2016 Sewing Goals (& a check on 2015!)

Now we’re over half way through January I guess I should make some goals!

But first let’s have a look at my progress last year. My goals in Jan ’15 were:

  • Sew something every week.

Well I definitely achieved this. I haven’t stopped!

  • Use A LOT of the fabric from my stash before buying new.

HA! Totally went backwards on this – now I look back, I didn’t really have much fabric. Now my mountains are growing very tall. Oh my goodness I need to get sewing and stop buying. Of course I have a stash for my business, too – that’s separate. I have a box (overflowing) for Pink Bobbins. A box (overflowing) for dressmaking. And a big bag for anything that’s not dressmaking (overflowing). I buy fabric every week without fail. Ooops!! I may need to renew this goal…!

  • Make a quilt.

Didn’t do this. Where did the year go?! I really want to though. Must make a start.

  • Refashion a few items I have hanging around

I did some. These are my toddler fairytale jeans! A wears these loads – gutted they are really too short for her now! Hmm, I should upcycle them again; add something to the hems.

Ladies jeans to toddler's jeans

  • Make my daughter a costume for World Book Day

YES! I did this! (The post is here if you’re new and want to see!)

Elmer Dressing Up Outfit for World Book Day

  • Sew with knits. Make a Coco dress and/or top like everyone else in the sewing world!

Yep, I’ve sewn a lot of knitted clothing this year. I made two Cocos!

Coco

  • Try some embroidery.

I mentioned in my 6 month check that I had done some, yay! I need to finish the back of it, though.

embroidered two little birds

  • Learn more about different fabric types.

I know so much more now about different fabrics. There’s still a lot that I’ve never worked with; but I feel a lot more knowledgeable than I did this time last year. Hoorah :)

The last goal was half a joke…

  • Finish a project before starting another one!!

Ermm…. no. Totally didn’t achieve this. I have a few UFOs…. I think they will remain UFOs for some time yet, too. I even mentioned one just now; I need to finish that embroidery hoop I made many moons ago.

OK, so 2015 wasn’t too bad, was it? It’s a shame I didn’t make a quilt, that’s really bad of me. I even know what type of quilt I can make with scraps, I have the idea, I think it was on Tialys’s blog.

Now, 2016 goals. Just a few.

  • MAKE A QUILT!!!!!
  • Participate in more challenges on The Monthly Stitch (thanks Teresa AKA NavyBlueThreads for the idea!!) This will start in February!
  • Make some tailored trousers. (I have the fabric (of course haha), I have the pattern! Spoiler: It’s a new Simple Sew one. I will make these soon!)
  • Make another World Book Day outfit. Better get my thinking cap on.
  • Make (or work on) something for myself or my own girls once a week. This is an important one for me as I don’t want my business taking over the enjoyment of sewing for myself.

That’ll do. I hope they’re achievable. If I don’t make the quilt this year, I give you all permission to unfollow this blog. Shame on me. Haha :)

Beth x

About time I shared my Oslo!

I made this about a month ago… grabbing a few minutes now to share it with you all!

My first 100% overlocked (oh except the hems of course) project. The Seamwork Oslo!

seamwork oslo

I actually bought this knit (I think it’s acrylic – uber stretchy) last year, with a slouchy cardigan in mind. The Seamwork Oslo fits the brief perfectly!

Sorry the photos are rubbish, S wasn’t very willing! And we took them at the same time as the photos for my pleated skirt so the outfit is rather mismatch – I wear it with jeans really!!

seamwork oslo

Oh it’s so nice, such a good cardi to just throw on. It’s actually the kind of thing that I’d buy from the High Street so I think I get a bonus point for that!

The fabric is relatively light and slinky – but warm enough at the same time. Yay!

I didn’t bother with buttons, but I can wrap it right round me if I want to (which I often do!)

seamwork oslo

Flashing the inners… all overlocked. Oh my goodness isn’t the overlocker so fast! I whizzed it up in no time at all.

seamwork oslo

But I totally messed up the sleeve cuffs. I don’t know how it even happened but they ended up so big, like they had stretched – but the thing is the pattern piece was too big to fit to begin with, so they were bound to be a bit… Not sure what happened there but I just left it anyway – I tend to pull the sleeves down round my hands anyway, so it gives me some more sleeve to hold onto – LOL!

seamwork oslo

But overall yeah I’m really happy with it – and I have been wearing it a lot! If you have the pattern sitting waiting… sew it up already! :)

Beth x

GBSB Pleated Skirt – the tartan one!

So yesterday I showed you my “practice run” on the GBSB box pleat skirt.

Today’s the day for you all to see the “real deal” which is my sister’s tartan version. This post will mostly let the pictures do the talking!

Ta-dah!

GBSB tartan pleated skirt

My practice run was actually useful because after coming to the conclusion that I’d rather it was a size smaller, I made this one a size smaller than my sister’s measurements would have indicated. And it fits lovely (which was a huge relief!)

This skirt took me three evenings as opposed to the two my own one took me. Any guesses as to why? Oh, the fact that I caused myself such a massive job with all the pattern matching!?!

Of course first I cut the fabric out in order for it to match, which takes longer. And then I spent two evenings matching those goddamn stripes! But, yeah, it was worth it! This is the side seam with no zip in:

GBSB tartan pleated skirt

I actually recut the waistband because with the first one I cut, I totally didn’t think about how it’d match. Second go, I cut it extra long so that I could shift it along until it matched. That saved a bit of time!

And then I spent hours in front of the telly, tacking and untacking, tacking and untacking… until the patterns matched as perfectly as they were going to!

GBSB tartan pleated skirt

The skirt has a lapped zip. I’m pretty impressed with my pattern matching across the zip!

GBSB tartan pleated skirt

And it’s on a curve, too!

GBSB tartan pleated skirt

And finally this is the back. I have to say I think the pattern lends itself well to the tartan. Pleats and tartan – just meant to be, isn’t it?

GBSB tartan pleated skirt

How’s my pattern matching at the back? :P

GBSB tartan pleated skirt

I hope my sister treasures it, because I won’t be making one again! At least that’s what I thought just after I finished it. Now time’s passed and the pain is wearing, I’m changing my mind; I might make another one day. A bit like having babies, haha!

Beth x

GBSB Pleated Skirts!

My sister wanted a tartan skirt for Christmas. I originally visualised a Tilly & The Buttons Clemence. Then about a week or so before Christmas I remembered the box pleated skirt in the Great British Sewing Bee ‘Sew Your Own Wardrobe’ book. I’ve been wanting to make it since before I bought the book, well over a year ago. So I chose to make that.

Of course I had to use this excuse to make myself one first – a practice run! And I knew which fabric I was going to use – some that I’d actually bought with a Clemence in mind. (Move over, Clemence!) Sewing-themed fabric!

GBSB pleated skirt

I bought only 1m (for about £4) because I know I can get a Clemence out of it (with the waistband being a different fabric like my spotty Clemence’s). The above pic shows the two pattern pieces pinned on. This is on my coffee table, which is juuusst about completely covered. There’s some hanging down the long edge. I cut the waistband out of this afterwards. Yeah, it’s on the opposite grain but I didn’t think it’d matter. And it didn’t!

I’ll kick off with a close-up of the front pleats. I love them!

GBSB pleated skirt

I traced the pattern, cut the fabric, and tacked the pleats one evening. And sewed it all up the next. It was a dream to sew.

GBSB pleated skirt

The pattern features a lapped zip, which I very rarely sew. But it went well. I don’t know if I prefer it to an invisible zip, though. Yeah, I could have done with a bit more seam allowance at the top! I thought I’d be a good girl and follow the book’s instructions for the zip. Well, needless to say, I should have done it my own way!

GBSB pleated skirt

I cut a size 14, to my measurements. Once it was made, I couldn’t decide if it was right or not. I think I could do with going a size smaller.

GBSB pleated skirt

But overall I’m really happy with it. It was so refreshing to make something for myself. Oh yeah, I also recently made a Seamwork Oslo, which I’ve forgotten to blog… I WILL do that soon!

I’m going to post about the tartan skirt in a day or two, just so that this post doesn’t get boringly long. I’ll just say one thing – it was more of a challenge!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Make it a crafty one!! :D

Beth x

#StitchingSanta – My Reveal!

Oooh, I had a lovely Christmas. Presents, food, family and fun – pretty much sums it up.
I’m here to share just a snippet with you – my #StitchingSanta present! As you may know I took part in this sewing-style secret Santa, organised by the lovely Sheila @ Sewchet. You may have already seen my post giving you some insight into what I gave my recipient – who was Jane at Jane Makes! I was really happy to get her, as I had won her fabric giveaway a couple of months ago; it was nice to give something back.

Now I’m going to share with you what I got! I forgot to take a photo of the prezzy all wrapped up, but it looked very exciting!

My gift-giver (?!) was… Corrine at Appleby Makes! Yaaayyy! Here’s what the lovely lady sent me…

A stocking! I LOVE this! This is what all my other prezzies were wrapped in – I should have taken a pic! It was a great idea!

#stitchingsanta

I would never make a stocking for myself – not because I don’t want one, I just wouldn’t be so selfish haha. And if I did, it wouldn’t be as fancy as this one. It’s fabulous.

Several lovely goodies were wrapped individually inside. There’s this tree decoration which I love – I’ve never seen one like this before.

#stitchingsanta

And some amazing pattern weights. Yes Corinne, they survived! I used them last night to cut into my Liberty jersey (I’m making a Deer & Doe Plantain) – they’re great! It’s funny because I made one pyramid-shaped pattern weight only about a week ago thinking I want some, but I made just the one and couldn’t be bothered to make any more. So now I won’t bother! :D :D #stitchingsanta

And how about this for some sparkle? Oooh what shall I make?! It’s a stretchy knit fabric! Gorgeous!

#stitchingsanta

Maybe one of these tops? I thought it was a great idea to give a printed PDF pattern. I might pinch that idea! The printing part of PDF patterns is annoying for me since my printer plays up! It looks like a great pattern too – my kind of style, well done Corrine! I didn’t have any from the brand either! :)

#stitchingsanta

Last but not least, here’s a little handmade pouch. It’s adorable. And inside was a couple of packs of teeny buttons! They’ll be useful I’m sure.

#stitchingsanta

Oh also Corrine included this card to give the game away – and I guess the illustrator was her daughter from the writing on the back of the card! Nice work!

#stitchingsanta

And finally, I have to say I love her little stamp on the tag attached to my stocking. How sweet is that?

#stitchingsanta

THANK YOU so much, Corinne. I’m so happy with it all, honestly.

Happy New Year!!

Beth x

Raw silk Christmas bubble skirt

This is my daughter pretending she likes her new skirt:

silk bubble skirt

I made the skirt using the pattern (well, instructions – you only need to cut rectangles) in Love Sewing magazine, issue 20.

The fabric is raw silk – oooh posh… I was given a roll of it from my “boss” who got it from someone who works for some posh clothing brand that I can’t remember. This is the first thing I made with it.

silk bubble skirt

I think it looks so Christmassy, and am really happy with how it turned out. But she doesn’t like it!!

silk bubble skirt

The addition of the bow was my own idea – before it, the skirt looked pretty plain. This is before:

silk bubble skirt

And after!

silk bubble skirt

It’s actually really easy to make bows. I popped it on and think it transformed the skirt! (But still darling daughter didn’t like it.)

silk bubble skirt

I lined it with white 100% cotton – it does look a bit odd I guess but you can’t see it unless you turn it upside down or inside out!

silk bubble skirt

How you make bubble skirts is really clever. This was my first one! But I will definitely make more! (Although not for stroppy S.)

You use three pieces of elastic – two at 6mm and one at about 20mm wide. So there’s a strip around the bottom where the cotton and silk join, another at the top, and then the waistband is added and of course then the wider elastic is threaded through. I’m pretty sure it can be done without the 6mm elastic, but I think it gives it more poof!

Obligatory twirl shot…

silk bubble skirt

Beth x

P.S. I made some chocolate chip cookies with my girls a few days ago – Sharon at Creativity & Family shared the recipe last week. They are DELICIOUS. Here’s the link to the recipe (along with ones for mince pies and fudge which I’m sure are equally wonderful) – you have to try them!

yummy cookies!! 20-12-2015

P.S. HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

 

#StitchingSanta

Hello! Yes I am still alive!

I’m planning a flurry of posts so hopefully you’ll hear more of what I’ve been up to, but for now, here’s a little peak at what my Stitching Santa recipient is getting…

Some of you have been showing everything in detail, some of you have shown wrapped presents only – hmm, I decided to do a bit of both!

Now, I’m slightly worried that my recipient may feel she’s drawn a short straw as she’s not getting loads of handmade goodies from me. This is mainly because I have been sooo busy sewing every single day and I just haven’t had time to sew anything amazing for anyone besides people who are paying me!! Sorry :(

But I have made this little coin purse:

P1120305

Oooh can you see something shiny in there? :P

And I am including this kilt pin brooch – it is handmade but I bought it! It also comes with a little bag of pot pouri!

stitching santa gift

Yeah, I covered up the initial charm! It might give the game away slightly otherwise!

And then I’ve taken this abstract photo of the other few things – I don’t want to spoil the surprise completely.

P1120316

I might be the only one, but I find it quite challenging buying gifts for a sewer, just because I don’t know what she has or hasn’t got gadget-wise etc, it can be hard to choose fabric colours, styles etc… so I thought these sewing-related but not actual sewing goodies might be nice. I hope.

But there is one fat quarter in there… Thanks to Sharon @ Creativity and Family for sending me my competition prize wrapped in fabric – hehe I stole that idea!

P1120318

The present is wrapped in Christmas paper by the way, so the recipient won’t see this post and immediately know it’s for her when she opens the parcel’s packaging! :D

Oh and I made the card, too, but I don’t have a photo right now!

Happy Christmas! I hope to post again in a few days but don’t quote me on that!

Beth x