Learning to Macrame!

I went on a little Class yesterday… and learnt how to Macrame!

It was such an unadulterated pleasure to be the one learning and being taught for a change, it felt quite decadent! The Class was run by Knots & Shots and in just under an hour I learnt how to make a Square Knot and create a little holder for a jar with a candle in it. I’m so proud!!

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The Class included all of the equipment, the jar and candle and even a little hook! It was a wonderfully pleasant way to spend a morning, and I highly recommend it. The teaching style is relaxed and informal, and we were able to learn at our own pace whilst chatting about the History of Macrame- it’s not as old a sport as I had thought!- and drinking a coffee in the corner of The Phoenix Cafe, where the Class was held.

I liked my effort so much I came home and made another…

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I must however; remember to get slightly nicer pots and some little trays for them! This pot isn’t quite big/tall enough… maybe I just need to eat more jam as the glass jar looks beautiful!

The plan is to make three long hanging Macrame Pot Holders for my new Kitchen as I would like to pop Herbs in them to use whilst cooking. I think it will add a little natural element to the room, which is needed because there is no window, only a sky light. It’s a very tall room too, and I hope the Pot Holders will help in some way to connect the space…

macrame plant hangers How to make macramé plant hangers, by Skinny Laminx! A simple enough craft that I might actually have time to do it. Hang je kruidenplantjes eens in een macramé hanger!

If you would like to keep in touch with Knots & Shots about future Macrame Classes do so here… I’m already looking forward to my Intermediate Class in June!

Happy stitching!

New poster! Dressmaking Classes in Bristol…

Aprils Poster

 

Some of the above only have a couple of places left, and the Bra Making Course is almost all sold out but I could squeeze one more person on to it! There are 3 places left on the Play Suit Course, which I think is going to be awesome as I have three different patterns including a super Retro 40s style Land Girl one! The UpCycle Sew Anything  and Vintage Summer Dress Courses are both booking up and have just three places left each… book quick guys!

I love all of the new Project Days I have put together too! You can learn how to make Pyjama Shorts, Patchwork or Machine Embroidery in just one day among other things, and for just £35 which is pretty darn spectacular if I say so myself.

You can still book most Classes and Courses for just a £10 deposit, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!

Happy stitching!

Notions: How to Finish a Dart

I thought today I would show you this beautiful hand finishing technique for ensuring your Darts are beautiful every time!

As I am still up to my neck in Dimpsy T samples, as well as finalizing the Pattern ready for release, I thought I would make up my very own in the gorgeous Parisian Summer fabric. Isn’t it just the best thing ever?

Firstly, you will need to sew up your Dart as usual… the Dimpsy T’s is in the middle of the bust and can look a little odd until it’s sewn…

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Leave the threads long and tie as usual however; instead of cutting close, thread them through a needle as illustrated.

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As close as you possibly can, thread the push the needle back in to the fabric, in to the Dart as shown below. You need to insert it in to the Dart, above the stitching and take the longest stitch you can.

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Push the Needle back out and pull, then clip the Threads close. I like to ‘pull’ slightly so the Threads *ping* back in to the Dart and are hidden forever.

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As you can see, the Dart is finished beautifully with no Threads visible and is ready for a final press!

This is me proudly showing off my newly made Dimpsy T…

me in dimpsyI love the combination of the Navy Collar with the Red and Navy Print, and I’m super pleased with the fit and placement of that Dart!

Pre-order your Dimpsy T here, and help me bring this sweet Pattern to life!

Happy stitching!

 

 

Notions: Clipping a Curve

Hi y’all!

I might be watching Nashville as I type this… it’s so good! Any hoo… this week I thought I would resurrect my popular Notions series with hints and tips for getting a polished finish, sew with a little more professionalism and ease or simply share some of the tricks I have learnt over the years.

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This week, I’m keeping it simple with a little top for trimming back excess Seam Allowance on Curves. I have been Sewing a lot of Curves recently, what with all of the samples I have been making for the release of my next Sewing Pattern, the Dimpsy T.

It can be really tricky clipping all that excess material back, and if you have a decent pair of Pinking Shears you can make life a little easier!

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Make sure you hold the fabric so you are only cutting the Seam Allowance- it is alarmingly easy with clunky Pinking Shears to cut a little bit of fabric you don’t want to without realizing!- and snip a couple millimetres away from the stitching.

This technique is best for lighter weight fabrics however; if you are using something a little more heavy you can trim each seam back individually.

Hope this helps, don’t forget to request any Notions if you are struggling with a Sewing problem! If you are about in Bristol, UK you can always pop on down to one of my Classes.

Happy stitching!

Pattern Ponderings

Another Monday, and another Pattern Ponderings!

I do so hope you had a wonderful weekend, full of Sewing, tea and cake. This week I have some wonderful finds from the world of Independent Pattern Making and I have had such fun finding them! There are Pattern Makers the world over, all happily drafting away and selling their wares. First on my list today is the Mimosa Blouse from SBCC Patterns.

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This is a Raglan T-Shirt Pattern, made pretty! You can choose to make it with or without the Ties, but that’s the bit I love! SBCC (which stands for Skinny Bitch Curvy Chic), make Patterns from XXS to 3X… in layman’s terms that’s teeny to extra big and I’m sure they do something for pretty much every size out there. This would be an excellent Pattern to bring along to the T-Shirt Project Day!

Okay, after making my Tea Dress a few weeks ago (yay #MMAW15!!), I am a new fan of the gathered bodice as it turns out it suits me. Yes, even after sewing for as long as I have and Pattern Drafting for almost as long I can learn something new about my own body shape! So my new current obsession is the Giselle Dress from Kate & Rose Patterns.

Image of Giselle Dress PDF Sewing Pattern

I just love the long sleeve, shorter version. Inspired by the flowing Dirndl Folkware of the Alps, this Pattern is classed as Advanced Beginner, and you would learn so much! I think this could also be an awesome dress to play around with mixing patterned prints, or prints with plains. If you like this idea but are worried, why not put the question to Sewing Club? They’re very good, y’know!

I think I am in a bit of a girly, dressy mood today because my final choice is the Cami Dress from Pauline Alice.

Camí dress 1

How happy does this dress look? I think I would have to add in a little to the length but I love the in-seam Pockets and retro feel of this dress. I also adore that little cuff!

Don’t forget, if you like these Patterns, buy and support an Independent Designer like me! You can see my Patterns here, with more to come. A lot of them come as PDF Downloads which makes them cheaper, and instantaneous yay! If you’re struggling, pop along to a Sunday Sewing Bee for some help.

Happy stitching!

Notes from the Atelier

A week or so ago I ran a Freehand Machine Embroidery Class here at The Midnight Atelier, which was a blast!

Machine Embroidery Class 3 Machine Embroidery Class 1 Machine Embroidery Class 15

Starting with the basic principles and how to set the Sewing Machine up for Freehand Machine Embroidery, we quickly moved on to the fun of it all and started to create mini works of art!

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Throughout the day I demonstrated different techniques like freehand pattern building and writing as well as using Water Soluble Fabric, Applique and using Metallic Thread.

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I seriously loved the delicate leaves (above, left), and watching what you have embroider become an almost 3D object is wonderful!

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It’s difficult to be creative on demand like this, so I’m always super proud when everyone enjoys the day and gets inspired. It’s such a wonderfully easy thing to do, it really is all about what you want to do with it! Monogram something, make art work or create your own textiles? Embroider fabric to create Lingerie for sale? Embroider your logo, or use it to create new products for your Business? The list is endless…

Some samples were left in the workroom and I think I’m going to frame them to inspire everyone! This Class will run again on 25th April, 1-4pm and you can book here.

Happy stitching!

Pattern Ponderings.

There are so many fantastic Independent Pattern Designers out there I thought I’d start sharing the ones I’m all about, the ones I’m obsessed with, the ones which I want to stitch up and frolic about in a sea of daffodils wearing!

My first new discovery and current obsession is Salme. I love their clean, pared down designs, my favourite being the Buttonless Shirt Dress. I think it would be such a simple little make (ideal for a Sunday Sewing Bee maybe), and perfect for Spring with leggings and boots, but also a great Summer Dress when the weather gets a little warmer. You could make several, all in different Light Weight Cotton and be happy forever!

PDF Sewing pattern - Buttonless shirt dress

Now, my next new discovery seems to have happened at the same time as every one else! But I’ll share anyway, it’s the Emmeline Tee from Little Tailoress.

Emmeline Tee   Emmeline Tee

You can make this from stretch or non-stretch Fabric, yay! I love the sleeves, to be honest, and again, this would make up so quickly and be comfortable forever!

And now another Top,  this little darling from Wiksten. The Tova Sewing Pattern, which I first discovered and know best as a dress. By lengthening the Pattern you can create several different Dresses…

Tovabyprosestitch Image of Wiksten Tova Sewing Pattern Downloadable PDF Image of Wiksten Tova Sewing Pattern Downloadable PDF

You can add Buttons, remove the gathering… or even add pleats! There’s so many ‘hacks’ online it’s unreal! I have just bought this little gem but I think I need to treat myself to some lovely fabric before I make it up so it might be a while until you see me wearing it. A pattern like this would be the perfect thing to bring along to my Sew Anything Course as re-designing the Pattern would be a fantastic project.

And now for a little colour… I mean I love Grey, but phew! Feast your eyes upon this beaut from Waffle Patterns!

Billed as Advanced (but I think a determined Intermediate Sewer would manage it, maybe with a couple visits to Sewing Club, or on the Sew Anything Course), this Jacket is just heaven to me, and wouldn’t it go well with the Tova, or Buttonless Shirt Dress underneath? I’d be too scared to make a Mustard one, in case I went off it after all that work, but I might be persuaded to make an Indigo or Midnight Blue one… There’s a great Waffle Patterns Blog too.

Have you discovered any Patterns recently? I’m always on the look out, what have you made up? As I start to develop my own  Pattern Line further I am discovering more and more Indy’s out there and I’m so happy that there is so much choice these days!

Happy stitching!

My 2nd Sewing Bee challenge!

After having thoroughly enjoying the 1st Alteration Challenge from Week 1 of The Great British Sewing Bee, I waited with baited breath for the 2nd to be revealed. I was pleasantly surprised when Patrick explained the contestants had to make a new thing from a Childs Cotton Dress and a bright yellow T-Shirt. It immediately set my mind a-buzzing (which I try to stop so as to not have too much of an edge over the contestants!), and I scuttled off with glee to my local Charity Shop sure in the knowledge I would find my challenge goodies.

Readers, I was thwarted. I looked high and low in at least 8 Charity Shops and finally resorted to a Primark hunt but all to no avail. I put the conundrum to Sewing Club and we all agreed that if I could find no Cotton Dress I would get a Shirt and a yellow T-Shirt as this was equivalent fabric.

I couldn’t shop again until yesterday and lo and behold… oodles of Cotton Dresses. Hurrah! I ended up with this brightly coloured Aztec number, which I thought was quite jolly and went rather nicely with the yellow.

I hastily made my sketch and was off!

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I still had it in mind that they are asked to drastically alter the pieces they are working with, so decided to make the Dress into the top of a new Dress and use the t-shirt for the skirt. As the GBSB contestants were allowed to use as many trims as they liked (an opportunity I think they all wasted!!), I decided on some matching… contrasting?… Ric-Rac and a Bobble Trim.

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I first re-purposed the pocket by simply cutting it from the Dress to make it a larger size, then quickly drafted a Pattern (I don’t have a child’s mannequin so this was assumption and luck to be honest!), and cut out two sets of Fronts and two sets of Backs choosing the nicest parts of the pattern.

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Sewing the Fronts and Backs right side together, then turning and sewing at the shoulder seams to create a lovely, lined and top stitched bodice! Took a couple of pins through the ironing board, but it turned out very neatly I think! I had to top stitch because I needed to close the holes where I had turned it out the right way.

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I then attacked the T-Shirt! Cutting the front and back into panels for the front and back of the Skirt of the Dress, then joining and gathering along the top. I curved the back panels for a little flair. I also sewed on the pocket at a jaunty angle! Quickly cutting some Bias Binding, I sewed this together in strips then attached to the bottom of the skirt… what you’re seeing in the last picture is me running out about 5cm from the end of the hem. Typical!!

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After sewing the Bias to the bottom of the skirt, I flipped it to the back and Zig-Zagged it on neatly. I like Zig-Zagging Bias Binding, it makes it look much happier! I then added my Ric-Rac, which made me so happy!

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I cut and pinned the Bobble Trim to the bottom of the Bodice, tucking it neatly to the back…

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…then pinned on the gathered Skirt and top stitched it in place directly over my original top stitching! Very cunning, I was super duper pleased this bit worked as well as it did as May was right, joining non-stretch to stretch can get very interesting!

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I suddenly realised I didn’t know how I was going to close the dress (doh!), so the Button Shelf came to the rescue and I quickly added in three pretty flower buttons that I think fit very nicely with the crazy print.

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And there you have it. Sewing Bee Challenge No. 2 complete! A darling little girls dress (4-5 yr old) made from a Cotton Dress and a Yellow T-Shirt. Happy, if slightly delayed, days!!

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I couldn’t resist, by the way, keeping the printed label from the T-Shirt in the side seam of the back! Can you see it, peeking out in the above, right hand picture? Tee hee hee!

Next week… Curtains! And I can not blooming WAIT! I have made dresses for myself from Curtains before now and I’m going to try and dig some pictures out so I can show you!

Happy stitching!

New Sunday Sewing Bees!!

sunday sewing bee image Are you as excited as me about the Sewing Bee? And have you seen my first crazy challenge?! I have had many, many enquiries recently about all sorts of Sewing related projects so I thought I would pop a few Sunday Sewing Bees in on the Calendar to help everyone out!

You can book up here, and they’re only £25 for the whole session or £5 an hour. There are six spots for each Sunday. I think they’re a super way to create your own course- book two and make yourself a Dress or something new and lovely to wear whilst joining in with Make Me A Wardrobe!!

They will also be a chance to learn at your own pace, without having to keep up with a class, and whenever you want! Alternatively, if you have been inspired by last years Sewing Bee, one of the many glorious Sewing Magazines or have a Sewing Machine secreted away somewhere, use them as a way to dip your toes and see if you like this crazy world!

Bring a Pattern and Fabric or use The Midnight Atelier’s extensive Pattern and Book collection to trace off a Pattern to make for just the price of the Pattern Paper!

Contact me for ideas and suggestions, or join the Bristol Sewing Club’s Facebook Page and talk to the group! Alternatively, you could use them to learn a specific skill… ever wanted to try your hand at Pattern Cutting? Designing? Embroidery? Have you liked a Course I have been running but couldn’t make the time slot? Come now and learn at your own pace!!

Find out more information or book here, and I look forward to seeing you soon!!