My First “Big” Quilt- Finished!

So a few months back after making a few smaller quilted projects including a sampler quilt sample for our 6 week quilting course, I decided to make my first “Big” quilt. Read about how I started out with this project in my previous blog post here.

At that point I’d pieced all my blocks and was ready to join them with sashing. I opted for wide 3.5 inch sashing to break up the bold blocks. After constructing the quilt top I used spray adhesive to create a “quilt sandwich” with batting and the backing.

After that I had a good think about how I wanted to quilt my quilt. There are So. Many. Options!

Quilting is a really creative art! I researched freehand quilting and other quilting designs and decided that as this was my first big quilt I’d go for simple in the ditch diamond quilting and foot-spaced stitching on the sashing.

I decide after this to go a bit mad and test out some of the embroidery stitches on our workshop machines along the outside border of the quilt. Some I like, some I’m not so keen on. But it does make it really unique!


  

I finished the quilt with straight cut binding which I hand sewed on whilst watching the Great British Sewing Bee.

 Have you been watching? Who’s your favourite to win? My money’s on Charlotte. I love her style and she’s a great quilter too!

I’ll be working on a few smaller quilting projects for now but I am keen to make another big quilt again soon.

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Making Plans…Continued!

Continuing from last week I’m still wading through my stash and planing what to make with my long loved but, I’m ashamed to say, forgotten fabrics … until now!

Picking up at number…

8. Poly- viscose – matt- satiny stuff!
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This feels lovely and is really slinky. I originally had it earmarked for a kimono-style jacket but over time I went of the idea thinking it might look a little too boudoir!

With that in mind I may just make myself a little nightie/slip dress by adapting the Tilly and the Buttons Fifi top into a little night dress. I love the little pleats under the bust and I know this fits really well as my Crafty business partner Freya kindly made me a set for Christmas 🙂

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9. Soft brushed interlock jerseyIMG_6635

So it’s the length of this piece which makes it tricky. As a top I think it would be too short in the arms for a long sleeve but the weight of the fabric lends it to being a winter weight top – maybe a 3/4 sleeve would work. Not sure on what style though! This one will puzzle me for a while I recon! Any ideas?

10. Quilting weight cotton in navy gingham print with cherries and cream flowersIMG_6631

I have enough of this to make a sweet little sun dress with pleats in the waist. I’m thinking if I make one with built up straps I might get a bit more wear into autumn of it with leggings. This is my design so far. I’m going to have a go at drafting this pattern myself.

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11. Printed cotton poplin- with a nice crisp feel – and co-coordinating polyester Indian shawl which could be used as liningIMG_6622

Originally I bought this to make a pair of trousers out of. I got distracted, ended up using some of it for a different project – a cushion or something- and now only have a small piece left. a mini pencil skirt maybe? Or maybe some smart shorts to wear with tights?

I love these high waisted shorts but I’m not sure if I would actually wear them – I might get the pattern and make trousers in black or something and see if I like the fit.

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I have wanted to make the Sewaholic Thurlow trousers for a while too so maybe a shorts version in this fabric could work…

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11. Shoe fabric – a remnant left over from making one of my absolute favorite makes – a Sewaholic Granville shirtIMG_6616

This quilting weight cotton will be made into a handy draw string shoe bag for transporting pretty ballet pumps to and from work whilst I’m wearing my clunky trainers with orthopedic insoles to save my feet. Since working in a shop, walking 3 miles to and from work and being on my feet a lot more in work I’ve had badass foot pain, leg aches and the like- not glamorous. The doctor said I might be getting bunions- eeesh! So I need to wear ‘sensible shoes’ to work. I usually remember to get changed out of them when I get to work and this little bag of joy will help!

12. Woven brocade from an Indian charity shop – via my friend Helen.IMG_6617

When Jenny bought this wonderful, vibrant brocade fabric into a class one day I cheekily requested that if she had any left could I buy it from her. A couple of weeks later, after she decided not to use it for her project she let me have it. I owe it to her to make it into something AWESOME! The other fabric is a polyester mix woven check which I think would work well as a lining- this fabric is pretty but pretty scratchy too. I’m thinking a high waisted pencil skirt maybe? or a shift dress?

Maybe the simple Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt or their Tulip Skirt. When the fabric is so special a simple shape works best.

Or maybe it could be a a dress. This shape is lovely – ooh – this could be my Christmas Party dress! I love the slightly squared scoop neckline and the little lined cap sleeves. This might deserve a better lining though…maybe the gold satin we have in the shop… got the ideas whirring now!

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13. Onto something more practical. Polyester viscose lightweight jersey. This will make a great tiny pocket tee as our lovely volunteer in the shop, Bekki, has made several times now.

14. I have this small piece, a scrap basically of this cotton elastane jersey, which I love. I also have some cotton elastane plain black jersey too. I never make anything with panels, this is crying out for it!IMG_6630

But what pattern/style/shape? This colour/pattern block variation on the Coco by Tilly and the Buttons is interesting. I think I only have enough for a top though. would it work as a top…?

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Maybe the Fraser by Sewaholic – when I first saw this I was put off by the Sewaholic sample version in punched pleather and sluby sweat but I really like the version below by Marie from A Stitching Odyssey. Yes I think this could work.

15. MORE pink ponte roma!IMG_6640

I’ve made a fab Chloe dress by Victory Patterns in this vibrant stretch fabric, and a matching cropped jacket, both of which I love. So I want to make something different with this remnant of fabric which came to me after discovering it was unsalable (small flaws which I can cut around).

I really like the Davie dress by Sewaholic – with colour block detail. I also have some grey ponte roma so I might try a pink and grey combo. If not it’ll end up as another TATB Coco!

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And last but not least – trims!

I have these lovely buttons which I picked up in London from Ray Stitch. It was the day I met up with my amazing friends Chloe and Laura and we came up with the name for my business Crafty Sew&So. These little shell buttons printed with black ink have a lot of sentimental value and therefore I can’t bring myself to actually use them on anything! One day I will!

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And I have a ton of these buttons…

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… which I think are calling out to be put on a winter coat… which means I need to make a winter coat! But that’s another blog post entirely!

Making plans… stash busting!

So after Me Made May (read all about how it went for me here) I decided to have a good sift through my stash and sort out lengths of fabric which I have enough of to be made into something.

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Turns out I have some really nice fabric in my stash! I can remember where each and every piece came from. This can be a hindrance sometimes – I remember what i bought it for but may have gone off that idea since but can’t see any other use for it! So I tried to look at each piece in an entirely new light.

I measured and labeled up all my pieces so I know what I have to play with. I also trimmed off any stray weird shaped bits to make my fabric pieces more uniform- I find I am more likely to use them that way- do you? IMG_6636

So here’s what I have:

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  1. An African Wax print – unfortunately not enough to make the fabulous peplum dress they made in the final task of last week’s Sewing Bee – but enough to make a skirt – maybe pleated tulip shape. I really like this style by People Tree.

People Tree | Purple Zandra Rhodes Skirt £90:

I might use the contrast fabric for the waistband or a contrasting hem band or make a matching bag

2. A printed Quilting Cotton picked up from The Village Haberdashery when I visited in January. I bought this to make a Colette Laurel after trying on a similar dress in the Lindon Showrooms on my last trip to London.

I still like it for a laurel I think. IMG_6598

I really like this scallop neckline idea from the Colette Blog so I might give that a go.

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3. I have nearly a metre left of this cotton poplin left from making PJs, so I’m planning a Tilly and the Buttons Arielle – a short one as I only have a bit of fabric. If I need to I’ll do the facings in contrast fabric. I picked up these metal buttons in an antique shop in Nottingham and I think they will be perfect for this. they’re not too heavy and just the right size.

4. I do looove this border print and should have bought enough to make a dress with, but i didn’t! lesson learnt!

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Feel like this will probably suit a gathered waist 50s style skirt best as the hem needs to stay straight to really show off the border print well. I think I keep avoiding this because it’s quite sheer so maybe I’ll line it with light weight white cotton sheeting.

Note to self: add side seam pockets!

5. Liberty silk -ahhhh soooo gorgeous!

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I bought this years ago but have been too scarred to use it!!!

This would make a beautiful simple bias cut top I recon but really I’d like it to be a little bit looser than the usual style I make

I love this double layered effect but I don’t think I’ll have enough fabric-I’ll have to save this idea for a different fabric

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6.Poly crepe – turquoise with white spots

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Tilly has made a lovely Mathilde top and more recently a Bettine dress (which is high on my to-make list) in this exact fabric!

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I only have a small piece so maybe this will be a simple tee with pin tucks-taking inspiration from the detail on the TATBMathilde top

7. Fabulous foxes quilting weight cotton by Robert Kaufman

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So this hasn’t been in my stash for long, we only got it into the shop a few weeks ago, but as soon as I saw it i grabbed 2m and have been toying with what to make ever since. it’s a pretty bold pattern which calls for a simple shape. i did toy with using this for a skirt but I’d have the age old dilemma of what tops to wear with it. So when I saw the free pattern with this month’s Sew magazine I thought it would be a great match.

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I was doubley convinced on seeing GBSB’s Charlotte in a similar dress in the grey colour way on last week’s episode.

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GBSB’s Charlotte, not in her finest hour, getting a telling off from Esme, but wearing a fabulous fox dress!

One of my lessons from my Me Made May round up was to make more fun day dresses and I think this fits the bill nicely. I’m going to make view C with little sleeves. I might lower the neckline a little too.

There’s a lot more in my stash so I’ll leave it there for now but do come back next week for stash busting- round 2!

 

Making Plans after Me Made May 16

So originally I had a real downer on Me Made May – seeing it as constraining, just an excuse to show off and, most of all, hard work – but for exactly those reasons, I loved it!

I really enjoyed constructing me-made outfits, delving deep into my handmade wardrobe to dig out old forgotten gems. It also helped me have a good old clear out of some makes that I don’t or shouldn’t wear, like this VERY short full circle skirt!

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A very old photo- no way am I getting that much leg out now!

I find it really hard to get rid of clothes I am attached to and have fond memories of wearing – especially me-mades.

By sharing my Me Made May makes I used Instagram a lot more and started to make more connections on there, I really enjoyed seeing what other makers were wearing every day and their new projects coming together too.

Me Made May gave me good overview of what I wear regularly and gave me good reason to  analyse what I wear and what’s missing from my hand made wardrobe.

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A little snippet of my Me Made May 16 outfits

The main thing I learn is that I like lots of different styles.

I like fitted clothes rather than looser fits, I like bold patterns but often forget to make plainer clothing so outfit building can be a bit tricky.

During this month I made quite a few items too – By wearing my makes I was inspired to make more.

I finished off my long awaited Tilly and the Buttons Coco top made from some gorgeous sweat fabric I picked up from Guthrie and Ghani back when Freya and I went on a research trip there last June!

I made 2 Agnes by Tilly and the Buttons long sleeve tees – the weather was miserable for most of May and I needed layers! I made this one first and lost the neck band! so I decided rather than cutting out another 1/2 m of fabric I’d just stay stitch then turn under the neckline and twin needle top stitch – It worked really well and I made my 2nd navy blue top in the same way.

I added a little bow to each of them at the neckline to personalise them. One of my New year’s resolutions this year was to use embellishments in my makes more. I really like the little tabs I’ve started putting on some of my makes and must remember to incorporate little details like this into my designs more.

laurel agnes and slipper

I also dug out this simple tee embellished with an upcycled sequin heart motif – I really like this and must do more upcycling and embellishment like this!

So onto the ‘Making’ plans…

These are the things I need more of in my wardrobe:

  1. Skirts- casual skirts and formal skirts
  2. Tops top go with the skirts- something I am terrible about doing is not making matching tops to go with the lovely bottoms I make – like the gorgeous lace pink skirt I made in February but still haven’t made a top to go with!
  3. Agnes tops -in prints and plains – long sleeved for layering and short sleeve too- maybe I’ll try a Sewaholic Renfrew too
  4. Day dresses- I weirdly have very few me-made dresses! That still fit me!
  5. Jeans – I have a pair cut out and waiting for me – i just need to sew them!
  6. A coat – the main thing that let me down from wearing full me-made outfits
  7. Jeggings – I have the self drafted pattern and the fabric- no excuses!
  8. Jumpers for layering – I really like my Coco sweat so maybe more of those, or I also like the Sewaholic Fraser although not really with pleather yoke like the sample on their site! This is a nice version by A Stitching Odyssy

So that’s, well, just about everything! Better get planning!

As I do I will bear in mind the other lessons I learnt:

  1. Add embelishements – tabs, bows, beads, embroidery – Just a little something to make it personal
  2. Make tops to go with skirts
  3. Fit clothes properly then I will actually wear them!
  4. Make layers

All in all it was a good month – even if it has created EVEN MORE ideas and work for me 🙂 TO the stash….