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Friday, 13 October 2017

My Vogue Wool Knit Tops


I wanted to give you some hints and tips for making your own wool pullovers or tops.

I am using two Vogue patterns, both from Jaycotts.co.uk


I love wearing soft snuggly tops don't you. There are so many easy patterns around and such beautiful fabrics that it makes sense to make your own 
Wool jersey is lovely to sew and I want to give you a few little tips to make it all even easier
The patterns I am using are -

And

Both are very easy to sew.


 When you are choosing your knit fabric look for something which will drape well and which is something you will want to feel next to your skin, although as the weather gets colder you will want to put a camisole or even a thin polo underneath.
When you get your fabric home pre-wash it but don't use fabric conditioner, as I find it makes it a little easier to handle. Once the garment is finished then I rinse it through with fabric conditioner to blend the stitches in and make it beautifully soft and huggable.


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Sewing Workshop Bristol Dress


This is a MCBN post for MinervaCrafts.




This is perhaps one of the simplest dresses I have ever made, but it really stands out. The design is so very clever and it is stunning, wearable and utterly fabulous.
The pattern is not cheap, but and this is a big but, all you need is fabric and thread and that is it. There are no fastenings, no facings. You can quite literally make it and be wearing it the same day. I have to admit that as soon as I put it in I felt so effortlessly stylish and comfortable that I didn't take it off all day.


Do read the post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network and I will give you hints and tips so that you can make yours just as easily. 
The pattern is suitable for all levels of ability. So, what are you waiting for? The link to the full post is;. The Sewing Workshop Bristol Dress

I do hope that you read the full post and purchase the pattern. I'm going to make another right away - it is that good!

Comments appreciated

Angela 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Vogue 1246 Designer shirt by Lynn Mizono in Linen Fabric


 This is a Pattern review for this fabulous designer shirt/ jacket by the American designer Lynn Mizono.




I am delighted with this fantastic Vogue pattern and with the whole outfit



The pattern is from Jaycotts and can be purchased here Vogue 1246. The fabric is quite old and I have been longing to use it for ages but never could decide what to do with it. I thought it perfect for this jacket though, and even though there wasn't enough fabric for the entire garment I decided to go ahead anyway. It is an embroidered linen with flower applique on it, purchased as I said several years ago.There was just enough to cut out the main body of the jacket and a small piece was left over for the contrast panel on the top. I had another piece of linen in the same weight but plain. This went into making the sleeves and collar and the trousers. My final piece of linen went into making the bulk of the top. It was a bit of trial and error with pattern placement bit in the end the fabrics go together very well.

In case you missed my last post I am trying very hard to reduce my stock of fabrics rather than just have them sat there gathering dust. After all I chose them because I wanted to wear them!



I am enjoying working with Vogue patterns immensely, they are challenging with plenty of pattern pieces but very satisfying to work on.  When working with a pattern which has little or no symetry you are most likely working on a single layer of fabric so you need to find somewhere large enough to cut out. I did manage to use my dining table with a bit of judicous folding!



The other thing you need to be aware of is that you must be meticulous about transferring every single pattern marking onto your fabric or you will become muddled and it will be an unpleasant experience. If your fabric has no obvious right or wrong side then you need to mark the back of each piece too. Preparation is key to stress free sewing no matter what pattern you are using.



The top is exactly the same as in my previous blog post, so for instructions and link to order the pattern and supplies from Jaycotts go to this link Vogue fitted linen tops.  On this post you will also find details of tacking thread and other methods of transferring pattern markings onto your fabric.




There are quite a few corners on this garment and the points need to be sharp. So this is how I do it. I trim the corner on the inside, bearing in mind that linen frays so I don't want to trim right up to the stitching, I want to cut away just enough to remove the bulk. I pressed the seams open as far as I could, A sleeve pressing roll is so useful for this, Jaycotts have a fabulous range of pressing tools so take a look, Pressing tools If you do not have any yet I would definitely start with a sleeve roll ,a sleeve board and a pressing cloth. You will be using them for years to come so the initial expense is money well spent. I also love the pressing Mitt and the finger guards.

You also need a point turner in your basic sewing kit, Point turner again this is an item which you will be using in many years to come.


The back of the jacket has ties which can be fiddly to make. Not with this nifty gadget though! The Prym Turning Set makes strap making so easy, you will be thinking of lots of ways to use it!



The sleeves are folded and held in place with buttons.  I chose some cream ones with a gold border but you choose some really special ones to match your fabric . Jaycotts have some very pretty buttons, I particularly like the ones on the first row of this page, but they have others equally as nice. Buttons. My buttons are small so I put two on the front, one buttoning to the inside and two on each sleeve.





I know that you are interested in what sewing machines I use.
My main machine is the Bernina 350PE Bernina 350 PE and it is a fabulous machine. It is robust, reliable and has a wide choice of stitches including decorative stitches and Fonts. I really love and appreciate this machine.
I also have a Brother sewing machine , which is the machine I carry around if I am giving a sewing lesson, or if I want to sit at the dining table for a change.
Brother innov-is 15
Both of these are great machines and come in at different prices. Choosing a sewing machine is something that should be given thought. My only bit of advice would be to choose something you can grow into as you become more proficient - and you will!
You also need to choose one within your budget. Jaycotts know all there is to know about sewing machines so don't be afraid to telephone or call in and ask for advice. They will guide you through the different machines with their various functions and prices so that you end up with a machine which suits you perfectly. Contact details are at the end of the post
Although I did not use my overlocker except for the trousers seams it is by Brother and I find it a dream to use. It copes with all fabrics and is easy to thread. It is the Brother 3034D overlocker. Again though there is plenty of choice at Jaycotts.



I also made trousers, these are the same as on this blog post. Palazzo trousers


As I was saying earlier I didn't have enough of any of the fabrics to make a full garment, except for the trousers, so I had to mix them up. Luckily they are all in the same colour palette so blend together really well


All of my seams are French seams. I have a tutorial all about seams so take a look, it really is a useful seam to be able to do. All about seams. The sleeve head is neatened with a strip of fabric rather like a Hong Kong seam - details of how to do it is also on the post.
There are no raw edges anywhere.



The sleeve was only meant to have one button folding the upper edge upwards, but I didn't like having the other corner flapping loosely so I folded that inwards and added a button to hold it in place.


The sleeve fabric was plain so I did some random freestyle embroidery on my Bernina sewing machine purely to echo the design on the main fabric. I cut out a couple of flowers too and appliqued them onto the sleeves. It just tied the fabrics together nicely.


You tube video    You tube

This is a short video clip of the jacket. If you receive my posts by email it may not appear in which case just visit the post on my blog and you will be able to view it there.


I am really pleased with this outfit. It is very different but extremely wearable, it's a great addition to my holiday wardrobe.

For any product information contact Jaycotts on  01244 394099 or fill in the contact form and they will get back to you on the next working day Contact Jaycotts

Thank you for reading this post. Have a look at your fabrics and see what you could combine to make an outfit.

Angela 


#jaycotts #sewing #sewingmachine #overlocker #Vogue #Vogue1246 #sewingblogger #sewangelicthreads #fabric #linenfabric #tutorial 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Vogue V9004 Fitted tops with seam detail made in Linen fabric

This is a pattern review of the very flattering Vogue 9004.

I have such a lot of fabric in my stash at home and I was thinking about it and came to the conclusion that although constantly buying new fabrics is fun, it can become an obsession. I have so many beautiful fabrics already, each one chosen because I love something about it, be it the colour or design, so I have made a decision to use some of those wonderful fabrics and not to buy any more until my supply has seriously reduced in size!
So, in my fabric collection there is (or rather was) a collection of pure linen of varying weights.
This top pattern from Vogue  is perfect for using some of the smaller pieces.




The trousers are from the same pattern as my navy ones in previous blog posts.
Palazzo pants These garments are all for my holiday and can easily be mixed and matched





I made both versions of the top, adding sleeves to them but if it your preference for sleeveless tops then instructions are included in the pattern.
This version has A-symetrical seams and I just love it.
The trick with putting together any garment, especially one like this where the placement is slightly out of the ordinary is to transfer every single pattern marking onto your fabric. Otherwise the task will quickly become irritating as you try to figure out where each piece goes - pattern marking saves a lot of time!
My favourite way to mark fabric is with  Tacking thread. Tacking thread is something which you may not have in your work box, you may think you don't need it but think again. The fibres are rough being made out of short cotton fibres so it stays put until you remove it. Normal sewing thread is slippery and is likely to fall out before you get the chance to use the markings! It is very affordable, so do add it to your order.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Troubleshooting your Sewing Machine By Jaycotts.co.uk


A Jaycotts Blog post by Alex Jaycott


I asked Jaycotts about troubleshooting Sewing machines as we all have problems from time to time and we don't always know where to start to sort it out.


This is their advice:

Alex,

The biggest issue we encounter is mis-threading of the sewing machine 


Having sold and serviced sewing machines for over 30 years I can honestly say that the biggest headaches for customers are actually caused by mis- threading the sewing machine!


everyone does it from time to time whether beginner or expert, novice or sewing teacher 

What do you mean by that Alex, what should we be doing?  Angela





Alex

Well , it is important to thread the machine  exactly as shown in your manual.For example  if someone miss-threads the take up lever, they usually don’t notice it and when the machine jams it looks as if the problem is the bobbin area  - when in fact it isn’t

So I guess my point should be that if you have an issue, the first thing to try is: re do your upper thread, taking care that the thread goes right into the take up lever. Incorrect threading can cause the machine to jam almost immediately.
If you  still have problems after that then go on to checking the bobbin area.




Thursday, 7 September 2017

Pattern review of Simplicity 1543 Tunic


The weather is cooler and Autumn colours are starting to appear so I wanted something in rich Autumnal colours to wear.



I chose this pattern by Simplicity. It is available from Jaycotts Order Simplicity 1543 here





The pattern requires a stretch fabric which has a lot of drape. I chose this beautiful jersey from MinervaCrafts.


The fabric is this Damask print stretch jersey from MinervaCrafts Damask print stretch Jersey
This is a very soft and lightweight jersey. It is very slippery to handle and in my opinion you need a bit of experience working with this sort of fabric, so if you are a beginner I would choose something like a textured jersey which is a bit more substantial but which still drapes well Textured Jersey



The construction is simple , I especially like the sleeves which have rouleaux ties to gather them.
There is a simple little tool which I absolutely adore from Jaycotts which makes rouleaux in seconds - seriously, there's no messing about! 
It the Prym Turning set and you will wonder how you managed without it Prym Turning set


Sewing tools from Jaycotts 
The item is on the bottom of this picture, but do read my review of all the items in this photograph on My review of Prym sewing tools





The sleeves are made up before attaching to the body of the tunic. You will need a stretch needle in your sewing machine Stretch sewing machine and a stretch stitch or a narrow zig zag. If you have problems with your tension then try a ballpoint needle and watch out for my next blog post troubleshooting your sewing machine


There is a lot more top stitching on the neckline and in the pockets. Use your seam guide and make sure that the corners are even




I made a scarf from a length of the fabric, rounding the ends and sewing right sides together before turning right sides out.
I found a cheap necklace and used the beaded tassels on the ends of my scarf and tied some leather lacing just above them


In this picture the scarf is being used as a belt. The tunic is very loose fitting by the way and I cut out size small 10/12





I feel that the scarf echoes the style of the sleeves and adds more interest


The scarf is just draped around my neck . The tunic is very long and would look great with skinny pants or leggings


This is a very unusual make, the top is extremely comfortable and forgiving! To make it easier choose a plain fabric so that there is no pattern matching.
It's a nice top. Take your time and have a go at sewing with a warm stretch jersey fabric

Angela xx


#sew #sewing #sewingblog #stretchfabric #simplicity #simplicity1543 #tunic #top

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The Simplicity 8258 Amazing Fit Denim Dress

This is a MCBN post for Minervacrafts


The pattern is one of the Amazing Fit range by Simplicity 


This lovely dress is so versatile, it can be worn all year long too, in summer with pretty sandals and in winter with a Polo underneath and boots.
Best of all it will an Amazing Fit Pattern by Simplicity so your perfect fit is guaranteed.

Do read the post by clicking on this link My Amazing Fit Simplicity Dress


#sewangelicthreads #denim #dress #MCBN #embroidery #machine embroidery #simplicity #simplicity8258




Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Parkinson's, Sewing and Me.


With thanks to Jaycott.co.uk.


I have been asked many times to write this blog post and I kept putting it off. It is not easy to write but if it helps anybody then that makes me very happy.
The tools and equipment featured are all from jaycotts and I will give you the links as we go along. Please note that the products featured are suitable for use no matter what your disability, be it arthritis or poor eyesight.



Parkinson's is not what I want for myself or anybody else for that matter,quite frankly it stinks. One day I may feel well (ish) there is always an ish! Other days I cannot even get out of bed.

Currently around 127,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s, an incurable, degenerative neurological condition which leaves people struggling to walk, talk and sleep

It's made harder by the fact that I live alone, people with disabilities become somehow undateable, I mean it's not the best chat up line in the world is it? " Hi, I'm Angela, I suffer from Parkinson's, I have chronic fatigue, I drop things constantly, I can't always find the word I want and I might fall over and appear drunk" come on! Yes I know I am positive and I am a fighter but sometimes I don't want to be, you know? I want to be " normal" I don't want to have to collect two carrier bags of medication every month and spend two hours every week sorting it out.



And I am really not complaining because I am grateful, but I would love to be able to earn my own money and not be means tested. Hey I'd love new carpets! Correction I NEED new carpets but I don't have that sort of money! I cannot just go out on a whim if I am feeling low or buy myself a treat - like those carpets, or anything really.
I lost a 30K + salary when I was diagnosed, now I have to prove to people that I really do qualify for the little I get, just like millions of others.
I didn't want to give up work. Early " retirement" was not an option. It was tough giving up a career I loved.



Most people go out for a coffee occasionally right? Well for me - unless I pay by card, contactless is so brilliant! I struggle to get the money out of my purse, then - have you noticed - you are given receipt followed by a £5 note followed by loose change..err? What am I supposed to do with it? I just stare at it and shove it in my pocket. Then there's the impossible task of trying to carry an overfilled cup to a vacant seat - if I can find  one.... Imagine that scene??? Yes, I could ask for help, but honestly, would you?
It is very frustrating when I cannot do something like chop vegetables - I have to buy them ready chopped - more expense. I can't eat a lot of the foods I used to love because I now have allergies to certain proteins in various foods.  Hey, I don't even have the energy to cook a huge meal, even if I could manage to eat it! Stir fries are my salvation AND healthy - all that veg!


Don't think I am moaning, I'm not this is reality for me and thousands like me, and I am telling you how it is. You need to know.
Not only do we struggle with day to day life, try managing on what the benefits system pays out! Our daily living expenses are much higher than able bodied people and that's a fact.




This report is by another Parkinson's sufferer
Parkinson’s can creep into so many aspects of your life. For the first time,research has exposed the full financial impact of Parkinson’s, and it’s shocking that people affected by the condition are being hit by such devastating losses – especially at a time when families are already feeling the strain.” Steve Ford, Chief Executive, Parkinson’s UK
Because Parkinson’s is progressive, new symptoms can present at any time. I started to experience problems with swallowing, and combined with medication, this caused dramatic weight loss. I had to replace all my clothes as well as buy protein powder and high-calorie drinks to help me get the nutrients and essentially daily calories I need. I also pay for visual aids to help with the cognitive problems I experience due to the condition, and I’m determined to keep as active as I can, but again that leads to me paying out for more equipment. All the things I pay for help me to live well with Parkinson’s for longer – so it isn’t a choice to buy them or not, they are all essential for me. It may seem at times ideal to be retired so young but people forget why, they don’t know from a post on Facebook that I had absolutely no sleep last night or that I can’t even complete the alphabet some days.

A quote from another Parkinsons sufferer says “Parkinson’s can creep into so many aspects of your life, and with that comes extra costs that can really add up. That’s why my husband refers to it as “The Burglar” it’s taken part of his wife and continues to take. We just try to make the best of it.”

Increased costs Households affected by Parkinson’s lose out on more than £16,000 each year due to a combination of reduced income and increased costs, a report looking into the financial impact of the condition for the first time reveals a shocking impact on sufferers, all this on top of having to come to terms with a diagnosis of something totally life changing and incurable
Research published by Sheffield Hallam University and Parkinson’s UK shows that a household where a person is living with the condition loses around £319 per week on average – 60 per cent more than previously thought. “I applied for benefits, but the process took so long that for nearly a year we had hardly any money coming in.” says Anna Cunningham

Half of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and one third of family members, have reduced their working hours, looked for more flexible roles or given up work entirely. The Cost of Parkinson’s report shows that overall, households affected by the condition experience a loss of income averaging £10,731 per year, as a result of reduced working hours, family members providing unpaid care without financial support, and the loss of state benefits and pensions. This is in addition to mounting health and social care costs, which add up to an average of £5,851 per household across the year and include assistance for daily living, such as transport and personal care, energy costs, healthcare related equipment and travel, and adaptations to the home
Early retirement? It's a joke!
Read the full report on this link The true cost of Parkinson's


Myself and my Brother


That's not a pretty picture is it. Unfortunately it's reality for me and people like me.

If somebody you know who has a chronic disability like Parkinson's and they laugh and say who me? Yes, of course I am fine! Why shouldn't I be? Don't take it at face value because often they are putting a brave face on. It's loss of independence which hits hard you see. We don't want people to know we are feeling low or that we are exhausted because we were in so much pain last night that we hardly slept a wink. Yes there is pain, lots of it .It becomes normal to be in constant pain.

So, those of you who read my blog wont know , because Parkinson's can be a hidden disease,  that I have lost weight because I can't eat, that it takes me three hours to get up in the morning and that I can no longer write my own name


This is me with my father and brothers.
So, what is Parkinson's?
There is no set pattern as to how long Parkinson's takes to progress or the age it starts or indeed the symptoms as  It varies from person to person. I have had young onset Parkinson's for around 20 years and at the moment there are signs that it is deteriorating. This is normal as it is degenerative and incurable.
The disease is very complex and it affects the whole body.



Thursday, 24 August 2017

How to alter Simplicity 8391 to make Palazzo pants and a darted printed top

A short blog post following on from before.

This is a continuation of my previous blog post Sew yourself Cropped pants and a matching top

The last post was an embroidered pair of crop trousers with a top featuring the same embroidery. I appreciate that some of you have no desire to embroider by machine or hand so this is another idea - Block Printing. 

I wish to thank the delightful Fiona from Hobbycraft in Preston who advised me on what I needed to purchase and how to use them! I have never done block printing before so her advice was invaluable. Hobbycraft Thank you Fiona.



 Everything is the same as in the previous post
All of the machines, zip, thread and habberdashery etc are from Jaycotts.co.uk Contact Jaycotts

The Simplicity pattern is also from Jaycotts Simplicity 8391

The fabric is from MinervaCrafts I am just going to direct you to their section on cotton/linen fabrics as there is an enormous choice of colours, designs and prices Cotton Linen blend fabrics



The first step was to lengthen the sleeves slightly, I just added four inches to the length but some of this was taken up with the hem as I didn't add the sleeve band as previous. Then I did some simple printing around the edge.



Instead of embroidery I thought that I would attempt some block printing. I have never printed on fabric before so I was a bit nervous! The fabric paints have to be ironed with a high temperature to fix them, so make sure that your fabric can stand the heat, and do use a pressing cloth.


These are the blocks I bought from Hobbycraft and some Dylon fabric paints. They are easy to use but do practise first.
I had a comment recently from somebody who doesn't like my placement of embelishments. That's fine, the whole point of sewing your own clothes is that they can be as individual as you are and if you want to embroider yellow flowers all over your red skirt go ahead! We are making things to please ourselves, and so be creative, it's how we learn.
Another point is that I always try to keep my blog posts as simple as possible so that even a total beginner can make something to be proud of. I am a novice as far as machine embroidery goes too, so hopefully we will learn and progress together.




I made an alteration to the neckline of the blouse. Instead of the gathers I measured tiny darts all the way across the front, manipulating them slightly so that they still fit the neckband. I am quite happy with the effect.


The block printing on my trousers was done after I had stitched the side seams and I was careful to make sure that the design aligned on both legs.
My design is rather amateurish, but I am not an artist, you I am certain can do much better! This is the beauty of holiday clothes, they are an opportunity to try something different, new colours, new styles. Things always look different in the sun!


All in all I am delighted with the way this outfit has turned out. Yes, it's in Navy Blue again, but I did have rather a lot of it which needed using!

Thinks just a very short blog post, I hope that it inspires you to have a go at doing some different embelishments on your clothes.

Thank you for reading this

Angela



I made a short video explaining more about what I did to alter the pattern
The link to the YouTube video is here in case it does not open automatically My YouTube Video



Thanks to Jaycotts for the fabulous machinery and sewing equipment and a special Thank you to the delightful Fiona from Hobbycraft.

Angela  x


#palazzo #trousers #sewangelicthreads #sewing #sew #cottonlinen #blockprinting #printingfabric #sewingblog