A commission

Just before I escape on my hols , I want to share my first ever paid for sewing project.

A friend wanted a storage bag for a mattress topper in her camper van. As soon as people know you can sew you get all kinds of requests. I was finally persuaded after a few glasses on wine on a night out.

I followed the same principle as my drawstring yoga mat bag, just a lot bigger and with a long oval bottom. My friend was thrilled with it, most importantly the mattress topper fits perfectly.

I used some ikea curtain off cuts (handily made use of the ready hemmed bits) the green is home decor fabric. I did lots of reinforced hems as this will be dealing with lots of weight and lots of use. Fingers crossed it’s up to the challenge.

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A Sewing Personal Best

I’ve been meaning to make a new beach bag since last summer and finally with the impending school break and a holiday booked, I got round to it.

Our old bag (shown below) was bought in a French supermarket many moons ago so definitely time for an upgrade.

I thought about buying a beach bag pattern I’d seen doing the rounds but with a long list of dressmaking patterns I’d like to buy, I decided I could manage without.

I used the old bag as my size guide and dug out this lovely ikea bird fabric, which is a nice home decor weight.

The handles were the ones from my Supertote which I made too short and I used Lisa Lam’s very nice clear zip pocket tutorial.

This was a super-fast make I think I started late morning and it was all done by school pick up (I’m not the speediest sewist!) and more amazing than anything I didn’t pick up my seam ripper once! That really is a first.

It’s huge with plenty of room for all our beach clobber. I’m looking forward to trying it out very soon as we are counting down the days until the end of term now!

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the sun has got his hat on….

We are having a pretty nice summer in England so far, so more summer wardrobe sewing has been happening.

A little update on my first sugar pop top…I made another! This time I was brave and used some of the fabric my husband brought back from the USA. This fabric is Flea Market Fancy, posie in grey. It’s a lovely retro print and I do love grey (though my wardrobe is becoming all kinds of colourful at the moment).

After not being happy with the bust darts last time, I traced the ones from the Josephine top pattern, this worked a treat. I cut a small size this time but scooped out a bit more round the arm holes. I’ve worn it loads. I do see why people avoid using quilting cottons for dress making, it is quite heavy compared with some of the other fabrics I’ve used.

Here it is still in need of hemming.

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My next make, hot off the press, is a Washi dress. Another fab pattern by Made by Rae. It’s a dream to wear and should cover up my French bread excess in a few weeks. I was inspired by seeing Joanne’s version and hearing her rave about it . I decided right away that my bright green Chinese Lantern fabric would he perfect.Β  To be honest there are so many amazing versions of this dress all over the sewing-web, its not hard to feel inspired.

A few things to remember for next time…

  • The shiring at the back was a of a test of patience as my machine really didn’t like having elastic in it’s bobbin! .
  • I decided to ditch the pockets in favour of a more streamlined skirt.
  • I’m not over the moon with the U shape at the front. It’s a bit stiff and sticks out. I may go for the scoop neck next time (which I see Joanne has done too!)
  • The top half is a bit roomier than I’d like, but as this will be a summer dress, that’s probably not a bad thing.Β  I went for a conservative half way house between small and medium – but I think a small would be fine, there is quite a bit of give across the shoulders (which is the bit that’s always tight on me) thanks to the shiring and the arm holes are generous.

So here I am swishing about in the garden. Thanks to my husband for tearing himself away from work to take the photos (I did make him lunch as a bribe!)

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Zip-topia

For ages I’ve been meaning to try out the Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch (it’s a free tutorial!). I spent the end of last year making it my mission to get to grips with zips. While installing a zip is now pretty straight forward, I never really got the zip ends quite as good as I’d like. Sometimes they were great, other times terrible. This brilliant pouch means no tricky zip ends – hooray!!

I made the first one for a birthday party we were going to, then proceeded to make a whole bunch for end of term teacher presents. Then (as I was on a roll) made a couple for some friends I did a charity bike ride with. Hence the fabulous bike fabric. If you struggle with zips I do encourage you to have a go they really are a lovely easy make!

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