Good Sewing Books

I’ve muttered recently about starting to sew some of my own clothes, and whilst I’m definitely rusty, I’m also definitely not a beginner. As I ponder my first project – first if you don’t count the PJ bottoms – I’ve been thinking thoughts Such as:  What is tissue fitting? Why does everyone on GBSB use pebbles instead of pins when they cut out? What new machine feet are there now to make things easier? The internet is great for all sorts of questions, but what I’d also like is a good reference book. Which is where you guys come in. What would you recommend? I’m thinking I want the sewing equivalent of June Hemmons Hiat’s  Principles of Knitting.

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The sort of book I want isn’t padded out with projects, aimed at beginners, or written by someone who’s not a hugely experience dressmaker, but just good at PR.  I want the sort of book you dip into when you know in the dark recesses of your mind there is better way to do something; a book that feels as if it’s full of facts; a book so big you can press flowers in it. I want a book that tells you all the ways to do something, the pros and cons, and the practical reasons for choosing one method over another.

Having said all that, if you’ve any other favourites that don’t fit my want, but you’d recommend, I’d love to know about them too.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Look forward hearing what you suggest.

Until next time.

Bekki x

 

Floral Quilt TA-DA!

For the last two weeks I’ve been spending most evening hand sewing the binding onto my floral quilt.

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It’s taken two weeks because not only did I have seven meters of binding to sew, but I also find hand sewing hard going on my middle finger – the eye end of the needle manages to make it sore and even bleed very easily – does anyone else have that challenge?

With the binding finally attached the quilt is finished…

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Lovely Husband is behind there somewhere

And here it is in place in our bedroom…

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What else is there to say, but HURRAH!

Until next time,

Bekki x

Quilting Time

I’m pleased to report I’ve finished the top of the jungle baby quilt and sandwiched it up with batting and backing fabric…

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Next step: Quilting.

I’m thinking I’ll stitch in the ditch between all the patchwork pieces and echo the pinwheels in quilting across the jungle fabric squares. I’m not going to quilt the thin jungle fabric and polka dot boarders, but the red one is a wee bit too wide not to quilt. Any thoughts on what I should do with that?

Look forward hearing what you think 🙂

Bekki x

Scrap Happy – Golden Retriever Size Dog Bandana

This month I thought I’d join in with Scrap Happy, because I’ve been using up scraps.

I’ve several scraps left over from lining project bags. I’ve also recently acquired a golden retriever. Put them together and the result is obvious…

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Okay, not quite obvious, a little hidden under his fluffy mane.

The bandanas I’ve made are reversible, measure approximately 25cm (9.5″) wide by 17cm (6.75″) long, and fit on the dog’s collar to reduce the possibility of them hanging themselves on it.

I started by making a suitable sized template from a cereal packet.

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If you fancy making one, the suitable size for a golden retriever/Labrador/setter size dog is:

  • Top straight edge: 27cm (10.5″)
  • Straight part of side at top*: 6cm (2.5″)
  • Top to point at bottom: 20cm (8″)

*The bandana fits a collar that is 4cm (1.5″) wide – increase this measurement if your dog has a wider collar.

I cut two pieces of fabric for each bandana. For each piece I pressed the straight part of both straight sides over by half an inch – wrong sides together – and sewed them down with two rows of stitching…

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I then pinned the two pieces together, right sides facing…

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I sewed half inch away from the edge across the top…

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….and half inch away from the diagonal edge of both sides, leaving the straight part at the top of the sides unsewn…

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One side

… and trimmed off any loose threads

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The other side

I then made several more…

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One side
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The other side

All I then needed to do was ask Harry to choose which one to wear and which side he wanted showing. I then threaded it on his collar. Et voila! A dog in a bandana…

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He’s not unhappy, just concentrating on the biscuit on top of my head.

Joining in this month with Kate & Gun’s monthly Scraphappy Day where you too can use your scraps of fabric, yarn, paper, wood, anything to make something useful or lovely or both and show it off to the world.  You don’t have to join in every month, only when you have something to show.  Details and a list of other participants’ scrappy endeavours over on Kate’s blog.

Until next time,

Bekki

Patchwork Progress

Finally – almost two years after I started it – I’ve finished the patchwork for the top layer of my quilt.

Last time I showed you it was looking like this…

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The final border was made up of six inch squares. It took quite a while laying them out and ensuring the patterns were evenly spread and no two patterns that were the same touched…

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I then numbered ever square, because every time I do chain piecing I manage to mix the order up.

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Pleased to say I managed to keep them in order and they’ve all been attached now.

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Next I need my lovely lovely friend to help me put the quilt sandwich together – far to big to do on my own – and I don’t mean this lovely lovely friend…

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Until next time

Bekki x

PJ Bottoms and advice please

I know it’s not rocket science, but given I don’t think I’ve made any clothes for myself since I made my wedding dress 30 years ago…

 

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…I’m very excited to have made a pair of PJ bottoms.

I was too mean to spend £10 on a pattern, so decided to make one from my existing PJ bottoms. But then I found a free pattern. I know, I should have known better. I did do some measurement checking and decided to make a size smaller than was supposed to fit me. Unfortunately the legs still seemed far too wide, so I lopped 4″ off their width, but I still think they’re too wide…

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Never mind they’re only for wearing in bed.

Meantime I’m thinking I’d like to make myself some more clothes – I know, I’ve been watching too much Sewing Bee. Any recommendations for good patterns to choose?

 

Frog or Finish Nine for 2019

Over at Beads and Barnacles Pippa’s been getting organised with Make Nine and Use Nine grids. She’s inspired me to make a grid of nine projects I want to frog or finish this year. I know I’m a bit late in the year for posting my UFOs, and I know I usually just list them, but a grid makes a nice visual reminder and is a manageable number. So here’s my Frog or Finish Nine for 2019…

  1. We’ve already discussed this this year – it’s the patchwork quilt.
  2. Two project bags that just need handles.
  3. A Santa sack that just needs sewing up.
  4. An almost finished cardigan that I just need a friend’s opinion how the opening should sit to finish.
  5. A crochet top that has to be frogged – my thumb’s too sore to crochet these days 😦
  6. A pair of socks.
  7. A too boring shawl that needs frogging.
  8. A shawl that needs blocking – it’s always so damp in Dartmoor, I never want to deliberately make something wet just to dry it off.
  9. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll recognise this UFO – I’m still wrestling with myself; I don’t seem to like it enough to finish it, but can’t quite bring myself to frog it!

In truth I could finish 7/9 of these in and evening if I frogged number 9. Let’s see how long it actually takes me.

Until next time,

Bekki