Friday, 26 September 2008

Fed up with building work.

This is the bay window and the window of the side of the porch. The photograph above is from the front door looking through to the dining room and right through to the garden

I am fed up with building work, it isn't going fast enough for me....I think to date we have had them in for over a month now, nearly every can't go anywhere or do anything...I can't even sew because there are things stacked in my sewing area and there just isn't any room.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Withdrawal symptoms

I haven't done any sewing for a couple of weeks now and I am getting withdrawal symptoms. The reason is we are having some home improvements done and all the dining room furniture is stacked in my sewing room, anyway I don't want to sit sewing when there are workmen in the house causing lots of dust........we are having patio doors put in the dining room.
I hope the rain eases a bit this week, it has been horrendous, the ground is saturated.....anyway I hope it eases because the builder is getting nowhere fast with the front porch and the plumber won't start with the new boiler until the builder is finished.......ugh......I hate the house being upset, not to mention having to get up early to try and make myself look presentable first thing in the morning, which is no mean feat I can tell you.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

No sewing here

There is no sewing for me for the next few weeks or so.....we are having some home improvements done so I have other things on my mind at the moment. We have already had some of our new windows fitted and are waiting for the builder to finish his holidays so he can start our front porch and large double doors in the dining room.....I will still be posting on my blog when I get a minute.

Here is a picture of one of our new windows.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Pattern tracing

In the past I have never traced any of my patterns but just recently, after reading many different blogs, I have found that lots of people trace their patterns and keep the original pattern without mutilating it in any way. As I have said many times I really do mutilate my patterns and I have made lots and lots of mistakes while trying to alter them. Now as I am a follower and not a leader I decided I would trace my patterns from now on, believe me when I say how smug I feel knowing that my original pattern is still intact after I have made a mistake on my copy, then if I have mutilated my copy I can always trace another copy until I get my alterations right.
That said, I got out my my pattern paper, cellotape, pencil and the original pattern, to begin..... the pattern paper that I use is thick, white paper..... plain on one side, dots and crosses on the other an inch apart........ it is nice sturdy paper for patterns...... nice and sturdy it might be but very opaque, so much so I couldn't see my pattern markings to trace them. I tried and tried but I was giving myself a headache trying to see the damned things, so I put it down for the night to have a think about it and this is what I came up with the next morning.....
I taped my pattern to the pattern paper then taped everything to the window and hey presto I could see my pattern perfectly underneath......I just had to trace around it with a pencil.....this isn't my idea, cardmakers use this method to trace patterns, I just adapted their idea.
Another little tip I have picked up along the way.....those little glue pens are much better to use than cellotape for altering patterns.

Saturday, 12 July 2008 last

I like these trousers and the colour is very versatile, especially for warm days and I can wear my pumps or my strappy sandals......the only thing that is wrong with them, they are going to crease easily as they are a cotton and linen mix.
Onwards and upwards, hopefully.......I need to use my coverstitch machine, so maybe some knitted fabric tops.
This top I made last year goes lovely with these trousers....this is also Vogue 7063. I have a lot of alterations to do to my patterns, as I have mentioned before, so I have to make them out of various fabrics and make them last because it is such a laborious task to alter them. this top is made out of a polyester chiffon with ties at the back, just for a change. I made a camisole to go underneath...the nearest colour I could get to go underneath was a lining fabric, it matched perfectly.

This is the top I made a couple of weeks ago....yes I thought it would go with these trousers and I think it does. This top is Vogue 7935.

Here are the trousers worn with a white linen blouse ( Vogue 7063 )...... it looks nothing like the pattern, I just did my own thing as usual. I made this top about 3 years ago and it washes beautifully.....I love good quality fine linen....I also have a beige one I made after I made this one and they come out every summer.

This is the lining of the waistband being applied.....this is the nearest colour to my fabric that I could get at my local store, next time I do this technique I will use a colour nearer to my fabric and also a better quality.......I would probably have to order from the internet.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Back to my sewing

I have had to have a break from my sewing as my daughter's work was getting behind so I have been helping for a few days. My trousers have been put to one side but over the last couple of days I have been working on them.

I am doing my waistband in a different way this time....this is Claire Shaeffer's couture method. As you can see the belt carriers are attached to the waist ( I altered the waistband so I attached the belt carriers to the garment instead of the waistband, as suggested by Ms. Shaeffer ). It is now ready to be top stitched and then lined on the inside. This method of attaching the waistband is very time consuming but I like it a lot.
After finishing the waisband I just have the hems to do and I'm finished them, I am going to make something with my coverstitch machine next, I haven't used it yet so I am looking forward to it.

This is the inside of the pocket and the hanging loops attached to the waistline.

I finished each end of the pocket and the end of the zip with a bartack....I really don't like to do this task because I can never get it right, but this time it didn't turn out too bad.

Friday, 20 June 2008


These are the blue Willow bears......cute aren't they lol lol.....These also come in a black and white image so they can be coloured to whatever takes your fancy
Can you remember these blue papers I spoke about them in an earlier post we have an addition to this download.

These are the co ordinating papers also available with the download.

This is Willow the pink bear and is available as a download as well as Willow the blue bear.

I have been busy helping my daughter this week as well as doing a little sewing.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Slow process

I wish I was a little bit quicker with my sewing, but I'm not so I will just have to put up with it. I also have a young dog and her and I enter competitions together.....she takes up a lot of my time with her training .....anyway back to my sewing.
Trousers half lined with silk organza.....I used the selvage instead of taking up a hem.

My pockets are almost finished, I have them to topstitch and stitch a bar tack at each end.

I topstitched my zip with topstitching thread.

This is my zip facing which I just pinked instead of overlocking, it looks alright and saved me a little bit of time.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Comfort Zone

I know I have been sewing for more years than I care to remember but I have always kept within my comfort zone. Now I am looking at different blogs and doing my research on the internet I am wanting to try new techniques...I have always lined my trousers the normal way (making a full lining the same way as the trousers and joining them together at the waist) there isn't anything wrong with that I just want to try something different. So with these summer cotton and linen trousers I am going to underline them......I am going to underline them with silk organza (which costs more than the fashion fabric) to 2" below the knee. Now most blogging people just line the front with silk organza but what happens to the back of my trousers if I get a saggy I have decided to underline the back as well.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

New project

I am going to use this silk organza for the lining. I don't know whether to just line the front to the knee or line the back as well. Claire Shaeffer advisers you to do the front to the knee but doesn't mention the back....I will have to think about that one.
I have washed and pressed this fabric the same way as I washed the main fabric....the instructions on the fabric say to dry clean it but it has washed and pressed I have this to cut out and mark, I will then sew the darts separately then put the two fabrics together and treat them as one.
This is the pattern I am using, I have used it a couple of times before to make tailored trousers. This pattern has been altered to fit me and I really like the fit of these trousers so I can just get straight on and make them without having to alter a pattern which takes me ages. Anyway these trousers are going to be more of a relaxed fit with no creases. I have straightened the ends, washed and pressed the fabric and line dried it, that is the way the trousers will be washed I won't put them in the drier.

I am making a pair of beige trousers for my next project. The fabric is a cotton and linen mix which I bought last year and never got round to making up. I know these are going to crease like mad but that is part and parcel of natural fibres. As you can see I have already cut the trousers out of the fashion fabric, this is the front you can see, I marked the crotch, knee and grain lines as well as marking the darts and the position of the fly front, I also marked the seam lines and waist line with tailor tacks.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


I read lots of blogs, most of them are about sewing, and I really enjoy them and I am amazed at the amount of people who get sick of sewing and seem to feel guilty about it. This is a time consuming business and if you have a full time job as well, which most of the ladies do, I just don't know how they fit sewing time in. Some of these ladies turn out the most fabulous work but are never satisfied with the results.
Over the years I have learnt not to rush my work but to slow down and enjoy it and make every garment count. I am not fashion conscious anymore, I like classic clothes that mix and match with each other and which will last me for years, with my lifestyle I don't need a lot of clothes but I value the clothes that I make because of all of the hard work that has gone into them. I know it is fabulous to run up a couple of garments in a weekend but what happened to slowing down and enjoying your what if it takes a few weeks to turn out a garment as long as you have enjoyed it and really appreciate the work that has gone into it.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Finished blouse

I look a little bit serious in the is one.....front view tailored trousers, black camisole and strappy sandals. I tried to show how versatile this feminine little blouse is unfortunately my photographs aren't very good but you get the idea.
I have enjoyed this project but I am glad it is finished, beige cotton trousers next, I'm sure this blouse will go with them as well.
Tailored trousers and strappy sandals.

Sorry for falling asleep on this one lol lol......this isn't a very good photograph, another pair of brown cotton trousers that I have had forever, a brown camisole and diamonte sandals.

Here is the finished blouse with a white camisole and cotton trousers I made a few years ago.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


This beautiful specimen is in the corner of my garden ( I have no idea what it is called ) but I love it. Every Spring I am amazed at it's beautiful white blossoms, the birds seem to love it as well, they perch in it and preen themselves and sing till their hearts content. It is really far too big to be in such a small garden but I don't care, I just love it.
This is the Acer in my garden just coming into leaf. I have two of them, just outside the kitchen window, in huge pots. We only have a small garden so I have to contain their growth. They are my pride and joy, when I bought them they were like little twigs and very expensive, I nurtured them and now they are quite beautiful in full growth and very ornamental.
As far as my blouse is concerned I have the second sleeve tacked in and ready to machine then there is just the bottom and sleeve hems to do......I think I am going to hem them by hand.

Sunday, 4 May 2008


Other sleeve isn't in yet but it is cut out and tacked together ready to go in.
One sleeve is in.

These are the first two buttons I have done.......I knew these loop buttonholes weren't right, I have had to make them smaller with little tiny slip stitches. I followed the pattern to the letter (twice by the way) and they are still not right.....if you don't get the size of these loops right the fronts won't come together is a good job I am making a camisole to go under this because my fronts don't meet exactly lol lol.

These are the buttons for my top, I covered them with the same fabric.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Ugh.... sleeves

Overlocking on finished sleeve.
I am not a happy bunny at the sleeves are not turning out the way I want them to. I had added 1/2" to my sleeve head to make more room for my shoulders.....well my first sleeve I put in didn't need that extra 1/2" so on my second sleeve I cut the 1/2" off before I inserted the sleeve.....bad move......this sleeve needs the extra I am going to have to cut another sleeve with the 1/2" added....ugh.......why do I do stupid things ????????!!!!!!!
I was going to make myself a scalf with the fabric that is left over from this top but I don't think I will have enough now that I have to cut the extra sleeve.

I have turned and hemmed the soft collar on my blouse by hemming into every machine stitch, this leaves a lovely and almost invisible finish to collars and waistbands.

Monday, 28 April 2008

More of Vogue 7935

Not very good pictures of the finished neckline, I still have to hem by hand on the inside of the collar.....sleeves next. Here is a close up of the finished ties..... This is the collar with the took quite a long time to do this. I had to machine stitch 1/2" from the cut edge, trim just above the stitching then turn a double seam, tack and then machine stitch again.......I suppose I could have overlocked and turned and machine stitched the edge but as usual I decided on the longest method. These ties have a curved edge which took some manipulating to get a smooth curve and it doesn't look too bad.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Blouse so far

This is a close up of the the buttonholes, I had to do these twice, I made a right mess of them the first time, I haven't done buttonhole loops before and it isn't easy on a polyester fabric, man made fibres don't press like natural fibres, I would have liked them to be a little bit smaller but after doing them twice I 'd had enough.
More to come.
This is my blouse so far......I have added a seam down the back of the blouse, it was easier to fit with a seam rather than cutting the pattern apart. All I did was add 5/8 of an inch to the back and another 1/4 of an inch toward my shoulders, this allowed extra room for my rounded shoulders. I have sewn the shoulder seams....the right shoulder is fine but the left seam needs to come forward 1/2 an inch. I have done a FBA of 1/2 an inch which left me with extra fabric in the armhole area.......I transfered the the extra fabric into a another 11/2 inch dart (that is 2 darts I have in the bust area) and heightened the armhole by 11/2 inches. I then took out 1/4 inch at the neck to allow for my hollow chest. I also put a little more room in the hip area by adding 1/4 inch to the side seams and tapering to the original seam at the armholes. I overlocked all the seams and topstitched them with a 2 rows of stitching.
I have to tell you I have to make extensive alterations to my patterns and there are 10 darts in this the front there are 2 waist darts and 4 darts in the bust area and in the back there are 2 back waist darts and I added 2 small shoulder darts to allow for the extra 1/2 inch that I added to the back to widen it using the S.B. method.... bringing the shoulder seam back to the orignial length. I have also tried my best to match the pattern while doing the seams and the darts, I haven't got it matched perfectly but I have tried my best...... and that is all anyone can do lol lol
I also had to lengthen the front and make a 1/2 inch adjustment for a sway back, adjust the bust and waist darts to bring them in line with my bust and add 1/2 inch to the sleeve head.

Phew !!!!!!????????? I think I have covered all of my alterations .....this post will remind me of what alterations I have to do on other tops.

Friday, 25 April 2008


This is the top I am making at the moment, I am making view C.....the one with the long floaty sleeves......I have changed the sleeve style to a straight sleeve, floaty sleeves are a little bit over the top for me lol lol. The fabric in the picture is a polyester see here and slightly transparent so I will have to make a camisole to match, there is a camisole pattern included so I will use that. I have altered this pattern extensively, fitting is a nightmare for me.

Coverstitch machine

Here is a photograph of my new machine, as promised.

I haven't used it on anything yet but I have had a little bit of a play with it. I am so glad I chose this machine, it is simple to use and very sturdy.....I like it a lot.....and as I said I have never been disappointed with Janome sewing machines.

Monday, 21 April 2008

New Machine

I am waiting patiently for a delivery today.....I know it's today because I have been tracking my parcel...... I have ordered a Janome 1000cp coverstitch machine. I have been thinking about a coverstitch machine for sometime now and didn't know which one to choose, I always use Janome sewing machines and have never been disappointed however I was taken with the Babylock Evolve which is an overlocker and coverstitch machine in one and is very expensive, over £1000 pounds. In the end I decided to go for a coverstitch only way of thinking, the more that is on a machine the more that can go wrong. The only thing is this Janome coverstitch machine doesn't excite me and The Babylock Evolve does.......I hope I am not disappointed.
I will let you know in due course and take some pictures.

Friday, 18 April 2008

New downloads

We have had enquiries as to why the new download isn't available yet......well there are other bits and pieces to be added to it but my daughter has loads of commissions at the moment and hasn't got time to put the finishing touches to it.
Please accept out apologies and it will be finished as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

New download

Here is my card using the papers from below.
I used the small patchwork and the small spotty papers... I used an A6 card and rounded the corners of the papers attached them to the card layering them. I used my cricut and cut out the shapes of the cream coloured card and a round white shape ( If you haven't got a cricut
square shapes will do ) stamp Wilbert (available from Willow Designs) onto the white shape and water colour him in. Cut out the small triangular tag and attach a brad and cut out 3 small flowers from the small blue flowered paper and attach to the card as shown....last but not least attach a small blue bow to the left hand corner of the card.
Happy Crafting.

Here are some of the papers for our new download......making a card with them is next on the agenda.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Wilbert and green patchwork daisies

I have been playing all day today using out patchwork daisy papers and Wilbert.
I used a plain green card for my first backing layer then the green patchwork frame paper for my next layer.....I cut out 2 daisies from the large patchwork daisy and a strip of small green flowers and placed them as shown on the card.
I used my cricut to cut the matting layers and coloured the scalloped layers with water colouring pencils.
I used the Wilbert and Wilbert sitting stamps from Willow Designs and coloured them also with water colouring pencils and placed them as shown on my card.

New papers for cd

Fantasy daisy in blue.
Fantasy daisy in pink.

These are the fantasy daisy papers in green.