Sunday, 26 January 2014

Pin cushion and thread catcher

I have been meaning to make one of these for ages. I tend to throw my threads on the floor so I needed to make one of these to tidy up my craft room! The pin cushion is filled with sand to give it some weight to hold the thread catcher on the table and also it sharpens the pins. I used up some cut offs from upholstery fabric to make the pin cushion and the thread catcher part. The top edge of the thread catcher is stabilised with boning used to stabilise bodices. I used this as you can sew over it. The detail on the thread catcher is made by sewing over scraps of fabric with a fancy stitch on my machine. I improvised this pattern as I went along, but If anyone wants a pattern and instructions of how I made this, I can put something together, just let me know.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Completed hexi quilt for Linus charity

I finally finished the hexagon quilt I started last year for the Linus charity. I used appliqué techniques to add a boarder around the hexagons I had hand sewed. I backed the quilt in plain green fabric and used some fancy stitches on my machine to quilt. The quilt was bound in white fabric and I used heat and bond to attach appliqué flowers, which were finished with blanket stitch by hand.  The centre hexagons were started by a lady from Drayton patchwork and quilters who sadly passed away. It was nice to think that I was finishing a project that she started.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Crocheted hearts

 This months simply crochet contained a kit for making crochet hearts. The kit includes a crochet hook, pink and peach yarn, some ribbon and a button.

I decided to have a go. I used a combination of the coloured yarn and made three of the smaller hearts. I joined the front and back pieces using double crochet which was different from the original pattern. I stuffed them with polyester filling and Ta da.... 

A cute gift for my nieces.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Snow White baby cardigan and booties

I found out recently that my cousin is expecting. I. Love to knit baby clothes so this gave me the excuse to try out some vintage patterns. They were from the 60s or 70s I think, my mother in law had them in her knitting bag and kindly lent them to me. I knitted the 0-6 month version and used 4ply yarn and size 2.25 and 3mm needles for the cardigan and 3.25 mm needles for the booties. I just hope they won't be too small! 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Raspberry stretch top

I was dying to use my new Juki serger so I decided to make a simple stretch top from a new look pattern I had purchased some time ago.

I used a two way stretch fabric made from acrylic and Lycra. I modified the pattern D (see options on the image above) slightly so that it was pleated at the front rather than rouched. The serger worked extremely well. I am so pleased as I can actually wear the finished project!  So here it is....

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Hand spun Shetland fleece: long draw and inch worm technique

I bought a whole Shetland fleece before Christmas. I sorted the fleece and discarded the base of the staple. This is because Shetland sheep have inherited the ability to shed their fleece, however, this has only partially retained by them these days but it means that there is a weakness in the staple. This is why I discarded the base of the staple. I also skirted the fleece for debris and short cuts before I washed it in shampoo. I rinsed the fleece 3 times before I got rid of excess water by putting it in the washing machine for a short spin. The fleece was dried for a few days on nets pegged to a clothes maiden. I hand carded the fleece and spun half of it using long draw and the rest using inch worm technique. I did not count the twists per inch but I plied it using the Navajo technique (3ply). You can see that the skeins on the left are more poofy and were spun using long draw, the skeins on the right were made using inch worm technique. I prefer the look of the ones on the right but I quite like doing the long draw. 

Juki MO654DE serger review

Yesterday I purchased a new Juki MO654DE overlocker! I love it! I was looking for a mid range serger that did a rolled hem. I was unsure whether to purchase the Bernina 800DL a Janome 6234XL or the Juki MO654DE. I ruled out the Juki 700 series as despite the increased price the machines did not have a lot more features. I also ruled out the Janome as it seemed to be quite an old model and figured the technology may have improved since then. I had been told that the bernina and juki are made in the same factory, so I decided on the Juki as the standard foot could be used to add elastic and tape whereas the Bernina required extra feet. You can get extra feet for the juki which are specific for tape or Elastic etc. but at least you can get away with using the standard foot. I think the more specific feet have a larger space for the tape or Elastic but the standard foot worked fine with quater inch tape.

I found the instruction Manuel easy to follow and surprisingly easy to thread. I had been advised that this particular model was one of the easier ones to thread. I am very pleased with the machine as it is sturdy and does a good quality stitch. This model sounded much more robust compared to other cheaper sergers. I definitely think it was worth spending a little extra rather than purchasing an economy serger. The blade cuts through the fabric like butter and the machine has the capability of running very fast. Overall I am so pleased that I purchased this model and I would recommend this to anyway looking to buy there first serger. 

Lacy knickers and vest top sets for Christmas gifts

As Christmas is sadly over, I can reveal some of the things I made as gifts. Earlier this year I learned to sew stretch fabric at a class lead by Emma from Emeliana Underwear, I decided to use my new skills to make gifts for a couple of my friends back home in Shropshire. I used patterns from emiliana underwear so if you wish you can get the same patterns yourself. The vest tops are all standard, but there are two styles of knickers. The pink are low rise shorts and the black and white horse print are Italian bikini style. Emma's kits are available at: She also sells pre made knickers too, but who could miss the fun of making your own!

I got the stretch horse fabric from a shop on ebay called theremnantshop. The purple stretch fabric was from Watson and Thornton habadashery in Shrewsbury. I used stretch lace from sew simple in Taverham, Norwich. I used zigzag stitch to attach the lace a a stretch straight stitch for the seams.