Spoolette Swap Day Nov 16

swap-day-haul-1

I said I was going to be good at the Sydney Spoolette Swap day and for the most part I was. I did take nearly 2 bags of stuff with me to destash but I may of come home with 2 bags of stuff.

swap-day-haul-2

The first item I picked up I’m going to use on a couple of gifts next year. I’m going to cut out the soccer balls and applique them onto something. Finding this fabric has saved me from having to hand embroider soccer balls.

swap-day-haul-7

The tan fabric is almost an upholstery fabric it has a little bit of stretch in it so I may be able to make a jacket from it. The dark brown fabric I’m thinking a winter skirt. I measured it up against myself and at worse I can get the A+ Skirt pattern made from it.

swap-day-haul-6

The blue roses is the most challenging fabric I picked up. It is a synthetic  but I think I can make a pencil skirt from it. I have a luncheon to go to next year so maybe I can make it to wear to that. Blue roses are my favourite flower so I was drawn to this as soon as a saw it. The pink fabric is like a stretch denim. I’m not normally into pinks but I do like this. Again maybe I can get a jacket from or at least a vest.

swap-day-haul-3

I picked up a few patterns. Yes more skirts. I don’t have these patterns I don’t think. The bag pattern I’m curious to try or at least read the instructions. These are brand new patterns so hopefully I’ll use them if not I’ll take them to the next destash.

A lot of the fabrics I picked up I can use on WIRES pouches. There are couple I will need to do the burn test on to see if they are 100% cotton but I’m pretty confident they are. I giggled when I found the fabric with the Australian wildlife on it, it is just perfect for WIRES pouches!

This was the first swap day I have been to after only discovering out about the Sydney Spoolettes earlier this year. It was a lot of fun. People brought an amazing amount of fabric, patterns and notions. It was a great way to pass on things you won’t use and to pick up new things. I’m now going to have a bag set up for swap day and if I come across things in my stash I don’t think I’m going to use I’ll put in the swap bag for the next swap. I think it is easier to pass on things if you know they are going to go to a good home. I don’t care if people took some of my stuff home decide it’s not for them and bring it to the next stash. Eventually someone will be able to use it.

Cassiy

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Watermelon Bags

finished-bags

Watermelons seem to big this year I have seen them on everything. In the latest issue of One Thimble Magazine (Issue 13) there is an adorable pattern called Kawaii Felt Purses with one of the versions is a watermelon, I decided to make it but put my own twist on it. The original pattern is made from felt but I didn’t have enough wool felt to make 3 bags so I decided to use fabric. The easy way would be to use red and green fabrics from my stash. Pattern Review are having another challenge that I am interested in and it is to create your own fabrics – take plain fabric and change it using any technique you want to make your own fabric and use it in an item/s so I decided I would make watermelon bags.

calico

I started off with about 2m or so of plain unbleached calico. Previously when I’ve painted pieces with liquid radiance I started out with a rectangle almost A4 sheet of fabric and cut out my pattern pieces once the fabric had been painted and ironed. This time I cut out all my pieces first. I did have to adjust my pattern pieces from the original pattern. I needed to added extra seam allowances, draw out an oval instead of a semi circle for the fleshy part and also make a lining for the inside of the bag.

dried-circles

Dried Ovals

I used liquid radiance to paint up the fabric. For the red fleshy part I used red with splashes of pink. I painted the entire circle in the colour. I decided to experiment to see how the fabric would look if it was folded when dry. The end result was the fabric that was folded underneath turned out a lighter colour. The half that was exposed to light remained the bright colour that I painted it.

painting-process

I looked at the my liquid radiance colour chart and made up a green that I thought was the colour of the outside skin. I mostly used the colour I made up but I did add splashes of blue and yellow to the pieces. Where the pieces look particularly dark I used more blue in those areas.

I had to paint the green fabrics in 2 stages as I ran out of space. There are only so many boards I can fit on my ensuite floor.

bottle-mix-up

When I was doing the second lot I did make the mistake of grabbing the wrong bottle of yellow. For 2 pieces I accidentally used my yellow concentrate and not my diluted colour. No harm done the fabrics are just a little bit lighter but I did waste precious drops of colour. You can use the concentrates on their own without dilution but it is more economical to use them diluted. Lesson learnt check you have the right bottles before you start.

To construct the bags I made up all the fronts. I used the finished edge applique method. In this applique method you take your fabric and sew it right sides together before clipping your seams and making a slit in the bag to turn it right sides out. I marked on my fabric which was the back side that I was cutting as I was scared I slit the wrong side. This form of applique gives you a really neat edge and almost a 3D feel as you have another of layer of fabric behind it.

satin-stitch-length

To applique the semi circles on to the bag fronts I used a satin stitch. I wanted to create the white layer you see on watermelons so I used white thread. I set my zig zag stitch to the widest I could which was 7. I set the stitch length down to 0.5 My first one was perfect.

satin-stitch-problem

The next 2 I had trouble starting, I couldn’t get over the initial seam that was in the corner of the semi circle. I ended up having to use stabilizer underneath, start a little bit in from the edge and change my settings so my width was 6 and my length was 1.0. Once I got stared I was able to increase my width and decrease my length.

french-knots

To make the pips I did French knots in a pearl thread. The pearl thread is thicker. I marked out spots with a  black frixon pen then did my stitches adding a few extra here and there.

dried-straps

When I painted the handle fabrics I pleated the fabric so when it was dry it formed stripes. With liquid radiance anything exposed to air when drying is brighter than areas that are not so that is how you can create stripes or on the fleshy fronts the darker and lighter shades of pink. I formed the handle straps by folding each one in half sewing right sides together before turning out and top stitching along each edge

assembled-parts

The construction of this bag was pretty standard there was a lining, an outer bag and the handle. I did trim away some of the top of the fleshy party of the watermelon front to reduce bulk in the seam. Normally when I made tote bags in this method I leave my turning gap at the bottom but due the curve shape I had to move my turning gap space to top of the bag on the back.

inside

As a final touch I put on a KAM snap to close the bag.

So these will be Christmas gifts for my nieces but I think I am more excited about them then they will be. These turned out cute!

watermelon-bag-front

It was a fun personal challenge to see if I could take pattern designed to made in felt and change it around so I could make it from a woven. Thinking about all the steps I needed to change to make it work was a good way to stop and think about the basic fundamentals of sewing. Painting the individual pattern pieces for the first time was a lot of fun as I had to really plan in it in my head of how I wanted the end items to look. The machine and hand embroidery decoration needed thought and planning, I Goggled watermelon images as research over where to place my pips. These are one of the best things I have ever made.

Cassiy

Colour Me Happy Skirt V2

I had leftover colouring in fabric from when I made the Colour Me Happy skirt back in January so I have made a second one.

colour-my-skirt-v2

This skirt is pretty much identical to the previous one except for some reason even though I was wanting to make the same size I cut my fabric out wrong, when I stitched it up instead of fitting a 7 year old it fitted maybe a 3 or 4 year old. I sliced off my seams and started again. I actually went to a department store and measure a skirt to see how big I should make it this time, keeping a tape measure in your bag when out shopping comes in handy. I was running out of fabric so this skirt has 2 side seams instead of just the one seam like original. I did all my seams for this one on the overlocker.

bucket-hat-pink

This skirt is to go with the bucket hat I made a couple of months back. I again will also add marking pens in with the skirt for the child to use.

Cassiy

The Better Bag Maker

The Better Bag Maker by Nicole Mallalieu has been on my wish list since almost its release in 2014. As I’m trying to reduce the excessive amount of craft books from my stash recently I borrowed a copy of the book from my local library, within 5 minutes of reading I knew I needed my own copy.

the-better-bag-maker

I’m not a complete novice bag maker I have made 2 messenger bag and numerous tote bags, zipper pouches but within in the first 8 pages alone of this book I had learnt so much. As the front cover suggests this book is full of useful techniques, tips and tricks. There are some great bag makers out there who have wonderful patterns and fantastic instructions / tutorials that go along with their patterns but sometimes they tell you to do a step but don’t tell you useful gadgets that will help you do the step. If your familiar with bag making sometimes you told to trim back the interfacing / stabilizer from the seam to reduce bulk  but how do you do that if it has been fused to the fabric? This book explains how and shows you a tool to use. There was another little cutting tool that was mentioned in this book to cut inner points in corners, I wish I had known about this tool when cutting out the box corners on the make-up pouches it would’ve been handy.

There are 10 bags in this book that you can make. They start at a beginner level and increase in difficulty with each bag adding another layer of skills but all techniques used are covered in the book.  To be honest I’m not sure how many of the bags I will make but I will use all the skills from them on other bag projects I’m doing but also sewing projects. The skills you pick up in this book can be used in any sewing project. Whether you’re a novice bag maker or advanced you will get something out of this book. I’m glad I now have it in my stash.

Cassiy

 

 

Make-Up Bags

I love it when an idea turns out the way you imagined it would in your head. These make-up bags are Christmas gifts this year for some special people. These bags came from me having 6 zippers in my stash that I wanted to use up.

make-up-pouches

The pattern I used is the bonus Box Corner pattern that comes in the Essential Wristlet pattern by Dog Under My Desk. I find DUMD patterns super easy to follow with clear instructions and tips throughout the pattern. In these make-up bag I was working with unfamiliar fabrics so I wanted a pattern that I could clearly follow to avoid any stress in making them and having made the regular version of the Wristlets before I knew it was the perfect pattern. As I wanted make-up bags and not purses I left off the D-ring and handle. This was actually easy to do as DUMD patterns are written in stages so I just skipped the stages where it is said to make/insert the D-ring or handle. You can do that with DUMD patterns and not get lost as to where you are up to.

make-up-pouches-interiror

So I started with 6 zippers that I got in one of the Sew Boxes from last year. I needed to make 6 gifts so it was a logic way to use them up. After I made my waterproof draft stoppers this year using the ripstop I saw at the time I could get ripstop in a colour that would match my zippers. It is perfect to line these bags with. It is waterproof, you can wipe it clean if anything spills in it. I love the colour of it, a bit of fun when you open up the inside of the make-up bag.

tear-away-on-sticky-fabric

The first time I used ripstop I had no real issues working with it. This time I had a little bit of trouble with it but I think it was due to the more complicated pattern I was making (there are few stitching lines in a draft stopper) When I was working with the reverse side of the fabric it would stick to my machine, to get around this I used tearaway stabilizer on both sides of the piece as I fed it through the machine. I don’t have a Teflon foot and at first I did try putting tap on the bottom of the foot but it was still sticking but when I tried the stabilizer it ran smoothly. You don’t need a lot of tearaway, only enough to cover your stitching line. When I was doing top stitching and working with the right side of the fabric I didn’t have any problems it was only the white reverse side that stuck.

make-up-pouches-exterior

The exterior fabric on each one I painted myself. I did it to match the zippers. I had a lot of fun with these. Painting with liquid radiance and salting the fabrics as I have done on these it is a bit of a mystery as to how things will turn out. You have a rough idea of how they will turn out but until they are dry you don’t know for certain. I had my zippers near me when I was painting the fabric and I was adding a few drops extra colour here and there hoping to get the colours I needed. As I mentioned in my previous post one of the pinks turned a little more orange that I would’ve liked so I did use the reverse side of the fabric which was lighter. There are no rules you just go with whatever works.

painted-fabric-and-zips

These make-up bags are one off, I’m so excited with how they turned out. I loved the process of making them. I had to think all the way along the process from choosing the interior fabrics, working out the colours to paint with, problem solving the stickiness of the ripstop. To others that might seem a nightmare but to me it was thinking in a good way as it was my creative brain working. Sometimes I feel I get more out of  making a project than the recipients do. I know those you do get them are going to really like them.

Cassiy

Culling The Stash

With the Sydney Spoolette Swap Day coming up it has been a good chance go to go through my stash and cull a few things.

stash-cull

Before I started to actually make some clothing or maybe had made one item I started to collect fabric. At that stage I had no ideas of what I would make or any patterns or any clue really so I randomly picked up fabric. I got the fabrics because I liked the print and secondly because it was cheap on sale. Who doesn’t love cheap fabric (as in the price not the quality) My thoughts would’ve been I can make a skirt with it as whenever I see fabric I like that is my first response. Looking back on things now there are only a certain amount of skirts I’m going to ever need so it is best I part with some fabric that realistically I know I won’t ever turn in into that skirt.

stash-cull-tulips

The hardest fabric for me to let go of is this tulip fabric. I don’t particularly like tulips or even the colour red but for some reason this fabric is hard to part with. There is about 2-3m of it. I got it on sale at the start of either last year or this year. I can now see it as a dress but I know I won’t wear it as it has it has no stretch and I don’t like fitted garments without stretch in them. It needs to go to a good home and be used and not sit in my spare room under a pile of stuff.

stash-cull-pattern

I’ve gone through my patterns and found a few I know I won’t ever use, a few months back I gave away patterns to friends so I don’t have that many in my stash that are excess. These are either ones I got for free and don’t fit or I know I won’t use. Hopefully someone can use them, again better to be used than just sitting around my place. I really did the like New Look pattern but sadly my hips are about 5″ larger than the biggest size. I have heaps of other skirt patterns so life will go on.

stash-cull-trim

I’ve also gone through my notions stash. Last year I accidently brought 2 rolls of the same colour trim so have over 20m of the stuff. I’ll give away one lot and keep one for myself as they only way I have used it so far was adding it to an Instagram swap. I’m hoping someone needs tassles for bags. I personally don’t use a lot of tassles so will pass these. The buttons were freebies from magazines. They are too pastel for me so can go.

Doing this cull has actually been a learning experience. I now I know what types of fabrics and items I will actually use in clothing and what ones will one day end up at another swap meet. Now I’m only going to get items if I can think of a clear pattern that I can use them in and not do the vague “it will be a skirt” As I was going through things and finding different fabrics I came up with actual projects that will use the fabrics I’ve kept. I matched odd pieces together to form a skirt and discovered ways I could use other fabric. I will look at fabric at the swap meet and when it is on sale because fabric is pretty but I will only pick up unknown fabric if I can I use it in gifts. If I ever get through my current stash (insert giggle here) I can then start adding unknown fabric back to it.

Cassiy

 

 

One Pattern Many Looks 2016

I have completed my skirts for the Pattern Review One Pattern Many Looks contest. The pattern I used was Simplicity 1071, after doing my test skirt to check the size I have made the skirts in XL.

1071-blue-close-up

For my first skirt I used a cotton lycra called Pigeon Lace by Tyglycka. It was love at first sight when I saw Zebra Fabrics post a photo of this fabric on Facebook. I am not a white person but this print is amazing. The piece is 180cm wide too so you are really getting your money’s worth from it. It feels so soft and light.

1071-blue-hem

For the hem I used my coverstitch machine. I wanted to keep it very simple. Sadly my tension may have been out a bit or I hadn’t feed the fabric through smoothly so my hem isn’t sitting flat. It isn’t a total disaster as it looks like a pin tuck finish. As the print is so busy really it isn’t that noticeable as you don’t really see the stitching on the hem line. I brought this fabric with the intention of making this skirt. I purchased a little extra than the pattern required so hopefully I will have enough to make a matching top.

1071-black-close-up

For my second skirt I used some black cotton lycra I found in my stash, most likely I brought it from Spotlight last year. It has a slightly heavier feel to it. I wanted to make a classic black skirt. To add a little interest to the skirt as classic doesn’t need to equate to boring I added a trim to the hem line.

1071-black-hem

To attach the trim piece I first did a double folded hem and secured it with a row of stitching – confession I just eyeballed it and didn’t get out my hem gauge to check it was even. I pinned the trim onto the folded area and did a row of stitching either side of the ribbon detail. I wasn’t sure how stitching a firmer piece of trim onto a stretch fabric would go but the hem line doesn’t stretch and this is a heavier fabric so it works well.

1071-trims

I love the trim piece and can proudly say I made it up myself. At the ASG Simplicity Industry Day this year I picked up a roll of black cotton lace. I weaved some 9mm satin ribbon through the eyelet holes in the lace. I love the combination of them both. They both add interest to the skirt. The ribbon was the only thing I needed to buy in making these skirts as I had everything else already in my stash.

simplicity-1071

The skirt pattern itself is so simple to make up – a front, a back and 2 pieces for the waist casing. It is a great pattern to have in your stash as it is so basic you can change it around by changing the fabrics or trims or length of the hem.

style-statements

Looking at my check list of things to consider when making clothing

  • Comfort Yes it is super comfortable
  • Classic Yes it is timeless look
  • Creative / Quirky Yes the blue fabric is a little different and the black trim is one off (unless I make it up again)
  • Natural Fibres Yes I have used cotton lycra

I’m happy to say my new skirts are perfect for me. They are a simple skirt that is comfortable, they will fit in with other pieces of my slowly growing “Me Made Collection”

Cassiy