I found this great hair accessories pattern in One Thimble Issue 12 and thought it would be perfect to make as gifts this year so I added it to my ideas list.
I had 4 girls I thought this would be perfect for so I cut all the fabric out and made one of my “kits” containing all the fabric and notions that I needed for the project. Although there are 4 each one is slightly different so I noted down the fabric combination for each child. When it came to sewing I thought why make 1 when you can make 2 so started and on them and then thought why make 2 when you can make 4 and stitched the 4 of them up a once. It might seem tiresome and you would think it would take longer but I think it was actually much quicker. You use the same equipment on each one so you only need to take out that equipment once. Your brain in remembering each step in the process and how your actually doing it (even if you are following a pattern) so you don’t have to re-think back. At your sewing machine you only need to change your stitch length once for the same step you do on all 4 so it does make sense to batch sew if you can.
The front and back fabrics for these I got last year from a sewing magazine. They are fun and pretty but not childish so as the child grows and feels they are a grown up (even though they may only be 8 or 9) they don’t feel they have something babyish in their rooms. For the long lengths of ribbons that run down the front of each the pattern called for gross grain ribbon which I didn’t have large amounts in my stash but what I did have was a large roll of jacquard ribbon so I used that, the tiny hearts on it are so sweet. The ribbon is stitched down in sections so you can hold large amounts of clips in each of the lengths of ribbon.
The organiser has a pocket to hold all the hair ties that you can’t clip on to the ribbon. It expands out so you can fit a lot of hair ties in there and we know little girls have heaps.
At the bottom are hanging loops that you can place headbands in. Headbands never really went out of fashion but I think they are becoming popular again.
This organiser makes a great gift, it is an all one hair station to keep all hair accessories in one spot. You could make it for a child of any age. Like any homemade gift you can personalise the fabrics to suit the child. The pattern has some embellishment on the top where the hanging loop is but I didn’t bother, I left more space for clips. On each gift I added the clips and bobby pins I made and of course a headband. I think the girls would like it. My inner 9 year old would like it so I think they will too.
Using some of the leftover blue roses fabric I decided to make a bag to match my skirt. There are so many bag patterns out there and I have a few in my stash but I’m a creature of habit and decided to make a pattern I knew but put a spin on it. I used the box corner version of the Essential Wristlet pattern by DUMD. I made a bunch of these as Christmas gifts last year and they are pretty quick to make up.
The pattern is a PDF so it very simple to enlarge. I played around with the printer settings a couple of times and was most happiest when I printed it at 150% which was my original plan when I thought of doing this. Your basically making it 50% bigger than the standard pattern piece. I used a 12″ zipper. Added two D ring tabs instead of one, I cut them 4″ x 4″ I made a cross body strap which was approximately 4″ x 60″ I used the technique I learnt in making the Activity Go Case to finish the raw ends of the strap neatly.
The lining in black cotton. This will hold all the basics I need for a night out – Wallet, keys, phone. It is a simple bag I can throw across my shoulder and I know I have everything I need.
This was the last of the birthday gifts I made for 2016.
The pattern is Art Caddy by Miquita of Damaya Designs and can be found in One Thimble magazine Issue 5 It was one of those patterns I was instantly drawn too. You can buy back issues of One Thimble and I actually brought this issue just for this pattern as it was published before I discovered the fantastic magazine. The pattern has spots for both crayons and pencils as well as 2 extra pockets, perfect for putting some accessories and a notebook. It is smaller than most art caddy patterns I have seen but the compactness makes it more portable and perfect for travel.
The alphabet fabric I used came from a Sew Box. The peach colour fabric is one I painted myself, originally I was going to use it in another project but the colour was too light but by chance it matches in with the alphabet fabric. The red fabric is some scraps I had which again worked in with the alphabet fabric. Instead of snaps you can use Velcro as closures but since I got my snap press I want to put snaps on everything.
My 2017 gifts are organised.
I have already finished my first gift for 2017 as it is due at the start of January. I have sat down and worked out every gift I am making for both birthdays and Christmas for each person. Pattern wise I need to finalise a few things but at least I know what I am looking for. When making my gifts this year I realised it worked better when I had things already cut out and ready to go, kind of like kits that you buy at the shops or craft shows. Why are kits so popular in the shops? Because everything you need to make item is right there in front of you ready to go. I have spent most of my Christmas holidays making up kits for as many gifts as possible so I can just grab and sew them throughout the year. When I go to my Sewing Guild meetings I’m often stumped as to what I will work on that day but by having things in kits I can easily see what I items I can work on. I have certain projects I like doing on certain sewing machines. Anything that has a lot of curves to it I only like doing on my big machine as it has the knee lift.
I have added notes to some of them such as what colour thread to use if I had multiple coloured items in a packet. On others I have written the way I want the fabric to be used in the project. Making up the bags was a great way to go through my fabric stash as I pulled out all the fabrics I needed from it for the required projects. It made me really look at the fabrics and think of creative ways to use them.
In the kits I have included the interfacing they require. It was a chance for me to pull out my entire interfacing stash and sort it out. I now know what I had plenty of and what I was running low on. It was a real eye opener as I didn’t realise how much I had in my stash. I was able to use a heap of odd shape and small pieces in projects which has culled the stash a lot.
I am now feeling the most organised about my gifts I have ever felt. I’m going to be trying to some new patterns and some old favourites. Some gifts are going to be more complicated than others but if I just do one stitch at a time I will get them all done with love as I always do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”