Saturday, 27 April 2013

Look what I found....

You know those fabric trick markers... they are not that cheap, they only work well for a couple of months, and then they dry out?  Well, I think I accidentally found an alternative!

Have a peak at this....

These Pilot pens are actually meant for paper, but can be erased with friction - you use the grey tip at the end of the pen to erase it from paper.

I used the to write on fabric...

And then went over the text with a steam iron.... ONCE

I only went over the middle, I didn't go over the part that is still visible

The pink line is on my ironing board cover... the only trace of the pen is if you hold it up at just the right angle in just the right light, you can see what you wrote - much like you would be able to see an imprint of what you wrote on the sheet of paper under the one you wrote on.  It is for all intent & purpose GONE!

This will be perfect for marking darts etc!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Dress a girl pillow case dresses

I have made up a set of patterns - one in each size - for the BIWC ladies to pass around - a sort of chain sew :)  I have rounded the bottom seam of the dress & angled the side seam as I find the dress hangs better this way.  If you are new to sewing and hemming a curved seam is hard for you, feel free to make the hem line straight.  Just use the longest point of the hem pattern & straighten it from there.

Like this:

Now, choose the size dress you would like to make & fold your fabric in half so that the pattern piece will fit with the straight edge on the fold.

You will need two of these pieces - one back, one front

You can of course add pretty embellishments 
(ribbon, lace, pom pom fringing....)
Be creative & keep in mind that for some of the recipients this will be the only new dress they receive

To misquote Jill DiGiovanni - Sew in the LOVE

Now you are ready to follow the usual pillowcase dress tutorials.

HERE is a lovely one

A-Line skirt facing & zip

Today in our BIWC sewing class we made this skirt:

But, due to the major amount of work involved in piecing all the squares, only one person finished today - at about 6pm!!

So, to help the others I made these (very basic & badly made) videos (one handed videoing while sewing, so you know... bear with me) to (hopefully) assist in adding the zip, using my VERY easy method & then add the facing (or lining if you prefer) to complete your skirt.

After writing that, I suddenly wondered about the origin of the expression 'bear with me' ... what would we do without the internet?  I found this... QI (quite interesting):  The "bear" here is the old verb "to carry".  You are asking someone to carry a burden along with you, until you both get to the destination.  Thanks Viola Yee :)

For some reason my videos will not upload here, so I have had to upload them to YouTube - uuurrrgggghhh.  I hope no one else finds them as they were meant only as VERY basic sewing assistance for the class.

Click HERE for the link to video 1
Here is video 2

Click HERE for the video on adding the head to an endless zip

Remember to send photos of your finished skirts!!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Scrap busting project!

I have finally found a great way to use up the bags & bags of scraps of fabric I have amassed over time.

As you may recall from previous posts (here & here) our sewing group has been making dresses for the Dress-a-Girl-Around-the-World project, which the whole BIWC is now getting involved with by donating fabric, or money to buy fabric - yay ladies!!!

So this evening I had a brainwave... why not join up the scraps into a length of fabric & make another dress!!

I started with the pale blue packet of scraps (mostly).....

What do you think?  
Will this dress make a little girl's heart sing?

Surely an improvement on this....

You too can get involved in this great project - no matter where you are in the world.  The dresses are very simple to sew up & the smiles on the girl's faces are enough to get anyone sewing... just take a look

Pop over to their website & get involved!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Our next BIWC sewing class

In the next sewing class, we will be making this full length A-Line summer skirt

Spring has sprung - overnight! - in Berlin.  It is beautiful!!!!
Perfect timing for summer maxi skirts

I used the full length skirt (C) from pattern 2029 from McCalls, but any a-line full length skirt pattern will do.  The bias is what gives the skirt shape.

I scrapped the waist band & rather added facing 
I moved the zip from the side to the center back - which maybe was unnecessary, not 100% sure.  My thought was that the zip would lie flatter at the center back

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

My personal sweatshop!

With only one worker (me) and three machines....

Logos are embroidered onto toile de jouy
(each bag has an embroidered logo on either side - each one takes about 30 minutes to embroider!)
Straps being sewn onto completed bag linings
Embroidered bag outers being overlocked together!

I have 6 completed....
Only SEVEN to go...

(bearing in mind I already had 2 done at the start....)


An order that was only supposed to be needed next week is suddenly needed ASAP!  The bags will be collected at 4am tomorrow!!!

I am madly embroidering & sewing....

Here are the first 4 ready (they were already almost done when I got the call)... 

Only NINE to go....

OH MY HAT!!!!!!!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Simplicity Pattern 7433 (Deutsch) or 2642 (Eng)

I cannot wait for long Summer days - no more dressing in LAYERS and LAYERS just to pop across the road!  No more winter boots!  No more scarves / hats / gloves!  Roll on SUNSHINE!

In preparation I am sewing summer clothing - okay, I am soooooo sick of winter wear, this has been the longest cold spell I have ever lived through!

This is the pattern I used:

I made view E but added the tie from view C
I left off the pockets as the seam is down the middle of each leg & I didn't think pockets placed here were a good plan!

Kudos to Simplicity though... I accidentally bought a pattern with only German instructions & was worried about this - my bad German may not stretch to sewing instructions - so I emailed them & asked for the English instructions.  About an hour later, there they were in my inbox!  
What great service!

The halter neck didn't work out - the cross over of the pieces was insufficient & it gaped open, so I made the halter top into straps which worked just fine!  I have read on other blogs that this is a problem with the pattern.  It does however change a sexy dress into a pretty dress, so it depends on what you were after.  I think I would alter the pattern a bit, make the cross over greater and change the angle of the cross over quite a bit.  It would then work as a halter neck dress.

All in all though, I am happy with it.  I now need to find a co ordinating fabric to make the final tier for the dress to get it to the floor (at the moment it goes to just below the knee).

I suspect the top would fit better with a seam down the bust instead of simply gathers at the base of the bust.

I have ordered this pattern (from Oz! - it is out of print):

As I think the skirt is nicer - the Simplicy one does look a little maternity dress(ish).

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Handmade Handbag

Since getting over my bronchitis, I feel like I need to catch up all that (wasted) time I was out for the count!  I have been up nights creating & sewing, and even starting to tidy my fabric hoard!  (No small task!!)

Can you tell that I am impatient for Spring?...

The fabrics used to make this bag were all purchased on various travels & remind me of the people I was visiting - Rachel, family in Holland & my sister in the UK.  I couldn't resist the big bow - I have been paging through the latest Tilda book - Tilda's Fairytale Wonderland - WOW, it is GORGEOUS!!!! - and am really enjoying the feminine, romantic look as a result.

I think it may well be my FAV Tilda book so far!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Dress A Girl Around The World

How to make your dress:

Cut your back & front piece according to this guide from 
(cut one back & one front)

Or use this guide from 
where you cut one piece that will be folded in half to make back & front (my preference!!!):

Or this one from Flo:

Now, cut away your armholes using this template here

Then follow this tutorial here to sew it up!

And feel free to add some cuteness, like this:

Butterick B5608

I made a couple of tops using Butterick's B5608 pattern.  It is a really simple pattern, and comes together in no time at all.  I used silky, soft fabric with a nice drape.  I made view C.

The first top,  I made exactly as instructed.

The second I deviated.  Instead of making the small facing pieces (no matter which interfacing I use it has a rather stiff feel to it when I made the top this way) I cut & prepared two back & two front pieces & then stitched them together 1st at the shoulder, then neckline, then stitched each top's side seams.  I finished the armholes off with bias tape (I made using my 25mm bias maker).

I am much happier with the 2nd top!

 Don't mind the purple construction lines - they wash out easily!

Come join the fun with the BIWC....

Watch our welcome video & see some of the activities the BIWC offers... including sewing ;)

As a non member, you are invited to participate in two events to see if the club is a good fit for you.  Come along, join in - it is a great way to get to know Berlin & meet some lovely ladies and make new friends.