Friday, 25 November 2011

Off the cuff

There wasn't much left from the shirt that I altered in my last post apart from a few scraps and the collar and cuffs.  I've also got the cuffs from the shirt of my husband's that I shortened the sleeves of here (which for the record he likes and he didn't say anything about the little birdy on the pocket).

I've had a great time playing about with fabric, lace, buttons,beads and ribbon and made some cuff bracelets

I really like this orange one but it's not my colour.  It's the first time I've made flowers like these and I've done all the centres differently.  A plain button in one, French knots in another and the last one, a button with yellow stamens in embroidery thread (I got the stamens idea from Kirstie's Handmade Britain the other week).

I'm keeping the blue one for myself and I've put the other two in my Folksy shop.  

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

He can't have it back now...

I've been having another rummage in my husband's wardrobe and one of his shirts has been transformed into this

This is how it started off

First I removed the collar and the sleeves.  The back had two pleats which made it very full, so I unpicked the yoke from the sides, pulled the pleats out flat, then restitched the yoke.  To make a new collar I folded the shirt in half and drew round the neckline onto paper then drew a Peter Pan collar shape.  I cut two pieces on the fold from the bottom of the sleeves and one piece in interfacing.  After ironing the interfacing to the back of one piece, I pinned the collar rights sides together and sewed round the outer edge.  I then clipped into the curved seam and turned it rights sides out

It took me quite a while to decide which was the best way to attach the collar.     
In the end I machined it to the inside of the shirt then turned the bottom edge of the other side up and slip stitched it in place
To get the right width on the shoulders and sides I laid one of my blouses on top, cut round it, then sewed up the side seams.  I cut what was left of the sleeves shorter and gathered the bottoms into a band and gathered the top to fit in the sleeve hole.  I put a couple of darts in the back to shape the waist and shortened the bottom.
I wasn't keen on the original white buttons because they were really thick (more than twice as thick as a normal button) so I changed them to some navy ones out of my button box.  Because I'd removed the top button when I took the collar off, I had to make a new buttonhole at the top.

It took me a lot longer than I thought it would, but most of that was just thinking about what I was going to do and daring to start! 

Friday, 11 November 2011


I made myself this ring pin cushion the other day
it's really handy (pardon the pun) because you've got the pins just where you need them

There's a bit of history behind the fabric I've used.  
When I was in my twenties I made a lot of my own clothes because I didn't want to be wearing the same as everyone else.  Whilst on holiday in Austria I bought a couple of lengths of cotton fabric.  I made one into a skirt but didn't use the other one.  Then about 10 years later I used it to make a pinafore dress for my daughter. (The pin cushion was made with an off cut.) 
Here she is wearing it on Christmas day  - sorry for the poor picture quality, it's a photo of a photo.

Still on with the pinafore and going back even further; when I got my first job, my wages were £7 a week.  Yes that's right £7 a WEEK!  Before you go thinking that I must be ancient, this was in the 1970s.
I could never afford to buy anything from Laura Ashley but I got one of her dresses at a jumble sale.  It was black with small white flowers on, gathered from the bodice and very long with a couple of pockets.  It reminded me of the Waltons so I bought some gathered broderie anglaise trimming and sewed it just inside the bottom hem so that it looked like a petticoat showing.  I didn't actually wear that dress much but I loved trying it on and looking in the mirror.
When I eventually got rid of the dress I unpicked the broderie anglaise and kept it for future use.  And that is what you can see peeping out from underneath my daughter's dress.
She's all growed up now and making her own clothes!

By the way, if you want to make a ring pin cushion of your own, I used this tutorial.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Getting the blues

It's been quite a while since my last post.  I have been busy sewing and knitting but I can't show them on here yet because they're a surprise.
I have however made myself a pinny using my old one as a pattern.  I thought it was about time as my other one actually belonged to my husband's first wife which he ended up with after their divorce about 30 years ago.  (Maybe she got the hammer!)
I bought a piece of fabric last week from the charity shop which I think must be sheeting as it's really, really wide.  I used just a small corner to make this

As much as I love the front, looks what's on the back

So I've got two for the price of one!