Tag Archives: sew

Cucito

5 Mar

For some reason I’ve been really busy at my sewing machine lately.  Every day I find myself holed up in my sewing room with little bits of  thread hanging from my hair, on my clothes and pretty much all over every surface in the entire house.

Once I start on a project I seem to lose my sense of time and what else needs to get done around here.  In other words, we’ve been living off take-out pizza and canned tuna  for a few days now and the house is looking a little worse for wear (not yet squalor state yet though!).

Here are a few finished items from the last week:

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I’m trying to bring the funky back to smocks for the little ones.  Oh yeah, it was never there.  But seriously, I’m going to change the way the world sees smocks.  I have big plans.

Unfortunately I had some issues with this MaxMara fabric running (see the little white lines coming from the bias?) due to the stretch in the fabric.  Any tips out there on how to avoid this?  Thinner needle perhaps?

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I’m in the process of taking a creative map making course over on Skillshare and I decided to step away from the computer and do something handmade.  I printed off a map of Europe on some cotton muslin and embroidered our first trips as a family.  Now I still have to figure out whether I make it into a pillow, or something to hang on the wall etc.  Any ideas?

1-IMG_6816Last week I finished making up a few wallets in our sewing group.  It was always one of those projects that seemed too advanced and complicated but in the end it was actually quite do-able.  There are a lot of pieces involved and three weights of interfacing but I didn’t have a breakdown…not even once.

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Look!  A zipper pouch, credit card pockets, and a snap closure! What more could you want in a sewing project?  Pattern from 101 Fabric-by-Fabric Ways To Sew a Metre by Rebecca Yaker.

1-IMG_6814And last but not least, today I whipped up this little bag  (similar to this one from a few weeks ago).  This beautiful cotton fabric is Point of Sail by Michael Miller.

Echino Purse

15 Feb

The other day some good friends and I got together for our weekly sewing morning  and we decided to try out a pattern from a new sewing book I received my mother called 101 Great Ways to Sew a Metre by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.  The book is full of patterns for various bags, purses, clothing, toys and other household items and no project asks for more than a metre of fabric.  The patterns are all really well explained with clear instructions.  I have to admit that the spats (cowboy boot covers) found on page 147 will not be made by me though.

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We decided to sew the Scrunchie Bag (page166) because it’s a big and roomy casual purse that we thought would come in quite handy.  I decided to use a gorgeous fabric with vintage typewriters on it by the Japanese brand Kokka (Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Shining).  For the inside of the bag I used a spotted linen that I purchased in Japan last year.  The two fabrics compliment each other perfectly.

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We loved the fact that there were rings for the strap and that the top was elasticized.  Both new sewing techniques for us.  We cut and finished sewing the bag in less than three hours.  My kind of sewing project.

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I’m quite in love with my new typewrite purse.

(here’s my last sewing project using Echino fabric)

Valentine’s Heart Necklace

21 Jan

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Usually my 10 year old daughters take in a little Valentine’s gift or treat for all the kids in their class (last year’s treats here).  But this year things  have changed a little.  It seems as though the thought of giving the boys anything to do with love or fondness is something that makes their little cheeks turn pink. They say the boys are silly, not interesting, noisy and smelly.  In other words, they’re starting to NOTICE them.  Oh gosh.

So together with my daughters we came up with a these little puffed heart necklaces that they can give to all the girls in their class.  It’s a quick and simple project that my daughters helped with and the result is absolutely adorable.  I can just imagine their little group of girlfriends walking around school on Valentine’s Day with these little coloured fabric hearts hanging around their necks.

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I cut the cotton batting heart slightly smaller than the cotton hearts so that there was no risk of it poking out after being stitched.

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Now you just have to layer all the hearts and string.  Put the first cotton heart right side down then place the cotton batting heart on top.  Next place the string across the middle (or slightly higher up) and then the last cotton heart on top (good side facing up).

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Now you just have to simply stitch around the outside of the heart.  For some I used the  zigzag stitch instead and it also gave a nice effect.

1-IMG_5297We then took some heavy card stock to make little Valentine’s Cards in which to give the necklaces.  We punched two little holes near the top to pass the string through and used Washi tap to fasten the rolled string on the other side.  You can add little messages and notes inside the card as well.

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Bag Lady

13 Dec

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Bag Lady…that’s me.  I have a thing for purses, sacks, bags and wallets of any kind and apparently I was born this way.  My mother tells me that when I was a little girl I had a mountain of purses that were filled with bags that were filled with wallets.  And I can honestly tell you that it is still the case and that I have one daughter who seems to have inherited the same fixation (better than booze or drugs, no?).

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 Last week I finished up sewing my first messenger bag.  It involved a pattern of approximately 30 different pieces in three different materials (not including the interfacing).  It took me over three hours to just cut it all out!  The bag is completely reversible and has 8 pockets.  I used a polka dotted linen that I bought in Japan last spring for one side and a striped canvas from Max Mara for the other side.  It’s gorgeous. 1-IMG_4633Considering I put 6 hours into making this messenger bag I’m not sure how many I’ll be sewing up in the future.  Here is a great tutorial for a simpler version of a similar messenger bag (without pockets).

1-IMG_4627Now off to wrap it up for my fellow bag-loving daughter.  I think she’ll be able to fit at least 6 more bags inside this one.

ps…I’m over on the wonderful Tasmanian blog The Brothers Trimm talking about Christmas traditions…go take a peek!

Sew Japanese

17 Oct

A few months ago I received some lovely Japanese sewing  books in the mail.  I’ve been admiring them for ages and I’ve finally made my first pattern from one of them.  This pattern is from the book Simple Modern Sewing by Shofu To Seikatsu Sha.  This is a great book that offers 25 different garments (including pattern pieces).

My Tuesday morning sewing group and I decided to start by making this lovely little sleeveless blouse with ruffle neck.  In the book it’s pictured in black linen but I opted for this very lightweight Max Mara cotton.

The original pattern has the ruffle going around the front and the back of the neckline but I opted to attach it only at the front.  For me a little ruffle goes a long way.

One of the main things that I noticed about Japanese patterns is how different they fit than the average “western” pattern.  They design much more loose-fitting and shapeless garments and I love how they look on the Japanese models in the books. For me personally I tend to look better in more fitted styles so I took this blouse in on the sides to give it a bit more shape.

I think a pattern like this is great because you can make it in so many different ways.  You can make it longer, shorter, with ruffle, without ruffle and change it drastically just be using a different fabric.  In the book there is also the option to make this particular blouse in three different ways: sleeveless (like the one I made) with cap sleeves or with butterfly sleeves.

So now all I need is some hot summer weather so I can wear this pretty summer blouse.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a while…

Summer Uniform

19 Jun

A few years ago (2009) I bought this beautiful Heather Baily material (called Pocketbook in Rose from the Nicey Jane collection) and I’ve been hoarding it in my material cupboard since then.  It’s such a lovely soft cotton and the pale colours so reminiscent of a breezy summer day.  The skirt pattern is from Simplicity (#2226) and is easy and relatively quick to sew up.  It’s got a little fullness from the tiny gatherings in the front and a nice wide waistband. One of my favorite things about the pattern are the pockets.  I just find skirts with pockets so much more comfortable for some reason.  Probably because I have a quick place to put all the garbage my kids hand me every few minutes (these kids actually pass garbage cans to bring me their trash!).The back has a simple zipper closure and a bit more gathering.This just might turn out to be my summer uniform of 2012.  Note to self…clean mirror.

Floral Frock

22 May

With the promise of warmer weather on it’s way I thought it was time to tackle sewing a nice summer dress.  It’s a wrap around dress that ties in the back and the fabric I used is Anna Maria Horner’s “Good Folks” series (I bought it a few years ago).  It’s such a beautifully soft thick cotton (so no lining was needed).

I don’t have an adult size dress form so I had to put it on this child size one (and I’m not ready to expose my winter white legs).  I’m am definitely not this size in real life.  The actual length of the dress is mid-knee.The pattern is from the Dutch sewing magazine KnipMode (from January 2003).  It’s a really great and easy pattern which I will be making again many times.

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