the ends, tuck the ends of the bias binding in to create neat ends – and sew right to the edge.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Trim the curves, and cut notches. Or cheat and use pinking shears like me.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Flip the bias binding to the wrong side of the top, keeping the other edge of it folded. Sew close to that fold. This hides entire bias binding underneath the top. You could sew it so that it shows around the edge; like I did with the armholes. It’s personal preference.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew bias binding to the armholes in a similar way. Leave a gap of a few inches and a few inches of bias binding either side, so that you can join it in the middle. It’s really difficult for me to describe how to do this in text – if you need any help with bias binding there are some good videos on YouTube!!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Now, I tried to sew this bias binding the same way as I did the neckline but it didn’t work; it would have created too many puckers. So I sewed it so that the bias binding was folded a further time, then I handstitched it in place on the inside. This is where I wanted bias binding of the same fabric as the white doesn’t work very well… oh well, it could be worse!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Now on to the buttonholes. Mark these on to the left side of the back piece – starting 5mm from the top, and 1” in. Mark them every 10cm. Sew the buttonholes with your machine.

Use a pen or pin to mark through the centre of each buttonhole; this will be where you sew your buttons.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew your buttons on. I used some vintage buttons I’ve had stashed for far too long. They’re mismatched but I love them!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Give it all a good press… and that’s it!!

Any questions, do ask.

Now here are a few more photos of my blouse. It’s sooo comfy, I really do love it.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse
Beth x

 

GBBS Asymmetric Skirt

Do you remember that skirt made from a tricky Japanese pattern in the last series of the Great British Sewing Bee?

This one:

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They all look really happy there, don’t they?

Well the pattern is in the new book, ‘From Stitch to Style’. I crazily told my dressmaking class that I will make the skirt. So I did…

gbsb asymmetric skirt

I made it in a scuba type fabric that I picked up in my most local fabric shop for an unbelievable 30p per metre (“because we don’t know what it is”). I used some of it to make a Coco dress, and now there’s this. I have a little more that I can probably use to make something for a child! It’s brilliant because it’s nice and swishy, a knit of course so doesn’t fray which is essential for this project, and it was so cheap that I wouldn’t be upset if I messed it up!

And the skirt wasn’t as difficult to make as you’d think. I survived! There are perhaps a few small things that Patrick and Esme would pick up on, but overall I’m 90% happy with it.

The cutting out was the most time-consuming part. Because you have to cut every piece (of which there are 6) individually, and really carefully because those raw edges are on show – and you must mark the notches carefully too as they have to meet up.

gbsb asymmetric skirt

I cut out the pieces then got busy so left it on the side for two and a half weeks; but if you can’t sew for yourself on Bank Holiday Monday, when can you? So I sewed it up in the afternoon.

Have you made anything out of the new book yet? I found the instructions to be good; in the past the Sewing Bee books haven’t always been too great but I had no issues with this one.

The biggest annoyance is in this photo…

gbsb asymmetric skirt

Yeah, the lines don’t match up across the seam. Quite frankly at that point I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to go back and redo it all. It’ll do. The skirt took some patience, a lot of tacking and careful sewing, so by the end I’d had enough!

To finish the “waistband” you sew grosgrain ribbon to the top of the skirt and flip it to the inside. Ahhh, I rummaged through my ribbons and the widest I had was this bright green! I had exactly the right amount, so that was to be it! As it’s on the inside, you can’t see it. I love how little this skirt cost me! Excuse the poor photo.

gbsb asymmetric skirt

And as the fabric doesn’t fray, I didn’t actually hem it. Which feels weird but I love how there’s no bulk at the bottom.

Finally – essential twirling shot!

gbsb asymmetric skirt

So are you going to make this? Have you already?!

Beth x