Making a maternity top

Buying maternity clothes has not been easy. Hardly any shops have them for you to try on. 99% is online only and it’s very annoying!

So I ordered a Burda pattern to make a top and possibly some cropped trousers too.  The pattern said it was super easy and I thought it would be good to have a go at sewing with jersey fabric too, which I’ve never done before.

So this is what I did over the Easter weekend last week.

My first decision was whether to use an overlocker to seam and finish at the same time, or to use a stretch stitch on my sewing machine instead. I chose the latter figuring if something went wrong I’d be able to fix it easier.

My sewing machine has different stretch stitches and overlocking type of stitches for neater finishing of seams, so I experimented on some left over pieces of fabric after cutting out the main pieces and settled on the stitches I would use.

On the whole it was pretty easy to put together. I particularly liked using the twin needle. The hems look quite professional finished this way.

sewing-with-twin-needle

The only issue I had was with the neck.  You had to cut a strip, fold it in half lengthways wrong sides together and tack it all the way around the neckline. You stitch in place, snip around the curves, then fold it back inside the top and tack and then top stitch in place. The problem was that when I folded it back inside the top and tacked it, I could see it wasn’t going to lie flat.

After showing Mum, I mentioned that the strip for the neck barely met at the ends. She suggested that I needed to sew the strip into a circle first, slightly shortening it and then ease that into the neckline. It might bring it in.

So I spent ages unpicking the line of stretch stitching that I’d done. It was very tedious and fiddly. Grrr… and after all that, the neck looked even worse and curled out. It was like there was too much fabric when I folded the strip back.

So in the end I didn’t fold it back. The strip was quite happy to sit as it was. So I just neatened the seams and voila!

jersey-maternity-top

My Armchair Sewing Caddy

I have finally finished this arm chair sewing caddy.  My husband hates it when I drop my needle or scissors down the side of the sofa whilst sewing and so having this caddy beside me will hopefully stop me doing this.

sewing-caddy

I looked on Pinterest for ideas of what style to make and I used some fat quarters I bought from Joann many years ago on holiday in Florida. I’m pretty pleased with it. I think I will make a thread catcher to go with it, which will perhaps attach to the front of it.

I started a very exciting small sewing project this week, which I will probably get finished tomorrow, so I should be posting again very soon!

Cathedral Window Pincushion

I had an urge to dig into my stash this weekend and do a spot of sewing. I’ve never made one of these cathedral window pincushions, which are very popular, so I thought I’d have a go.

The fabrics were fat quarters that I bought in JoAnn‘s many, many years ago on a holiday to Florida. It was nice to finally use a little bit of them.

I have to say I did find it a little tricky. The inserts under the curves kept slipping, but I got there in the end and I’m pleased with how it turned out.

FO: Japanese Rice Bag

I made up my Japanese rice bag the weekend before last, using the kit I bought at the quilt show. I love it, although I don’t know what I’ll use it for 🙂

japanese-rice-bag

Some quick sewing projects

I thought I would share a couple of small sewing projects that I have completed this past week.

First of all was this Lil Red doll made from a Moda Fabrics panel. Lil Red is a new collection of fabrics featuring Little Red Riding Hood.

The panel includes the doll, her shirt and cape, quilt, pillow and Mr Wolf. 
She was very quick to make and I enjoyed myself!

The second thing I made this week was a tote shopping bag which folds into a pouch.

This was a pattern my Mum devised a few years ago and I thought I would make a new bag using some of the new Aria fabric by Kate Spain. I love this fabric range and was dying to make something with it.

Mistletoe Lane Moda Love Mini Quilt

I love Moda’s Candy Packs – they are mini charm packs containing 42 2.5″ squares.  I find it very hard to resist slipping one or two into my stash every time we get a new set in at the shop.

I’ve used them to make a couple of different cushions in the past – one using the Sunnyside collection and one using Aspen Frost. However I had a spare Mistletoe Lane mini charm pack which the designer, Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, gave me and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. I didn’t want to make another cushion.

Then I came across a mini quilt which Anne Sutton had made with a Mistletoe Lane mini charm, as part of the Moda Love Blog Tour. This tour saw all the Moda fabric designers make something using the same quilt pattern and using either a layer cake, charm pack or mini charm. I just loved how it looked, so as the weather forecast was awful for this weekend and my husband was out with the boys on Friday night, I borrowed a sewing machine from work (my own is in storage in preparation for our house move) and got started.

clear-view-quilting-foot

This is the basic pattern – some half square triangles mixed with whole squares and obviously the larger the precut, the larger the quilt.

moda-love-quilt-pattern

It’s been quite a while since I did some quilting and it was nice to be able to complete the whole thing in the weekend. I still can’t get my machine quilting as smooth as I’d like, but I guess I just need to practise more. I must also remember to alter the stitch length to 3.0 as I forgot at first and had to unpick a lot of tiny stitches!

sewing-binding

mistletoe-lane-mini-quilt

You download the free instruction sheets here on the Moda website.

I make another one with a Canyon mini charm which is more summery 🙂

Getting Christmassy!

Last week I found that my to-do list wasn’t too long, so I took the opportunity to grab a few hours at work to make one of this year’s advent calendars from Stof Fabrics.

Rather than the traditional colours, I decided I would make one in the copper colour way to show people just how lovely and effective it is! Stof do some really lovely Christmas fabrics.

I had fun with a little free motion quilting on the top too, trying to follow the swirls 🙂  Think I succeeded ok!

copper advent calendar from Stof Fabrics