Monthly Archives: June 2016

The BIG Vintage Sew-along

I’ve neverBV sewalong - badge_thumb sewn a vintage-style garment before, but when I saw the BIG Vintage Sew-along advertised online, I decided it was worth trying.

I picked a vintage inspired shirt: Butterick 6217, which seems to fit me more accurately than the other tops I’ve tried making so far!

I made a version from a duvet cover to start with, but that was way too big across the chest, and also a bit too low – verging on “indecent” to wear outside!

So this is the sneak peek at my second attempt, made from some fabric I bought in a remnants pack. I took off an inch at the shoulders on the front, adding it back onto the base again, and that seems to have resolved the too-low V-neck problem. I just need to get the buttons attached, then I can get some photos of it actually being worn.

tie-front-sneak-peek

New Look 6483

The June 2016 edition of Sew Magazine came with a free New Look 6483 pattern – with 5 different styles of tops, all able to be made from non-stretchy fabric, I decided this was one I would definitely get a lot of use from.

It’s designed as quite a loose fit, so looking at the finished garment measurements, I chose a size 8…. usually I’d make an 8 for the shoulders and chest, and grade it out to a 12 at the waist, but this one is plenty big enough!

shell-top-1

This was view C, but I have cut the neckline a little deeper – the original line for the neck was much too high for my liking, but I didn’t like the wide nature of view E. I probably would try making that as a proper v-neck next time.

The only real trouble I had in making the top, was making the thread loop…. the instructions weren’t overly informative on how to achieve it, so I had to ask for advice on that. In the end, I made a kind of blanket stitch around the three thread loops, and that seems to work.

button-loop

The fabric is actually a duvet cover from Primark – it’s not the thickest of fabric, but it’s fully washable and will be nice and light for the summer.

Fabric Mousemat Tutorial

Last month, a friend sent me a handmade mousepad for my birthday; she’d used a self-adhesive foam backing, and fray-check on the fabric to stop the ends from fraying. It looked a lot better than the bought mousemat I’d been using, and inspired me to have a go at making a couple myself, to give to friends for their birthdays.

It’s not something I want to keep to myself, so I thought I’d share my fabric mousemat tutorial with anyone who wants to try making one!

Materials

Foam sheet: 9″ x 8″ or larger
Fabric : 10″ x 9″ for the zigzag version, 11″ x 10″ for the hemmed version
Matching thread
Optional
Old mousemat to use as a template (mine was 9″ x 8″)
Denim needle
Walking Foot

I found an A4 sheet of foam for 60p in the local craft store, and some purple fabric in my scraps pile, so this turned out to be a very cheap mousemat!

Fabric Mousemat Tutorial (zigzag version)

  1. Take your old mousepad, place it onto the foam and trace around it. Cut out the rectangle from the foam.
    If you didn’t have a mousemat to trace around, you could always just cut a rectangle 9″ x 8″ and round the edges by drawing round a round object like a saucer.
  2. Take your fabric, with the right side facing the table, and draw around the foam you just cut out. Then, draw a line 1/2″ outside that (this is the line we’ll be cutting). Cut out the fabric on that outer line.
  3. With the right side facing the ironing board, iron the fabric along the inner line, so you’re creating a 1/2″ fold onto the wrong side on each edge.
  4. Place the fabric over the foam, and carefully bend those folded edges around to the back of the foam.
  5. Hand tack (baste) the fabric from the underside, to hold it safely in place for the next step. When it comes to the curved corners, you can fold over a little bit of the fabric to help keep the front nice and smooth.
    Fabric Mousemat Tutorial

    The underside of the mousemat – I will admit I could have measure and cut the fabric more accurately to have my 1/2″ fold on each edge!

    As you can see, the fabric was still slightly damp at this point, from my attempts to iron out some really stubborn creases! The tacking isn’t straight, but that doesn’t matter, as the tacking stitches will be removed anyway.
    Fabric Mousemat Tutorial
    The advantage of folding the fabric over the edge of the foam, is that it doesn’t rely on any glue staying adhered over time, and also eliminates the need to use fray-check.

  6. Starting on one edge (not on a corner!), carefully zigzag around the mat – this will ensure the fabric stays as flat as possible (nobody wants a lumpy mousemat!), and to also help prevent any fraying from the edges underneath.
    I did use a walking foot and denim needle just to be on the safe side as I was a little uncertain how the regular foot and needle would cope with the foam…. however, my hand sewing needle went through the foam really nicely so I don’t think a denim needle or walking foot are really essentials for this.
  7. Carefully trim the underside edges of the fabric with scissors, just to make them a little neater.
  8. And there you have it – a finished mousemat!
Fabric Mousemat Tutorial

The corners might not be the neatest in the universe, but for a 60p mousemat that can be made in any colour combination, you can’t really go wrong!

But what if you don’t like the idea of a zigzag all the way around the mousemat? Then you could try the hemmed version instead….

Fabric Mousemat Tutorial (hemmed version)

  1. Take your old mousepad, place it onto the foam and trace around it. Cut out the rectangle from the foam.
    If you didn’t have a mousemat to trace around, you could always just cut a rectangle 9″ x 8″ and round the edges by drawing round a round object like a saucer.
    Fabric Mousemat Tutorial.
  2. Take your fabric, with the right side facing the table, and draw around the foam you just cut out. Then, draw a line 1″ outside that (this is the line we’ll be cutting). Cut out the fabric on that outer line.
  3. I then used the faux overlock stitch (a zigzag, but with an overlock foot) on my sewing machine to neaten the edges – this bit won’t be seen in the end, but it’ll stop the edges from fraying.
    Fabric Mousemat Tutorial
  4. With the fabric right side down, place the mouse mat foam pad on the top. Fold over the ‘overlocked’ edge slightly, then fold again, so the zigzag stitches are all hidden. Tack (baste) this down, through the mousemat foam.
    Fabric Mousemat Tutorial
    Fabric Mousemat Tutorial
  5. You may want to measure the amount of fabric you have showing on the wrong side, to ensure you catch it with the stitches in the next step.
  6. Starting on a straight edge (not on a corner!), carefully (and slowly) sew through the fabric and mousemat foam. I used a straight stitch, but you could use a contrast thread and a fancy stitch if you prefer.
    Fabric Mousemat Tutorial
  7. Looking at the back of the mousemat, all the fabric should be stitched, with none of the ‘overlock’ stitches showing.
    Fabric Mousemat Tutorial
  8. And there you have it – a finished hemmed mousemat!
    Fabric Mousemat Tutorial

I’ve tested out the zigzagged mousemat, and haven’t had any problem with the mouse catching on the stitches around the edge.  Just make sure you don’t sew over the body of the mousemat itself, as that would disrupt the movement of the mouse and prevent the mat from working as it should. Keeping the stitches to 1/8″ – 1/4″ from the edge is the most practical option.


This fabric mousemat tutorial is provided free for everyone to use. Link backs to this tutorial are welcome – please do not copy the tutorial and post it on your own site!

If you want to download the pattern as a .pdf file, please click through to the Craftsy download!

You may sell items you have made from this pattern, but please do not sell the pattern itself!