Heirloom Quilt 

Today’s post is a real labour of love. I decided about a month a go that I would make a quilt for my Mother-in-law’s 60th birthday. I thought that it would be a great idea to give an heirloom as part of a milestone birthday like that. Let me tell you, there is a reason that I stick to dressmaking. Phew, this one was tough! It was a little beyond my (and my sewing machine’s)  talents and much more time consuming than I realised but it’s done  and I hope I’m not shaming the Quilting world! 

I started off with some templates from Art of Quilting Magazine.  I started to get this when I thought that Quilting was going to be my thing and then realised it wasn’t so I don’t have the full collection but I have quite a few of them. So I took the 2 folders of patterns I did have and got to work cutting and creating. I worked through, cutting 2 or 3 of each block. I used 2 packs of fat quarters in pinks and greens and a couple of spare cotton pieces, including this Liberty Tana Lawn in Green called Oriental Floral Green. I also wanted to point out this one I bought called Utopia Dreamlandia Illuminated which is just brilliant! It took a whole weekend but I felt prepared. 

I then dutifully sewed them all together, using as much chain stitch as I could, but this confused me sometimes and I ended up with a few back to front pieces. Anyone who usually follows me will know that precise isn’t always my strong suit so some blocks aren’t perfect but as my husband continued to remind me, I was just being critical because it’s me who was making it. 

The Quilting magazine kind of haunts me as I don’t have to full set, it’s quite nice and has lots of articles on the history and mini projects but I couldn’t justify paying for it when I wasn’t enjoying it as much as dressmaking. It tells you all about the names of the blocks though, which I love; let me point out a few favourites of mine. 

Sail Boat
Road to Oklahoma

I pressed, snipped and created the posts in a contrast grey. I then placed it out BIG on the living room floor to decide on placement. I labelled it up and sewed them all together in lines, there was a few wonky moments but all in all it looked good. 

Now the tricky bit; the backing! I pressed and laid everything out, I used every safety pin I had to secure everything. I took it to my machine and it was soooo difficult! It was really heavy to deal with, it was sometimes catching and folding at the back, it was too big to go through my machine. I started to unpick some parts and do them again before realising I would literally do this forever. My machine handled it beautifully and I am quite literally proud of it, but it isn’t really big enough for all that quilt so my arms were aching so much from pushing all the quilt up and through!!  I had a MAJOR tantrum, where I dragged said quilt infront of my husband and sank to the floor saying it wasn’t going to get done and she would have to have another present. He immediately started Googling gifts (rude) and mentioned something about a Yankee candle and this brought me out of my paddy somewhat and I returned with new determination. 

In the end I just went with it, it did bunch up a little in places at the back but once it was all done, it seemed to look OK. I just stuck to working round the squares and it worked out fine. I then did the binding. I machine sewed it to the front and then to avoid anything else going wrong I decided to handstitch it together… The day before. It began as a rather relaxing process and finished as a manic race to the finish. Last thing that night on went the label and Phew, she was done. 

It’s a little wonky, not quite perfect and I’m not even trying to compare it to all the amazing Quilts I see on instagram but I still think it’s lovely and I’m rather proud to give it to her as a gift made with lots of love (and swearing) She was absolutely made up! I was so glad to give her something that was so heartfelt and that I had worked so hard on, and, of course, no one pointed out any wonky bits! She’s great to me and we’ll worth it. 

We tried to take some pictures of the full quilt in the garden and ended up not really being tall enough!! I hope everyone has a lovely Easter weekend x

A Selfish Craft Swap 

I’m writing a blog post with a bit of a twist today. If you’ve seen the pictures, you’ll soon realise that this isn’t fabric or dressmaking (though I couldn’t resist running up a quick skirt!) but an amazing item which I have no talent to make at all! 

It came about when Charlotte of Chasjos asked if anyone would like to do an exchange and swap something she had made, in this case this beautiful handmade wooden mermaid pendant,  for something others can make. I signed up straight away, I love schemes like this and it’s one of the unexpected perks I have found within the crafting /sewing / blogging community. 

Because I have so much on at the minute,  I promised I would make Charlotte something in a month or so and get involved but she was happy to send me the pendant anyway (which is very trusting and kind). 

She makes all sorts of wooden, hand painted pendants like this. She also made this AMAZING one for her sister-in-law, which I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me sharing. 

I don’t follow many blogs which aren’t sewing related but Charlotte’s really caught my eye because the pendants she makes are so beautiful and because she writes in both French and English,  which I think is an amazing skill in itself.

Most of us know what the happy post feeling is like, but this one was super exciting. It was in a gorgeous package and made my day. She included a little note too and I love details like this. 

I would never be able to make anything like this and you see handmade wooden items likes this selling for lots of Etsy, which is what makes a craft swap like this so brilliant. I have something that is genuinely unique and I haven’t bought it! 

I’m making Charlotte a Moneta dress in return (surprise surprise) as she really liked my previous Moneta makes. Plus it’s a pattern with a bit of stretch so it’s a bit easier to fit from France! I will send it to her as soon as I’m done… Here’s the current progress to show my dedication to the project. 

Back to the pendant, which I wore to my Mother-in-law’s 60th birthday meal. I wanted to show it in all it’s glory so apologies for the posey pictures but look at it! Isn’t my little mermaid lovely?! 

It’s so detailed and well thought out, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I think it’s fabulous and I love it! I am so grateful to Charlotte and so pleased I said I would join in. I love this crafting community! 

As for the skirt…. I knew I wanted to wear a black top so of you follow me on instagram you will know that I decided I wanted a skirt that day. So I took this gorgeous vintage fabric I bought on my visit to the Village Tea Room and Emporium in Northumberland and just went with it… I love school holidays! 

I cut it in half, curved the edges in to a skirt shape. Sewed it as a square (ish) and threaded elastic through the waistband (just a double fold at the top of the fabric!). I stitched the elastic in place so nearly all the gather was at the back and added to small pleats down the front. I then sewed bias to the bottom, which is the straightest and neatest I’ve ever done! I was really pleased with it and glad I made the decision to go for it. 

My mother-in-law, in the meantime,  was made up with her Quilt. More on that on Friday. 

Hi, I’m Emma and I’m addicted to the Moneta 

It’s an absolute addiction this Moneta situation and I fear it is getting out of hand. I have abandoned all other patterns and replaced my sewing with Monetas! Why wouldn’t I when they are this cool!  I love it so much that I have been making them for other people to share the joy… Not before I’ve  rustled another up for myself though! 

This is mine, in this lovely purple/grey jersey from The Textile Centre.  I stuck with version 3; no arms on show here! It whizzes together in no time. Though, it would’ve been even quicker if I didn’t mess the neckline up. It stretched out as I sewed and ended up looking a bit of a mess. I tried to unpick it but I was making holes, so I cut along the stitch line and added a neckline, which I’m getting quite good at since I did one for this dress. Any tips on not stretching it out though? Also, does anyone else find the Moneta neckline can be a little too wide? Not to insult my new fave dress pattern!!. 

I’m not very good at making garments in just one colour so I’m glad I have. I also used the scraps for this to put together this little t-shirt for my niece, it’s a Jasmine Top, which is a free pattern you can get from Petit Boo on Craftsy. It doesn’t have separate sleeves so it comes together really quickly. Though it’s a bit wonky in places, I’m still get used to jersey and this is super stretchy. 

I embroidered a row of little flowers too, just to add detail. It’s so cute! 

Anyway, on to dress two. I promised my friend Sam that I would make her a dress for her 30th birthday. She asked for blue and after seeing my pictures, asked me to lower the neckline. She’s the birthday girl so that’s what I did. It’s made using this really cool jersey scuba (much stretchier than normal scuba) that I also got the The Textile Centre. It has these dimples on it which makes it look a bit different. I think it’s really cool. 

This one came together really easily as the scuba is so stable and I’m getting to be a bit of a pro at them now! I left the pockets out too as I though it would be too bulky. I decided to use the scraps to make another for me but only had enough to make the top half.. Which I shall save until I have jersey to match it! More on that when I get round to it. 

Thirdly… I am making a final version for the lovely Charlotte from ChasJos as we are doing a craft swap, more pictures soon and details of what we’re up to. This is my progress so far… 

I’m quite excited about this swap so I’ll be creating a special blog post all about it! I’ve had my swap item and it’s amazing so watch out for my blog post next week! 

Just as an addition, I’m going to join Me Made May this year so here is my pledge… Hem hem… 

 ‘I, Emma of @emmaandhermachine  sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear a me made garment each day for the duration of May 2017 in hope of identifying the gaps in my me made work wardrobe, in particular.’

I feel this is a much needed step to encourage me to make more practical garments and not those which hang in the wardrobe waiting for wedding invites!! Sign Up Here to make your pledge! 

Not enough hands… Not enough time… 

I’m not in a position this week to share a finished make with you, unless you count these infinity scarves I quickly sewed up for my Sister-in-law’s colleagues because they loved hers so much. 

I have been juggling a few things in my sewing room this week. I’m currently working on a present for my Mother-in-law for her birthday, which I can’t share on here but you will have seen a snippet of if you follow me on instagram

I’ve also been working on a project for Fabric Styles, who have asked me to try out some of their Scuba fabric and write and YouTube it,  so watch this space. Here’s the lovely fabrics I chose. 

Isn’t the floral pattern on it amazing? 

Finally, I am also working on another Moneta in a lovely aubergine, purple colour.

And I’ve used my scraps to make a quick and cute T-shirt for my niece for her birthday. I couldn’t face to leave it plain so I have inexpertly embroidered some little flowers on it. 

I will not get much done this weekend either because me and my Mum are going to The Stitching for Pleasure show!! I won tickets courtesy of the lovely Elle from Sew Positivity!! I am insanely excited about this!  

I haven’t got enough hands or time, or head space, for that matter for everything I’m trying to do but I’m sure I’ll get there, plus there’s school holidays on the horizon with lots of sewing time planned for myself! I promise I’ll try and share something completed next week!

The Overture Set

Following the successful make for her birthday, I wanted to make a dress for my sister for Christmas, she has a very different style from me but when I saw the Overture Set which came with Issue 20 of Simply Sewing Mag a few months a go, I knew that would be the one.

The Overture Set
picture from Simply Sewing Mag site

I bought this amazing silk feel fabric from the sale at Abakhan and I thought it would be perfect for this as the dress looks nice and floaty. I read through the instructions before I cut the pattern out and was very quickly overwhelmed, I had never done a collar before… I was in two minds, one said, try it or else you’ll never learn, the other said, you’ll never be able to do that. I went with the latter I’m afraid folks and decided to leave the collar out. I might have tried it if it hadn’t been for a gift but I want it to be lovely.

The fabric, whilst beautiful, was an absolute PAIN to sew. I haven’t done much work with slippery fabrics like this and what a nightmare! I had to use about a million pins and even then I couldn’t be sure that another piece of fabric was slipping in from somewhere… It also slipped off my desk constantly too.

It was my first time working with a yoke and that was even  more difficult because of the fabric. I don’t think I did this right because the seam allowance looked a mess… so I used a bit of bias binding to hem the seam allowance on the yoke. It looks quite neat now but I need to learn how to do this properly. I have since watched this video on how to sew a yoke by Sew Over It and I think I’ll be able to do this next time! I used it more successfully in this shirt for my brother.

I was tempted to also ignore the pockets but as I blatantly cast aside the collar, I felt I best try these at least. I did have to unpick two of them completely though because I lined the wrong notches up but I was determined by this point. The pattern comes with really good instructions on how to insert the pockets whilst maintaining the French seam, which was really useful to learn.My next challenge was the arm hole binding and the hem. I wanted a neat finish that would not look bulky or ruin the flow of the dress, this is really tricky on silky fabric so I used a black ribbon as I thought any other binding would be too restrictive. The neckline doesn’t sit as perfectly as I would like,  I maybe need to consider using facings next time.

I also used a thicker black ribbon to bind the hem, which is longer at the back than the front.  I thought it would make a neater finish and I was right because I do feel it is neat and quite modern looking.
Overall, it’s got a lovely shape,  thanks to the pleat in the back,  which is a great feature, and I was pleased with it. My sister loved it and says she can’t wait to wear it on her holidays, but for now I had her pose in front of Mum’s Christmas tree for me! (last of the Christmas pics now,  I promise!)

Pockets

Mini Dungaree Dress

A couple of months a go (Sew Saturday in October) I bought some of the Michael Miller Magic fabric range with the intention of making a dress for my niece. I love this range, the fabrics are so pretty and bright; perfect for little girls. The lovely lady in the shop told me a metre would do one of the pillow case type dresses you see for little ones but I wanted to try something different.

She loved the dungaree set I made in October so I decided to make one similar but draft it myself… I used a circle skirt pattern by I Think Sew because I didn’t feel confident drafting one myself after my last one didn’t fit. I did draft the waist band though as I wanted to put elastic in the back to make it child friendly and comfy.  I measured her waist… and her height and her head and everything else she insisted I measured whilst I was at it. I’m 168cm if you’re interested! I then added 4 inches extra to the measurement needed for the back piece to allow for the elastic and gathered the skirt slightly to fit.

I then used the Sunday Set pattern by Cotton and Chalk to draft a tiny version of the top half and the straps. I was going to do a pocket but I literally used all this fabric!

It all came together nicely. I used French seams as I wanted it to last and everything else was stitched right sides together and then top stitched once turned out. I hate hemming circle skirts though so I made a binding out of the tiny bit of fabric I had left so I had a neat finish.

I finished it off with some bright green buttons,  anything pastel just seemed too blah… I added some buttons holes and I was done. I think it is the cutest thing in the whole world and I wrapped it with some white tights…  It’s winter after all.

She loved it and wore it to our Boxing Day party, gorgeous or what?! She’s easily my favourite model! 

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Sorry for the Christmas themed pictures but I needed to share this… It’s just so sweet! 

After watching many YouTube vlogs by Lisa Comfort of Sew Over It,  I was sold on trying out the ultimate shift dress. She says it’s great for stiffer fabric and also fabrics with big prints so I bought some lovely grey with white lillies,  which is more of an upholstery fabric but I just love the colour and thought it would make a really grown up and smart shift dress for my Mum for Christmas

I feel really proud of this make for a few reasons, one because it all came together so well, all the notches lined up and I didn’t have to make any changes.

Two because it was the first time that I have really flown through a pattern and the instructions without having to look things up or getting confused,  which I think shows how much I am improving; all the practise is paying off!

Thirdly, look at my fabulous facings…  I wanted to try them as I know the shift dress has quite a smooth look and I didn’t want to ruin it by using binding.   This is quite literally the first time facings have EVER worked for me.  They sit nice,  they pressed nicely and they joined really well at the split in the back. I don’t know if this is because the pattern is fab, the fabric was so easy to work with or because I’m just getting better,  either way, I’m chuffed to bits with my little shelf!

That’s all there really is to say about the dress,  which has a really simple construction. I intend to try a top version of it, possibly in a light denim I’ve just gifted myself for Christmas. I have also just bought some ponte roma with poppies along the edge so I can try using a fabric with design for my next try at this so watch this space!..

My Mum loves it, she said it is really smart and she is going to wear it when we go to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in January! (our gift from my sister- exciting!)

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The back lined up great too, I managed to keep the pattern direction going.

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I also put this lovely, cute little ‘made with love’ label in.

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A plethora of pressies.

I don’t really think doing a round up of my blogging year will be worth it as I only started in September but I’m loving it and hope to continue. I’m offering a quick round up of my handmade presents instead. 
I love, love, love Christmas! I usually start thinking about it pretty much as soon as I get back to school in September. Therefore, I’ve spent the last few months sewing and making pressies for my amazing family without being able to blog about them or show anyone.

So here is a round up of this year’s pressies:

Personalised Calendars: I found this fab photo calendar template from It’s Always Autumn and set about making it pretty much as soon as it was released. I did one for my husband and one for my Mum, using lots of fun pictures and trying to roughly match them to months. So simple and super smart looking.

Patchwork Infinity Scarf: This was something I wanted to try for a while. I made gorgeous infinity scarves for my Sister-in-law and cousin following the Patricia Infinity Cowl Tutorial.

In the tutorial she uses fat quarters but a few of the pieces I wanted to use were fat eighths so I matched up some fat quarters and just cut those in half. It’s a simple but really effective make, which allows you to chose different fabrics to clash and compliment each other. As I made this for Jade, I was thinking of her style and colouring as I put it together. My cousin LOVES foxes so I got some super cute Fox fabric for hers.

Cork Christmas Tree: last year I made my Mum a Christmas tree from wine corks. My sister loved it so much that she asked me to do her one. The pair of us collected corks all year (such a hardship!) and I used a polystyrene cone and my trusty glue gun to stick them all in place. I then glued some red beads to add to the festive feel. If you wanted to make something like this start saving NOW. I’ve used 41 corks and it’s only a small cone!

I also made a fab book Christmas tree for myself,  which was so easy to make and used the inside of my Pride and Prejudice I used to make a book clutch earlier in the year.

Recipe Tea Towel: I shared this make back in November but it’s so cute, I thought it was worth a mention. It’s a tea towel made using a hand written recipe and a patch work binding for my Dad and his wife.

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Graces Pyjamas: I made these Sew Simplicity Children’s pyjamas for my niece in a super cute pink gingham. I made two at the same time and customised them using  pockets, buttons and iron on letters. The patterns as super easy to use. For more on these click here.

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Hot Water Bottle Cover: I bought some super soft grey faux fur fabric to make the hot water bottle cover that was in Issue 23 of Simply Sewing Mag. I used a purple cotton with lavender print for the stag’s head applique. This was a really quick sew but messy, furry fabric malts like crazy as you sew it. It’s a lovely, snuggly gift for my mother-in-law though.

Overture Set: I made this Dress for my sister; it’s the Overture set from Issue 20 of Simple Sewing Magazine,  the style is very her.  I love that I’ve been able to make her something proper to wear, it was a complex make and I will blog about it soon. 

Shirt for My Brother: This was easily my most complex and proudest make ever. I loved giving a present that I knew I had really put blood, sweat and tears in to. For more information on the complexities: click here.

Ultimate Shift Dress: I made this Shift Dress for my Mum. It is so smart and fits her a treat.  I loved working with this pattern and was really pleased to make something personal for my wonderful Mum. I’ll blog about this (and a selfish make shift dress) soon. 

Mini Dungaree Dress: I self-drafted a Dungaree dress for my niece using some beautiful mermaid fabric by Michael Miller, she looked so cute in it.  Making small clothes is so quick and easy.  She’s always guaranteed a home-made pressie! I’ll blog about this soon too! 

I also make some more PJ bottoms,  some in red poppy for my friend and some in blue checked brushed cotton for my father-in-law, who has put an order in for more! 
I think that’s it for my round up of Christmas presents. I’ve really enjoyed giving my family the things I have made and everyone has been so lovely and pleased to receive their gifts. It was stressful though, especially the shirt…  Best start on next year’s now. Happy New Year everybody!! 

 

Mini PJs for a Mini girl

I know most of us are in that Christmas stage where we don’t know what day it is but it is Friday,  so even though time off means more posts from me,  here’s my weekly Friday one!

Some time in October I acquired quite a lengthy amount of pink gingham cotton. My sister-in-law and I were talking about how it reminded us of the cutest little PJs that my niece, Grace, had when she was tiny. So, I couldn’t not replicate them. Luckily for me there was a sale on a simplicity so I bought this girls and boys pyjamas pattern (1575). The pattern starts at aged 7 and goes up to 14, Grace is only 5 but nearly 6 and rather tall!

I decided to cut two lots out at the the same time, because you can’t get enough PJs when you’re 5! I just made one set of sleeves shorter and customised them to make them individual, as you will see. I wanted traditional, hence the button up style PJs but I was concerned because I’ve never done a button-up shirt before. I needn’t have worried though, the pattern was so easy to use.

I read through the instructions first and decided to scrap the facings and I used a bright pink binding on one and just hemmed the other and used the binding on the back neckline. The tops went together so easily and I chain stitched through the two in no time. There was a brilliant button guide pattern piece that made the buttons really easy to do.

The trousers came as all in one leg pieces and were so simple for it, they literally took me 15 minutes. I did have to wing the elastic waist measurement slightly though, as said child was not on hand!

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So that was it for construction, but I had so much fun customising these. Obviously I used a bright pink bias binding so they look interesting straight away. I put a pocket on one with a cute bit of white ric rac. I wanted these to be more traditional so I used pink buttons and left it at that, apart from this cute label I hand stitched for the inside.

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The second pair have a shorter sleeve, I bought these iron on letters from Drift in Seahouses ages a go and have been waiting for something to put them on and I’m so pleased they go really well and look great! I used yellow buttons on this too as a contrast.

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I love that I have been able to make these PJs personalised for Grace. She wore them on Christmas Eve and her Mum was made up with them! They are a little big but that only means she’ll be in them longer, which doesn’t happen with anything these days!

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She’s the perfect little model! AND… we bought her a sewing machine for Christmas! Can’t wait to have a go at this with her! She was so excited!

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and best wishes for success and happiness in 2017. Only a few more Christmas pressies to share in 2017 and then normal service will resume!! 

Getting Shirty for Santa

I’ll start this post by a bit of an explanation of my family dynamic,  I’m the eldest but so far from the coolest of 3 siblings,  my brother and sister are and always have been a billion times cooler than I will ever be and although they love me and we are so lucky to be as close as we are as a family, they consider me to be a complete geek…  Rightly so to be honest and it isn’t a title that I shun. Andrew, my brother, doesn’t usually find my home-made clothes very on trend,  until more recently as I’ve started to get better anyway. When he noticed this, he told me that if I made him a shirt, he would wear it so…  The challenge begun.

I bought Simplicity 6232 Shirt Pattern and cut a small in a lovely dove grey cotton and begun. I didn’t want to get overwhelmed by all the parts so I bought plenty of cotton so I could recut if anything went terribly wrong and tried to take a step by step approach. I really wouldn’t have been able to do it without this tutorial from Male Devon Sewing, it’s a fantastic tutorial and it made the whole thing much easier.  I did also follow this video from Sew Over It when it came to the yoke as I messed up the last one I did. I was doubtful the whole time, until I turned it out and it had only gone and worked!!

I used this brilliant Downton Abbey Fabric for a nice,  manly contrast, even though it is called Dowager Grey Paisley! I used it on the collar, cuffs, yoke and inside the pocket.

dsc_0123.jpgIt all seemed to be going so well and I didn’t have the ‘this doesn’t look right’ feeling but that was such a mistake, as it turned out that I had turned the packets in instead of out. I didn’t realise this until I came to the collar and it was about 1 and a half inches too short on each side. So…  I unpicked the right side and had to do the left side again as I had already done the button holes (gggrrr) Anyway, that solved that, so I moved on. I was dreading the collar but I felt it went really well as I followed the instructions and the tutorial. I found doing the button holes really therapeutic,  which was a good job as I did them twice! I chose these really cool metal buttons to go with it, I wasn’t sure whether they would look cheap or trendy but I decided on the latter.. My father-in-law pointed out that they look like little screws.

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The next problem I came up against was the cuffs,  I couldn’t get them to line up well and they just weren’t really up to standard,  I ummed and ahhed and then unpicked the lot and started again..  I’m glad I did though as it was unwearable with the original cuffs. They look quite neat now and I decided to use more on the contrast fabric the second time round.

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I’m really pleased with it,  this is easily the most complicated garment I’ve ever made and it was a great learning curve. I was really pleased to end a year in which I’ve been learning to sew with a big project like this. I’m very proud of it and Andrew liked it too, which is fantastic. They’ll be no pictures of him wearing it though as he is VERY camera shy!

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Sewing, the gift that keeps on giving…

I’ve had a little unexpected surprise that I’d like to share… I met my hubby at his parents house tonight and they were all looking very suspicious, excited and grinning at me in a strange way. I was ordered to close my eyes and when I opened them…. This was waiting for me…

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I gave a strange grin right back at them… erm… ‘what is it?’

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THIS is what it is! Exciting or what?! Let me explain…

Kyle’s Nan no longer uses any of her sewing things, she was an avid knitter but is no longer able to sew as she once did. Kyle’s family very kindly thought of me and wanted me to have her sewing things. I’m so thankful, moved and flattered by this as there’s lots of little bits that I’m sure have some good memories for my mother-in-law and her sisters. It’s a real inheritance for me and something I’ll cherish. It’s the things like this that make sewing so special as when you use the things you were given, it makes anything you make extra special and nostalgic. So… overall a very happy sewer here!

All neatly packed away and kept were some vintage pinking shears and scissors, and a knitting equipment kit. Joan was a knitter so there are lots of little pearlised buttons for baby cardigans but also some really cool gold coloured buttons. I love the way it is all so organised, I think it really sums up that generation. There are lots of little boxes and tupperwares with buttons and safety pins; everything seems to have a place. She has bags buttons, tied with matching wool and a big needle, ready to go on her completed knits. Obviously, there are lots of threads for me to dive in to as well and also a huge bag of elastics and various bindings.

I absolutely love the retro Royal wedding tin, so very British Nan and it is full of threads. Every family I know had one of these as we were little but things like this don’t seem to survive anymore and I think it’s so nostalgic. The threads look like jewels; a proper box of treasure.

There’s also a little popper mechanism which is packed neatly in this little box, which I also love.

wilds-ashton

Kyle is originally from Ashton and Katherine Street it still there – though no shops like this anymore, unfortunately. I love to see traditional old embossing and professional shop memorabilia like this from when packaging was quality and not ‘throw-away’, especially when people remember it and it means something. After investigations with Kyle’s other Nan, I discovered that Wild’s was once a jewellers… when Joan came to replace a nice pair of earrings with poppers, I will never know!

Lastly, but not least, is this beautiful metal, antique thimble. The detail in the metal is so gorgeous and I feel very privileged to own it.

It makes me want to sew RIGHT NOW!

My Sister’s Top

Read the title as you will folks! The observant amongst you will notice that the girl in the picture isn’t me… though she does look rather like me… it is, of course, my sister. So I have myself a new model, which is the stipulation if I make anyone anything!

I wanted something I had made for her birthday, even though I had some gorgeous hand-made earrings I bought up in Northumberland. So I decided to put another New Look 6483 one hour top together. Which I’ve made previously here and here, amongst others. I wanted to change it up a little so I’ve hacked it a bit.

I took the back piece and added a couple of inches to the fold edge and cut 2 back pieces. I then put the t-shirt together as normal, using a green contrast bias binding. I then edged the 2 back pieces in the binding as I wanted to create an open back, which you see a lot in the shops at the minute.

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Rather than just sew the top of the back pieces together I made button holes and put 3 buttons to hold it together, I used green buttons here too. I think it’s so cute and Rach loves it too and was a brilliant blog model. A simple hack, which I definitely recommend, especially is you have broad shoulders and/or chest like me and my sister!

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