Selfless Secret Santa Crafting

Friday, 23 January 2015

Hey Guys!

God it's been quiet round these parts. I have a few things on the go at the moment - a skirt I need to get closer on the invisible zip before I take pics (hazards of contrasting zips), a dress which began life as a muslin that I need to finish handpicking a zip into, a cut out cardigan - and I'm trying to psyche myself up to get started on that coat! 

I have two patterns I'm going back and forth about but I need to get started either way...

But my most recent finished make was a selfless one - another sewing machine pad and organiser!

I don't know if you guys remember my Secret Santa gift for Winnie at the Sewist Christmas party?

Picture from Winnie's Instagram

Well our Sewing Club had a Post-Christmas Lunch where we swapped Secret Santa presents too, and of course the first thing that came to mind in my attempt to stashbust was another Sewing Machine organiser made from some red polka dot home-dec fabric I had to use up :)

Polka Dots!!

It turned out really well actually (especially seen as I cut out most of the pieces without measurements. The only thing I checked was the width I had cut the main pieces before cutting out the pockets). As I mentioned before, I got the general idea from a Cath Kidston book project, but I only saw the picture. I made up the rest as I went along. It's pretty simples though.

It doesn't sit so well on my stupidly round table! I've got my eyes peeled to swap it out for a square or small rectangular one. I hate trying to fit four chairs around a three footed pedestal. Who thought that was a good idea?? And it tips over if you put anything heavy over the edges between feet. Stupid table. But check out my awesome IKEA Raskog! Literally my favourite thing in the house at the moment.

I made a deep pocket layer for rulers and markers and a shallow pocket layer for seam rippers and chalk liners.

I clearly did not attempt any spot matching.

I patched the pockets onto the main pad so the layers ended up pretty thick. Thankfully the machine powered through as I couldn't find my hump-jumper.

I drew the diagonal lines with water soluble marker before I quilted the diagonal lines. I found that the padding squidged up inside the pad in places and left a few bumps. You can see that it shows up in the centre of the back of the sewing pad in the picture below. Thats why I used that side as the back.

I evenly spaced the central pocket stitching and made sure to some back-tacking at the tops of each pocket edge.

And the best thing? The club member who got it was really happy! So glad you liked it Jacq!!

P.S The meal was AH-mazing. I need to go back there for a Sunday roast. I know I'm not a massive meat eater, but look at this.


I had the Mushroom risotto and that was also awesome.

Well, I shall get onto finishing something!

Emmie x

Hello 2015. Now what am I going to do with you?

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Hi Guys,

I'm back again. I'm going to do a flying review of the past year before I move onto some aspirations for this coming one.

2015... when did that happen - 2005 is only just starting to fade! Ironically 2005 was when I got my first sewing machine (but more on that another time...)

I don't think the production level was particularly high this year but most of it produced pretty decent results. It looks like I made 20 items for me, and a few handmade gifts for Christmas and Birthdays. To be honest it's about the same as last year! But a but more fanCY (sorry, the song is on in the background. I can't help it, I love it).

SO... the winners of 2014 are quite unexpected (in terms of my feelings when I finished them); but I think that's how the cookie crumbles for a lot of us. What I do know is that I am definitely more in tune with my personal style, and what fabrics and cuts work for me and my lifestyle.

So lets look over some of the winners (in no particular order). Let's go Top 5, try something new :-P

Sew Over It : Betty dress

I adore this dress, I adore this fabric. If it wasn't gut-wrenchingly expensive I would have bought every colourway. I'm glad I added the extra 3 inches to the length, as that length of skirt makes me happy. A lovely dress in remembrance of a lovely day :)

Papercut Patterns : Rigel Bomber

This jacket has been worn constantly since it came off my machine. Like, constantly. I'm so glad I went for all black, it goes with absolutely everything. I hope to make a snugglier one for the next version, maybe lined with flannel or some-such goodness. 

Papercut Patterns : Coppelia Cardigan

I already have one of these babys cut out and ready to go. I was just trying to decide whether to service my overlocker and attempt to try actually use the overlocker to sew a garment up from scratch. This one was sewn up on my machine. I sort of didn't even finish the insides. SHHHHH! But now that I've reminded myself that I have some bits ready to go straight on the machine I may just do that. I love this cardigan. I really do. I need about 10. Maybe 11.

Sew Over It : Ultimate Wrap Dress

This was a surprise winner. Not because I didn't like the pattern, because I did! (or why would I have bought it!). But for some reason I was a bit worried that it was a bit short for me. However, as I mentioned, I normally wear it with boots and tights, and it has gotten a hell of a lot of wear. The next one will be Houndstooth - mark my words. Actually I think I will pre-wash it tomorrow. Plan!

Sequinned Party Dress!

Last, but by no means least (not by a long shot!) - The Sequinned Party Dress. The dress to end all dresses for me. If I ever get married I don't know what I'll do. I got to wear it again at the Sewist Christmas Party - Yay! When else can you sparkle, but at Christmas and New Year? (and I sort of don't do New Year so much)

Now, no one wants to dwell on crap things, so I'll skim over the misses.

A bit shorter than I'm used to and the fabric is quite stiff. Should have cut the circle longer by seaming two halves. Tried to do the easy way out by cutting in a complete circle. Never worn :(

Worn once in Vegas and then never again. Uh-Oh.

Denim too thick and stiff in the crotch. Also wrinkly crotch. Stiff, wrinkly crotch.

Lets see what visitors I get from that sentence.

Poor lighting - but as nice as it is, this top goes with nothing! The colours are just not in my wardrobe. And I need to handstitch down the facing as I seem to have trimmed it down short for some unknown reason and it keeps rolling out all weird.

Nice, but sticks to tights like a bugger - of course. Wrinkles like a bugger out of the wash - I don't iron, and the skirt for some reason puts my silhouette off balance in my eyes. Too slim or something on the bottom.

Well, let's forget about that business.


Next year I want to make an all out tailored jacket or coat. Preferably both! I've picked up some beautiful coating fabrics lately. I seem to be obsessed with them. I think I should have gone into men's tailoring. If you want to see my inspiration Pinterest board, take a look here.

I want to sew up more vintage patterns, and I want to focus on more of a 60s wiggle silhouette this year

I want to attempt more bag-making. My mother is dragging around the one I made her last Christmas and it looks atrocious. And I'm not overstating here. I clearly knew nothing about bag-making.

I want to keep sewing more day-wear. Especially vintage inspired day-wear. What really slays me is the gorgeous ladies who can keep up the look on a day in-day out basis. 
I make the effort at the weekend (the changing as soon as I get into work thing sort of kills it midweek), but considering a collective of day wear separates would definitely facilitate me keeping up appearances. Gotta look sassy, and party dresses ain't always practical. Must start a pinboard for that now too :) I'm thinking lots of midi skirts, some comfortable pencil skirts, maybe some Bonnie's.... Preeeety.

I finally need to make a denim shirtdress. It's an absolute must.

I'm going to stashbust as much as possible, and socialise with you guys as much as possible (as ever!)

Ok, it's time for dinner, and my Brain is starting to go slightly doolally so I'm gonna leave you guys to ponder your own futures!



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