Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Sewing, sewing and .....a bit more sewing

As you may have already guessed, I have spent most of this week sewing. Trying out something a little different this time and posting a quick review of two pattern kits I had in my 'stash'. Not something I've done before but thought it might come in handy if, like me, you've never bought a prepacked sewing kit before.

Here goes......

After being a very sensible girl and reading the user manual, I was eager to get sewing with my new machine - a Singer Confidence. Cue a mad half hour of trying out all 50 stitches on a scrap of fabric and filling my bobbins ready to sew.

With my machine fully set up, I made a start on a pattern kit I bought for myself in the sales last year - the Sewing Bee sewing apron.

The pattern

The pattern is graded at intermediate level. On the whole, I thought the pattern was pretty straight forward. There was no need for any fancy stitches (everything was sewn in a straight line) and the pattern pieces were printed on one large piece of fabric that you had to cut out (again, in straight lines). So, if you can sew and cut in a straight line, you're OK 😃

The instruction booklet was very user friendly. The instructions were easy to read and follow and I was able to sew the whole thing up fairly quickly. This was a really nice project to do over an hour or so. I started one evening by ironing and cutting out my pattern pieces whilst I had a bit of time to spare. I came back to the project the next day and did all of the sewing in about an hour (although I probably took a bit longer when I factor in my tea break :) ) 

The only fiddly bit was threading the waist tie through the small channel at the top of the apron. I used a large safety pin that is fitted with a safety cap so that it wouldn't come open and stab me in the finger and/or get caught halfway (I initially used a normal safety pin.....which resulted in both of the above happening......oops!)



Final thoughts

This pattern kit was really easy to follow and I actually found it quite relaxing. The fabric pieces are nicely printed and the contemporary colour palette and pattern used are fun yet grown up. 

I really enjoyed this pattern and am really happy with the finished article. I would definitely recommend it (if they can still be purchased!) and would happily buy another Sewing Bee pattern kit again.

Pattern review...  2

The second pattern kit I tried out this week was from the people at The Makery. This kit, for a oversized purse, was given to me as a birthday present. The packaging, as you might expect from The Makery, was very contemporary, brightly coloured and made you want to open it immediately. The contents were beautifully wrapped and included everything I needed to make the purse, apart from a pair of scissors, some fabric glue, a pair of pliers (needed right at the end) and, of course, a sewing machine (although this wasn't really needed since everything could be hand sewn). 

Thoughts on the kit....

This pattern kit was...... well, a bit fiddly. The instructions weren't always the clearest and, if like me you like to think outside the box and try and be clever, you could easily find yourself having to back track and undo some of your hard work. There were one or two points in the pattern where I had to reread it several times to make sure I had got it right. Occasionally, you find that the written instructions don't give you all the detail you need and therefore you have to work out what to do next by looking at the drawings and hoping you haven't missed anything. Now, it may just have been me being a bit slow on this particular day but... I do think the instructions could do with a rethink.

The final few steps require a bit of patience, some glue and something pointy to squish (yes, that's a technical term!) the fabric into the purse clasp. Be careful not to put too much glue in the clasp channel. Even if you think you've only used a small amount, it soon spreads and can leave a bit of a sticky mess on the clasp. Nothing you can't clean up with a baby wipe....provided you've used the recommended fabric glue. 

The finished article....

The purse actually came out really well. Apparently, it looks 'really professional'...!! (Thanks husband, dearest). Obviously, I was quite chuffed with such a review. 

I must admit that I prefer a purse with places to put things like bank cards and somewhere to keep my clubcard safe (other store cards available!) but this purse would be great for a night out. It looks great, has plenty of room for your lippy and some loose change and, I'm sure, will get you lots of compliments.

Would I recommend it as a gift idea....? Yes, i think I would. Just make sure the person you're buying it for is good at following instructions, has plenty of patience and a few hours to spare :)

Final thoughts on sewing kits....

If you know someone who likes sewing, I would definitely recommend a sewing kit as a gift idea. I received two this year and both are for items that I will use and have fun making. So, be brave and try something new. And, whilst you're at it, why not buy one for yourself?! :) 

So, that's my first pattern review post done. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this as a possible future feature. 

I'm still busy with knitting and crocheting but looking to expand my sewing repertoire as I continue on my quest to be able to make all of my own clothes. It has long been an ambition of mine to be totally self sufficient where fashion is concerned and, with regards to knitwear, have stuck to this over the last few years. My improving sewing skills give me the oppurtunity to branch out into much fancier and ambitious outfits and is a new avenue for creative development which I am very excited to pursue.

Well, that's all from me for now. I am already plotting and planning my next blog post and looking forward to showing you what I'm making right now.

Come back soon to see what I've been up to!

Much love,

KnittyNora xx

Saturday, 11 June 2016

What I've been making


Finally finding the time to sit down and finish a blog post I started last week. I have been busy resting and enjoying the sunshine. 

I thought I'd start this post with a few pics of the projects/ideas I'm currently working on and developing. 

Current projects....

I'm also working on a gift for my middle niece, who is soon to be two, and a knitted dress for myself called the Yoshimi dress. A rough outline for the dress was posted on the Kollabora website, of which I am a HUGE fan. Being me, I decided to develop the pattern and am currently in the process of writing up the instructions so that I can share them here, via my blog, and with the lovely people over at Kollabora.

I'm really enjoying the process of writing and developing patterns and am already working on some of my own, which I hope to be able to share with you at some point in the future. Much of what I've designed is specifically written for me and therefore my very specific measurements. Armed with various books on pattern design, I'm hopeful that I shall, at some point in the future, have the time (and patience) to begin developing my patterns for a range of sizes. Stayed tuned!

Other developments of a crafty kind...

After much umming and ahhing, I finally got round to buying myself a new sewing machine. I am absolutely rubbish at buying things for myself. I have spent weeks looking at machines online and searching Ebay for a bargain (none to be found!). I mentioned that I was looking at machines on a well known supermarket website a couple of weeks ago. By the time I'd convinced myself to buy one, the one I had in mind was out of stock. Cue much annoyance with myself. 

After a little sulk, I requested stock updates for the two sewing machines I was most interested in and tried to forget about it (easier said than done). A couple of weeks later (including several hours spent on Ebay), I received a very pleasing email from said supermarket chain. Cue a frantic 5 minutes of me logging into my online account, buying my new sewing machine and booking a delivery date. Two days later and my new arrival was here. I was one very happy lady :) 

And here it is........

I've yet to use my new purchase. I've decided to be a very good girl and read the user manual very carefully before embarking on my first project (those of you that know me well will know how difficult I will find this :) ). I have several patterns that I'd love to have a go at, including a couple from the new Sewing Bee book.

I am absolutely in love with the pallazzo pants pattern featured in the book and ever so slightly tempted to make myself a jumpsuit (also featured in the book), if only to wear around the house :) 

Come and find me on twitter....please.

For those of you that didn't know, I have a twitter account :) I'm now using this to share photos of the projects I'm working on and to share my thoughts on the making process and what inspires me to make in the first place.

I would love to hear from you and hope you'll pop over and follow me. My twitter tag is @LittleMrsCrafty.

That's enough from me for now. I'm off to make myself a cuppa and to work on my Yoshimi dress. 

Wishing you all a very happy Sunday,

KnittyNora xx