Sewing Word -50 to Make Bookzine – Cafetiere Cosy

Fifty to Make web graphic

My Cafetiere Cosy is featured in Sewing World 50 to Make Bookzine which is out on the bookshelves now!

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It uses reverse appliqué

cafitiere Cosy

The cups are made from ribbons stitched together

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with little pretty heart buttons

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designed to fit six cup cafitiere – and your coffee warm

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I think there are some amazing projects,

one of my favourites is the Camper Van tea cosy who doesn’t love Camper Vans!

Beach Bucket Bag – Perfect for holiday fun


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Hasn’t the lovely spring weather brought dreams of summer!

The beach cafes here have been full to bursting it feels as if we have finally shaken of winter,

just in time for beach huts, divers and little boats!

Gathering the fabrics for the beach bag,

I stitched this diver using free motion machine embroidery a while ago, not really sure what I was going to do with it, I had these lovely fabrics in my stash, the stripes remind me of a swimming pool, and the little boats would ‘float’ above the pockets. I think the colours were in harmony with the diver.

 The idea of the bucket bag came because I remember sitting poolside in Italy and getting frustrated because I had to keep on hunting through everything to find my book, or my suncream etc.

Everything is handy at the beach

I thought it would be so useful to have a bucket bag – where clothes etc could be stashed away

but with pockets to hold all the things you reach for now and then to hand.   

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I spotted this lovely ricrac it made me realise it would be perfect waves!

You can see some of the shading on the diver it was terrific fun to do.

ricrac pocket edging

The ‘wavy’ ricrac was a way to finish the pockets, by stitching them like this they would ‘float’ on the edge

ricrac wave edging on beach bag

You can see how the ricrac floats along the edge, I added another row of waves.

Vintage diver free motion embroidery

The diver was trimmed in preparation to being stitched to the ‘sea’ pockets.

Vintage free motion embroidery diver

I positioned the pocket in such a way that the boats and beach huts appeared to be floating on the sea while the lady dives deep into the water.

creating pockets with a line of stitching

I like the way the waves float over one another – I used a fabric marker to set out the pocket seams

Attaching the piping cord

I also had this light blue cord, which was perfect for the drawstring top. A zigzag backstitch secured the ends.

stitching the piped edge

I zigzagged both ends of the cord so that it would be on the inside edge of the bag.

Like all drawstring bags, I created a roomy 2 inch overlap for the string to run easily.

leaving a gap for the cord to pull through

I left a little opening for the string to go through to allow for gathering.

Stitch the bottom of the beach bag

draw the rectangle together and stitch along the shorter edge.

Then stitch the circle bottom edge to the rectangle.

beach bag - hat and suncream

enjoy!

Love Sewing Magazine Ruby Dress Pattern Review

 

 

 


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 This ‘Sew Simple’ pattern came with Love Sewing Magazine – called the Ruby Dress

I thought it looked lovely – it is reminiscent of the 1950’s – a very flattering style, good for pear shapes or hourglass because the full skirt covers hips and thighs and focusses attention onto a small waistline which are the assets of a pear and hourglass shape.

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There were a couple of adaptations I wanted to make to the pattern:

 

Replace the centre Zip in the back to a concealed zip in the side seam.

11-Ruby Dress Simple Sew Pattern from Love Sewing Magazine-006I traced off the back pattern piece, using cross and dot paper.

I removed the seam allowance in the centre; because I have narrow shoulders pinched out a dart so that it narrowed the back slightly towards the top.

I drafted a mirror image to create one pattern piece that would not have to be cut on the fold. When you cut on the fold it is easy for the fabric to slip slightly out of grain – this can affect the fit and drape of the dress.

Increase bust allowance for a fuller bust

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I am a 34 G bust – so I had to adapt the pattern to allow an extra 2inches at the bust line but 34 is very narrow, so I needed to bring the pattern in at the back and shoulders.

Once again I traced off the front bodice and hit a problem – the bust point was not indicated on the pattern. So I had to find my own bust point – you do this by laying the pattern piece across your body, mark the peak of the bust as a big dot. Then cut out the side dart and move it down so it is pointing at the dot. (I had to move the dart down about 2 inches)

I made a quick toile and found that I could just increase the side seam by 1inch, and move the bottom seam by an 1inch – it would give me that extra room.

10-Ruby Dress Simple Sew Pattern from Love Sewing Magazine-005I also checked the measurement across the back – being narrow shouldered I needed to take another 1/2 inch out of the v at the back. I also skimmed an inch from the shoulder seam so it would finish at my shoulder.

Because of my large bust, I had to pinch out about a 1/2 inch dart at the neckline. I also altered the neckline so that it would sit just on my collarbone using a french curve to round it off.

Even though I am inserting a side zip, I did not need to add any further seam allowances as there would be sufficient room to insert the zip along the side seam.

I drafted new pattern pieces with these changes – these could be used to make more dresses without the need to go over the fitting again.

Lengthen the skirt length

I added approximately 3 inches to the bottom of the skirt, so that it would sit just below the knee instead of just above.

I added a cap sleeve – in keeping with the fifties style.

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My Fabric choice

I had two lovely pieces of curtain fabric to work with from a local curtain shop. The spring linen was a remnant of 3 metres for £5. The silky satin lining was a pale green 5 metres £7 which was an absolute bargain.

I wanted to line this dress and the weight of the satin would help the garment flow easily as well as protecting me from the sharpness of the zip. In essence it means you make two dresses, but it feels luxurious to wear.

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I believe the finishing of a dress makes a huge difference between the high street – it is what makes dressmaking so wonderful. Most clothing is so cheap that the design details are the way they reduce costs. I aim to sew garments that I could never afford to buy, not just for the customised fit but the small details you get with high end, great pattern matching, bra clips, lining attachments – details you will find in couture houses.

I made the lining dress first so that I was able to check the measurements again – before I worked on my outer fabric.

 

 

The challenging areas on this pattern are the neckline and the deep v at the back.

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In order to give more stability – after stitching the lining and bodice pieces together I ran some hemming web between the two layers and ironed in place. This created a beautiful crisp finish to the edge and also stabilised the v at the back.


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Its a great idea to attach the lining to the zip flap – I used my normal zip foot as it allows you to sew close to the zip edge.

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I loved the pattern of this pretty spring fabric, but the darts at the front of the dress made it look a bit odd, so I appliquéd a couple of flowers over the seam so that it looked better.

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I increased the skirt a little to add fullness and my ruffler foot made the regular pleats a doddle.

On reflection, I think I might make the next one more of a circle skirt without pleating.

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This pattern was very easy to work with – although I did not follow the making up instructions as I was confident enough to make it myself. However, if you are new to sewing it might be worth either keeping the magazine with the pattern or just the pages where they give you instructions on how to make up, then the two won’t get lost!

I use the resealable freezer bags to store my patterns, its easy to see what they look like but there is also room for my adapted patterns too. (I can never get the pattern back into the envelope).



 

Little Lingerie Bag – Appliqué

There are times when I am rushing through a project and my sewing machine is going great guns  it is all about getting the project done but hand sewing seems to be the opposite. It means that you have to take your time, enjoy the process of creation one stitch at a time. I made this project one sunny afternoon in our little caravan, the appliqué is entirely hand stitched right down to the beads and ribbon bow, but the bag itself is machine stitched.  I use it to keep all my tights handy as they seem to end up all over the place. It is unashamedly girlie but then I am a girl after all.

Tweed cushions for Autumn

Tweed made a huge impact on Autumn interiors, (it is a recurring theme) our leather sofa needed something warm, nothing is nicer than tweed and wool.
I decided to make a set of cushions working loosely with deer, so created this little friendly chap. The blue is an dissolvable pen which disappears once the embroidery was done, in a little water.
Hand embroidery is a pleasurable delight, while slower than a sewing machine, I love the connection with creating each stitch – there are times when hand made is nicer to do than machine stitching,  I love the irregularity outlining the deer in blanket stitch and using stem stitch to follow the curves of the antlers.
Then it is a case of trimming the tweed to a square and edge strips to frame it.

I love the way the deer’s body is a diagonal while the strips are fairly straight, it creates a lovely contrast.

The back was made easily; lay a zip under the folded bottom edge, stitch in place. Fold the top piece with a deep fold, (enough to cover the zip). It is simply a case of following the bottom stitched edge for about 2 inches, then going vertically up until you reach the other zip edge. Stitch along until you are 2 inches away from the side, stitch vertically down over the zip again and then stitch along to the edge. It creates a lovely concealed zip effect on the back keeping the cushion nice and soft with no hard zipper.
I always push stuffing into the corners of the cushion, it creates a nice neat edge then add the cushion.
I made another three cushions with the tweed, creating a trio. The left hand deer is a machine embroidery pattern, the patchwork squares were angled again to give a more interesting effect.  The blanket is a beautiful blue welsh wool we bought at the Country Living Christmas Fair.
Now the sofa is a cosy warm place to watch the crackle of the log fire hearing the wind and rain pelting against the window, a perfect winter’s evening.