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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Using an Overlocking foot on your regular sewing machine .Making warm jersey tops.

A review for 

Do you have an overlocker? They are great and I would not be without mine, I love owning one, but sometimes it seems too much hassle to re-thread it when you only want to overlock one thing, or you do not want to go out and buy overlock threads in a colour you will not use again.
What is the answer?  I recently made this stretch jersey top using just my sewing machine with an overlock foot. I have to say it was no trouble at all to switch feet and choose a different  stitch in fact it was quick and enjoyable.

I found a piece of this unusual burnout fabric at Abakhan Fabrics. It is a soft feel stretch jersey, there was just enough to make a top.

How to make a red wool coat, a Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post


Please note that this blog post is aimed at beginners, and is suitable for anybody who has never made a coat before. Please use this post in conjunction with the pattern instructions. A McCall's pattern

I actually made this coat a year ago and wear it a lot. This is the new photo above, and last year's below. Please tell me I haven't aged!!!

If you want to make a more tailored coat then take a look at one of my previous blog posts   HOW TO MAKE A TAILORED COAT

Saturday, 22 October 2016

How to make bags, totes and wallets Perfect for gifts!

I love making bags, there is something satisfying about using up remnants of fabric to make something practical (and free) Whenever I make a coat or jacket I always make some sort of bag to use when wearing it, especially now that we need to take a larger bag shopping with us. It is an opportunity to be a bit creative too and use trimmings that would otherwise me overwhelming on a garment.

These are two toiletry bags which I made out of leftover fabric. Have you seen how expensive they are to buy in the shops! A length of bag interfacing will make you lots of bags, then you just need a fastener.  I will talk about magnetic snaps and zips in each section.

All of my bag making supplies are from,  take a look at the link  HERE  They sell handles, snaps, interfacings and everything else you will need including patterns and some fabulous templates so you can design your own.

The pattern I am using is this one and in this post I am making a bag and two envalope wallets using an interfacing called   DECOVIL which is a firm but flexible stabiliser for bags, and also some FUSIBLE VOLUME FLEECE which is easier to use

Thursday, 20 October 2016


in my last post I made bags of all descriptions, perfect for a gift for women , but what about men? I have been making mens ties for a long time now and I must say that I enjoy sewing mens ties and shirts more than I do for women.
When I saw the December issue of Sew Magazine I noticed a template for a man's tie. I already have my own tie pattern, but they are all mostly the same so the instructions I give here will be fine if you choose a commercial pattern or a pattern download.

The fabric I chose was a Liberty Lawn in this fabulous print. I chose a small piece of mint green spotted Lawn to line the tips.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How I made my My Mccalls Vintage Circa 1963 dress

This is a 1960s style dress with some adaptations

So, here is my experience of making up the pattern. 

Some examplesof vintage dresses

The pattern I chose is McCalls 7086 which s circa 1963. When we think of the 1960s we think of the short dresses, white boots and Twiggy. This fashion did not appear until the mid 1960s though, prior to that the look was very elegant.
 I chose to make the slim version of the pattern as it reminded me of the clothes worn by the women in my neighbourhood when I was a child
The fabric is a Viscose from Minerva crafts. Just look at the huge selection of viscose dress fabrics they have in stock Viscose dress fabrics  There are plenty of colours and designs to chose from at very good prices.

This is my basket which I use to keep my cutting out and fabric marking tools in so that it is easy to carry to my dining room table which is where I cut my patterns out.

I like to use traditional methods where possible when making up vintage designs, so this dress called for tailors tacks.

The lining is a pale pink taffeta, a lined skirt hangs very well and it is worth the effort to put a lining in any straight skirt where possible.

 I did make a toile as this is a new style for me. I found that  the darts on the bodice front fit perfectly, but as I did not want to interrupt the pattern on the fabric I  decided to leave out the centre front seam. If you ever do this you need to remove the seam allowance otherwise the bodice will be too wide. I did find the bodice rather long and I reduced it by an inch.

Yes I did use my vanishing ink marker pen when marking the pleats on the bow. It is from Vanishing marker pen

I dd much pondering over the bow. In the original position it just did not look right on me , so I lowered the centre position to just above the waist seam.I also found the knot did not sit right, maybe it is because viscose fabric is soft and flowing, I feel that in a firmer fabric the bow would have sat as it shows on the pattern. I substituted the knot  for a little tie and I am happy with it.

I normally use invisible zips,but they did not exist in 1963, so I used a lapped zip .This is the right side being stitched in place using a normal zipper foot.

The left side laps over the right side slightly covering the entire zip

I did use some more modern methods  in that I neatened all the seams with my brother overlocker
This is the one I use The Brother 1034d Overlocker from
Have you ever experienced your fabric puckering during overlocking? It could be that your differential feed needs adjusting.Don't panic about it, if you get your instruction manual out you will find that all you need do is to adjust the dial on the side of the machine to make the feed dogs move at different rates to eliminate the problem. Dont forget to turn it back to the normal setting afterwards. As this is a fine fabric I needed to adjust my differential feed slightly by turning the dial clockwise.

This is the overlocker in use, the emerging stitches are straight and not pulling the fabric out of shape.

I made some other adjustments to the pattern.First I chopped a good four inches off the hem..
 My toille didn't look right at the back, so I removed the back darts completely adding two small pleats at the front matching up to the bust darts instead.
The picture shows the back being pressed.There is a slit in the centre back for walking ease.

By the way I have just take delivery of a Horn sewing cabinet, and it has revolutionised my sewing.Everything is  at hand, everything is neat and clears away in seconds. If I can just train myself to put snippets  of thread  into the thread catchers and not on the floor my happiness will be complete!  The cabinet I bought is the NOVA Horn Nova Sewing cabinet and of course I just HAD to buy the hobby chair too! There is a review on the previous page of this blog if you want to see more 

 Well, this is the finished dress. Slightly adapted to make it fit me now. The original style is a "Wiggle" dress,so by adding a couple of pleats and shortening it I find it more wearable .Dont forget too that women in the early 1960s  were smaller than we are today, bra's were more pointy and not rounded as today's are, also women tended to wear girdles, so their shape was totally different to today's.

I like the little tie on the bow, the knot just did not suit this fabric. dont be afraid to go where your fabric leads you!

and of course a vintage dress needs a cup and saucer, although I think they were rather smaller than mine in 1963.

Happy vintage tea-parties.

#sewangelicthreads #bvsewalong #vintage #vintagefashion #vintagebloger #vintageclothes #1960s

Saturday, 1 October 2016

How to make a women's classic shirt


In my opinion. There is nothing quite as elegant and timeless as a white shirt. Dressed up or down it is perfect for business or for wearing with your jeans.  Are you daunted by the idea of making yourself one? Don't be, I have chosen a very simple pattern and will talk you through the important bits.

First the pattern. It is from Butterick and is available on this link Butterick ladies shirt pattern Do measure yourself before buying so that you purchase the correct size. There are two basic shapes,  one with princess seams and one with no seams or darts. For our purposes I chose the latter to make the process simpler. I chose size 12 and it was true to size.