Category Archives: Inspiration

Nine things to try in 2018

Most years I’ve set out my New Years Resolutions, and a lot of the time I can’t keep them past March. So when I decided to plan ahead for 2018, I took the idea from a “9 things” post on Instagram last month to make my Nine Things to try in 2018.

Top row:

  • Cheyenne Tunic* by Hey June Handmade
    I’m hoping this will make a change from trying to find jersey to make t-shirts, and give me a more varied selection of tops suitable for the spring and summer.
  • Zen Pants* by 5 out of 4 Patterns
    I was drawn to the Zen Pants as there are so many rise variations included – I tend to wear medium waist trousers, but I usually wear them a bit lower than they’re designed, so the medium rise of these might work brilliantly. It’s also the first pattern I have that recommends using Ponte fabric, so that will be an interesting experiment!
  • Marigold by Blank Slate Patterns
    I was planning on making the Marigold last summer, but time ran away without me and it was winter before I looked at the pattern again. But maybe this year I will get one made!

Middle row:

  • Novelista by Blank Slate Patterns
    I really dislike sewing buttonholes, so you might be wondering why I have a Novelista button-up shirt on my list…. well, either I’m going to cheat and use poppers, or I’ll add in a hidden button placket so you get a neat front without the stress of ensuring all those buttonholes are perfect.
  • Giverney Blazer by Winter Wear Designs
    Back when I started trying to sew clothing, I hadn’t read the information that said “jackets are hard to make” so naturally I made myself a few blazer-type jackets from duvet cover fabric. Other than one collar being put on the wrong way around, they came out surprisingly well! So I decided I really should make myself a decent blazer this year, out of some fancier fabric than a simple duvet cover. This pattern uses woven fabric, so there should be a great selection available in my local fabric shop.
  • Bat Plushie by BeeZeeArt
    On to the bats, and I admit I have made a few of these bats before! But when I was sorting out my bag of fabric last month, I came across some spare black and blue plush fabric which is just calling out to be made into a bat or two (or maybe three!). Because the wings and inner ears are made from woven cotton fabric, it’s a great pattern to use up oddments, or to so slightly crazy with glow-in-the-dark fabric like I did for the latest two bats I made.

Bottom row:

  • Refined Raglan by Winter Wear Designs
    Another top, but it’s not quite what you’re thinking – the Refined Raglan is made from woven fabric, not jersey! It includes details on how to alter the pattern to fit your individual shape, so it should be more successful than some of the previous woven tops I’d tried making – those never quite fitted ‘right’.
  • Willa Bear by Emma’s Bears
    On the theme of plushies, I’ve been wanting to make a Willa Bear for a while, but haven’t managed to get to grips with adding in non-jointed limbs…. hopefully this year I’ll find enough patience to sew them on, without arguing (too much) with my sewing machine!
  • Real Deal Jeans by Winter Wear Designs
    The thought of sewing jeans is quite scary to be honest, but if I can get to grips with some of the other patterns, then maybe (just maybe) I’ll hunt down some stretchy denim and try making some jeans! As with the other Winter Wear Designs patterns, the Real Deal Jeans have a section on getting the perfect fit, with the relevant pattern alterations you need for each fitting problem.

 

So there it is, my 9 things to try in 2018…. but it remains to be seen if I manage to make any of them this year! If I don’t, it’s no big deal, but I thought having an aim at the start of the year might help focus my attention a little!

 


* affiliate links

 

Fingerless Gloves Inspiration

Have you seen the 12 days of Christmas discounts and freebies over at Winterwear Designs? One pattern in particular caught my eye – the Alpine Fingerless Gloves are exactly what I’ve been trying to find. Unfortunately the eczema on my hands is so bad at the moment that I can’t sew anything, but I couldn’t resist planning a few pairs of these gloves!

The Alpine gloves are designed to be made from stretchy fabric, so they could look fantastic in sweatshirt fabric, or fleece.

  1.  Lucky Cards Sweatshirt Fabric – Minerva Crafts
  2.  Aztec Stripe Ponte – Minerva Crafts
  3.  Forest Animals Fleece – Minerva Crafts
  4.  Bugs Sweatshirt Fabric – Minerva Crafts

And for Spring, when my hands still need covering, but fleece might be too warm, a couple of pairs in jersey might be ideal.

    1.  Floral Print Stretch Mesh Jersey – Minerva Crafts
    2.  Rainbow Geometric Stripe Print Jersey – Minerva Crafts
    3.  Blue Butterfly Meadow – Fabric Land
    4.  Zoo Cotton Mix Jersey – Abakhan

Maybe if I’m lucky, Santa will take the hint and leave me some stretchy fabric under the tree, so i can make one (or five) pairs of these Alpine Fingerless Gloves in the new year!

Fake Fur Ideas

There’s nothing better for inspiration than a rummage through a fabric shop. On this occasion, I found two soft long-pile fake fur fabrics. They were more like 1/3 to 1/2 of the standard width, but at £8 a metre, I knew that 50cm of each would be enough to make a few small bears.

The red is quite a bright intense shade, which looks plain until it catches the light at a certain angle, when you can see an almost silvery shade to some of the fur strands.

The forest green is a more muted shade compared to the red, but the two tone look with the silvery tips caught my eye in the shop.

I will admit I normally wouldn’t pick green fabric, but this was too sleek and soft to pass up! It should definitely make a bear that you can’t resist running your hands through its fur.

Simplicity Sewing Challenge – Dressmaking Inspiration

“Your take on a Simplicity Make”

….it sounds so easy, doesn’t it? But just how can you show your individuality in a dress?

I had considered using some unusual fabric – maybe combining two colours, to separate the bodice, waistband and skirt.

Or maybe I should move the zip to the side and have a plain back.

Different still, would be losing the zip completely, and putting a front buttoned opening to make the dress into a shirt dress, although the thought of those buttons has me breaking out in a cold sweat!

I even considered taking a leaf out of a previous year’s winner’s book, and making the dress into top and skirt separates.

In the end, I decided to try adding elbow-length sleeves. I dug out some fabric oddments and made a rough version of the bodice, using version C with straps. I drafted a rough sleeve using another pattern I had as a template, and stitched them in.

Realisation 1 was that a boatneck style neckline with straps was never going to work – the straps slid off my shoulders almost instantly, pulling the sleeves with them.

I thought then maybe I needed to go for a smaller size, so I cut a size 10 from another selection of oddments, but realisation 2 was that a size ten made the armsyce way too snug so that it felt like I was about to bust the seam stitches each time I moved,

So it’s back to the original idea of a size 12, and I have just enough oddments left over to make another mockup version to check the fit before I cut into my ‘proper’ fabric.

Wish me luck – I think I’ll need it!

Shirt Inspiration – a Simplicity Sewing Challenge

I’ve made clothing for myself before, but the only wearable things I’ve ever made my dad (that fitted successfully) was a fleece hat. I think it’s about time I made hime something different, don’t you?

So I entered the menswear category of the Simplicity Challenge as an incentive to get something made.

At the moment I have taken the measurements (I didn’t want to rely on what dad said he measured!), and I’ve picked out some polycotton to make a “wearable muslin”.

I did get in a complete mess with sewing the facing – a combination of partially-written instructions, and a distraction while sewing, meant that I didn’t quite get it lying accurately. However, other than adding in the buttonholes and buttons and the final hems, this should be a shirt Dad can wear.

It does look a bit…. boring though. Plain polycotton might have been dad’s choice, but it isn’t going to look all that startling. So I had a rummage through dad’s wardrobe to see the kind of shirt design he prefers, and there’s a lot of checked fabric in there! I’ve got some gingham fabric and he’s picked out some buttons ready for the final version.

Wish me luck!