Tag Archives: Sewing

Pisces baby quilt

If you follow me on instagram you’re probably bored of me teasing you with pictures of this quilt buuuut it’s all done now so here it is with our resident newborn model, Kermit the Frog!

salt water constellations quilt 1

I put Kermit on it for scale so you can see that I accidentally made it totally massive (42 x 52 inches). Oh well, the baby can use it until it’s old enough for sleepovers, plus it’s a nice size for using as a lap quilt on the sofa (as I discovered when I was hand finishing the binding in front of the TV this week!).

salt water constellations quilt 8

This quilt is for the same baby that got those little trousers a few weeks ago. The baby will be a Pisces like me, so (even though I don’t really believe in horoscopes), I thought this mix of sea on the front and stars would on the back would suit the little one. The salt water fabrics that I used for the top are so much fun, with all manner of sea creatures (and submarines!) hiding in the patterns.salt water constellations quilt 7

I made up the pattern on the top as I went along. It was nice to take a lot more risks with quilt, compared to the last baby quilt I made where I was quite “safe” with my fabric choices and the pattern. I started from the top with full stripes of all the different fabrics, and then worked in strips down from there, epiecing the fabrics together. I started with some bits precut, but in the end I was just cutting the fabric and playing with it like a jigsaw and then sewing it together. It was fun! One thing I learnt was that some of the fabrics that I wasn’t that fond of when they arrived (like the stripes), actually looked sooo good once they were cut up into little pieces and up against other patterns.

salt water constellations quilt 9

I ordered the fabrics online and when the arrived I was a bit worried that the two different hues of blue on the front and back didn’t really go…. But once it the top was all sewn up I took into into my local quilt shop with the backing fabric and spent my lunch break browsing fabrics. Once I found this beautiful yellow the two blues really started to sing and I fell in love.

salt water constellations quilt 4

Here’s one of my favourite bits! I had this seagull ribbon in my stash and at first I just sewed it into the binding, but then I figured it would be nice to reinforce it so that the baby’s mum (my friend) could use it to hang the quilt up on a hook if need be.

salt water constellations quilt 5

Here’s a better view of the backing fabric with all its funny constellations. I quilted it with a triple zig zag stitch on my machine for some more wavy-ness. I wasn’t thrilled with the way this turned out (I have got to figure out how to work the walking foot I got for Christmas!), but I think it works.

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I attached the binding using the machine for one side and then secretly hand stitching on the other. I did all this using yellow thread that matched the binding, but as I was doing the hand stitching, I realised that I should have matched the machine thread to the quilt not the binding, so that it would be less visible if any bits did stick out of the binding.

salt water constellations quilt 2

Materials:

Front: six skinny quarters of various Salt Water by Tula Pink fabrics in the ‘aqua’ colourway from the Village Haberdashery (I emailled Annie the shop owner and she cut them skinny not fat for me so that I could do the long stripes at one end of the quilt).

Back: 1.5 metres of Lizzy House constellations night blue from Backstitch (this was the harrrdest blue to photograph ever but look at the gorgeous pattern!)

Binding: about half a metre of Kona Solids mustard yellow (I think! It doesn’t look like any of the swatches online but what does that mean?!)

Batting: Bamboo Blend 50/50 bamboo cotton batting (I bought this off a roll at my local quilt shop though).

(I really like this batting! It’s snuggly and warm but still folds up really well so the quilt isn’t too much of a behemoth. I think the technical terms to describe it are: high drapability, low loft and high resilience. The lady in the shop said it wasn’t really necessary to pre-wash it before use (unless you were making a very pale quilt – the washing is recommended to remove any traces of oil from any cottonseed husks left in the batting). It will shrink about 5 per cent in the wash for that wrinkly look.)

Time: Started after work last Wednesday, finished Tuesday lunchtime. Two solid evenings and a Saturday morning, the rest in bits and pieces.

Cost: quilt top £24 (I have scraps left over but nothing else), quilt back £18, binding £3.50 (I used half a metre of £7/metre fabric), batting £8.10 (1.5 metres of the baby quilt width). Total = £56.50 (Plus p&p on some items and three – count ’em! – three 100m spools of gutermann thread at £1.55 a pop) (two blue and one yellow) (I only finished one of those fully though)

(I put the time and cost just to show why custom quilts cost so much on places like Etsy and why I won’t be going into business any time soon! I also thinking quilting cottons might be more expensive in the UK than the US?)

My favourite quilting tutorials: All linked up in this blog post

Let’s finish this up with one more picture of our beautiful baby all wrapped up!

salt water constellations quilt 6

I love making quilts for babies! I spent a lot of time while I was making this quilt, just thinking about this little baby that we’re all so excited to meet. One of my other friends said that maybe I should be careful of setting a precedent that everyone’s babies get quilts, but for now I’d rather work on getting faster at quilting than give up on giving them! (Ask me again in a few years though.)

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Sewing presents!

This is waaaay overdue but I wanted to share with you some lovely things that came in the post lately (recently would be a lie, this post is long overdue!).

First up, waaay back in November, I woke up one morning to discover I was the winner of Megan Nielsen Patterns’ incredibly generous anniversary giveaway

So I spent a little while anxiously tracking my parcel’s progress across the globe (how awesome is DHL’s tracking?!)

DHL tracking

And then my glorious package arrived! So much lovely sewing goodness!! I can’t wait to get sewing my new patterns (I chose Darling Ranges and the Banksia top and I’m so excited!) I just still have some Christmas presents to sew before I can get back into dress making for meeeee.

Megan Neilsen giveaway

All of this loveliness all bundled up in an “I make fashion” tote! Thanks, Megan.

And that’s not all the sewing goodness I’ve received lately… Thanks to KraftyKat’s sewists secret Santa, I got this lovely bundle in the post just before Christmas. (Click here to see what I sent Karen from Did You Make That?.)

Sewists Secret Santa

The green fabric is just dreamy and so perfect for making a top from and I love everything else. Thank you so much Santa! If you’re reading this and don’t mind revealing who you are, leave me a comment!

Aaaaand, while I’m on the subject, here’s a peek at my sewing-related Christmas presents (and a gorgeous tin I plan to keep sewing stuff in)….

Sewing Christmas presents

I was spoilt rotten this year…. it was ridonkulous. You should have seen the non-sewing presents I got!

So, that’s a long overdue round up of some things I’ve got lately.

I’ve felt so spoilt lately that I’ve decided to do a tiny giveaway on the blog this week to return a little bit of the favour. So check back for that…

What was your favourite present this year? I’m torn between that lovely box, a dragonfly necklace from Mr V and a collapsible washing up bowl for camping (I’m a practical girl!). I’m also over the moon to finally have a pair of pinking shears courtesy of my aunt.

Christmas bunting with lace trim

If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that last week I started making bunting for our wedding (I’ll post about this at some point). Seven months (eeep!) is a long time to make the amount of bunting I need to make, but I knew that I’d get side tracked into other projects so I should give myself plenty of time.

Sure enough, I’d only sewn wedding bunting for two evenings when I got distracted by making some Christmas bunting as a present  for my mum’s birthday on Wednesday.

Without further ado… here it is!

She has a lovely mantelpiece to display this on, we don’t, so I had to stick it to the wall with masking tape.

I love it.

The birds are cut out from this Ikea fabric (£3 a metre!), and appliqued using my sewing machine. I outlined some of them in straight stitching or a zig zag stitch for emphasis. I was surprised at how many different birds were hiding in the fabric!

I used the same fabric on the back of the flags (because I have about a million metres of it. (I also used it here. )

I bought the two different fabrics for the front of the flags from the remnant bin at my local quilting shop. I picked them up a long long time ago but I think they were around £3-4 each for just under half a metre.

The red tape at the top is a red woven ribbon from the same quilting shop and the lace is from there too.

I attached a tiny bell (5p each) by hand to the bottom of each flag.

Even though it was only stuck up with masking tape, I loved how jolly it made our living room, so maybe for my next project I’ll get side tracked into making some Christmas bunting for us!

PS. I’m so sorry to bring Christmas to your blog reader so early! I just made this and love it so much I had to share!

Happy birthday apron – McCalls M5825

 

A long, long time ago, I bought an apron pattern because I figured it would be a good intro to sewing with patterns for a beginner like me, without having to worry about fit. But then, I never actually sewed it – I got on with quilt making and eventually made a few tops and dresses from patterns and discovered it wasn’t all that bad!

So the pattern sat there unused until Karen started her apronalong, which gave me just the kick I needed to dig out this pattern in order to make a present for my friend’s birthday. I’m so happy with the end result that I have to admit it will be a pang to give it away…

I used an Ikea checked fabric as my main fabric. It’s nice and tough for proper cooking, which my friend who will get this apron does a lot. I took the fabric shopping with me so I could hold it up against other fabrics to use with it, and eventually settled on one fat quarter of this lovely Kokka Wooded Forest fabric, which was pricey for a fat quarter at £4.50 but I think it really made this apron feel really special!

The pattern itself didn’t have a waistband, but I felt the two fabrics really benefited from a hit of red in the middle so I added one. This added quite a few headaches as to how to construct the whole thing, but I got there in the end! I think the instructions and construction of this dress would be nice and simple if I’d stuck to the waistband-less version.

The pockets and the bodice are both backed with denim (still left over from this skirt and this dress!), which I didn’t really take a picture of but you can see it peeking out here:

(Isn’t it weird how taking pictures on your dress form from certain angles can seem a little pervy?? – This one definitely did)

Best picture ever, though, right?

For the waist ties, the pattern calls for the normal “sew a tube, turn it inside out style”, but I totally messed mine up (cheap polyester plus badly applied interfacing plus hurried trying to turn it inside out). I was fed up of trying to turn stupid tubes inside out and I wanted to finish it up without going out for nice ribbon (plus the shops were shut), so I made my own ribbon out of some polka dot bias tape and the feather stitch on my machine. I love how this turned out! Talk about a happy accident.

I used the same feather stitch to finish my hem, which came out really bulky because of this fabric being decor weight. I also messed up and put the skirt on the apron wrong side out (so the less attractive side of the hem is on the outside). Oh well!

Thanks Karen for the kick I needed to finally make an apron!

Hot pink floral sorbetto top

Hello, my pretty.

Are you bored of hearing about sorbetto tops I’ve made yet? Too bad, because I’m not bored of making them!

This one was actually made out of necessity though – I have lots of cardigans and jumpers (sweaters!) that just don’t work with any tops that I own, normally because the neckline or sleeves were wrong. I decided a nice wide necked sleeveless tank would fit the bill and luckily I knew just the pattern!

Front/Back – should’ve ironed it.

I won’t go into too many details. I omitted the pleat because this print was so busy I thought plain would be best. The fabric is some type of cotton (I think) and I made it much the same as my Sorbetto dress, but I only added a few inches to the bottom rather than, you know, a skirt.

With apologies for my dorky face and the silly mirror picture.

Buttt, I should have extended it in a much “flatter” way – I continued the curve at the bottom of the pattern and ended up making a weird sticky-outy-peplumy-kicky bit at the bottom that I don’t like, so I’ll need to remedy at some point (I won’t document this as I’m sure it’ll be a bit of a hack job!)

Yup, definitely should’ve ironed it. You can see my rookie dart addition in the bottom right picture.

I love the way this top looks from the inside! I french seamed the sides and did a small double fold hem. My bias facing is so much neater than it was on the sorbetto dress (see for yourself there!), so if I wanted to next time I could put the facing on the outside. I really trimmed the seam allowances (with pinking shears) on the neck facing in particular and it really made a difference, so I’ll be doing on the armholes too next time (tip from this great post ).

This dress fits differently to the two other versions of this pattern I’ve made (first one is here). It’s a lot roomier – there was so much excess at the armholes when I tried it on before binding that I added an armhole dart (that sounds complicated and like I know what I’m doing– I just pinched and pinned the excess while wearing it and then sewed along that line). I don’t think I cut inaccurately, so it’s probably just because this fabric highlighted the excess (it’s stiff-ish), but it seems a bit bigger all over. We’ll see.

This fabric cost me £5 at the beginning of the summer (I bought a metre and have scraps left for wedding bunting). I think the bias tape was about £2. The pattern was free.

I started printing the pattern (I tore my old one) at 1pm on Sunday, and by 5pm I was completely finished. I think about an hour of that was assembling the pattern (I did it slowly because I was watching the Sopranos at the same time) and I also stopped for lunch. I hope next time will be quicker still.