Appliqued Scatter Cushion

Oh look. Here I am showing off a basic cushion. Blogging has hit new and exciting heights, people.

diy heart applique scatter cushion

Looks like a cushion, smells like a cushion, acts like a cushion but it is so much more. This is an urgent reminder that I can actually sew. This mere cushion is a symbol of the end of my hibernation period. I’m back, bitches*.

*AND WITH EVEN MORE ANNOYING GIFS. YOU’RE WELCOME.

My triumphant return began with a desperate need for curtains in the new house. Let me set the scene: New house. No curtain poles. Crippling fear of drilling holes in new walls. Lack of skills to install curtain poles, even if I wanted to. ‘Temporary’ solution of tension curtain rod in the bedroom that could only hold the weight of 2 sheer voiles before crashing to the ground.  Daylight streaming through the window at 4.30am. Waking up at 4.30am every single morning. Fixing that problem by buying 2 SUPER ATTRACTIVE sleep masks. ‘Temporary’ solution remaining for 8 weeks. Finally caving and admitting that we need actual curtains. Charging the drill and assembling all the parts necessary for curtain pole installation. Chickening out and calling my dad for help. Make my dad do the job while I critique his work. Finally have functioning, light-blocking curtains. Halle-freaking-lujah.

After hemming the curtains to fit the window I had some left-over fabric and this was the outcome. A very simple cushion, zip and all, will an appliqued heart motif because I’m so original.

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I basted the heart to the cushion first then used a really tight zig-zag stitch to enclose all the edges to make sure it wouldn’t fray. I think this is probably the first time I’ve done any proper applique-ing and I actually found it pretty therapeutic.

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I padded it with a cheap Ikea pillow form and it’s now happily residing on our cloud-like bed. Thank goodness for simple and satisfying projects!

Buchanan Dressing Gown

Alright lads? Long time, no see! I’m coming out of a hiatus to show off one of the Christmas presents I made last year – A Buchanan Dressing Gown from Gather.

gather buchanan dressing gown

I made this for my wee mammy as her Christmas present which meant that it took me a bajillion hours to make. When it comes to sewing for myself I usually fly by the seat of my pants (a typical Gold trait) but this is the first think I’ve ever made for another human (dog gifts have less pressure associated with them) so I wanted to make a really good job of it. Every seam is finished and all the cuffs are top stitched. I made proper belt and hanging loops, and even added my own label cause I’m a God damn professional.

buchanan dressing gown gather kit

buchanan dressing gown gather kit

I originally bought the actual Buchanan kit by Gather, compete with fabric and the printed pattern. I sewed it all up only to discover that the fabric made it look like something a 70’s dinner lady would call a uniform. I was sent back, kicking and screaming, to the fabric drawing board only to discover the perfect replacement in the form of a beaut paisley-esque print which I bought at a little market in Turkey. It had a much nicer drape to it than the original fabric and I could still use the navy contrast fabric from the kit.

buchanan dressing gown gather kit

You can get a better idea of the fabric and print in the picture above. Even with all my attention devoted to this project (I banned myself from Netflix so I could concentrate properly whilst sewing) I still managed to cock up the label and hanging loop placement. They should both be a good inch to the right face palm I suppose it’s those kind of things that make it one-of-a-kind.

It was quite lovely handing this over as a gift and seeing my mum’s face when she finally realised that I had made it just for her ><

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share and then again I get it because I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed and uninspired lately. Call it a yearly slump coupled with the STRESS of planning a wedding, work being hella busy and building/moving into a new house in less than 8 weeks. My brain is fried and any free time I have is filled with tasks related to the aforementioned. I’ve not really felt like creating anything because I know that I’m just about to pack up my craft room and hit the road. My one creative outlet continues to be my planner and what a saviour of sanity it has been! Hopefully things will settle down at work over the next couple of weeks and we’ll get a confirmed date of entry for the house. I’m buying a couch on Friday so here’s to small (but very expensive) milestones 🙂

Christmas Bedroom (part 2)

Earlier this week I was all excited about my new Christmas bedding and the joy hasn’t subsided one bit! I was contacted by the lovely people at Aspace* who challenged me to make a Christmas decoration for my bedroom. Cue me running about Hobbycraft the mothership like a mad-man on the hunt for supplies 🙂 Once the hysteria dissipated, I composed myself enough to gather everything I needed to make a couple of festive cushions to compliment my Christmas bedding 🙂

merry bright diy chritmas cushions

I’m certainly feeling merry and bright, even in these dark mornings. The one problem about loving your bed so much is that it’s a MAJOR struggle to leave it for 10 hours every day. These cushions were pretty simple to make. Not to mention that the supplies are easy to find and they certainly won’t break the bank! I used about 1m of calico fabric, an A4 sheet of red adhesive felt and 1m of pom-pom trim to make both cushions.

First I printed off a template of my words, cut out the letters and stuck them (wrong side facing down) onto the back of the adhesive felt. Then I cut round each letter carefully and was left with my two words. I then peeled off the backing of the felt and stuck each letter down onto a 50cm x 27cm rectangle of calico fabric. I sewed around each letter using my free-motion quilting foot on my machine. This is the part of the process which took the most time. It was a bit fiddly but you could totally skip this step by using fabric glue on the back of each letter to secure them instead. I quite like the stitched look, though!

diy merry and bright cushions

The next step was to cut four 50cm x 25cm rectangles of calico. Hem one long side of each piece – I just used a zig-zag stitch for a decorative effect. With that done, I then laid 2 pieces of the calico on top of the piece with the letters, making sure the hemmed edges are in the middle, and sewed around the outside edges with a straight stitch.

festive bedroom cushions with pom pom trim

Once the cushion was turned right-side out, I attached the pom-pom trim to the top and bottom edges of the cushion with a simple straight stitch. I really love the effect this gives the cushion – it’s even more festive now! To make them all plump and lovely, I ripped apart an inexpensive Ikea pillow form and stuffed each cushion with filling. The great thing about making your own cushions is that you don’t have to stick to a set size or buy an expensive form which I love.

I’m really chuffed with the final product and now my bedroom is certainly ready for Christmas. Thanks to ASpace* for setting this task! Definitely check out their range of home-wears, and for you guys with kiddies, they have an amazing selection of Children’s furniture.

*Collaborative post. All views and opinions are my own.

 

Wonder Tape

I’ve recently discovered the wonders of Prym Wonder Tape and I need to share it will all of you!

prym wonder tape stay tape

This probably isn’t new to the advanced sewists amongst us, but to me it was an absolute revelation! I LOVE sewing with knits, that’s no secret. However with certain fabrics I’ve had a bit of trouble stopping them from warping and stretching out of shape. Case in point: The most cringe-worthy example of this is shown below:

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Silly, silly Amy! I will say that this disaster occurred whilst using a walking foot so I did at least try to take some precautions before I battered in. Anyway I’ve held onto this piece for quite some time now in the hopes that I can salvage it. I’m not optimistic but now with the help of my new BFF I should avoid failures like this in the future! I really love it because it’s so easy to use – just place the tape around the folded edge of the neckline, take off the backing and fold under again. Not only does this stabilise the hem, but it also negates the need for pins as everything is glued in place. Once you’re finished, bung it in the washing machine and the tape will dissolve leaving you with a beautiful finish. I LOVE this stuff.

prym wonder tape stay tape

prym wonder tape stay tape

So you have any sewing tools that you just can’t live without? Let me know as I’d love to try them out!

Christmas Quilt

Last year’s Christmas quilt is finally finished! If you’re not quite ready to immerse yourself in Christmas cheer quite yet then look away now.

simple christmas quilt

FINALLY. This is probably the most simple quilt that I’ve ever made but due to it’s seasonality, there was no chance of me working on it in months that never dipped below 4 degrees. Why was it so easy? well for a start the only shapes involved are 4.5inch squares all sewed together in straight rows. The most difficult part of this project was figuring out the square placement which was a bit of a headache considering the bat-shit-craziness of the fabrics – all purchased from various dubious sellers on eBay.

simple christmas quilt

I use the term quilt very loosely. I used my cheats method of free-motion quilting on this project which took out about 70% of the work. You can read more about that here.

simple christmas quilt cheat free motion quilting

Finally, I bound all the edges with simple fold-over bias tape which was also saved a lot of time and effort. I even tried doing mitred corners and semi-successfully sewed one! It’s pretty wonky but it really doesn’t bother me at all.

simple christmas quilt

So that’s the first official Christmas-themed piece of decoration out in my house. In less than a week I’ll have my tree up and I can’t tell you how much joy that thought brings me. Tis the season to go bat-shit for Christmas!

Colette Wren Dress

I’ve been sewing! After wearing myself out over the summer I didn’t make a single thing for 8 whole weeks. It was actually quite refreshing so when I was ready to go back to it, I jumped in with a great deal of enthusiasm. My return was actually prompted by 2 patterns; the release of Cashmerette’s Appleton wrap dress and the Colette Wren dress. My past successes with Colette patterns swayed me to start with that, so that’s what I have to show you today!

colette wren dress

My day job’s been pretty intense recently (I’m killing it like a damn boss) so it was about time I mixed up my workwear wardrobe. I think its actually pretty versatile as I wore it on the day that I went straight from work to drinks in town with Roisin, Elaine, Nuala and Elise. We went to Gin71 in Glasgow which I can do nothing but recommend for gin lovers young and old. It was lovely to have a good natter with some fellow sewing ladies and to meet Roisin who’s blog I’ve been following for a while. Seriously, I can’t get over this little section of the internet – everyone is so bloody nice!

I bought this grey ponte fabric from Gold Thimble in Glasgow and the quality really is lovely. It gives a fair bit of structure to the overall dress which was the look I was going for with this version, although I would really like to try the pattern with a more drapey knit too. Speaking of the pattern, lets point out a few things my amateur brain noted when putting it together.

  • I like how easy it is to cut and tape Colette PDF patterns. There’s clear grid lines to trim which makes life A LOT easier.
  • The instructions are very clear without being too hand-holdy which I really like at this stage because I’m pretty comfortable with sewing knits.
  • The skirt was WAY LONG. Like crazy long. I made version 2 with the gored skirt and (stupidly on my part) didn’t even notice the length of the skirt pieces. I swear it came down t my shins! I hacked off 7 inches and then hemmed to get a length I was comfortable with but I wish I had thought to shorten the pattern piece before I cut! The skirt would definitely look better with the intended shaping rather than me having to cut a massive chunk off the bottom. Le sigh.
  • The bodice is a bit of a funny one. I have only ever made 1 other wrap bodice but with this one there is a fair bit of excess fabric at the sides when it’s on. I thought I had maybe secured the wrap pieces in the wrong place but not according to the line drawings. I actually had to unpick this part because the first time I sewed the bodice to the skirt, I ended up with a very wonky waistline. It’s still not perfect by any means but I really don’t know how to fix it! The wrap is also quite gape-y (hence the black tank underneath) but it doesn’t really bother me too much as I hear this is a standard complaint of busty ladies.
  • I like how the instructions have you finish off the neckline seams before the bodice is constructed. I think I might try to do that with more garments as I definitely took a bit of time on this stage whereas usually I end up rushing it at the end to get the thing finished.

So lets have a look at some closer bits… Firstly, I really like the gathers at the shoulder seams but I might extend the basting stitches a bit further than suggested to spread them out a touch more, especially on a bulkier fabric like this.

colette wren dress shoulder gathers

I know I mentioned the bodice is a bit gape-y but I really like how wide the neck bands are.

colette wren dress wrap bodice

Also with my new-found enthusiasm I actually took the time to overlock all my seams.

colette wren dress finished seams

Even with that extra step, this took no more than 4 hours over 2 nights to put together which I’m really pleased with! Even though I’ve noted a couple of problems I had with the pattern I would still make it again (and I already have). It won’t take the place of my beloved Moneta, but it’s definitely a nice alternative when I fancy a bit of a change.

Sewing Overload

Is there such a thing as a sewing overload? I the past 3 months I’ve managed to churn out item after item of what have turned out to be wardrobe staples and the feeling has been exhilarating. Urged on by my desire to make my own holiday wardrobe, I found that my production rate increased exponentially and it seemed like there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t either sewing up a new frock, choosing fabric or planning out my next make. Now that all my holidays are over and done with, I’ve found that all my motivation has dissipated completely. This is definitely not a bad thing. After counting everything up, I realised that I have completed a total of 16 garments in less than 3 months! Only a portion of these things have been documented and now I think the majority will be left so because they’re now out of season. There’s some things in there that I’m really proud of but have yet to take actual outfit pictures, so for the sake of posterity I’m posting what I do have here so that I can give myself a little pat on the back for a job well done. a maxi dress which I’ve basically lived in all summer long.

self drafted maxi dress

I took a RTW maxi and copied the pattern straight onto the fabric (again another waffle jersey from ebay). It has a racer back, a slit up the side and is basically the most comfortable thing to be wearing on a hot day. Next up is my engagement day dress!

jersey bettine dress

I can’t actually express how happy I am that I happened to be wearing this dress on the day I got engaged. It has love hearts on it for Christ sake! This is another jersey Bettine dress like my diagonal stripe version. I liked the dress so much that I whipped this one up using a waffle knit in a quick couple of hours. I really love how the neckband turned out here as it’s actually even all the way round! I made the entire thing on my overlocker (including attaching the neckband) and I’m so pleased that this was the dress I reached for that morning.

I took my first foray into t-shirt making with both the Scout and Hemlock tee patterns from Grainline. I used leftover fabrics for the Hemlock but unfortunately I don’t have a single picture of my wearing it. I have pretty much lived in my jersey Scout Tee every since I made it 3 weeks ago but the only picture I could find is this piddly little crop from the weekend just past. The fabric is a black and white chevron cotton jersey which I’ve been hoarding for a while. So glad I finally used it!

jersey scout tee

I’m actually wearing this frock as I type but the only picture I have is of it hanging on the back of the bathroom door. This is a hacked Moneta with a raised neckline, neckband and straight skirt. I used 2 fabrics to colourblock, both of which were left-over scrap pieces from other makes (the green moneta of dreams and my Morris blazer). Such a winner and the perfect work dress. moneta hack

That feels much better. Now I can prance into autumn with without a backlog of things I want to share. I don’t know when my sewing motivation will return, but it better be soon… There’s a particular winter coat I want to make!