Sunday, 18 November 2012

A gift for my Dad

It's an ipad cover! 

I went to my local tartan shop and went through their alphabetised scrap boxes, to find myself a collection of blue and green tartans. I got about 20 5"x7" squares of 100% tartan wool for £2!! Included in my hoard are our family tartans too!
I cut them up into 24 3" squares.

Using my 1/4" foot I chain stitched them into pairs.
aah... I love chain stitching!

Using a hot steam iron I pressed them firmly.

Then I chain-stitched the pairs into rows of four.

Then I sewed the rows together to make a front and a back.
And to make the fold-over flap I sewed together three strips.
I cut a piece of cotton lining that was the full length
 of the front and back plus an additional 1" ease and 6" flap.
The batting was cut 1/2" smaller to help the seams to be less bulky.
I used an Australian printed cotton, because my family are a mixture of Scottish and Australian.


Dimensions: I got the measurements for the ipad from the makers website, added 1" for ease, 1/2" for seams and 6" for the fold-over flap. I cut the lining and batting in one long piece, and made up the 6" flap in patchwork strips, whilst the body was made up with patchworked squares.
1.With right sides together, sew the short edge of lining to short edge of patchwork squares. Press open. This makes the neat edge on the front. 
2.With right sides together sew the 3 sides of the patchwork squares pieces together, leaving the opening.
3. Lining: with right sides together, sew up the sides the same width as the patchworked pocket. Then tuck this into the patchwork pouch to make sure it fits.
4.Attach your tartan strip fold-over flap, with right sides together, to the back of the patchwork pocket.
5. Untuck the lining from the patchwork pocket and with right sides together, sew onto the fold-over flap, but leave the narrow end un-sewn. Use this un-sewn end to turn the pocket inside out and then handstitch it closed.
6.Affix whatever closures you would prefer: velcro, buttons, etc.

I handstitched a label to the inside that says "Handmade with Love" and made buttonholes to close the flap. 

I don't have an ipad myself, and don't know anyone who does, so I won't know if it fits until I give it to him. And if it doesn't fit? Well, I think I will keep it for myself and use it as a transferable hold-all to keep my purse, phone, keys in, and just grab it when I swap handbags to workbags!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

McCall's 6503 goes Maxi

I am going away very soon to a very hot destination, which explains why I am making summery dresses in the middle of Autumnal frosts!
I recently made the McCall's 6503 in blue and it is such a good fit and easy to wear. I was planning to make a second one in a lovely, painterly pink fabric when I had a flash of inspiration!
How hard it is to find a maxi dress that is modest and has sleeves - so - I decided to add 16" to the hem and turn this dress into a swishy, breezy summery dress for our holiday away!

McCall's 6503 as a Maxi dress!

To make it as easy and quick as possible, I decided to leave out the collar with all the interfacing and hand stitching work, and used the pattern front with the collar. This would have still required facing, and really I didn't think a collar would suit my summery breezy dress idea, so I just folded this piece back and used the straight edge for a wrap-style neckline.

So as to do away with the need for interfacing, I also decided to use bias binding around the neckline, and sewed it onto the wrong side of the fabric, so that when it folded around to the front of the fabric I could see the topstitching and be able to line it up better.

As I already had the paper pieces cut out, I only had to cut out the collared front pattern piece and all the fabric, which took about an hour. Then the actual sewing of the dress took me about 4 hours from start to finish! Except now - because the neckline has the wrap-style, I think I could easily get this on over my head, so am thinking of taking the zipper out now!
side view

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Piecing the sky of Skye

Here is a wee peek into the progress I am making on my Skye Wallhanging.
You may remember from a previous holiday post that I bought some lovely fabrics whilst holidaying in the Autumnal Isle of Skye in Scotland.
I sketched out a design, then after a couple of sketches I re-drew it onto plastic backed Freezer paper, to use as my pattern pieces.

 Then I cut out the Freezer paper pattern pieces and ironed them onto my fabric - plastic side down. This temporarily sticks to the fabric.  I cut the fabric about 1/4 inch bigger than the paper pattern piece.
 Then I used my teeny tiny applique pins to pin the pieces onto the background fabric and then applied the pieces to the backing fabric using the needle-turned applique technique.
So this is what the sky of my Skye looks like! I think I will keep all the re-usable Freezer paper pattern pieces as I might make another one (I think the sky background fabric is a bit too dark compared to the mauve and grey colours but I don't want to start again just yet - I really can't wait to see how this evolves).
This is turning out to be a really relaxing and creative little project and it's nice to be so free and flexible with the designing element. Usually sewing clothes one has to stick to the instructions and my piecing is usually geometric and angular so this is certainly a happy diversion.

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