We're so excited to have Jessica here today. She is one of the most prolific, generous and lovely bloggers we know.
Dying to find out all about her best friend? Take it away Jessica!
Take some vintage inspiration...
And a $15 (!) piece of wool and cashmere that I picked up at Fabricabrac
...Spend one evening thinking and cutting and another evening sewing
...And Madeleine gets a new cape!
This remix was a simple one. I assembled the cape exactly as the original instructions described and just made a few easy changes
- I added 2.5 inches to each centre front panel, to make it double breasted.
- I added 3 inches to the length of the cape. (Madeleine is tall and I wanted to get at least 2 winters out of this cape)
- I drafted up a collar that sat just short of the centre front. I traced off a collar that I liked from a dress she has and altered it to fit the cape using this technique. I attached the collar in the same way as the book suggests you attach the hood.
- I drafted up some flaps for the slits. The vintage parenthesis shape was irresistible! I basted them to the back part of the split before I stitched the outer cape and lining together and then top stitched the pockets in exactly the same way as the book describes.
Madeleine loves this cape. She feels so glamorous wearing it. She hasn't told me that, but I can tell by the way she walks when she wears it! I usually have to fight with my shorts and T shirt loving girl to take a jumper (pullover) to school on cold days. Now I can't convince her to leave her cape behind!
My only regret is that I didn't have enough of the beautiful wool and cashmere fabric to make it in my size instead!
Come on, it's time to confess. Do your embroidery threads look like this?
Well, with the addition of this...
They can look like this!
The idea of me writing about sewing room organisation is hilarious. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I am the most disorganised person ever. I know a lot of people say this about themselves, but it's really true about me. No really, it is.
My sewing room has finally come to fruition - it's gorgeous and light and sunny (and there will lots of pictures to come, I'm sure). It has lots of built in shelving, perfect for the big stuff- fabric, wool, pieces of felt, patterns and books.
It's the little things that do my head in, though, and sewing certainly has a lot of bits and pieces associated with it! Sewing machine needles and hand sewing needles, safety pins, bobbins, straight pins, bodkins, bits of bias and ric rac, sewing machine feet, buttons - the list goes on and on.
Take a look at the contents of my 'bits and pieces' box....
There had to be a better system!
Searching in the spare room (Lizzy calls it the 'messy room' for obvious reasons!) for Martin's shoes, I came across 24 metal tins that were the perfect size for all my tiny sewing bits. I spent the afternoon sorting and loved the fact that all of my things were neat and organised. But then, how to organise the tins?
I found my solution at Ikea. (is there anything you can't find at Ikea?) A magnetic metal board and some tiny magnets. Add some spray glue and some grey spotted fabric from my stash...
and voila - a magnetic bits and pieces wall storage solution!
I love it and it's inspired me to keep the whole sewing room under control. Does anyone have any tips and hints for a girl who needs a bit of organisation remediation?
I love the postman - especially when I know he is going to bring me a little gift! Last week it was the O + S Little Things to Sew Book
. I must admit, it was a present that I bought for myself and I am really glad I did. The book is already overflowing with bookmarks - the girls' list of sewing requests, some projects I want to make for some upcoming birthdays and other ideas I just want to try out.We are very good at losing hats at so the first project was the reversible bucket hat for Will.
Despite heading into Autumn, hats are non-negotiable in our family. I am very aware that Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, but Will obviously is not! He has an almost reflex like action - as soon as he feels a hat go on his head, his little hand comes out and pulls it straight off, faster than I can blink. The only way to keep a hat on is straps. I really liked both the fabrics I used in this hat and wanted Will to be able to wear it either way - dots or zoo print. I was initially a little confused about how I could add some straps and still maintain the reversibility of the hat. I am pretty happy with the solution I came up with:
I stitched matching buttons at the side seams ( just above where the crown joins the brim) on both the dots and zoo sides of the hat. These buttons can be a cute addition when they are on the outside of the hat. They are used to attaching the straps (which I made with button holes in them) to the hat on the "lining" side.
When Will is in the mood for dots, the buttons on the dotty side of the hat look very sweet and the buttons on the zoo side are used to attach the straps to the hat. When he would rather wear a zoo hat, I just unbutton the straps, flip the hat inside out and re-attach the straps to the buttons on the dotty fabric.
Voila! A reversible hat with straps.
Will is not too fond of the straps. They keep the hat where he would rather it wasn't - on his head!
Today is my lovely sister-in-law's birthday. Happy Birthday Katie B!
This is what I made her:
Katie loves the beach so I made her a bag to take swimming. There is a matching zipper purse for her to put her wet swimmers in after she has finished her swim.
I bought this fabric on a whim.The big bold tangerine coloured flowers just made me think of Katie and I loved that the laminate made it shiny. There was one small problem, though... I have never sewn anything with laminated fabric! I had a very vague conversation with the woman where I bought it (Will was with me and not in the mood for fabric shopping!!) about needing a special foot for the sewing machine. I promptly ignored her sound advice and thought I could google a technique when I got home. One small problem - unbeknown to me our computer was ill. My font of all knowledge was out of action.
So with a baby sleeping, no other fabric options and a deadline of 2 hours this is what I came up with. I call it my Snap and Wrap (or sometimes Wrap and Snap} technique!
Firstly you can't pin laminated fabric. If you do you will be left with pin holes in your project.I have to say using my daughters' hair clips was fun. There is something very reassuring about Hello Kitty smiling up at you as you sew. Less cute but definitely more functional were the black paper clips - the fabric didn't move around at all.
When I sewed with right sides together, I had no problems sewing the fabric at all. I just increased my stitch length a little, decreased my tension a little and went slowly. I didn't want to make any mistakes and ruin my beautiful fabric.
When it came to sewing on the laminate itself things got a little tricky. I was ruffling the under layer and the upper layer was barely moving through the machine. Baking Paper was my friend. Wrapping whatever I was sewing in Baking Paper made it move through the machine like any other fabric. I then just carefully ripped the Baking Paper off when I had finished sewing. I think the resulting stitches look pretty good.
If you are planning to make something more complicated like a raincoat or be a regular user of laminated fabric I would buy a teflon foot. Yes, that is what everyone seems to recommend if you google "how to sew laminated fabric". But if you occasionally want to have a play with laminated fabric try this technique. I am happy with the way it worked out for me!