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Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Red and white print tee

The knit scraps box had enough of this fun print, that with careful cutting I was able to get a whole tee out of the same fabric.
I also made a sunglasses case (protects from scratches in your bag) and a hair scrunchie, from some of the scraps leftover form the turquoise tee.
I will try and think of some more uses for knit scraps. Anything smaller than this probably should just get thrown away, so I've been doing that as I go along.

Making a tee from knit scraps

For any of you who want to have a go at this, you need to find your best fitting tnt tee shirt pattern, and then start tracing bits off the original pattern - make a whole front - slash it about to make pieces, have a half back which you split to have panels, same for a front, have several different lengths of sleeves you can fit into the same armhole. Keep all these in a zip lock bag, labelled so you know what all the pieces are (it can be hard to tell once they are all cut up).

Then get the scraps and have a look at the shape of the pieces, are any large enough for a whole back or a whole front. If you have long thin pieces (I often seem to have these left from cutting a previous garment) would a panel fit there?
Look at the balance of the different scraps against each other, I like a print as the starting point and then to pull that out in a co-ordinating solid. If things have a white background, I like the whites to match, not an ivory with a pure white for example. Also the fabric weights need to be reasonably similar - no heavy sweatshirting sleeves on a thin fabric body. Once you've cut all the pieces, lay them out as the tshirt and check you like the overall feel.

I construct in the following order.
(I sew each seam, turn over to check there are no bumps, wiggles, gathers etc, then serge the same seam)
If back is in panels, assemble one side and then the other, press the seams flat, sew and serge the centre back seam and press again.
Assemble the front if it is in sections. Press the seams flat. For the one with 5 panels, you may need to press several times as you sew the front together.
Sew the shoulder seams, adding a bit of ribbon or woven selvedge to avoid them stretching out.
Cover hem the sleeves flat. Insert one sleeve and sew up one side seam.
Cover hem the main hem flat, clipping serged seams at the hem and folding to the other side to avoid a big bump for the coverhem.
Insert the other sleeve, sew up the side seam. Use a large needle to tuck the serger ends into the seam allowance.
Take photo and share with sewing friends.Wear your new top the very next day.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Three fabric turquoise tee

Using the same cutabout front I've used before and the same panelled back also used before (but not together before) I managed to get a new tee out of the scraps left in three different toning fabrics.
It is all based on my favourite New Look 6735, but doesn't resemble it much anymore.
That's the front
and here's the back.
Especially good with jeans I should think.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Friday, 25 July 2014

Pucci-style splash print tee

This uses the body from New Look 6414 View C and the short sleeve option from New Look 6735.
The print fabric has a certain Pucci inspired vibe, as though Pucci had a trip to the seaside one day and translated that into fabric. The colours are two shades of lime, two shades of turquoise, white and blue, and the whole thing has a joyous summery feel.
I wore this to work today with some bootcut stretch denim trousers I made several years ago and lime/silver necklace and earrings and got two compliments :-)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Navy Marl Print tee

The remnant used for this top once again had an uneven seam and various faults in the opposite direction, but was slightly larger than the leaf print, so I was able to cut around them and still have proper sleeves.
This uses the body from New Look 6414 View C and the sleeve from New Look 6735 cropped to elbow length. The print looks like natural marl or maybe a knit effect, but is printed on to the plain white backing fabric and is lovely. I can see this getting a lot of use when I need a 'navy' top to make a column with navy trousers or blue jeans, but don't want anything too dark around my face.
It should also work well with the white trousers!

A lovely gift

I've been sorting through my things as I start to pack to move house in a month or so (date not yet fixed).
On Saturday I took some excess sewing related things to my Auntie who lives about an hour away. She chose the things she wanted from the pile, we all had a lovely afternoon together and I came away happy the things had gone to a good home, bringing back the leftovers.
Then today a lovely surprise in the mail, a pretty drawstring bag she had made for me on a vintage singer machine I gave her! And amongst the flowers, can you see my name?
What a lovely gift, and all the more precious for being handmade and a complete surprise. I am feeling very blessed.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Black and white leaf print tee

This tee was cut from a small remnant with a seam in one direction and several faults in the other.
There was enough space for a front and back plus a neckband, but nothing for sleeves, so I decided to extend the armholes into little cut on sleeves and see how it worked.
It worked out really well and looks like little short sleeves when being worn.
The shot above has the sleeves pinned to the curtain so you can see the shape slightly better. I have just continued the shoulder line straight out, then gone back in to the bottom of the armhole.
So I traced off my extensions as extra little pattern pieces to insert into the armholes next time I want to do this.
Leaves are my absolute favourite motif, so I feel like I've had this top forever, even though I only just made it. Isn't that wierd?

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Green and white wave print knit top

This is a polyester slinky fabric remnant. The print is pretty full on. Will have to see how comfortable it is to wear in practice.
Due to the limits of the fabric I had to cut this version with elbow length sleeves and a slightly shorter hem.
The sleeves are slightly gathered at the top, and the fit is quite good.
This one would definitely be ok for work, whereas the two floral ones are a bit more weekend.
This uses the body from New Look 6414 View C and the sleeve from New Look 6735 cropped to elbow length.

Elizabeth suggested a white cardigan would complete the set, but sadly the fabric for smething like that is packed and the boxes are taped up, so that part is probably not going to happen!

Black floral knit top

This top uses the same body pieces as the red one (New Look 6414), but there was not enough fabric for 3/4 sleeves, so I went with short ones.
There was enough space for short flutter sleeves though, so I chose the sleeves from New Look 6940 View D, which are a lot of fun.

This is a nice fun sleeve when you want some upper arm cover but some coolness under the arms on a hot day!

Red floral knit top

This uses the body from New Look 6414 View C and the sleeve from New Look 6735.
The neck is quite wide on this.
I am planning to wear it with white wide leg trousers or jeans during the rest of the summer.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Dress thoughts

After some debate with myself I've decided to cut the skirt off the dress, and make it into a yoked skirt with a zip, pockets, cotton lining etc. And use the upper section of the dress as the yoke on a mixed media tee, with a spring green knit for the lower part of the tee and the sleeves.
The skirt could then be worn with a white top, or picking out any of the bright colours with a plain tee, and the green/print tee will hopefully work well with jeans. If not I can donate it.

All the scraps will be incorporated into little projects which showcase the print as best I can

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Bright summer dress

Yesterday a group of us had a chance to go and see 'South Pacific' at Kilworth House Theatre.
We attended the matinee and then had a picnic together. It was a fabulous day.
Since it was a warm day lots of the ladies were wearing rather lovely bright summer dresses.

So today I cut into some bright printed cotton, lengthening my dartless blouse parttern into a dress. The idea was to create a wonderfully cool dress loose dress to wear on really hot days. I'm not entirely sure its worked as I planned though.
I only had 2m of fabric so its only just knee length, and I think I am going to add a little bit of cotton lace trim to lengthen it just a touch ([pinned onto the bottom). I think it also needs belting at the empire line as its very shapeless.
And I may need to restitch part of the upper back, as I've overdone the high round back alteration.

I can't decide if it does look fun, or if the print is a bit childish for a dress. I want to make it work though as I do love the happiness of the print.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Fabric covered coffee tin

I poured out some PVA glue to stick back a bit of laminate which was coming away from the Ikea table someone gave me when I moved into my rented place and was a bit short of furniture.
All the furniture just needs to make it to the new house and then some pieces may get retired/replaced.

Anyway I had quite a bit of glue left in the pot, so I watched a few U-tube videos on decoupaging things (with tissue, fabric etc). I didn't really like the messy look of most of them, so in the end cut a strip of floral fabric from one of the remaining Sanderson samples and used it to cover a large coffee container.
Although these look like they might be tins, they are actually very thick cardboard tube sections with a metal rim at the top and a metal bottom, and silvering on the inside of the cardboard, and I saved a few planning to do something with them like this.
Any ideas what I can actually use my floral container for? I am slightly stumped I must say. They have neatly fitting plastic lids, and no longer smeall of coffee at all.
I think I have 10 of these, so they could all get different floral covers, or I could branch out into other prints...

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

New Look Patterns

These out of print New Look Patterns (and one Simplicity) were offered less expensively in a UK sewing magazine as they are end of line. The selection is limited but I picked things I thought I would use.

Wardrobe patterns are always a favourite, because you get more garments within the package, they've been planned to work together as outfits, and whilst you may buy them for one particular item, another may turn out to be very handy later.
I liked the one above (New Look 6947) for the jacket pattern, but it also includes, sleevesless top, dress and wide legged trousers.
New Look 6609 (above) has a a jacket blouse, slightly less wide legged trousers a nice gored skirt and even a little bag.
New Look 6011 has in interesting blouse, a straight panelled skirt and a different style of trousers.
The above patterns would give me lots of work appropriate options.
New Look 610 is a relaxed casual blouse good with jeans for a dress down Friday.
And Simplicity 1889 looked like a good way to use small scraps of fabric to make outfits for new babies amongst friends/family but perhaps also to increase my charity craft offerings.

I've not idea whether I will actually get to sew any of these any time soon (due to the move) but I am having a nice time planning what I might do.

Have you used any of these patterns? And if so what did you think?

Thanks Ruthie

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Pausing to pack

I'm buying a house, and the chain finally got formed up, and has 4 houses in it, so not exactly sure how long things are going to take. Estimates are about 2 months from now so I have started packing.
I've started with books as whilst I want to keep them, I probably can manage without them for a few months. I am weeding out ones I don't want as I go, but am trying to avoid the temptation to re-read everything.
I have loads of interesting books particularly in the colour/style/sewing arena, and it will be fun getting inspiration as I unpack them at the other end.

2 sewing machines and maybe some other things are going to a support project which currently only has 1 machine, so that will encourage me to allow some things to go.

There may not be a lot of sewing going on!