Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Trims and things project goal: Amy Butler Anna tunic

Meet my long time project goal the gorgeous Amy Butler Anna tunic. I bought this pattern last year because the style suits my body shape and also because I love green (way too much ask all my friends and colleagues). I had to have the exact fabric in the pattern and I bought a coordinating green lining fabric.

To start I cut out the pattern pieces, then zigzag stitched the seams of the external and lining fabrics to prevent fraying. Finally I sewed the lining and external fabric together and pressed. This is where progress ended, partly due to a pattern freak-out on my part, but also because the pattern wasn't pitched at a beginner. I have realised how important it is to make sure you don't over challenge yourself. My skill level has increased since last Autumn but I still feel I need more help to complete the yoke.

I'm taking action and going to The Pin Tin's sewing class tomorrow night. I'm going to report back on progress later in the week.

Fingers crossed!

Emma x

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Trims and things: Weekly sewing wish list

My most wanted sewing items, it's like online shopping without the credit card bill!

Seamstar have this gorgeous new American crafts ribbon (this set: Lovely) and a handy vanishing fine line marker pen to prevent any trace of telltale marks.

Images via seamstar

Raystitch have this floral cotton poplin I've been eyeing for a while for a top or dress pattern. Plus I adore their fish eye buttons for that vintage look and rose trim for sophisticated decoration.

Images via Raystitch

And finally Cath Kidston wowed me with the exceptionally cute Hedgehog needle case and the amazing Caravan sewing basket, I have to have it!

Images via Cath Kidston

Happy Thursday,
Emma x

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Trims and things project goal: Knitting needle roll

I'm so happy that my first knitting needle roll is now complete :). I took lots of photos so you all could see the process.

I combined two patterns (links in my earlier post) to come up with something that fits my needle needs! Before you start remember to measure your longest needle. If you would like a closing flap (I decided against it), add 2 inches extra height on your largest fabric pieces (e.g. my 18" piece + 2 inches for flap).

The fabric pieces I used were the following sizes:
15" wide x 18" high - for interior lining, exterior and heavy duty interfacing (make sure the pattern goes the right way for inner and exterior fabrics)
15" wide x 7.5" high - for main pocket lining (in exterior fabric and interior fabric) and two panels of iron on interfacing
7"wide x 5" high - two in interior lining fabric for scissor, tape and wool needle pocket

I used a metre of ribbon because I really liked the way the ribbon looks layered up around the roll, but that is a personal choice. Beware: you will need to measure the length of ribbon given in the crochet roll pattern. Use the remaining ribbon to sew another tie at equal height in the 3" gap when you finally turn the project inside out to sew up the side. You can always cut your ribbon shorter when you have finished.

I decided to sew the two seams and the second piece of ribbon in the gap on the right by hand, instead of machine sewing around the edge of the whole roll. To be honest I wasn't sure my machine needle would take it with so many layers and the project looked lovely without topstitching around all edges. It really is a personal choice, go with what you want!

A couple of new things I learned from this project were how to use interfacing and how to baste stitch. Interfacing was suprisingly easy to sew through. I had no idea what a baste stitch was, but soon realised that it is a longer running stitch that allows you to hold your work in place before machine sewing. You can use the machine to baste stitch if you have that setting (I didn't). Baste stitch was really useful in holding the layers together, especially as there were so many, before finally sewing it all up and turning inside out.

If you have any questions about making the roll please comment below and I'll post more info.

Happy sewing!
Emma x

Friday, 14 January 2011

Sewing and other news...

This week I had some exciting surprises in store. First, the sewing classes run by my favourite haberdashery shop The Pin Tin are starting again and cost £6 per session. Classes are run by experienced seamstress Jo and take place on a Thursday evening at St Barnabas Church Hall, Stoke, Plymouth. You don't need to book in advance just drop-in. Follow the link above to 'like' The Pin Tin on Facebook for more information on opening hours, classes and up to date product news. Second, I have been nominated for an award at work (yay) and I'm in the running for a lovely glass plaque!

Last weekend I spent hours looking at the crochet hook roll and other knitting needle roll patterns, trying to decide the dimensions I wanted for my needle and accessory pockets. I finally committed and cut out all my pieces from exterior fabric, interior fabric and interfacing. I've pressed the fabric and I've pinned up the small pocket ready to sew. Eventually I ran out of time and I'm looking forward to getting this all sewn up (sorry, terrible pun) this weekend. I will let you know my measurements and tips when the roll is complete. Here are the pieces cut out and ready to go...

I wanted to do the popular 'What's in my handbag' post for those of you who were curious. I was shocked to find not one, but three lip colour options, clearly I am obsessed!

Left to right: 2011 Diary Paperchase @ Waterstone's, mini-notebook Co-operative, pen also Paperchase, Une lipgloss 805 Boots, Benefit lipstick la la land, Vaseline lip therapy rose and Denman folding brush and mirror both Boots, floral umbrella Accessorize.

I also did some accidental sale shopping when I returned a belt to Accessorize. I came out with a purse and a belt in exchange, plus a gorgeous pair of green chanel inspired pumps - Happy girl!

Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

My sewing station

I love to see other people's sewing spaces on blogs and in sewing books, so I wanted to share mine. I have decided that my Ikea white wall mounted desk is much better use to me as a sewing station. After re-organising my sewing supplies, and buying some jars for ribbon and thread, I feel much more organised. I'm ready and excited to get some sewing done this weekend. The radio is a must for me, I work better with background noise!

I'm looking forward to sharing the results with you next week.

Have a great Friday!

Emma x

Trims and things project goal: Knitting needle roll

A lovely package was waiting for me when I got home from work today. I ordered some fabric before Christmas from Seamstar, one of my favourite online fabric and haberdashery shops for fabrics. I loved the pink tissue and ribbon.

The best part was finally getting my mits on the Anna Maria Horner Innocent crush fabric, in coordinating colours. I will be using the fabric to make a knitting needle roll. A longer version of the crochet roll tutorial on the Today we are... blog. A friend sent me the link and I'm adding this to my list of project goals.

Seamstar has the whole Innocent Crush range, and I ordered First Impression Potpourri and Bubble burst in turquoise. The fabric came with a free measuring guide, which will definitely be a useful tool for future projects. Saints and Pinners are also worth a look and have a new year sale on at the moment. Plus Raystitch have 20% off for their e-newsletter readers.

Happy shopping!

Emma x

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Trims and things mini-DIY: Lavender bag birdie tutorial

I love a short and sweet DIY project, for days when I'm short on time and feeling creative. The lavender bag birdie is the first of my mini tutorials. These are the smaller projects I have learned as a beginner that I can share with you :)

You will need:
2 pieces of patterned fabric (or one patterned fabric, one felt for back) measuring 20cm x 20cm
1 felt sheet in a coordinating colour for wing
1 small button for eye
1 tsp dried lavender (you can buy a small bag or bottle from health shops)
Sewing machine
Coordinating and a colourful thread
Hand sewing needle
Sewing scissors
Tracing paper and pencil

1. Place the tracing paper over one of your fabric squares.
2. Draw a bird outline using photo 1 as a guide, leaving 1cm around the edge for seams within the square and draw a curved wing shape to fit.

3. Pin the template to each fabric square in turn, ensuring that the patterned side of the fabric faces inward on both sides. The bird fabric pieces should line up beak to beak, tail to tail right sides facing in. Cut out your fabric using the template.
4. Pin and sew your wing in place on what will be the bird's front outer with a colourful thread. Be careful, the wing must be sewn to what will be the front facing patterned fabric of the bird. Sew on a button for the eye. Remember to keep your 1cm seam area free as this is turned inside out.
5. Next pin the bird in place around the edge right sides together, still leaving your 1cm gap around.
6. Machine sew around the bird leaving a 2cm gap at the top, along the bird's back.
7. Turn inside out and carefully pour in your lavender. Your bird now looks like photo 2.
8. Pin the top of the bird and neatly hand sew over the top.

The little finished bird is perfect to freshen up wardrobes and drawers this new year!

Enjoy! Emma x