Microwaveable Rice Pack

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not a fan of the cold weather. In fact I have rather bad circulation to the extent that I frequently wear socks in bed, even in summer. I therefore would find the wheat packs that you can buy rather useful. But much as this makes me sound like a skinflint, I begrudge paying ten of my hard earned pounds or more on what is a simple pocket of material filled with wheat – so I live with cold toes! That is, until last week, when I decided that after my machine had been fixed I needed to undertake some very simple straight sewing to try it out.

I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to make my very own warming pack. I have loads of scraps of material from various projects, and loads of left over bits of thread, so this cost me the price of 1kg economy rice – in other words, about 50p! I consider that a win 🙂Continue reading

Perfectly Aligned Slots in Presser Foot and Needle Plate with a Nicely Centred Needle

Well, as I said, my sewing machine wasn’t functioning quite as it should have been. I managed to speak to a very helpful engineer at the manufacturers, who talked me through how to diagnose and then fix the problem, all for the cost of a 20 minute phone call. It’s only when you realise that your sewing machine isn’t working properly that you realise how much it means to you – I had visions of it costing a lot to get fixed, then having to make the decision of whether to buy a new machine or suck up the repair cost. What a relief to find that I didn’t need to make that decision. Continue reading

Battered Needle Plate

Can you see the problem? You can, can’t you – it’s just me, that’s been using this machine possibly for years with this issue that didn’t notice it!

I was recently pampering my sewing machine by giving it its annual (ahem) deep clean, and I noticed that the needle has been hitting the needle plate occasionally – it’s not been hitting at the side (which would be due to say using a twin needle in the left hand needle position rather than the centre needle position) it’s actually that the needle seems to be too far back (or the needle plate and possibly bobbin case are too far forward).
I have searched online for solutions to this problem, but so far to no avail. As such, I have contacted the manufacturer in the hope that this can be fixed. Unfortunately I found this issue on a Saturday evening, on a Bank holiday weekend; hence I haven’t been able to actually sew anything. So, you’re asking, what is there to write about on a sewing blog if I haven’t been able to sew? Continue reading

Use 5 - 2017

I have spent this festive period enjoying time with my family and lounging around reading sewing blogs and eating too much. In doing so, I’ve noticed that lots of bloggers are doing their version of a best and worst of 2016 and plans for 2017 posts.Continue reading

Finished Chinese Costume, initial version!

You may notice I haven’t posted here for a while – I’m afraid it’s not for lack of trying – this post was written in the first week of December, and it has taken me until now to actually get the photos in! Life, it seems, gets in the way of blogging.

A few weeks ago my daughter announced that she is going to be a Chinese child in the school nativity play (they are doing an international theme, so the kids are dressing up as children celebrating Christmas with different traditions from around the world.) The school asked us to provide a costume, and as a busy working mum, I promptly forgot about it! I then remembered, the night before the costume had to be in school. So what to do? Well, initially I rummaged through all of her clothes, then her brothers clothes, then I rummaged through my clothes, but no, we had nothing in the house that looked remotely like a Chinese outfit. I did find a red t-shirt, and I was close to cutting out and sticking on some yellow stars, so that she looked like she was wearing the flag. I didn’t really like that idea though, so instead I rummaged through my stash looking for anything that might be considered remotely Chinese! Continue reading

WTF?

I’ve been reading sewing blogs for probably over a year now and I’ve really enjoyed it and found them helpful. The sewing blog community, and in fact the wider sewing community seems to be very helpful and supportive. That said, I initially struggled to work out what a lot of the acronyms are! I have worked in several different sectors and there has been more than one occasion in my career where one half of the meeting attendees have assumed that an acronym means one thing, whereas the other half of the meeting attendees believe it to be something completely different. Jargon, therefore, is something I’m keen to make sense of!Continue reading

Brown Knit Top Front

I don’t know whether every sewist is the same, but some patterns hang around for a long time in my pattern stash waiting for their time in the sun. This pattern has been waiting patiently to be made for 25 years – but it’s finally had its turn, and I love this pattern! It’s a pattern from Prima magazine, from November 1991.

Prima November 1991 Pattern

Prima November 1991 Pattern

My mum bought Prima fairly regularly back in the ‘90’s, and between us we kept some of the patterns (although not all unfortunately). This pattern has probably been overlooked for a couple of reasons – the first being that it’s described on the sheet as a sequin top. That’s probably not that off-putting for most people, but I don’t really do sequins – in case you’ve not noticed, I very rarely do patterns, let alone sparkles! The second reason is that I don’t have the instructions for the pattern and also it’s designed for knits – so with my very limited experience of sewing knits, I’m afraid it’s just lurked at the bottom of my pattern box. Continue reading

Finished Flo dress

Last Christmas I requested as a present some material to make a dress for my little girl. My mother-in-law came up trumps with this material from her local fabric shop. It’s a beautiful soft drapey cotton with a delicate floral print.

Small floral cotton

Small floral cotton

Along with this, I was also given a white cotton lawn to use as a lining. With the start of summer coming up (yes, you did read that correctly!) I had to decide which of my girls dress patterns to make…I narrowed it down to a couple of patterns, but left the final choice up to the little girl in question. The pattern was then chosen as the Flo dress from Love Sewing magazineContinue reading

65 Open Tabs on my Phone

As I’ve said before, I read sewing blogs quite a lot. I find them really interesting and useful for finding out techniques, patterns and ways of dealing with those little gotcha’s that the less experienced sewist doesn’t quite know how to handle. I very rarely find that the latest post someone has written is directly relevant to my current issue, but sometimes I am wondering how to tackle something, and hurrah, my brain comes up trumps and reminds me that a few months ago I read something about this and how to tackle it! I tend to read blogs on my phone on the train, and unfortunately the best way for me to remember all the blogs I like is to keep each one open in a different tab. I don’t tend to subscribe to blogs, as the notification that a new post is up means that I get on and read that post immediately – that means that when I’m on the train with nothing else to do I’ve read all the blog posts! Unfortunately the browser on my (rather old) smartphone has a tendency to crash, and as such, on a fairly regular basis, I need to try and remember all the sewing blogs I like.Continue reading

GBSB A-Line Skirt Pink Striped Wool

This is the first time I’ve made a pattern twice. I’m not sure why I’ve never done it before, I just haven’t, despite having some patterns that I’ve loved. (Does it have something to do with my childhood, where my parents would buy one of whatever in every colour? I can understand why, I’m notoriously picky about clothes in some ways, so to find something I like was probably a minor miracle which shouldn’t be wasted!) That, in itself, was enough of a novelty that I felt that this fulfilled my objective of something new with every make. I really wanted to learn from the mistakes that I had made the first time around and make a much better skirt the second time around, treating the purple as a wearable muslin. Continue reading