Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Coasters gift - tutorial

I'm finally coming to an end of my course, and wanted to say thanks to my last supervisor. He loves photography, even displaying and having his work available for sale. So I decided to use up a little more of my camera fabric, to make up some coasters, perfect for a man who also loves his tea... And they're so easy, perfect for a brief tutorial!

(Disclaimer: I got the idea a while back for these from another blog, but I can't remember where, sorry whoever I have plagarised!!)

As always, remember to pre-wash your fabric - especially where tea is concerned you can guarantee they'll need a wash at some point!
To make each coaster cut two squares of fabric and one of wadding 5inch x 5inch.
Place the wadding at the bottom, then the bottom fabric, right side up, then the top fabric, right side down.
Sew using a 5/8ths allowance, along three sides, and a third of the way across the left and right of the last side.
Turn them so the upper fabric faces the right side out.

Use a pin to bring each of the corners to a point, then, sew the last bit of the final side - *wagging finger* remember to use hand stitching (What? Me? Ummmm.... Well I used a sewing machine because I'm lazy!)

Finally, do some top-stitching as you see fit!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Wild Sargasso Laurel

Another day, another Laurel, by Collette Patterns... After seeing the huge number of beautiful versions on Flikr I got started, and haven't stopped, with two previous versions, here, and here!

This time I wanted to use up another fabric from my stash, I had a metre of this fantastic jungle print fabric from Liberty. Since the moment I saw it, I've thought about Wild Sargasso Sea, the book by Jean Rhys, which tracks the life of the 'mad woman in the attic', Mrs Rochester. The jungle is described as, dark, oppressive, and haunting, and I think this purple and lime green / yellow fabric has some of that feeling about it too.

Choosing trimmings was tricky, but with a bit of guidance from Renee and Emma via Twitter, I chose some purple bias, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

As always, zero pattern matching happening! This time I had the excuse of having no extra fabric, but there always seemes to be an excuse.... I really should learn how to do it!!


 One of my favourite things about this fabric is that it has really rich, autumnal colours, yet it's actually a really fine cotton. Now the shops are all full of clothes for winter, I think it works for that awkward period between seasons. However I have decided - no more Laurels for a while, and not until I have a idea takes it a little away from the basic design!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Jersey dress: Simplicity 1651

Summer: The season of weddings, and parties. A time for celebrating with friends and loved ones, and looking good while doing it! At the start of the summer I found the most beautiful dress at Warehouse and decided to do a copy, for some of the events of the coming year.

The original dress was duck egg blue, medium weight crepe with an interesting cut out at the back. I loved the classic simplicity, and the shape of the skirt, so elegant.
Despite my intention to copy this, my version is pretty different in the end! Made using a light weight crepe, and lined, both fabrics bought from Abakhan's in Mostyn. The pattern, Simplicity 1651, has a a sweetheart neckline, which I just love. The only thing similar to the original is that there's a cut out at the back and a fairly similar skirt! Nonetheless, I'm really happy with it, and learnt lots about lining a dress. It was a real challenge, especially when putting the zip in!

I used two types of bias binding to finish hems on the skirt, each bias matching the tone but not precisely the colour of the lining or crepe - I wanted to have a small contrast for some detail. I think you might be able to see that in this photo. What you can't see is the stiffness of the bias, and how it added to the flutes of the skirt. 

What do you think? A good dress for wedding season? These photos were taken at a lovely couple's wedding in Jersey, it was so beautiful there, and a really special day. I'm pretty sure I'll be using this pattern again in the future!