Monday, 24 February 2014

Rainbow Spokes mini wall hanging

Hello there! Feels like I've been away for ages, but we were only away for a week! I'd like to say we had a restful holiday, but truthfully we were all ill and it wasn't quite what we'd imagined. Everyone's largely recovered and I've got a course of antibiotics, so will hopefully be on the mend soon too. But enough of my 'woe is me' story, how about seeing some sewing?!


One of my stitchy friends - who actually lives nearby! - had signed up with me to join the Colour Intensive course and we've been discussing it on the school run when we bump in to each other. Anyway, it was her birthday last week and inspired by one of our lessons on rainbows I decided to raid my scrap bin with an idea of creating a colourwheel. Restricted by the widths of my scraps I ended up making colour spokes with tapered ends to create the wheel. I used Elmers glue to stick each end of the spokes in place before appliqueing them in place with Aurifil.

The middle seemed a little bare so I looked around for some quotes on colour and found this one by Guillaume Appolinaire which seemed quite apt.

I lightly free-motion quilted loopdy loops around the spokes before using a bit of Tula Pink microdots for the binding: I tell you, dots on the bias make an awesome binding!!!!!!!

It's a small wall-hanging at just 15" square. Being the first one that I've ever made I spent a little while unsure of how to finish on the back for hanging, so I thought I'd show you what I did. A google search came up with lots of solutions and in the end I settled on using two 3" squares folded diagonally and attaching them to the top corners prior to attaching and finishing the binding. A bit of dowling and it was good to go!

I dropped it off to my friends tonight and she seemed to love it. Now I might just need to make one for myself!!!!

Sx

Todays sky ● very mixed between blue and grey skies

Monday, 17 February 2014

And the winner is....

....thanks to everyone who entered their knickers!!!! Mr Random Number Generator has chosen......
.....which is Hannah - well done!!!

Thanks so much to all of you who took part - it sounds like everyone had fun, some have even asked to do another swap....what do we think?

Hope you all have a great few days,

Sx

Todays sky ● grey and miserable again. Meh!


Friday, 14 February 2014

Show me your Valentines Knickers!!!!!

Happy Valentines everyone! I hope that you're all having a lovely day spoiling and being spoilt by someone special. I'm deseprately trying not to share my germs with Mr f&f - me and two of the Little One's have picked up some horrible viruses......it's not a happy household at the moment!

Something cheering me up though is seeing all the fabulous knickers that you've been making popping up on Instagram - they are amazing!!!!!! Did you have fun? I hope you did. I know the elastic caused a bit of trouble for some of you, but once you've mastered that these are a great project that can be whipped up in an hour - I love me a quick project sometimes!


And don't forget that there is a prize people! Please link up at the end of this post from now until midnight on Sunday 16th February with knickers that you've made for yourself (if you didn't take part in the swap) or knickers that you made/received as part of the swap and on Monday Mr Random Number Generator will select one of you to be sent a prize bundle of two Fat Quarters of fabric and 4m of knicker elastic from Trixe Lixie

Thank you to everyone that's taken part and to Trixie Lixie for offering a discount on the knicker pattern and a prize!

Sx

Todays sky ● grey and miserable. Again. It's getting a bit boring now!


Thursday, 13 February 2014

February Siblings Together Bee Block ✔

For February, Anna asked us to make a slightly larger version of the pinwheels in park pattern, with a finished block size of 17". This month we got to play with Colour Me Retro, which is a beautiful line with some fabulous blenders in: love those little leaves!!!


As always, a big thank you to our sponsors....


       
            
      

Hope you're safe and dry,

Sx

Todays sky ● amazingly, its blue!!!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Hints and Tips on Sewing Knickers

This week has flown by crazy quick, and to be honest I'm not sure that I could tell you much of what's happened, all the days seem to have blurred in to one!


So, a little later than I hoped, here are my hints and tips on sewing knickers. These are based on the Trixie Lixie pattern, so if you're using a different pattern some of them may/may not be relevant to you!

Once you've cut out the pattern following the guidelines - very important as the patterns are cut on the bias which helps to give the knickers a nice bit of stretch! - the first bit is to attach the gusset and join the front and back pieces together. I find it easiest to lay the gusset down first, then lay the front and back pieces (right sides together) on top so that I can measure the overlap before stitching it down.

To attach the gusset to the front knicker piece, I have found it worthwhile to smooth and pin the gusset in place, trim if necessary and then zig-zag down either side. I often end up reducing the width of my zig-zag stitch by one or two notches, as I don't want the stitches to be wider than those that I use for my elastic, if that makes sense?!
Pin ● Trim ● Zig-zag the edges together

And then it's on to sewing the elastic! Now, I'll be honest, this is the bit that I was most worried about on my first pair of knickers, but I promise you it's not tricky!

Firstly, have a look at your elastic to see how wide the bottom bit that you'll be sewing through. I've found that I've had to decrease the width of my zig-zag a couple of notches so that the stitching sits neatly within the elastic band (the solid bit in the picture below). Then, pin the elastic in position on one end of a leg hole and secure it with some forward/backward stitches before removing the pin.


Secondly - you can never hold your elastic too taut!!!!! In the first photo, you can see that I'm holding the elastic with no pull, and in the middle picture I've pulled the elastic really taut so that the ruffles have almost disappeared: this is how tight you want to hold it whilst sewing! It is a little strange to get used to, I found myself working with just a couple of inches of elastic at a time holding it taut in my right hand and using my left hand to make sure that the elastic stayed in line with the edge of the knickers. So there's lots of stopping and starting at a slow-medium speed but it becomes second nature quite quickly and you will speed up. I've also found that when I get to the gusset join I get a smoother result if I pivot (with my needle down on the bottom edge of the elastic) the fabric round and then carry on as before.
Elastic held normally ● Elastic held taut ● Pivoting at the gusset seam

Repeat this for the other leg hole and the top edges, remembering to keep the elastic taut (have I mentioned that enough yet?!). And this is what you should end up.......it looks a bit bunchy doesn't it?!

The last thing to do is sew the side seams. The pattern sizes are banded (eg. a Medium is a UK 12-14) so for the seam allowance I've been using either a 1/4" or 3/8" depending on if I would normally go for the smaller or bigger size within that banding, I figure that an 1/2" might make all the difference on a comfy pair of pants!!!! Zig-zag (or serge) the side-seams to give a neat finish and you're done! Ta dah!

They still look a little bunchy (I can't help thinking of shower caps!!!!), they're not the easiest thing to photograph!!!!

I hope this has helped you - if you'd like to have a go at making your own knickers then don't forget that there is still a 15% discount code when you type in SEWKNICKERS at Trixie Lixie valid until the 8th February.

Let me know if you have any more q's,

S x

Todays sky ● rain, wind, more rain and more wind. It's not good.
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