One of the reasons behind Use 5 2017 was to reduce some of the stash. It’s gone quite well so far, and I have completed a couple of the projects. That said, I’ve not done too well at reducing the stash. I’ve had a couple of work trips that have taken me close to fabric shops, and much as steel is attracted to a magnet, I am attracted to fabric shops. Additionally I needed to buy some interfacing, so of course I had to add a little extra to the online basket and get free shipping!

So the end result is that we’re only half way through the year and I’ve added the following beauties to my little collection.Continue reading

Hi, it’s been a while since I posted here. Sewing has been continuing, but not blogging unfortunately. Anyway, I’m really pleased to say that I’ve completed another project with my Use 5 fabrics. I started off with about 1.5m of beautifully soft drapey t-shirt fabric. I’m afraid I can’t be any more specific than that – I bought it from Abakhan’s from their “T-shirt” fabric basket. I bought the pattern a couple of years ago from Jaycotts, along with a load of other New Look patterns that just happened to be on sale when I was browsing. Unlike everyone else it now appears (just see the number of reviews on pattern review) I wasn’t particularly excited about sewing all the gathers; I bought it because I wanted to have a knit top pattern. When it came to making this top I was slightly concerned that I wouldn’t have enough fabric for view A, but I had more than enough for the simple top, so I decided to chance it, working on the theory that worst case I would end up with shorter sleeves, or possibly a sleeveless top. The one thing I didn’t like about view A was the 3/4 length sleeves. I find I fiddle with 3/4 length sleeves all the time when I wear them, so long sleeves would be ideal, as with a double layer of fabric in the front I didn’t think this would become a summer top.Continue reading

Use 5 - 2017

Well, somehow we’re already 25% of the way through the year. Spring has sprung and we’re right in the middle of March winds and April showers.

Spring has Sprung

I don’t quite know how we got this far, it certainly doesn’t feel like Christmas was 3 months ago. Anyway, I think it is time to see how I am getting on with my Use 5 challengeContinue reading

Navy Ponte Lindy Petal Skirt

I have been intrigued (and scared) of sewing knits for a good couple of years, never quite knowing where and how to start, but about 18 months ago I came across the Lindy Petal Skirt from Itch to Stitch. It’s a free pattern, and looked to be a pretty good place to start – only 3 main pattern pieces plus a simple elastic waistband, and to top it off, in a style that I thought would work well in my office wardrobe. Once I had found the pattern though, I had to find the material…loads of things I’d read mentioned that Ponte di Roma is a good knit fabric to start with, but I had no idea what it was like, so didn’t really want to order it online, and none of my local fabric shops stocked anything in a knit, so I had no clue what sort of fabric it would be. That then, led to a big delay in actually doing anything about it, until my husband and I went away for a couple of days and found, just around the corner from the hotel, a branch of Abakhan’s! Wow! I was overwhelmed, and very pleased to find some navy Ponte di Roma for a reasonable price. Googling the fabric requirements, I popped in to Abakhan’s the next day, and bought the required 1.5m to make my very own Lindy Petal Skirt.Continue reading

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