Sunday, 5 May 2019

Easing in a Sleeve

I have been having problems easing in sleeves. Ponte Roma has not been as forgiving as it was last time I used it! After much seem ripping I appealed in the Facebook group Sewing in the UK for some advice.

Here is my post.

Here are some of the answers.

Though I had stretched the ponte roma whilst I had been juggling with it, my fourth attempt was better. Thanks everyone!

Before advice both sleeves were crumpled.

After advice

I'll keep practising but not on this item. Time to move on.

Edit: I just heard Gok Wan, the fashion guru , refer to rippling on a set in sleeve as "pinched detail" I could have said that of my first attempts! Maybe there's an excuse for every sewing problem?

Tuesday, 16 April 2019


I need lessons in the art of display!

Each hair band is made of of two 15 inch x 5 inch strips therefore a couple of inches longer than in the tutorial I watched. The strips are joined by elastic at the back and a knot on top. I liked the design of these hairbands because they can be adjusted to size by retying the knot. 

The Guidecentral Tutorial Youtube Link

Sunday, 14 April 2019

McCalls M7322

This is a very easy pattern I chose view d and I made it in a patterned ponte roma fabric. That was my wearable toile (at least around the house) which gave me the courage to make a couple of changes.

For tunic 2 I added 4 inches to the length, a fold over collar and cuffs, Again the fabric is Ponte Roma knit which I bought from one of the bins of remnants at Aberkhan. It is very comfortable to wear and it does not crease. I am more pleased with it than I expected to be. Ponte roma is delightful to work with as its stretch qualities forgive beginners who are inserting eased in sleeves.

The  100% cotton fabric I used for View 3 was not so forgiving and it creases. Again I added four inches, a collar and cuffs. I also created side slits - partly because I thought it suited the style but also because the woven fabric made the same size as make 2 feel tighter. When I make the tunic again I will go up a size if I use a woven fabric.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Simplicity 1153 Review

I opened up the envelope ready for a "quick make". Most reviews on Amazon UK say the instructions are easy to follow . Though I have made similar cosmetic purses before by following tutorials posted on youtube, I became concerned about my mental faculties.

Thank goodness for the sewing groups on Facebook. I asked if anyone else had used the pattern and what they thought of it. I got a quick reply from someone who told me she had wasted a lot of material and developed a pattern phobia after trying to tackle Simplicity 1153. Similar comments followed.

I read the instructions again. Annoyingly some of the items are not lined.  I changed my mind about which view to follow and have had a small success. I'll stick with youtube tutorials in future though.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Cotton Nightie

A cotton nightie  for a little girl who dislikes polyester as it makes her hot and who likes the colour pink. It is not a sale item.

The pattern says it is an easy make but I added a few hours to it by doing french seams and adding decorative machined borders.

There are links to Pinterest to lots of free patterns for this peasant style garment but I used Butterick 4910. 

I was happily sewing until I read the note in bold on the back of the pattern: NOTE: Garments in this pack are not intended for sleep apparel.

The pictures look like sleep apparel to me so I decided to ask about rules and for general advice about sleepwear from members of the Sewing in the UK Facebook group.

I received lots of helpful links and opinions. Some people pointed out that :

  • even if it was easier to find fire retardant fabric there is some fear about the chemicals used to make them fire resistant. 

  • most sleepwear in shops is not fire retardant but items carry labels warning that the wearer should stay away from fire. 

Here are some of the links :

1985 UK Regulations

Safe Kids UK

Kids Clothes-Articles of Interest. A Podcast (All of it interesting but specific to my enquiry after about two thirds of the way through )

Here are some of the comments:

Kate: The information I received from my local trading standards was that items either had to be made using fire retardant fabric or contain the wording, in red, on the label "keep away from fire". That was for pj's and night dresses. Dressing gowns were a whole other kettle of fish though.

Sherren: I would worry more about the flame retardant chemicals which really aren't good for you, I know a fire isn't either, but personally i would prefer no chemicals but our risk of fire at home is small, no naked flames, no smokers, etc

Daphne: Unless you have an open fire or someone smokes in the house ...I don't get this...the risk is minimal surely .

Sally: The law is that if nightwear isn't flame retardant it must be labelled as such.
I believe this is only if you're selling it though. Otherwise I presume you just say, oi mate, I made your kid some jammies but they are not flame retardant so don't stick your kid near the bonfire in them.

I like the nightdress. I slimmed it down, opted for short sleeves instead of the long ones originally planned and I have issued a warning about fire. 

 The exercise, however, has made me question a lot of day wear designs, for instance,  many little girls delight in wearing twirly skirts and dresses with frills and sashes. 

Back to the Butterick  pattern - when do they expect the garments will be worn? Why might  the garments be more dangerous to wear whilst asleep than at any other time?

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Practising Applique

Now I have three rooms to tidy up after searching for scraps to practise applique with! Sigh.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Toddler's Purse

Based on a purse I saw when browsing Pinterest. The original was made by Crystal .

Crystal provides clear instructions and lots of photos.

It is well worth looking at Crystal's blog as she has lots of tutorials for cute items to stitch for children (Stitched By Crystal ) . Crystal provides clear instructions and lots of photos.

This is how I made my version of the toddler's purse..

I needed

fabric for the outer and the strap

fabric for the lining


trimming - I chose bias binding

fastener - I chose to use magnets at first - didn't attract - resorted to a stud.

I cut a 33 inch length of fabric 2 inches wide to make a cross body strap. Folded and ironed a crease down the middle length ways. Folded the long edges in to the centre crease. Ironed. Folded length ways again. I chose to top stitch the strap in white but the joins threw out the stitching. Until I have mastered top stitching I will use thread that matches the fabric.

I ...

Cut 2 circles from the main fabric.

Cut off the top of one circle about one inch above the middle.

Cut the same shapes from the lining and interfacing.

Ironed the interfacing to the back of the main fabric pieces

I stitched a folded length of pretty bias binding facing inwards around the edge of the right side of the outer fabric pieces. The folded edge of the bias tape was about an eighth of an inch away from the fabric edge.

Stitched the smaller piece to the outer with right sides together.

Repeated with the lining pieces leaving an opening at the bottom ready to turn the finished bag.

With the main bag right side out I sewed the open sides of the strap close to front side edges. Ensured the strap was not twisted and the loop was hanging downwards.

Sewed the front of the lining to the back lining. Placed the main bag inside the lining so that right sides were facing each other. Pinned and basted before sewing.

Turned the bag right side out through the hole left in the lining. Sewed the hole in the lining closed.


Added a stud and a bow.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Using a Seam Ripper

I had never considered what the little red ball on the seam ripper is for before I read a tip from Sew-licious. Since then I have saved a lot of time! 

Since using the seam ripper as it is designed for instead of picking out stitches and pulling them out gradually along the seam I have have had about 95% success. (On very thin fabric I have sliced a hole a couple of times.)

If you have never considered where to place the red tip of a seam ripper please follow this link to Marti at Sew-licious

Thursday, 24 January 2019