Monday, 25 November 2013

Blogger meet up in Scotland

Fancy meeting up with other bloggers in Glasgow?  In fact, you don't even have to have a blog, you could just be interested in sewing, knitting, stitching and fancy a meet-up with like minded folk here in Glasgow.
Kerry who blogs over at Kestrel Makes is just starting to put together some ideas for a meet up on Saturday 1st February.  Pop over to her blog to read more of the details and leave a comment on her blog, with your email address attached, if you might be able to come along.
Glasgow in winter [source]

Monday, 18 November 2013

Measuring tape Skirt

I have made myself a skirt at long last!
Here's a little pocket detail to pique your interest

I own well over 40 skirts and yet unbelievably this is only the second skirt that I have ever made.  I have been giving this a bit of thought and I think it comes down to two things.  First, it is all the lovely fabrics that shop-bought skirts are made from.  So many colours and textures that I am always spoiled for choice and have always been able to find skirts that I love.  Secondly, skirts don't seem to be a popular garment where I live.  Most women that I see at work, out shopping or in business seem to wear black trousers or jeans.  Which means most skirts don't sell and end up in the next season's sale racks - ready for me to snap up at a bargain price!

So here it is - my new skirt!
I bought this fabric last year from Mandors in Glasgow, served by the lovely Hazel (the first blogger that I ever met in real life).  I chose the brighter version of this fabric because I wear reds, purples, mustards and sometimes aqua, so even though it is quite a bold palette, it will integrate well into my wardrobe.
I usually wear skirts with the tee shirts over the top of the waist bands.

The pattern is Butterick 5285, I made up view D.  It has 6 pleats at the front and 6 on the back but aren't top-stitched.  The other great thing is that it has pockets!  I was able to create the pockets using just one of those quilter's fat quarters, which gives the pockets a little surprising touch.

I had originally planned to self-draft this skirt, as part of my Fall Essentials Sew Along, but saw that a website I was buying some thread from also had this previously-out-of-print pattern available!  I was over the moon, as I had seen Margo make some lovely skirts with this pattern.  The skirt pattern is very versatile, but the front piece needs to be cut from 150cm wide fabric, which mine wasn't, so I now have a seam up the middle - but you can't tell with this vertically striped fabric anyway.

Posterior for Posterity!  Remember to try to include a back shot ladies.
I was so keen to get these photos taken that I still need to attach the hook & eye to the waistband.
Linking up with Project Sewn: Signature Style.  I love wearing skirts with a blazer and boots, and I work with numbers so this skirt and outfit combination is right up my alley.  I have been getting lots of positive comments when I wear this too!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Sewing and Pressing and Cutting OH MY!

I have been a busy bee over here at Nessa's Place!  Check out all of these pressed seams!

I have a number of sewing books on my shelves that I enjoy browsing but have never actually made anything from them - that was until I bought a Kaffe Fassett / Phillip Jacobs bundle of 30 fabric strips and needed to find something to do with all those lovely colours and patterns.  These bundles of 40 fabric strips are commonly called jelly rolls, but my bundle only contained 30 so I needed to find a pattern that could adapt easily to various quantities.
And I did find one!  The pattern I found for this quilt required only 20 strips of fabric, so I just made it a bit bigger to incorporate my 30 strips, and added a few extra in too (7 blue ones as well as background fabric).
Here I am sharing the process of creating this quilt, but feel free to just look at the pictures - they are fairly self-explanatory.  It really is just a LOT of sewing and pressing and cutting... oh MY!

Just the Preparation is a Mammoth task!

I started with two metres of white fabric and cut it into 44 strips of 2.5". 

Then I sewed my 30 colourful strips of fabric to either side of one white strip, and 14 white strips to either side of one dark strip (I had some dark toned blues in my stash so I used those - the original pattern used red and it looks great with red too)
PLEASE NOTE: If you are following this to make one yourself, I would like to say that I wish I had done 8 of the blue sets as I did end up with enough of the coloured sets to have made another row in my final quilt.  But this would also mean you would need a bit more white, so perhaps buy a quarter of a metre extra just to be sure.
Using a sharp rotary cutter and ruler, cut every single strip set into 2.5" wide strips.  This took HOURS!
I ended up with two lovely piles - 122 blue centres and 255 coloured sides.  Then sew them together to create a nine-patch block.
I was left with a very tall pile of 115 nine-patch blocks, with warm blue centres, all completed.  Now this would have been enough satisfying work for anyone.  But unfortunately the cutting and sewing isn't over!

The disappearing nine-patch

Now for more sewing and pressing and cutting...oh MY!
Using the clear ruler, I lined up the edges of the blue square on the 1" line and sliced every single one of these babies up!
After all of that cutting, and the removing of a few slipped and miss-cut pieces, I ended up with 457 usable pieces.
Now to stitch them into strips, with the little blue squares all facing the same direction.  I sketched out the book's layout onto some graph paper with the original 236 squares and then drew in my extra squares to make a total of 436. 

 (I knew I would have some leftovers so I took out my least favourite ones, but if you want to make it, you'll be able to use all your squares if you just do one extra strip of white/blue/white at the beginning)
This was always going to be 'on-point' so I needed to add setting triangles to each end of the strips. The longest strips are 25 squares wide!  (The setting triangles are created by cutting 5.75" squares then cutting these into triangles.  The four corners are made by cutting one 3.5" square and dissecting it into triangles)
At least now there is no more cutting to be done - just more sewing and pressing... oh Yay!
Hopefully this will be big enough to cover a single bed.

Now for the Quilting

Although I did toy with the idea of using this quilt as a vehicle to hire and learn how to use a long-arm quilting machine, I have decided not to do the quilting at all.  I haven't as yet found any love or joy from the quilting part of making quilts, so I will pay someone to quilt this little lovely for me - But first I need to find some backing fabric before I can make an appointment with a quilter.  I look forward to sharing photos of my completed quilt!
N.B. The Trellis Quilt is now complete!  View it over here.

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