Monthly Archives: December 2019

Sian’s Sewing Accessories

I have met Sian Singleton of Kittenish Behaviour on several occasions and when I attended the last two workshops she admired the sewing accessories that I had made in a pretty daisy printed cotton fabric. The set consisted of a Sewing Organiser case from an ‘Annie Unrein’ pattern, clamshell pouch, large & small scissors cases, machine needle wallet, machine needle organiser, thread bin and Dachshund pin dog.

Sian’s Collection

The Sewing Organiser case is a very complicated and time-consuming project which unfortunately I did not have sufficient time to complete. Sian’s birthday next year is something to aim for! Instead for Christmas I would make the some of the other items and hope that she would enjoy them instead.

I deliberately chose a cotton print in a colour that Sian enjoys and set to to make the different items.

Scissors cases

I started with the scissors cases. The original larger size was featured in a ‘Threads’ magazine many years ago and I have since adapted and refined the pattern to make it my own. I drafted the smaller case to fit the little scissors that I buy from New Threads Quilt Shop, Weyhill Fairground, Andover. The button loops on the cases are hair bungees and the buttons are made up of a large button in one colour plus a smaller button in a contrast. A nice feature I think.

Thread bin and handbag charm
Clamshell Pouch

The storage bin and Clamshell pouch are designs picked up at Sprat & Winkle Quilters sewing retreat days. The wadding in the clamshell pouch is Bosal ® which gives a good firm finish to help the pouch stand upright. I finished of the pouch with a co-ordinating tassel. Everything these days seems to be finished with a tassel!

Pin Dog

The Dachshund pin dog was featured in a sewing magazine – again a long time ago and is stuffed with polyester toy filling. I buy my toy filling from eBay in large quantities. The most recent consignment arrived in a Double Duvet sized box!

I designed and developed the sewing machine needle wallet to counteract the frustration as my packs of needles were forever ‘migrating’ around my sewing room. I could never find the size and type that I wanted quickly. The pockets are made using the same clear vinyl that I also use in my window project bags. An alternative can be low volume printed shower curtaining which I have used in the past. I have refined the pattern sufficiently to be able to release on the internet and look forward to seeing lots more around and about amongst my sewing friends.

completed 5th December 2019

Abstract Print Paola Top

Paola by Named

I made quite a few Christmas gifts this year. I used some beautiful abstract print Ponte Roma from Stitchy Bee bought some time ago and used it to make a Paola top for my sister Catherine. I have a note of Catherine’s size and having made the pattern for her a few times in the past was quietly confident that the top would fit. An hour later – one Paola top finished and ready for wrapping!

completed 7th December

XL Necessary Clutch Wallet for Jenny

Monochrome XL NCW closed

Having made the XL size of Necessary Clutch Wallet three times now, I felt confident in making another to gift to a good friend. Jenny usually wears monochrome fashions and I thought that my signature bold and colourful print would not be appropriate. I found some Grey and White Linen in my ‘landfill’ stash and there was just sufficient to make the outer, flap and wrist strap in this fabric.

XL NCW inside pockets and card slots

I wanted the insides to be a little more ‘exciting’ and used some colourful cotton prints from my Fat Quarter stash in Black, Red and White for the card slots and zip compartments. I used Red zips and finished off with Red tassels on the zip pulls. All the hardware was nickel. Due to the thickness of the linen fabric and stabilisers I used 9mm x 7mm stalk rivets.

completed 5th December 2019

Antje’s XL Necessary Clutch Wallet

XL NCW fpr Antje

For the past several years I have been sharing my sewing adventures with a lady in Germany. We exchange gifts on Birthdays and at Christmas. This year, with my confidence high I decided to make an Extra Large NCW for her.

I know that Antje likes Blue as I have noticed that many of her garments are in this colour. I chose some pretty Paisley on Blue print for the outer and a contrasting Mustard for the inner. Fabrics were purchased specially from New Threads Quilt Shop, Weyhill Fairground, Andover.

XL NCW Showing internal pockets and card slots

I used Nickel for the hardware and the wallet is finished off with two tassels on one of the D rings for the wrist strap and shoulder strap.

completed 2nd December 2019

Ponte Roma Faux ‘Georgie’ Dress

Sew Over It had just released their latest pattern, the Georgie dress and I bought the PDF version.

According to the description by Sew Over It, the Georgie Dress is a chic, everyday knit dress that is as comfy to wear as it is stylish. With a fit and flare style, it’s flattering on so many figures and makes a gorgeous outfit all year round. Whether you’re wearing it to the office, whilst out and about at the weekend, or simply having a cosy day at home, you’re guaranteed to look put-together in Georgie. It’s an outfit in one!

Unfortunately I had run out of ink and was unable to print the pattern immediately – but I was impatient to make this style of dress, what could I do?

I have a great wrap front top pattern for jersey (the Dartmouth by Cashmerette) and a half circle skirt pattern (Penny dress by Sew Over It) and decided to combine the two to make my version of the Georgie. I had some beautiful Ponte Roma print that I had bought from Abakhan when visiting my sister in North Wales and knew that this would make for a quick and easy sew.

In a little over two hours I had produced a lovely new dress, ready to wear and flaunt when joining friends for lunch the following day.

My version of a Georgie Dress

I have a great elasticated belt to wear with the dress and am now checking my stash for more jersey fabric to make yet another ‘faux Georgie’ dress.

completed 24th November 2019

Pug Dog Linen XL NCW

Having already made a trial version of an enlarged NCW (necessary clutch wallet) using some ‘landfill’ fabric I wanted to revisit the project with a ‘more interesting’ fabric print.

Pug Dog printed Linen
XL Necessary Clutch Wallet

The Pug Dog print linen came in a bag with other ‘destined for landfill’ fabrics and there was only just enough to make this wallet. It was nearly a disaster as the fabric has a one-way design and I cut two pieces for the outer forgetting to reverse the print. I had just enough to re-cut as otherwise half of the pugs would have been upside down! I did manage to cut a wriststrap and shoulder strap from the scraps.

Internal pockets and card slots in lemon yellow cotton

I used some pretty lemon yellow cotton fat quarters from my stash for the internal card slots and zip pockets. The hardware is Brass finish from my bag-making stash and there are lots of rivets!

Lots of rivets

The bag is on offer for sale on eBay but so far no takers.

completed 23rd November 2019

Sage Green Snakeskin Threadcount Top

With the second length of snakeskin print jersey purchased from Salisbury branch of Fabricland, I elected to make a wearable toile of a new Threadcount pattern that was included with a recent sewing magazine purchase.

This 2-in-1 jersey top features overlays and as the jersey was bought at such a keen price I thought it would be good to use for the toile.

I cut an 18 at the shoulders and then graded out for bust, waist and hips. I shortened the back waist by ¾ inch for my sway back and then lengthened the front and back skirt parts by 1 inch. As usual I shortened the sleeves by 3 inches.

According to the instructions one should turn the back neck to the inside and top stitch in place but I dislike this method. Instead I added a narrow neck band which was sandwiched between the front bodice and overlays.

I found the front V-neckline and wrap overlays a little puzzling at first but eventually worked it out. Some finessing was required with the overlays stitched into the side seams and to be honest I am not entirely happy with the end result. I machined a narrow hem on the skirt and sleeves but most of the remainder of the top was stitched on the overlocker.

Threadcount 2-in-1 Jersey Top

The top looks good over Black skinny jeans and leggings but after some consideration I have decided that it is not for me and has been sent to the local charity shop along with the original pattern.

completed 21st November 2019

Snakeskin Print Dartmouth Top

A visit to Fabricland, Salisbury branch resulted in me returning home with two lengths of snakeskin print jersey fabric, no change there then!

I wanted a quick make so turned to my TNT Dartmouth wrap top by Cashmerette. This top takes 1.4 metres of fabric and about 1 hour to stitch.

I like to intersperse my new/trial patterns with TNT projects and this top certainly fitted the bill. Instant sewing gratification!

Snakeskin print jersey DARTMOUTH top by Cashmerette

A few days later I used the Sage Green version of the print to test out a new Threadcount pattern. See the next post for how that turned out.

completed 18th November 2019

My hack of the Penny dress

Sew Over It

I love the Penny dress by Sew Over It and have made several versions including a hack of the pattern into a blouse. However, there are a couple of things that I wanted to change for my next iteration.

I find that the extended yoke/bodice does not sit very well under cardigans and the narrow button band has never had working buttonholes!

Rather than ‘play around’ with the original Sew Over It pattern I decided to adapt my TNT Bodice block into something similar. I wanted to have a bodice that gathered into a yoke and a fully functioning button band.

First I cut a yoke section from the front and back bodices. I overlapped at the shoulder seams to redraw a full yoke pattern. On the bodice front I removed the bust dart and transferred the fullness into gathers into the yoke. I did the same for the body darts on the back bodice.

I checked the measurements of the bodice pieces at the waistline to ensure that the half-circle skirt of the Penny dress would fit.

I had found the fabric, ready laundered, in my stash but it was only 42 inches wide which meant that I had to cut the Sew Over It skirt pattern in half, add seam allowance and then cut 4 panels. I was fortunate that the pattern is non-directional. By having side seams this also enabled me to include some concealed side seam pockets.

I stitched the dress using French seams (as inspired by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour) and used a self bias binding for the armholes. A little finessing was required as the underarms were gaping. I now have a perfect new dress that slips easily under cardigans and shrugs and with fully-functioning buttons and buttonholes.

My version of the PENNY dress

The colour matches well with my little shrug cardigan and I am set to twirl in the half circle skirt!

Dress with coordinating shrug

p.s. I have set aside some fabric for a matching belt to be made by Harlequin.

completed 10th November 2019

Palate Cleanser NCW

At the end of the sorry exercise of making a tiered skirt that was an abject failure I felt in need of a palate cleanser. I thought that I would run up a TNT project in a couple of hours – an NCW (necessary clutch wallet). But oh no – this time I wanted to make the NCW bigger!

Size comparison – standard and 25% larger

I reprinted the pattern pieces at 125% so the final project measures 10inches wide x 6inches x 1½ inches deep.

As this was going to be a ‘trial’ make I used some donated fabric that was originally intended for landfill. The internal compartments were made with some spare floral print fat quarters from my stash.

Making the outer panel, flap and straps was fairly straightforward but there was some ‘finessing’ required to get the size of the card slots and zip pockets just right.

Inside pockets and card slots – removable wrist strap

I am delighted with the end result which will be great to use and wear with denim ensembles.

XL NCW with adjustable strap

completed 6th November 2019