Friday, 31 December 2010


Unfortunately I never got out to purchase my folder – so that will have to be on the list tomorrow along with looking at kitchen units.

Happy New Year to anyone looking at this blog and I look forward to starting a new page to a new year tomorrow.


Thursday, 30 December 2010

Start the New Year with a new work book

So (Mike hates it when I say "so" he gets worried because it usually means that I have been thinking - and that always worries him). 

There are several things that I haven't tried before such as bound buttonholes, I want to experiment with piping and try some couching and other couture techniques etc., but I would like to put a folder together with samples and notes in to remind myself how I did the certain procedure.

So tomorrow I want to purchase a white A4, 4-ring binder with some dividers so that I can start putting my workbook together - I can then index it, and not only find notes on stitch length, problems etc etc., but keep it for future reference as I build up my experience – often I try out a new technique and then only do it the once and forget at a later date when I want to do it again.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Cotton Reel Holder

So when my carpenter son asked me what I wanted for Christmas I asked if he could make me something to hold all my reels of thread - Here is the end result and this will hold 84 reels of thread and rotates on the base to make the selection  - Thanks Lewis xx.

KWIK SEW 3532 - Butterick 4684

So you have all been told 1000 times read the instructions before cutting - I cut out this Kwik Sew pattern in some nice blue fleece without reading the 50% stretch requirement – yes I know less haste more speed!!!!

Thankfully I had some stretch fleece that I could use so I used the navy fleece for the front that didn't really require too much stretch and the collar, and then cut out new pattern pieces for the back, sleeves and sides (providing the stretch needed).

 I have made a few fleeces lately so I wanted to do something a little different with this one, so rather than having the normal zip opening at the front I dug out this very very old Butterick pattern - the price on this was 65p, the Kwik Sew pattern cost me £7.23 today, so I think I originally purchased in the early 1980's but the Butterick pattern had exactly the opening I wanted for this fleece so used the pattern for the opening as a template.

So this is the end result  - I managed to find some lovely blue silk embrodery thread to embroider the motif and all in all I am very pleased with this - nice and warm during this very cold spell we are having here.  This top has raglan sleeves, side panels and stand-up collar.

Its quite an easy, fast pattern to make up.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Santa left me more than a new sewing machine.

So feeling very frustrated that Santa had left me a fantastic new sewing machine and I was so busy cooking and entertaining the family on Christmas day that I coudn't use it.

Then on Boxing day we had to spend some time with Mike and his family and just to make things even better,  it was clear that someone decided to bless me with the flu/cold bug from hell.  Under ordinary circumstances this time here without Mike would mean that I would get out my new machine and get on with the top I have cut out - but I confess that I am struggling even to write this so yet another day without the ability to play.  I am dosed up with pills, lets hope they kick in by tomorrow when I can think abut doing some serious playing.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Santa has been yippeeee

So at last the waiting has come to an end and I now have my new sewing machine out of its box.  I have only managed to have a quick  look at the user manual but looking forward to starting using it.

 Also as promised here is the fleece that I made for Mike - he wanted this logo on it and for the non-Geek's out there it means there's is No place Like home.  But just as I am typing this, I have realised I have put ( 's) and (is) opppppppps oh well its unique will not be too many of them around (well not with a mistake).

And here is my model for the day Mike wearing his fleece - made from start to finish last night.

  And of course I couldn't do a post on Christmas day without popping a little picture of my beautiful granddaughter Alana - her first Chrstmas.

Hope you all had a fantastic day - I did, if not a little tired now.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Last Present made

So I have just finished the last gift that I am making this year - and I have to say I am really pleased with it - can't post a photo of it up because the recipient looks at this blog.  Will post a photo tomorrow.

Have come down with a cough and a cold which is really annoying - lets hope it doesn't hang around for weeks (as they sometimes do during the winter months).

Can't wait until tomorrow to open my christmas gift which I know is my new Bernina sewing machine - I have been really good and not even opened the box to prize out the instruction manual.  Now I have completed all my gifts, I can concentrate on making some things for me again yippeeee.

Happy Christmas everyone

Thursday, 23 December 2010

2 Days to Christmas and I still can't open my gift Santa left for me sob sob

Well the wait is getting unbearable now - Santa dropped off my new sewing machine to Superstich and I went and collected it last Monday, I have had it sitting in my lounge, all boxed up since then.

Thankfully despite being more or less housebound from the bad weather again, I have also not been able to take my planned vacation, so have been working quite hard from home so not really had time to be tempted because any free time I have had, had to spent finish gifts.  It will be my luck that when I do open it that something will be missing or not working and I will have to wait until the new year to be able to get what I need.

My last gift that I would like to try an make is a stuffed toy for Alana my granddaughter.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

4 Days to Christmas

Well despite wanting to take this whole week off, I am having to work, Monday, today (Tuesday) and will no doubt have to work on Thursday too.
Unfortunately Mike has gone back home to sort out his last minute Christmas shopping but we still need to go out and buy our food shopping for Saturday as we have 9 for lunch.  I have one Christmas gift left to buy and may try and pop out later to get it and can easily see myself picking up more stocking fillers.

Having made some gifts for people this year it’s made me think that I need to plan better for next year - I have just watched a great TV show based on crafts called Kirstie’s Home Made Christmas – I am really tempted to try out the home made soaps

and then make a batch for gifts to hand out during the year.  Here is the link if you are inspired too

 I did purchase some little jars to decant some home-made chutney into, once again for gifts, so I may make some nice little tops for the jars before giving them out to family and friends

Oh well best get back to work - roll on the holidays - once the tree is up and all the presi's bought and food for the weekend I can just play and start sewing somthing for me to wear for Christmas day, boxing day and hopefully New Year's Eve.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Glasses case gift

So having made the gift bags for Mike's sisters and his Mum, I thought I had better make a personal gift for his lovely Dad.

 Mike's family name is Moore and they have their own coat of arms so I googled the coat of arms to work out the design and then used my Digitizer Pro software and came up with the design on the case.

 For the outer fabric I used some leftover black quilted fabric and have lined the case with white nylon lining.

Hope he likes it.  Am thinking about making a golf tee holder, but will see how my time goes.

The embroidery took around 30 minutes to complete - the longest part was the green background on the coat of arms.

Well I think I have nearly caught up on my gifts now so anything else is  as they say, just a bonus.

I think I could do with some glasses cases myself - sadly I seem to throw mine in my bag and they get all scratched!!!  And here it is.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Personal gift bag tutorial

I thought I would try to do my first tutorial on how to make the little gift bags that I am making for my partner's sisters.

Equipment I have used:
  1. Janome 350e embroidery machine
  2. Husquvarna Viking Emerald 118 sewing machine
  3. Babylock Evolution Serger/Overlocker
  4. Janome digitizer pro software
  1. white cotton fabric (I have used curtain lining)
  2. white lining fabric
  3. wadding 
  4. white cotton thread for quilting and sewing
  5. coloured threads for embroidery work.

Instructions for quilting the fabric: 

 First cut the required size of fabric, wadding and lining.

I decided to cut a large piece of fabric this time and quilt that before cutting out the required size for each of the 5 bags I am making

 Depending on the size of the fabric, you may need
to roll the fabric to get it through the arm of the machine, I rolled mine in stages.

Above you can see the cross section of the quilting.Once the fabric has been quilted we now need to think about adding the embroidery.

I use the Janome digitizer pro software to design my embroidery and this is final stage of the design before you transfer it onto your memory stick which goes into the embroidery machine.

 Once I had created my design I am ready to hoop the fabric before starting the embroidery.
Select your preferred stabiliser and cut to size before hooping.
Fabric hooped you are ready to place it on the machine and start the embroidery.
Here are the first three I have finished - two more to go, one for Debbie and one for Sally and then we are ready to start assembling the little bags.

More tomorrow. 

Well apart from getting an urgent phone call for work, I managed to make a start on my bags around 10:30am.

Ok, so I wasn't happy with Barbara's embroidery which I used the multicoloured thread -  for some reason the bobbin thread came through to the front , undoubtedly due to tension problems, and therefore didn't look as nice as the others so I sewed a fresh one (sometimes things don't go so smoothly).
Once each square was completed I cut a corresponding backing square and using the overlocker machined one of the side seams first.  Second stage was to serge the open edge of bag on a stitch length 0 to give a satin stitch effect.  Next I machined the other side seam and the bottom seam to complete all sides of the bag.

Finishing touches:

I had some beautiful black and white trim which I stitched all around the bag using a small zig zag stitch leaving enough to create a loop.  I then took some elastic, secured it with a few zig zag stitches back and forth before stretching it, and using the previous stitching as a guide attached the elastic to the inside of the bag.

Job done.

I have filled the bags with travel sized bars of soap, some nice body lotion and will pop out before Christmas to buy some other goodies to fill the bag.

Total time taken approximately 2 hours per bag.  Lets hope the ladies like their personal gifts.