Monthly Archives: June 2019

Clematis Wristlet Pouch by Blue Calla

Clematis Wristlet

The Clematis wristlet design is a free design from Blue Calla. The finished bag is approximately 10 ins x 5 ½ ins x 2 ins.

Fabric requirements are minimal:

Exterior fabric: Fat quarter of quilt weight cotton , 12” W x 8” H Faux leather/Vinyl ,

Lining fabric: Fat quarter of quilt weight cotton, Interfacing: ½ yd Fusible interfacing

¼yd Fusible fleece, Notions and supplies: (1) 8” zipper (1) 5/8” D-ring (1) 1” Swivel clasp.

I was able to use fabrics and notions from my stash for this first ‘trial’ make. There is just one thing that I will do differently next time and that is to use a lighter weight fabric. This particular version is made using a 100% linen fabric that was donated but as it coordinated so well with the Lime Green Faux Leather I thought I would give it a try.

Clematis Wristlet – front

The wristlet has turned out well and there will definitely be more in the future as this is an ideal candidate to make as gifts for my sewing friends and relatives.

Clematis Wristlet – Reverse

The Clematis is very simple to make and is very quick to construct. It will therefore be an ideal project for beginners to bag-making in this size or perhaps graded up size-wise and to be used as a handbag.

A WearableToile

As I was planning to make a new dress using lace and satin I thought it best to first make a wearable toile for a scoop neck dress using my TNT bodice. The fabric used is a slightly heavier weight cotton and was in a bag of donated material. The print is very reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s.

Donated fabric

I drafted a scoop neckline freehand and adjusted the armscye slightly. Then it was straight into cutting and stitching.

I used a contrast cotton fat quarter from my stash to make the neckline facings and bias binding for the armholes. The skirt is box pleated and conceals side seam pockets behind the pleats.

Concealed pocket behind a pleat
The finished wearable Toile

I love this dress and the colours coordinate well with my Teal shrug but will also be good with an Orange shrug.

A Coordinating Shrug

There will definitely be more dresses in this style as it is so suited to some of the heavier weight cotton fabrics that I have in my stash.

This dress was to be a wearable toile for a Teal lace and satin ‘special occasion’ dress to be worn on the Gala night at the Sewing Retreat so onwards and upwards!

Pretty Paolina Tee

In addition to the Tropical cowl-neck top I needed a second top to wear with the Teal jersey trousers made to Simplicity 2289.

I purchased just 1 metre of a charming printed cotton elastane jersey (called Floral vines & birds flower) from ohsewcraftyltd at a cost of £8.60 for the metre.

Floral vines & birds flower

Although I refer to this tee top as ‘Paolina’, it being a hack of the Paola by Named, infact once I have hacked the neckline, sleeves and hemline it is absolutely nothing like the original turtle neck top.

I have ‘finessed’ and refined the pattern so many times that it takes just 1 hour to cut and stitch this top. I have drafted a gentle scoop neckline that is finished with a neckband. The sleeves have a cuff that is formed by folding back 2 inches and then running the overlocker around to make a seam before top stitching. The hemline is shaped, overlocked and then top stitched with a twin needle.

Paolina Tee Top

I am so pleased with the print and quality of fabric that I have ordered another metre in a different coloured background!

Same print but with a Blue background

Quick & Easy Jersey Trousers

When I originally purchased the Tropical print jersey for the cowl neck top, I knew that I would want to make some elastic waist trousers in a coordinating plain-coloured jersey.

I was fortunate to find a Teal cotton interlock at £7.00/metre. I bought 2 metres on eBay from pepe monty. The fabric arrived, was duly overlocked and laundered ready to make the trousers. But which pattern to use?

I auditioned several different patterns but in the end decided to go with what I knew – the trousers that I had previously made and ‘refined’ to a good fit, Simplicity 2289.

As I had made this pattern before the construction was again very quick. They were basted on the sewing machine using a large stitch before a double check of fit and then ‘whizzed’ through on the overlocker.

I inserted two lengths of 1/2 inch wide elastic into the waistline casing and hand stitched the hem with a loose herringbone stitch.

Simplicity 2289 in Cotton Interlock Jersey

The trousers are very comfortable and I plan to make more versions to wear in the Autumn/Winter.

Tropical Print Cowl neck Top

Despite being disappointed in the previous fabric purchased fromcheapestfabricsuk on eBay, I was ‘in love’ with this Tropical print at a cost of just £4.95/metre.

Tropical print jersey crepe

I bought 1 metre and was pleasantly surprised as this was a much better fabric to be used to make a second version of the Prima cowl neck top. Sadly the fabric is now out of stock as I would have purchased more if it had still been available.

Again the construction was straightforward and the top completed in record time. The only negative, and it is a small one, is that the fabric is not so ‘fluid’ and drapey as the toile thus the cowl does not immediately fall into the folds but has to be gently arranged by hand.

Tropical print Cowl neck Top

It is worth noting that the pattern is drafted to be used with either jersey or woven fabrics. When using the latter, the front and back bodice are cut on the bias which makes the garment rather fabric-hungry but if I can find a suitable length, I will definitely try the top in a woven fabric.

Prima Cowl-neck top – a wearable toile

For a long time I have been wanting to make a cowl neck top to wear with trousers (and maybe a skirt?) in the Spring/Summer months. I found this pattern Prima January 2012 in my stash of old, long-forgotten patterns when I was having a clear out.

Just the thing so as the pattern is printed on both sides of a single sheet, I set about copying onto plain paper. I made a couple of simple alterations; increasing the size by adding a little to each side seam, making a sway back adjustment and adding to the front hemline to account for a full bust.

Prima pattern January 2012
Line drawing and information sheet

The fabric used was a length of 2-way stretch Poly Viscose Jersey Paisley/Damask Print Dress/Craft Fabric that I originally purchased from cheapestfabricsuk on eBay sometime ago. The cost was only £5.50/metre but I was disappointed when I received the fabric as it was of a poorer quality and the print was not what I had expected. I had kept it back for the sole purpose of making jersey toiles.

Poly Viscose Jersey Paisley/Damask Print Dress/Craft Fabric

The instructions were straightforward and the top was quick to make using my overlocker. Once completed I found that it fitted well and the cowl had a pleasant drape. I had already ordered up some other jersey fabric to make another version of this top so now it was ‘all systems go!’

Prima January 2012 Cowl Neck Top

Mrs H Companion Carpet Bag – mark II

I have previously made the Companion Carpet Bag designed by Mrs H patterns. It has proved a great success and I have received many compliments on the bag. However, the first construction was made using ‘landfill’ fabric, was not ‘absolutely perfect’, made in a light-coloured fabric and is now showing some wear. Currently the Companion Carpet Bag is my favourite and I can see many more being made in the future.

As I now have a stock of 8 inch bag frames, it was time to make another version using brand new fabric purchased from Dunelm Mill.

I actually purchased two lengths of fabric, both of which are destined to become bags.

Tenby print cotton linen
Fern print cotton linen

The fabric chosen for Mark II was the Pale Mustard with an abstract design of leaves. This is still a fairly light-coloured fabric but I think it will coordinate well with my Spring/Summer wardrobe.

I am confident with the construction techniques for the bag so this time I thought it would be a good idea to try out a new handle design.

I have seen several bags with handles that are made using plastic tubing for the ‘inners’. I had about 3 yards of tubing in my stash and having viewed some youtube videos went ahead and made the handles. They are not perfect but I feel that I now have a ‘handle’ (see what I did there?) on how to achieve a good result with this type of construction.

Plastic tubing-filled handles

As demonstrated on Sewing Quarter, instead of piping on the outer pocket, I added one-half of some zipper tape. I am especially pleased with this ‘design feature’.

The only other change that I made to the pattern was to stitch a dividing line down the middle of the outer side pocket rather than attach a magnetic snap.

Divided Side Pocket with Zipper tape trim
Mrs H Companion Carpet Bag in ‘Tenby’ fabric ex Dunelm Mill

I am delighted with how the bag has turned out and will soon be making version 3 in the Light Coral Pink-coloured fabric.

KB Sewing Retreat – Secret Sister Gift Swap

It has been a positive age since I last posted on my blog. I have been exceedingly busy in the sewing room as I was preparing for a long weekend away on a Sewing Retreat. This was the first ever retreat organised and hosted by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour and was held on the Isle of Wight.

I was determined to wear only ‘memade’ garments for the retreat and this meant some last minute dressmaking.

Daisy May who is based in the USA and would be travelling to join us for the retreat had organised a secret sister gift swap. In fact ladies attending the retreat came from far and wide including Erica who also came from USA. I was in the minority having travelled only about 30 miles to the coast before catching the ferry to the island. A car ferry was a new adventure for me but it all went very well and I am now very confident about taking my car ‘abroad’.

Back to the secret sister gift swap; Daisy May gave us a link to a free pattern for a drawstring bag that incorporates an old CD in the base for stiffening and strength. What a great idea and one that I will be adopting in the future.

Having been secretly linked to Anna, I checked her vlogs to get an idea of her likes and dislikes. I made up the gift bag and filled it with an assortment of sewing gadgets and sweets – liquorice allsorts and plain Dark Chocolate.

Anna’s Gift Bag