Heirloom Birthday Boy Quilt

Hi everyone,

What I am sharing today is the definition of a labour of love. I don’t usually hand-embroider much, possibly because that quick satisfaction of the whir of my sewing machine cannot really be beaten but when I inherited my Nana’s embroidery threads in February, I decided I wanted to use them on something meaningful.

To do this, I decided to make a quilt for my nephew. I bought an alphabet quilt topper template and began with enthusiasm… then life took over, I worked lots, we moved house, went on holiday and the quilt remained 4 letters in for about 3 months. I picked it up again in September and I pretty much worked on it until about 3 days before my gorgeous nephew’s birthday! I wish I could say, “oh, this… this was easy”. But that would be a LIE! It was a long process but I knew that Ollie and his Mummy and Daddy would absolutely love it and this kept me going. It wasn’t all bad, of course, I sat in front of the TV mostly and worked away at it and the fact that they are individual letters meant I felt like I was doing it step by step, rather than one big picture.

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The colours of the threads are so bright and pretty and the images are childlike and just perfect for the occasion. I added his name to the middle and then backed it with an iron-on wadding. The quilting lines between were then added by hand too. I was tempted to do this by machine but the pattern is designed to overlap the lines sometimes so I sewed this by hand too.

I then backed it in a lovely bright blue by sewing them right sides together, trimming it, turning out and then hand sewing the hole shut. I then ironed on my little “made by Autnie Emma” label, which my niece designed on the Dutch Label Shop.

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It was so well received and totally worth it, my sister absolutely loved it and I know it will be an heirloom forever, which will carry a little bit of my Nana with it.

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Until I get another bright idea like this, I will definitely be sticking to machine sewing!

Kielo Wrap Dress

Hi everyone,

I have seen soooo many Keilo dresses in my research before making this dress, but I’m so pleased with my recent make, that I had to show it off.

The kielo wrap dress looks like it would be unshapely and has a really odd shape, however, due to the amazing long ties, which are cleverly concealed within the seams of the dress, it wraps exactly at the waist, taking the fabric around you and creating a lovely, flattering, silhouette.

The Kielo is made to be a maxi dress, however, I know for past experience, that I rarely end up wearing a full-length dress so I shortened it significantly to a knee-length dress. I found that due to the shape, it requires quite a lot of fabric but I did expect this. I bought some lovely, crackle look black jersey from Sewlicious and went ahead.

Picture of Metallic Bronze Gold Splashes on Black - Jersey Fabric

There are surprisingly few pieces to cut, just the front and back and the ties, though I cut the back in two pieces due to fabric restraints. I also included sleeves as I don’t like to not have sleeves. Named Clothing have released sleeves to go with this and I couldn’t be bothered printing them out but I used my familiar Moneta dress sleeves and it worked perfectly.

The dress calls for darts at the bust and the back. I have rarely sewed darts in jersey and found it a bit challenging to be honest but it was completed and I continued. I inserted the sleeves and everything else on the flat, which is my favourite way to sew and then you essentially sew up the sides. Easy. The neckline is simply folded and sewn as a hem.

When I make this again (there will be an again) I will lower the bust darts slightly and I would also lower and round-off the neckline but I love it. I cannot believe I left it this long to make it!

This was a good choice of fabric by the way, it feels really glamourous whilst still being a jersey and I love it!

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Tamsyn Top

Hi everyone,
On the advice and recommendations of the lovely people over on Instagram, I’ve decided to update with a blog post. I haven’t been writing more recently, for a few reasons; I wasn’t actually sure that people were reading them, I have actually remade quite a few garments recently and it seems silly to blog them again and I have also done quite a bit of Christmas sewing.

However, I have recently made the Tamsyn Top that was free with Simply Sewing Managzine in Issue 46, back in August. It would appear that, like me, many sewcialists look up Instagram and blog posts before they attempt patterns themselves and it seems that it is only fair that I give back.

Simply Sewing Tamsyn Top sewing pattern

On that note, the Tamsyn top is a simple, tunic style blouse with long sleeves and cuffs. There are no alternative options. I think the version on the packet is really nice and would love to replicate one like it. However, I had this lovely fabric called Ladies Faces from Sewalicious and wanted to use the simple lines of this pattern to show it off.

There are no darts and I was unsure about how to complete a Full Bust Allowance because of this but I lined it up with a pattern piece I knew fit me and it seemed OK. The body of the top comes together really easily… then it gets tricky, well not tricky, just more tricky than the simple tunic top would suggest, I feel. First of all, it requires set in sleeves. Eurgh, my nemesis… though, I think I’m getting better at that. Then you have to gather the bottoms of the sleeves to fit within a cuff, which creates a lovely, lose shape but is rather fiddly.

You complete an all-in-one collar for this blouse, which needed lots of clipping at the curves to sit nicely. It also makes the pattern quite fabric hungry as you have to cut it on quite a large curve and the sleeves are pretty meaty too! It was a complete fluke but I’m pleased that there are no faces in the pieces that I cut for this, as it wouldn’t look right.

The pattern gives the option for tassels, having never made tassels before, I tootled off to research this and easily followed this photo on Pinterest, incidentally, if you love a bit of Pinterest, follow me here. The tassles are simple tacked in before you make the collar.DIY Crafts :  How to make a yarn tassel

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I’m really pleased with it, I think it’s a really relaxed fit, if not, a bit out there but it’s perfect with black jeans for a day exploring. I would make this blouse again, but only when I’m in the mood to try that collar.

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