Discovering Burda Mag

As a relative newbie to sewing (under a year), I had heard of, but never seen a copy of Burda magazine until I intentionally went into town (doesn’t happen often) and into WH Smith (again doesn’t happen often) with the belief that it would be the only place I could probably find it! And I was right!

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And a big oooooooo….. when I opened it to discover 15 patterns all with the paper pattern and instructions! I started scanning the pages and reflecting on my fabric stash….. until I opened up the pattern sheet and got a little daunted! I picked  what I consider to be simple piece….at this stage I have not started stitching… with only two pieces to cut out from the pattern sheet I wouldn’t scare myself off!

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A few things to bear in mind…..

You must be focussed to follow the lines, I even had the idea of highlighting the lines for a little extra focus! And I did it first thing in the morning to avoid distractions.

Use weights to hold tracing paper onto the pattern paper….pots of playdough very useful!

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Don’t forget to add seams!!!! Oooops to me for getting which way was up and not adding enough for the hem, so, erm, may end up with a slightly shorter skirt than intended!

I then wrote all instructions on each cut out including whether seam allowance was included, which way was up and the grainline (just like you would get on a paper pattern!) the size, incase like me you scoff too much at certain times of year (….holidays are coming, holidays are coming!) and then when I sandwich bagged it up I wrote the mag issue on the front of the bag and pattern name/ number in permanent marker……blimey I feel very organised!!!!

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Wish me luck on the make!!!

 

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One sunny day…..

Again with the jersey! I love it! I bought this material around March I think and have been saving it as Iuuuuurved it and wanted to be able to make something I really liked, so I was really waiting for my skills to get better! Though with all this sunny weather around the coral and beige stripe was screaming to me to be worn! Now I love stripes but I have been very wary of wearing horizontals ever since something was once said by, I think it was Trinny and Suzanne, horizontal stripes make a person look wider! Yet there is so much nautical themed clothing around all encompassing horizontal stripes. What’s your thoughts on horizontal stripes? So I went for it and thought how I could break the horizontal stripes up a bit and make it unique.

The end result, fake leather straps and a dipped hem!

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And this was all put together in the morning before I went to meet some friends at 1.30, along with a lot of other jobs I won’t bore you with! I was very impressed with myself! I did cut the hem shorter than I would have liked at the front, so I didn’t hem the dress which saved me time! And as you can see in the pic the gathering is uneven when a belt is thrown straight on, so I do plan on putting elastic around the waist to even out the gather, this wasn’t me skipping a job to get it finished, I would have put it on if I’d had some in the house. But it was great to finish the dress and have the best excuse to wear it! xx

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P.S do you like the hair? Found a tutorial on pinterest and was really quick to do, great for the hot weather and much more fun than sticking it in a pony, like what happens nearly everyday!

Well done you handy Mums!!!

When on the sewing meet up another blogger asked me, do I make clothes for my son? My response was a dead end no! I didn’t want my son to be one of those kids who the other kids take the mick out of….for whatever reason and I do believe this is one area when they can be given ammunition! Sorry to all you very creative Mums out there….but as you will see I ate my words on a silver platter!!!!
I like making play and crafty things for my son. There’s been a tepee, a toybox, 3D letters of his name and tote bags (plus more no doubt) and I have repeatedly reflected on my response to the question I was asked and thought…..why the heck not make him clothes, he’s 3, he doesn’t care what I dress him, though he does get a little more excited when Spiderman t-shirts and jumpers come out! And the other kids at nursery, come on they are 3 not like the hugely judgemental teenage boys I teach! I got scoffed at for mentioning my shoes were from Tesco…nothing wrong with that! But apparently the only place to buy your footwear is JD sport……hmmmmmm???? can’t imagine turning up to school in my running trainers! (Big roll of the eyes to afore mentioned teenager!).

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So, here’s what happened. While partaking in one of my ‘should be doing something but procrastinating’ by mooching about on pinterest! Love it, can do it for hours! I found MADE, again. I’ve used this site for tutorials before, and looking through the kids clothing tutorials found some fab trouser ideas and noticed a free pattern which it turns out is exactly the right size for Fin! Woohoo! Adapted the pattern to be flat fronted, as I think this style looks less bulky and more shop bought et voila, I’m never buying pj bums again!
My next mission is to get down to the fabric shop and get material for summer trousers and racer shorts!!

So to all you Mums who make their kids clothes…. I praise you! I think it’s a great idea and can’t wait to do more! And even just to see the look on Fin’s face when he has something made FOR HIM!! …….especially with dinosaurs on!!!

Bow Cuff.

IMG_1977I have seen cuffs like this around, in real leather, and had the thought ‘I can make that!’…. not in real leather. It was a while ago I saw these and cannot remember where I have seen them, whether it was on a blog or in a fashion mag. My process of creation (oooo check me out) was checking out how to put on poppers by googling and then…… winging it! It literally took minutes to make (after I dug out my hammer and hot glue gun!).

Here’s a quick tutorial.

1) Cut 2 rectangles of faux leather: large 8″ by 2″ and small 2″ by 3/4″ these are trimmed as go along to fit your wrist and get the look you want (I used a rotary cutter to get easy straight lines.

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2)Pinch in the centre of the big strip making sure the edges turn under (towards your wrist – just makes it look neater) and stitch through a few times to hold it in place.

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3)Get your glue gun ready- make sure the glue is runny so it won’t dry so fast.

Wrap the small rectangle around the pinched in section so it is edge to edge, trim depending on how tight your pinched section is. Now it’s quite fiddly but glue the material and stick the wrong side to the wrong side of the material (glue doesn’t stick to well to the slippy side of faux leather I have found.

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4) Wrap the cuff around your wrist, with a little give so it doesn’t cut off circulation and leave an overlap of an inch. Measure out where your poppers are going to go and mark them on. 1/2″ From the end and 5/8″ in.

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5) Get those poppers on! And mind that thumb with your hammer!!!

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And you have one gorg designer looking cuff! I have plans to make this into a belt too!

Enjoy

Using up scraps! ….Or a headband tutorial!!!

Sitting around on Sunday afternoon in front of NCIS repeats, intermittent with the odd bit of tidying up and having a sew!

I’ve had a really relaxing day …. there’s been nothing that really needed doing today, or I chose to ignore the more hardcore stuff which needs doing, like dusting the blinds…… so it was yoga, baking lemon drizzle cake (which is nearly half way down now – oops!) and then faffing about. Part of the faffing about involved cutting an a-line skirt for my Mum and then playing with the scraps and this piece of material is proving to be quite lucrative!

The top flower patterned material.

The top flower patterned material.

This material costs all of around 50p, as it’s so light, bought from Abakhan, Liverpool. So far I have made the circle skirt from the Great British Sewing Bee book – that’s another story altogether – and on seeing the skirt my Mum requested I made her one as she loved the material, there wasn’t enough for another circle skirt, so she gave me one of her patterns for a skirt, which I would class ‘vintage’ (he he cheeky – sorry Mum).

With all these cut offs laying about I started messing about and making a few flowers and then had the bright idea to make a headband, something I’ve been wanting to do for ages but had never just sat down to faff….I love the word ‘faff’.

Figured I’d take a few photos and make it a scraps tutorial……

This is made with bits of left overs so there are no exact measurements, which makes it accessible to everyone as everyones heads are different sizes. I used different coloured cottons so they could be seen, I would suggest using matching thread.

1, Make the flower. The longer and wider the material the bigger the flower will be, mine was about 12.5″ long and 2″ wide. Fold the material lengthways and turn under the end.

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Stitch about every inch along.

Stitch about every inch along.

Fold every inch ish and stitch through the folded material. Do this to the end of the material and stitch along the edges to join the flower into a circle.

Take a square of material to make the curl in the centre. Fold the square into a triangle and roll tightly from the corner where the two edges meet towards the folded edge. Then stitch this togetheracross the back of the swirl to hold it together. stitch it to the flower, again through the back so the stitches can’t be seen.

Roll the square.

Roll the square.

Make a swirl by spiralling the material.

Make a swirl by spiralling the material.

 

2, Make the Headband. Cut 2 pieces (or keep as one and fold in half). The material can be as wide or narrow as you like, if you want a wide headband remember if it is too wide it may stick up off the top of your head, and remember some of your scrap will need to be a seam. The material does not need to reach completely around your head as you will be putting elastic in. Put interfacing on one side of the material, just so the headband will hold it’s shape when it’s on your head.

With such thin material a bit of interfacing helps!

With such thin material a bit of interfacing helps!

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Put the right sides together, pin and stitch along the long sides to make a tube (don’t stitch the ends).

Turn the tube the right side out.

Turn the tube the right side out.

Turn the headband the right way out and press.

Turn the ends in.

3, Insert the elastic. Unfortunately I do not have a magic equation to figure out what length of elastic to use. Put the headband around your head and put your elastic inbetween the gap, overlap it a bit on the turned over edges and have a mess with stretching the elastic, when you have an idea, pin it in place and try pulling the headband over your head (without sticking pins in yourself – I kept getting my hair tangled in the pin heads – ouch!). It looks like my elastic was made to measure – a flook I assure you!

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Put the elastic into the turned in ends with enough of an overlap to make sure the stitches hold. Zig zag stitch so it holds in place.

4, Put the flower on. Put your headband on, pose in the mirror and pin the flower on wherever you like and then stitch between the flower and headband so the stitches are hidden.

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Stitch between the flower and headband so the stitches can't be seen.

Stitch between the flower and headband so the stitches can’t be seen.

5, If you want to…… I wasn’t bothered about covering the elastic as I would only wear headbands with my hair down, but if you want to- cut a piece of material to cover the folded width and the length to cover the elastic, when it is stretched, and along the headband to cover the stitches. This will then need to be hand stitched by turning all seams inwards and will scrunch slightly when the headband is relaxed.

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I hop

Pretty flower on my head!

Pretty flower on my head!

e this is useful …… I would love some feedback on how I do tutorials, I fear they may be abit long winded…..

But I enjoyed making this headband and am going to go faff about with some more flowers and headbands!!!!

Happy Sewing x

Easy Peasy Drapey Cardi….

This is the easiest thing I have made so far! I based it on a Gap cardigan Ive had for a few years. As it was looking a little tired and I love it so I opened it out and actually studies it, discovering it was only a rectangular piece of material and 2 sleeves and voila! I have made 3 so far and lived in one for work and home since its creation. So comfy and cosy!

So here is the easy peasy tutorial…..

You will need 2m of jersey knit, obviously the softer the more drapey and cotton to match

1, Measure the width of your cardi, this will be the edge of your drape at the front and across your shoulders. This is were you get to play around with the size and shape of your cardi, how drapey you want the longer your measurement and the further it will fall to the floor and the longer in length the further down your back it will go. (make sure the material will stretch across your back).

My other cardigan used as a template

My other cardigan used as a template

2, cut 2 pieces for sleeves, use any cardigan or tshirt sleeves to get your fit and make them a little longer than you think you will need (they can be adjusted afterwards). I put the sleeve over the top of my arm and then pin it the sizeI want it around my wrist and then cut a diagonal line from one to the other, leaving seam allowance. Make sure the material will stretch around your arm.

two sleeves pinned

two sleeves pinned

3, Sew the edge of your sleeves. back stitch at the beginning and end. Make sure the material is inside out.

4, Now measure the back of one of your cardigans between your sleeves and measure this against your back. Does it feel right for where your sleeves will sit? Lay your cardigan out and measure 6 inches down from the top of your cardigan, with the material folded in half (the longer this measurement the more material there will be around your neck and slouched on your shoulders) If you are broader in the shoulders (I generally wear a size 10/12 UK top) then you will need to increase this measurement. Lay the sleeves where they will be sewn and make slits going straight through both sides so your sleeves will be sitting evenly in the cardigan (remember your material is folded).

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5, Turn your sleeve the right way round and slide it through the armhole so you have right sides facing and the raw edge you will be stitching, make sure the seam of the sleeve is at the bottom of the armhole. Pin it evenly and then sew on the machine (or by hand) using the longest straight stitch. Stretch the material slightly as it goes through the machine so there is a little give in the armhole.

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6, Turn it the right way round, check the length of your sleeves, if they are too long chop them down abit and then re stitch over the wrist edge of the seam to stop them unthreading………… and you have a lovely waterfall cardigan! The joy of knit material is it does not need hemming and falls beautifully without one.

the first and fave

the first and fave

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Already have plans to adapt them by putting a panel of flowery floaty material in there!!!! Love some girly floral!!!!

Let it snow……

I'm in there somewhere!!

I’m in there somewhere!!

I know the weather should be warming up and I really can’t wait for it (to start sewing my summer dresses for summer) but I saw a fur (all fake obviously)snood tutorial on a blog and had to make one. It took less than an hour, probably even about half an hour, the room looked like a small animal had been sheered (thank goodness for Henry hoover) but it was so worth it, I then went and made my Mum one, cos I love her so much!

http://cottonandcurls.blogspot.co.uk/p/favorite-posts.html here’s the link for the fur snood, this lady is amazing with her tutorials! I mad mine a bit shorter so it was snugger round my neck!

I then decided with my left over fur I was having myself a HAT!!!!

So, here goes my first tutorial!

Notes: This hat is a bit big around my head (Im a great believer thta I should sew bigger as I can always make things smaller, and once i’ts cut, it’s cut!).

All measurements have 1.5cm seam allowance.

The fur may clog up your machine abit so keep blowing to clear any dust.

I had half a meter of fur from Abakhan North Wales and this created the hat and two snoods.

Rim of the Hat

1, cut  a piece of fur 69cm (27 inch) by 15 cm (6″). Try to push the fur underneath while you are cutting or it chops the fur off too.

2, cut your lining 69cm by 13cm (5″). I used a piece of jersey left over, the shorter width will turn the edge of the fur underneath a little around your face.

3, Pin the right side of the jersey and fur together and pin. Sew on your machine using a thick needle (100/16 I used).

Sew the short edges together to make a tube (right sides together)

4, Turn the material so it is the right way around and sew the top edge on your machine, so the raw edges are sticking out.

I used my cutting board as a line to cut along.

I used my cutting board as a line to cut along.

The Top of the Hat

5, Cut out a template of a circle 20cm in diameter (8″)

6, Cut out a circle of fur and jersye this size.

7, with wrong sides together machine stitch around the edge of the circle.

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Make the Hat

8, Pin the edges of the top of the hat to the rim so the raw edges will all face inside the hat when it has been sewn.

9, Try on the hat (without sticking pins in your head if you can) and check you like the fit. Make any alterations, pull the rim further onto the circle if hats too big or hanging too far over your eyes for example (everybodies head is different).

10, stitch the rim tothe top of the hat.

11, And finally hoover the floor, while strutting your stuff in your new fur hat……..

The final hat inside out.

The final hat inside out.

Woohoo! One Super Furry Hat!

Woohoo! One Super Furry Hat!

Love it!!!!!

As this is my first tutorial (and i am pretty new to sewing) and I’m very new to blogging I would greatly appreciate as much feedback as possible!

Thanks x