Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Recycled Sweatshirt

I recently recycled ('upcycled') a sweatshirt that no longer fitted me. I bought it many years ago, and couldn't bear to dispose of it because I love the image on the front - a design of 3 cats by Laurel Burch.

I removed the ribbing at the neck, cuffs and hem, and opened the sides up to the armhole.

I found an animal print t-shirt in grey at a local charity shop. I used two large rectangles cut from this to make inserts at the sides, and the remaining fabric to make new cuffs and a cowl collar.

The resulting garment was not long enough, so I searched around for some garment to make bands around the bottom. Black sweatshirts proved to be too dark for the faded fabric of the original, but grey ones were too light in colour. Eventually I came across some faded black jeans with a broken zip that seemed just right.

I cut strips from the length of the legs and added them to the bottom. Having removed the pockets of the jeans, I decided to add them to the front of the sweatshirt as a finishing touch.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Appliance covers

I decided my kitchen appliances needed covers, so I measured them and made patterns using the 'shapes' feature in Garment Designer. I used the seam length details to make sure the pieces would fit together.

I found some fabric in Dunelm Mill which was wadding and a plain broadcloth bonded together, to use as the lining, and some beige spotted fabric to use, together with some beige and cream fat quarters, as the outer fabric. I layered the outer and lining pieces and sewed them together, then finished the seam with my overlocker. Finally, I finished the bottom edge with some beige bias binding.

Above, the bread maker and the food processor. Below, the rice cooker and the slow cooker. (You can just about see a steamer in the cupboard as well, but that is in a very old purchased toaster cover.)

The blue pyramid is an iPad stand to use when I'm following a recipe on Pepperplate, which I made a while back - I plan to make one in beige to match the kitchen decor better at some time.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Tight sleeved wedding dress

When this dress arrived, the bride was alarmed to find she couldn't easily fit her arms into the sleeves, and when they were forced on, she couldn't raise them. I have added gussets to provide extra width, and to allow more movement. Luckily, the skirt needed to be shortened so I could use the fabric. I still have to sew on some lace motifs to blend the added fabric in.

Once her arms were comfortably in the dress, we discovered the back was too high and wide at the neckline. I made a tuck at the bottom of the illusion panel,

and moved the (shortened) covered boning and the button loops over at the top. Now I have to sew on the buttons.



Monday, November 09, 2015

Another machine cover underway

I have made a start on another machine cover, this time for my overlocker. I have worked out what size to make it, and made the front panel using a crazy patchwork design.



Sunday, November 08, 2015

Amsterdam images

We went to Amsterdam in September, and I took these photographs of a mercantile nature.






Saturday, October 31, 2015

What I keep by my sewing machine.

I thought it might be interesting to describe what tools I keep by my sewing machine to have to ready to use.

I have a small plastic box for these tools, it keeps them together, and makes it easy to move them around between different working areas.

Here are the items in the box, laid out so they can be seen.

Top row from the left: gauge for seam allowances etc., emery strawberry for cleaning needles and pins, thimbles and a rubber fingerette for more grip, needle threaders (in a box to make them easier to find), tailors chalk, fray stopping liquid, tape measure, thread conditioner, sewing machine screwdriver for changing machine needles.

Bottom row from left: sewing machine cleaning brush, point turner that doubles to put under the presser foot back when I'm sewing over a thick place, two wooden skewers for controlling fabric near the sewing machine needle ( I sewed through my finger once, and don't want to again!), fabric marker pen, squeeze scissors for trimming threads, rolling chalk pencil, tweezers for picking out thread ends, another rolling chalk pencil, forceps to pull needles through fabric when they are stiff, a button hook for wedding dress buttons, a craft knife for seam ripping, snag puller, seam gauge, stitch ripper (I prefer this brand for the sharpness, smooth tip, and easy to hold handle), trimming scissors, embroidery scissors on an extending lanyard for trimming threads and clipping in small areas - I can attach this to myself if I need to, seam presser, chalk pencil.

I also (try to) keep my wrist pincushion in the box when I'm not wearing it. I recently made this new pincushion - it has a disc of cardboard in the base to both give it shape and prevent pins from jabbing my wrist when I stab them into the cushion. The pins at the top are glass headed silk pins. They are sharp and go into fabric easily, and are a little longer than regular pins. They do bend more easily, but I think the ease of pinning makes up for this. I also keep some longer glass headed pins at the base of the pincushion, for those thick or difficult to pin situations, such as through multiple layers of fabric or around bones in bodices.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Acer in Autumn

It looks fantastic, but for just a short time each Autumn.