Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Cath Kidson bag

So, my latest creation was from a kit I got with the Cath Kidson book 'Sew'. It looks like a good starter book, has useful guides to the basics and is laid out well. In the book comes the fabric and accessories pre cut to make a bag.
This was quite simple to make and it was a lot quicker as I just had to pick up the components rather than cut them up.
I enjoyed making this and I learnt a few new techniques which were:
·         T-Junction seam - I liked this method as it was a simple method to add width and shape to the design of the bag.
·         Rouleau button loops. I did not like this, it was very difficult and I could not understand how it would work. However after a few days and many attempts I managed to do it. It does look good, but I will be avoiding this in future projects!
·         Button holes - I decided to do them by hand as I didn’t have any extra fabric in case I did it wrong. Hand stitching them took quite a bit of time but I like how they turned out, I need to work on making them neater however I think they are acceptable for a first attempt.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Too many projects on the go!

Firstly, I must apologise for the lack of posts recently. This is not a habit I want to get into, I am aiming to post at least once a week.
I have been rather busy with non craft events such as visiting friends and family and having people to visit me. It was very good to see everyone and I was sewing away on my many train journeys, so not completely slacking!
At the moment I am working on five different things, three are near completion and the others need some more work. So in a few days I should have quite a bit finished.

Finally completed my Secret Santa present for the craft forum (no photos until after Christmas, so not to spoil the surprise) A little bit late, due to snow and other extreme weather!

This is turning into a bit of a reflective post, but I am enjoying learning how to sew and make things. It is very satisfying to spend an evening making something and to sit back and think 'I made this'. I am also enjoying the hands on aspect. I have always been a person who enjoyed working with my hands and doing anything practical. Having studied for so long, it is so nice to handle fabrics, threads, to set up a sewing machine or cut out patterns.

I also have a new camera which is very exciting and I am looking forward to taking really good photos of the things I make.

The blogging thing isn't going as well. I need to do some research on how to improve my layout and background, and to post better photos. At the moment I am finding it hard to position images and text and it is frustrating that I cannot just type in Word and then copy and paste the text into the editor here.
So if anyone has tips or advice on blog editing please comment below!

I am going to finish a bag now. Goodnight.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Made a bag! :)

So I am very excited as I have finished my first bag!
This was a pattern I bought in America and I bought the fabric at the same time to make sure I had everything I needed, as the pattern was using inches and some wording was different to what I recognised.
The pattern was for two bags one large and one small.
I decided to make the large bag first as I was unsure of how big it was to be.
I started by washing and ironing the fabric. The bag would be made from a pattern fabric, a lining fabric and an iron on interfacing. The cutting took a bit of time to ensure that I was making the most out of it and not wasting any.

Pinning and cutting pieces

All cut and sorted!
Next I ironed the interfacing onto the pattern fabric. The bag lining was formed, and then the shape of the outer bag.

Lining section

Main bag done
Next I made the strap and had a bit of a tough time getting it the right way round. After the strap I attached the top banding and lining.

Sewing lining, bag and banding all together

Sewing the inner lining
Lastly the inner lining was hand sewn to finish it off. The pattern said to use a button for the clasp, but my shop didn't have any buttons I liked, and I thought a magnetic clasp would be better on this size bag.

Inside - a handy double pocket
All together this took about 3 days, but this was including working and other things. I really enjoyed making this, sometimes I found the pattern hard to understand until I actually did it. I discovered a few techniques to remember:
  • ·         The cutting and pinning are just as important as the sewing, so don’t rush it.
  • ·         Accuracy is crucial and a small mistake when cutting will show up later on.
  • ·         I have become much better at unpicking now!
I used interfacing for the first time and found it very effective. When buying it I was concerned that it wouldn’t be good for a bag this size, but it has worked really well and anything thicker would have caused problems later on.
Overall I am pleased with how this turned out, I will be testing it next week when I go away to make sure everything is fine ;) . It would be good as an overnight or schoolbag as it is very spacious.
Please add any comments or tips below. x

Friday, 29 October 2010

Back from holiday with some lovely goodies

Well sorry for the delay in posting, I have been in America for a few weeks and had a great time. In between sightseeing and catching up with friends I managed to visit a few craft shops. Well they were like walking into heaven. For those of you who haven't been to America, all of their shops are very big, and if you imagine Tesco or a similar supermarket, and then imagine it filled with everything craft you can possibly think of, that gives you an idea of what they are like! I even got to push a trolley around and fill it with stuff!

The big shops are great for the element of wonder and excitement of being surrounding by so many things which you can buy, and they have a pretty good choice aswell. The prices are also very reasonable, and there are some brands which are hard to get hold of over here. However, you do lose a sense of community or friendliness in a way. In the British craft shops, they are small, and full up of ribbons and fabrics and buttons and threads all in little boxes, drawers, bookcases and baskets. You can spend hours in there rummaging and looking and discovering because it is so small and traditional. There is more of an atmosphere in them. You can do the same with the supermarkets, but it is a different experience with more of a wow factor.
So here are so examples of what I bought.
Christmas fabrics and ribbon.
These are cord and lining fabrics, I love the bright colours!
Because there was so much choice, I was a bit overwhelmed so I focused on buying supplies for some specific projects I have in mind. So over the next few weeks you should see these transform into something (hopefully) beautiful!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Hi there,
Here is some beading from the weekend. I have been very busy at work this week so I haven't been able to make much. Also I need to buy some more fabric for my next project. 

So I have made a pair of earrings, I am quite pleased with how they came out. I used pale blue and light Swarovski crystals. The white seed beads had a large impact on the whole earring, so next time I may I use another colour. I do like the shape of these though, I will do some experimenting with this pattern.

The one is one of my favourite designs. It is a simple but effective pattern and works well in many colours.
Enjoy   :-)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A bit of beading

So the last couple of days I have been doing some beading, some photos are below. I have quite alot of beads and shouldn't really buy any more, so I am trying to use different types and different styles to what I normally make

I found the blue square bead in my box, and chose to build the design around it. I chose memory wire so that the design would be simple. I added some swarovski crystals and fire polished beads to draw out the colours. 

This bracelet was made using beads I bought in Australia (the ones with writing on them) and the green squares are from a shop by the sea in Sussex. I like how this ended up and the green brings a bit of colour to the design. I was using cotton thread for this, so was a bit difficult to string the beads as it was quite thick.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

My first project - apron

Hello there,
Well when I got home from work yesterday I had a nice surprise, some of the fabric I ordered had arrived, which meant that I had all the supplies to make my first item J
I had bought the magazine ‘Sew Hip’ a few weeks ago (September edition, Issue 20) and it is a very good magazine, it had a variety of projects to do, some easy for beginners and others a bit more complex as well as useful adverts for fabric suppliers. One article had instructions to make a basic apron. Having had a read through it seemed simple enough and I ordered my supplies.
So today I got started. The instructions were to use some linen for the main piece, some cotton for the trims and twill tape for the ties.

As I had bought patterned fabric I adjusted the design slightly, so instead of folding the linen, I cut a piece and sewed it on for the pocket. Next was to sew on the blue trims, followed by the red twill tape and then to stitch up the sides to form the pocket. Lastly was to sew lines up the pocket to divide it into three sections.
All in all I am pleased with it, it was very fun to make and I loved the feel of the fabric and doing something practical again. There were not any problems apart from when I was sewing a part where I had folded the fabric a few times so that it was too big to go under the foot, In the end I just stitched that bit without the foot down and it seemed fine.

I love the fabric I chose, the Russian dolls are cute, and the linen makes it a bit more rigid and durable. I am not sure about the blue trims, I could have chosen a different colour, but it was hard as I was ordering online.
To break it in I made some chocolate fairy cakes which were delicious and I am eating one whilst typing this.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

First post :)

So I will start by saying welcome to my blog, as you can see it is a bit bare at the moment.
I will begin with a little about myself. I have been crafting and making things all my life, my Mum used to get sewing magazines and she would give me the free gift which was a small sewing project to do. When I was about seven or eight I was given a broken necklace and I bought some more beads and created a pair of earrings and three bracelets from it. I guess it all started from there :)
Since then I have tried many crafts, cross stitch, patchwork, hardanger, rubber stamping, card making, knitting, beading, lacemaking......
My main passion has always been beads though, I have many of them. I loved going to craft shops and looking at the beads there, and when I went to America for the first time, well, they have bead warehouses, they are like supermarkets, I thought I was in heaven!
My beads are the only supplies which travelled to university with me, and lived under my bed for four years, occasionally being taken out when I had less uni work to do!
Another continous theme has been sewing in some form or another, I love going to the craft shop and looking at all the beautiful fabrics. I like patchwork alot, as it can start off small and grow, and I can buy lots of different fabrics.
I was recently given a sewing machine and decided that I am going to sew more. Now I am a graduate with large university debts I can't afford to buy clothes anymore. So we will see what I manage to create!
I hope that you follow my journey and enjoy reading here.