Monday, 30 July 2012

Emma Hardy Making Children's Clothing

Have a look at the book here - it is GREAT!!  You can also get it in German at Volksfaden.

Here is the 2nd pattern: Baby Bib

And here it is:

This side is one of my favorite fabrics - Riley Blake Fly a Kite October Afternoon.  Their is something retro-cool and simple about it.  Unfortunately this was my very last piece, so I could not centre the little girl on the swing - isn't she lovely!
Fabric from Volksfaden (again!! - I cannot resist their fabrics)

 And the reverse is practical, absorbent, toweling!
With a pear  :)

I am not a huge velcro fan... it sticks to everything in the wash.  So I switched the velcro suggested in the pattern for those wonderful poppers I got from Stoklasa and covered the popper with a pretty covered button just for fun.

3rd Pattern:

A sunhat!
Very much needed in Berlin at the minute!
 I made the bigger size (3-5 yrs) but it is just shy of fitting me.

Not too easy to see a hat on a headless Schneiderpuppe - what is the english word? Dress form?

Here it is on me:

Spot Sophia there?

It is a pretty cool, completely reversible hat!

Will have to make myself one for holiday!!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Making a roller blind pretty

Due to the lack of space above the window in our bathroom, I was limited to a roller blind, anything else & we would not have been able to open the window.  But the options in roller blinds were not that appealing, so I settled for a plain white one, and for 4 years I have not liked it very much!  This morning Eugene had a race, and so I started on a 'fix it' project!

I simply covered the roller blind's plain white fabric in pretty fabric, sticking it down left, right and centre with double sided sticky tape - no sewing involved!  And then flapping it to the back on the sides & repeating the stick down there!

I need to make a trip to the hardware store to get the necessary supplies to make a box pelmet to hide the roller at the top, but already it is greatly improved - in my opinion - and took all of 30 minutes to complete!

I am thinking of a black & cream stripe fabric over the pelmet - now I just need to find the fabric that is in my head!!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A nifty trick!

Need to trace a pattern?
Easy way... draw around pattern piece in wax crayon, place pattern paper wax side down on top of pattern piece on ironing board.  Switch steam OFF on iron!  (I forgot this on the 1st one!)
It transfers the pattern quickly & perfectly!

Here I have traced around the right pattern piece in green crayon

If I had remembered to switch off the steam there would not be crinkles on the green one!
But it took all of 2 minutes!

PS.  I bought my paper here

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Something useful!

You will know what I am talking about if you have a rotary cutter and the matching ruler... the ruler (while wonderful in many ways) is impossible to pick up without using your finger nails (and bending and/or breaking them in the process), and requires the use of your feet to hold it in place as you cut!
So, imagine my happiness when on my rounds to find a specific embroidery thread yesterday I found this....

Cheap & cheerful!
2 little suckers hold it in place & it works!
Happy days!
You can also get the 'door knob' one - as seen in the picture.  A whole bunch of happiness for under 7€

Friday, 20 July 2012

BIWC Sewing Class : July

This month I taught the class to make the Sis Boom Jamie Dress.  Here we all are wearing our dresses:

Friday, 13 July 2012

While you were sewing....

That's Sophia on the sofa in my work room

Making fabric water resistant

I discovered a new product at Volksfaden the other day:  Vlieseline Lamifix!

 I will be thrilled if it works, as it is a much more economical option (and no more waiting for post from USA!) than this that I used & spoke about here.  I have however discovered this specific iron on vinyl on German EBay as I wrote this post.

Lamifix is an iron-on product that turns any fabric (that can be ironed) into water resistant fabric - a great alternative to oilcloth (especially after learning how damaging to the environment the process of creating oilcloth is - I will try my damnedest to avoid buying & using it!).

Official use from the Vlieseline website:

Let your creative streak run wild!

Lamifix is a new iron-on transparent film that can be fixed in place and washed off again

Almost all

Advantages: Can be wiped off with a damp cloth and Secure and comfortable iron on

Method of use:
We recommend Vilene Lamifix fixing appliques to table sets, in toiletry bags,  fabric bags as well as for handicrafts. The finished products are thereby protected from getting dirty. Wipe with a damp cloth, do not wash!

Place the Lamifix with the glossy side interfacing up on the right side of the fabric, iron setting wool/cotton. First iron lightly, then cut to exact measurements. Then cover with a dry cloth. Set the iron temperature somewhat higher (about setting 3), and press firmly for about 8 seconds. Allow to cool completely.

Wipe with a damp cloth, do not wash, do not dry clean!

Colours / Measurements:
transparent, 45 cm width, 15 r.m. / roll

The only snag I see with this product is that it washes off.  So, I am going to do a test run using a cold / cool wash & see.

So, here begins the test:
Application was REALLY easy! You simply cool iron it into place  (I just pressed it down in the centre), then hot iron with a press cloth over.  If you have any wrinkles, simply iron on the reverse & they are smoothed out!  It worked very well.
One tip:  be sure to iron your fabric VERY WELL BEFORE you add the Lamifix, as once applied it 'traps' wrinkles in!  The fabric is coated, but not that high gloss you get from the Iron-on-Vinyl:

I have drawn a square around with permanent marker to see how it copes with a wash.

After the hand wash in cold water, where I soaped it, rubbed it vigorously and it was well wrung out.

It looks like the laminate has lifted off the fabric in places.
But after a quick iron, 1st on right side (cool), then on reverse (hot), it is 100%:

It is now on a short cycle in my washing machine at 30 degrees (C).  I have set it to full spin.
It is almost as if the Lamifix has shrunk a tiny bit, and so now the fabric is slightly puckered under the Lamifix and cannot be ironed flat, and has a little bit of an 'elephant skin' appearance.

So, I would cold water hand wash the item for sure, but avoid the washing machine! 

You can use this product for cosmetic bags, for placemats, coasters, change mats etc etc.  Use clips to hold your pieces together instead of pins as the pins will make holes.
Flat hair clips would work well... I just didn't have any!

Sew with a walking foot to prevent sliding.
I would think a Ballpoint needle would do a good job.

Hope that was helpful!

ADD ON:  I just realized as I was about to throw away my test piece... I didn't check how well it overlapped!
Lamifix is 45cm wide, so you may find times when you need to join two pieces to cover a panel.
I found it best to overlap the two layers ever so slightly to avoid any gaps.  It did not fuze together like the iron on vinyl does though, and you can see join lines if you look carefully.

The advantage over the iron on vinyl however is that it can be iron on the reverse without the special paper to protect it.  If you were to do that with the Iron on Vinyl (IOV), I think the plastic stuff would be transferred to the ironing board!  You can also use a cool iron on the Lamifix, which is not the case with the IOV - even a little heat melts it & it will get stuck on your iron!

So each one has it's use.  Big areas & items that need machine washing - better with IOV, all the rest - I would chose Lamifix - purely based on ease of use (no backing paper required).

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Burda Skirt pattern 8344 - very simple, very elegant!

Online pattern ordering here
Important note:  If you buy Burda patterns in Germany & the pattern doesn't come with English as one of the languages of instruction, simply email Burda & request English instructions from them.  They are most obliging!
Here are the details of the very efficient, helpful lady that very quickly assisted with English PDF instructions via email:

Marianne Croin
Anleitung Montage Fashion Factory

How great is that?!

Even if you are new to sewing, you will easily manage this lovely A-Line skirt with different hem lengths on one pattern.  I have adapted it a little bit, but the adaptations are easy to do & you can manage this easily!  I am not overly fond of waist bands on skirts, and I do rather like fine, ever-so-slightly sheer cottons lined, so I cut both of the pattern pieces in both focus fabric and lining, and do away with the waist band completely.

Be sure to mark all the notches for the darts: (just click on each photo to get it in full size)

ZigZag all the side seams (long seams) of the 3 ( two back pieces, one front piece on fold) skirt pieces and 3 lining pieces.
Then stitch in your darts on ALL the pieces (separately).   Make sure you place them in EXACTLY the same place on focus & lining!
Switch to basting stitch (a long stitch length on a straight stitch that can be easily removed).
FOCUS FABRIC: Join the two back pieces of the skirt down the straight seam with the basting stitch.

Iron this seam open.

Place the zip under the top of this basted seam with the top of the zip past the top edge of the skirt back so that the head of the zip will not be in your way when you sew it in place.
Pin the zip in place.

With your zip foot, stitch a line of straight stitches either side of the zip, and across the bottom.
Removed basting stitch inside of this rectangle
Reinforce the basting below the rectangle with normal stitches to close up the rest of this seam

Stitch up the side seams of the main skirt.

Baste the back seam of the lining together, the length of the zip, and then change to normal stitch length for the rest of the seam.
Join up the rest of the lining seams

Now place the lining & skirt right sides together 
Match up all the seams & darts at the top edge of the skirt & stitch them together.

Undo the basting on the lining (where the zip fits).  Hand-stitch down the lining to the zip, ensuring you enclose the zip ends. 

All that is left to do is the hem!  Either double fold under, iron in place & straight stitch, or cover the raw edge with bias binding, bias tape or another type of trim.

Enjoy wearing your pretty new skirt!