EDITH TUNIC

SQ tunic sampleEdith – An artists smock style loose fitting tunic for everyday wear. Straightforward to make with easy sew long sleeves, a deep round neck, lots of cross seams and topstitching (oh yes I do love topstitching!) and two inset pockets. Edith has an open loop and button back neck detail so its easy to get on and off. Theres lots of room in this tunic to move, eat and do what you will!

The finished length is on the knee or just above. See below for the finished garment measurements.

Please note that the horizontal pocket seam is designed to sit approx 5cm (2″) below the waistline. EDITH BACK NEW-1You can sew a single or double line of topstitching as you prefer.IMG_7976Heres a close up of those nifty inset pockets which are hidden within the seam line. Before you start, its a good idea to measure where the pocket seam line will be on you. If you need to make any adjustments to the length of the upper and lower body sections, you can do this before you cut out. by tracing off the pattern and making alterations. Just extend or shorten the lower edge of the upper front and back by sliding the pattern down or up, then match up at the sides. Repeat for the lower section.

The Back neck opening with a rouleau loop, shown below, is such a good technique to get under your sewing belt.IMG_7983

Or you could also make a sleeveless smock top version like this one:

Edith topI made it 12cm shorter on the lower front and back section only. I didn’t attach the sleeves, just turned under a small 1cm hem and stitched a double row of topstitching.

To shorten the pattern just mark out the length up from the lower edge, then slide the pattern down and redraw the lower curved edge.

I also tried topstitched above the pocket seam which is an alternative method which also looks good.

Please note: For a shorter Smock Top version you will need 50cm less fabric than the pattern states for your size. 

A Note about Topstitching. If  you prefer to have contrast colour top stitching, use a different coloured thread in the needle and the background colour in the bobbin. You don’t have to use a special topstitch thread, which gives a more defined line of stitching like you get on jeans. I used a quilting thread which worked well, but an upholstery thread could also be good. 

If using a thread that is the same colour as the background for the topstitching, select one that is slightly darker in colour, you will find that your stitching looks so much better.

The pattern states to topstitch as you go, but if you are using a contrast thread, try to group several stages of topstitching together to avoid having to constantly change your needle thread colour. Better still, you could thread up another sewing machine (if you have one) with the contrast thread.

Extend your stitch length to 2.6 – 2.8mm and sew approx 5mm from the seamline. Sew one or two lines of stitching if you prefer. I like to pop my machine settings on needle position to the far left (there is a setting for this on most machines) and line up the seamline to the centre line on the presser foot which really helps to keep straight and even. When topstitching the front pocket edge, move your needle position to the far left, align the side of the foot to the seamline and sew 5mm approx from the pocket seamline.

Why not try inserting a ‘Stitch in the ditch’ foot attachment (or otherwise known as a. ‘Edge stitch foot’ ) if you have one to help as a guide for topstitching. It looks like this…… download

AN EDGE STITCH FOOT

There is information about the cutting guide and layplans in the pattern which you can purchase here:

BUY EDITH PATTERN

I love making Edith in floppy linen mix fabrics or denim. Here is a link to a fab supplier of linen and in particular the linen/cotton mix fabric in masses of great colours and not expensive.

FABRIC INSPIRATIONS.CO.UK 

This is what you do….

First sew your upper back pieces together. Finish off the seams. Press.2Then repeat with the upper front pieces and the lower back pieces.3Finish the outer 3 sides of the pockets.4Pin the pockets to the upper front and lower front in position as shown on the template.5Press downwards on the upper front and upwards on the lower front. Topstitch along the top edge of the 4 pockets in non contrast thread.6Pin the upper front to the lower front with the RST (right sides together). Sew across all around the pockets. Press.78Join the front to back at the shoulder seams. Press the seam allowance towards the back. Topstitch.

Staystitch around the neck edge all around. This is a line of stitching within the seam allowance all around to prevent stretching.9

NECK FACINGS

10Interface the reverse side of the neck facing pieces. Join together at the short sides. Press the seam allowances open. Finish the outer raw edge all around.11Pin to the neck edge. Hand tack stitch all around .12Snip!  Clip the curved seam allowances to allow it to sit flat when its turned to the right side. Don’t forget to trim across the corners too.13Press to the reverse side. Align the seam line to the fold all around.

MAKE THE ROULEAU15aFold the loop piece in half lengthways, press. Stitch down one long side at the raw edges leaving a long thread end. Use a loop turner to turn it inside out or if you don’t have one, use a blunt ended needle tied with the thread end, pass through the tube, pulling gently through and out the other end. Press. Et voila!15cInsert the loop between the neck facing and upper back. Pin, adjust the length according to your button. Sew down the short edge. Trim off any excess loop ends.15dTurn to the RS. Oop la! one rouleau loop! Snazzy!14Hand tack stitch the facing all around to secure it.14aMachine stitch 4cm from the neck edge all around.15Pin the sleeve to the body. Sew. Finish the raw edge. Press away from the body. Topstitch. Easy peasy!16Pin then sew the front to back at the side edges with the RST.17Clip the curved seam allowances at the underarm section.

18Hem the sleeve edge with a contrast thread. Hem the lower edge with the background colour thread. 19

Of course finish off with a lovely button.

Ta dah!Fiona in Edith tunic

INSERTING AN INVISIBLE ZIP

12Invisible zips are nice to look at, they give a professional finish to your garment and with a bit of practise are actually not difficult to insert when you know how.

This is what a concealed zip looks like…..

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You will need to insert on your machine a concealed zip foot or just a standard zip foot will do (actually I prefer it!)

A  concealed zip foot looks like the first image but make sure its one thats compatible with your machine. The second one is a standard zip foot.

 

This is what it looks like when its been inserted.12You can see that also the cross seams are matched up perfectly, which is what you are aiming for when making any garment.2Before you start, take a look at the back of your invisible zipper. See how the coils of the zipper curl toward the back? This is what makes the zipper less visible than a normal zipper. You will need to uncurl those coils by gently ironing the zipper flat first with the tip of a warm iron. This lets you stitch much closer to the coils.

Lay your zipper wrong side up, with the zipper open. Set your iron on warm (or the synthetic setting). Use your fingers to uncurl the teeth of the zipper while pressing it flat with the tip of your iron. Do this on both sides.6

3Lay your garment right side up, facing you. Place one side of the open zipper face down on the fabric and lined up one zip outside edge with one side of the fabric raw edge. NB there is a 1cm seam allowance with Cecily dress, however, if you have a 1.5cm seam allowance, then place with a 5mm space between the zip and the outside edge. Pin in position, with Cecily dress start just below the dart. If you have a cross seam (at the waistline for example) then mark the back of your zip each side so that you ensure your cross seams match up after sewing in your zipper. Hand tack.4

Now instead of hand tacking, you could use quilters 1/4″ tape to temporarily adhere the zip to the fabric side edge before you sew it in.135Stick a piece either side of the back of the zip.

8Having inserted the invisible zipper foot into your machine, lower the foot down onto the zipper. Make sure that the zipper coil is in the left groove of the foot. If you don’t have an invisible zip foot, use a standard zip foot and nudge the needle over so it lines up with the coil underneath or as near to the teeth as possible.

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Make sure your cross seams are aligned.9Sew slowly as far as you can and (if you are using a standard foot, as close to the teeth as you can without sewing over the teeth). Stop when you reach the end of the zipper. Backstitch. Repeat for the other side of the zip.

Close the zipper up. Pin together the fabric below the zip and sew a 1cm seam sewing from the previous line of stitching to the end of the fabric. Do the same at the section above the zip.

10Press the seams open on the back and press the zip on the right and wrong sides so that the coils spring back into action.

11There you have now mastered the art of the concealed zip!

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ELSIE TROUSERS

ELSIE PIC

BUY ELSIE PATTERN

Baggy trousers are surprisingly flattering and I’m a total convert. I don’t wear tight jeans…..ever! I really don’t like them. Don’t get me wrong, I like a pair of jeggings under a tunic but jeans yuk…. I find them way too uncomfortable. These beauties, however, with their elasticated back waist section,  are my go to trews for lounging about it or when I want to feel like a Hoxton Hipster !  : ) They also look great with sandals or flatties. Wear with short or long tees.  You don’t have to tuck in your tee either, cover any lumps and bumps (we all have them!) with a tee or a tie belt (I love a tie belt).

Remember Elsie can be made in linen, heres a link to a fab linen supplier at reasonable prices…..

Fabric inspirations linen

These trousers can also be made in a floppy viscose or polyester fabric for a ‘Palazzo Pants’ style which are perfect for holidays. Imagine lounging around the pool on a hot evening, sipping cocktails in your palazzos …… (well a girl can dream cant she!).

Elsie has front pleats on to the waistband and an elasticated back waistband (yippee!) so no zips just pull em on! There are also two rather lovely inset side pockets and an optional tie belt…..did I mention that already?

Heres a picture of Matilda wearing a longer version of Elsie made in a polyester print.

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Actually Ive also made them from African Dutch Wax and I think they look oh so cool, perfect for holidays.

IMG_1529 sq 2The pattern comes in two lengths – cropped or full length so if you can check the size chart for more details about the finished measurements and fabric quantities.

My cropped Elsie trousers (pattern cover picture) measured 22cm from the bottom of the hem to the ground, you may like to use this measurement as a guide as to how long your cropped trousers should be on you. Some of us have longer legs than others, so you can adapt the length to suit your body if needed.

Here is a chart showing the measurements:

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IMPORTANT INFO! You will need to allow at least 10-15cm at the waist/hips (whichever is the largest measurement) for ‘ease’ this allows you to pull them on and off without struggle. Here are the finished waist/hip measurements:Screen Shot 2019-08-23 at 15.47.53What are the fabrics suitable to make Elsie trousers in:  linen, linen mixes or 6 oz denim (make sure its really nice and soft and has some drape to it).  Then viscose, polyester drapey fabrics. Try to avoid anything too lightweight and nothing see through (no VPL s please!).

For Cutting instructions and Layplans see the paper pattern. You also need a half metre of 4cm elastic (soft variety) and 20cm of fusible light/med weight interfacing.

Here is an edited down version of the pattern instructions to give you an idea about whats involved.

Seam allowance is 1cm.

SEWING THE FRONT & BACK

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Sew the fronts together RST at the centre front edge.  Do the same with the back pieces at the centre back edges. Finish the seam allowances together.

PLEATS

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Pin the pleats as shown on the template on the front only. pleat LHS

Two on the left hand side of the centre seam.pleat RHSTwo on the right hand side of the centre seam.3So it looks like this. Machine tack stitch the pleats to hold in position along the top edge so you can remove the pins and the pleats are held in position.

POCKETS

9Pin a pocket lining to the outer curved edge with the RST. (right sides together). Sew along curved edge. Fold over and press to the reverse side. Pin then top stitch close to the curved edge.

Repeat for the other side and other pocket lining piece.

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Add the pocket piece to the outer curved edge of the pocket lining with the RST.

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Finish the raw edges and pin then machine tack to the trouser top and side edges. Machine tack. Repeat for the other pocket.

17Sew the front to the back at the side edges with the RST. Finish the raw edges.18

Sew the trousers together at the inner leg edges again with the RST. Finish the raw edges.

Now to the……drum roll please!

WAISTBAND 

First make your tabs for the belt, or omit this if you are not having a belt.

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Fold over the tab long sides 1cm to the wrong side. Press. Fold again in half. Pin, topstitch close to each long side.

Press over 1cm at one short side. Place to one side. Repeat for the other three tab pieces.

SEWING THE WAISTBAND  -Method 1

this little film link below will help in inserting elastic using method 1

A short video tutorial about inserting elastic 

If you have an over locker you could insert the waistband this quick way…for an alternative way see the following section -Method 2.

19Interface the front waistband only. Pin and sew RST at the short sides. Press the seam allowances open. 20Fold in half so the WST (wrong sides are together), match the raw edges.Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 15.31.00Pin the elastic at the side seams and extend across at the Back section.22Machine tack close to the raw edges, making sure you don’t sew in any elastic. Finish the raw edge, also on the trousers front and back top edge.

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25Pin the waistband piece to the trousers top edge, align front and back, match up the side seams. Insert the tab piece short end under the waistband before you stitch, align with the outer pleats and insert two tabs in the same way under the back waistband. Hand tack stitch. Sew all around pushing the elastic beyond the (dropped down) needle as you go, careful not to sew the elastic so push it away from the seam edge or pin it in position.

Press the waistband upwards, seam allowance downwards on the reverse side.

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Pin the folded tab end at the top secure with a small stitched rectangle end encasing the raw tab edge.

WAISTBAND – Method 2 (alternative method) where you encase the raw edges in the waistband.

So just like the previous method you sew the waistband together at the short sides with the RST.19

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Sew the elastic to the side seams, extend over the the back section.28Fold over and press 1cm to the wrong side all around one long raw edge of the waistband.

29Pin the waistband unfolded edge to the trousers top edge., match up the side seams and align the back and front. Sew all around. Insert the tabs as in Method 1.30Fold the waistband up. Press at the seamline.

31Fold over to the reverse side of the waistband encasing all the raw edges, keep passing the fabric along the elastic so you are always working with a flat piece of waistband.

Pin all around then either ‘stitch in the ditch’ or hand sew all around with a small slip stitch to secure the waistband edge. Press.

TIE BELT (optional)1Join the tie pieces with the RST. Press the seam allowances open.2

Fold the tie in half lengthways align the raw edges. Pin. Sew along one long edge and down each slanted edge leaving a 4cm approx opening at the centre join section. Leave a long end for turning. Trim the seam allowances to 5mm.3

Tie the thread end on to a blunt ended chunky needle and pass in between the tie folds and out through the opening. Pull gently to turn inside out. Push out the pointed ends with a poking tool or tease out with a strong needle. Press so the fold is in line with the seam.

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Top stitch all around which will close up the opening at the same time. Job done!IMG_1286

Insert through your little tabs and tie in a lovely bow. Esme would be proud. (this won’t make much sense if you don’t watch The Great British Sewing Bee!).

Lastly make a 2cm hem on the lower edge of your trousers.

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Ta dah!

ELSIE PIC

 

SUKI KIMONO

 

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SUKI KIMONO 

SIZES 8-20

Suitable for beginners.

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This is a loose fitting hip length kimono which looks great in all seasons, either for a special occasion or as a loose fitting cardigan. With a wide front band, two optional patch pockets, and french seams on the inside, its an easy, fun and quick to make.

I made this kimono in this beautiful Liberty pure silk satin, shown below,  other suitable fabrics include viscose fabric, cotton, linen or any fabric that has a fluid drape quality.

It can also be made in thicker fabrics for colder days as a kind of jacket, which gives a completely different look. I recently made it in a woven wool fabric and lengthened the sleeves like this to make a Kimono style jacket.

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Here, I am wearing Suki made in an ethnic woven stripe so its like a jacket. IMG_1401

Here is my lovely fam, Becky (little sis), Patsy (mum), Nilly (neice), Anna (next little sis) and me (big sis) all modelling a kimono at my mums birthday get together.

Suki was demonstrated on The Sewing Quarter TV channel on 23rd April 2019, so if you fancy watching me make it here is a You tube link. Just scroll up to 3:00 to watch the one hour show.

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SEWING QUARTER TV DEMO SHOW 

Suki Kimono is sized from 8-20 (scroll down to see the finished measurements chart)

You can adjust the size and length.

EXTENDING THE LENGTH

You can make the kimono longer by using the larger sizes length lines and still be within 1.5m fabric. (Of course you can make as long as you like but you will need to buy extra fabric in this case.)  Make sure if you do lengthen to another size that you also cut the band pieces in the same size too, so for example, if you make a size 12 kimono but a size 20 in length, then cut out two size 20 band pieces….simple!

One other thing is that you can also lengthen a further 2cm by making a smaller hem on the lower edge, instead of 4cm as specified on the pattern. Important! remember to add on an extra 2cm to the band length to accommodate the extra length in the body in this case.

So the maximum length for 1.5m fabric, using the size 20 length line and a 2cm lower edge hem is 69cm approx. 

You can also extend the length of the sleeve by adding on as much as you like, but remember you will need some more fabric.

The pattern is available to buy on the website, click on the link below for details.

BUY SUKI PATTERN 

Scroll down for a photo step-by-step tutorial showing how to make up Suki Kimono.

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Tips for sewing silk/satin/ viscose:
When sewing silk use a finer thread and insert a ballpoint needle in your machine.
Use sharp pins and pin in the seam allowance to avoid leaving holes in the fabric. 
Make sure scissors are also sharp and nick free. 
Try not to handle the material unnecessarily which can cause it to fray. 
Adjust your iron to a ‘silk’ setting and take care with steaming, it can cause water marks. 
Lay a sheet, old blanket or duvet underneath your fabric when cutting out to prevent it moving about.

How to sew a FRENCH SEAM *Sew seams using a french seam. This is a technique used to conceal seams which are visible by stitching twice, once with the wrong sides of the fabric facing, then again with the right sides of the fabric facing. Its an ideal technique for fabrics that are light and prone to fraying and garments where the inside seam  is exposed. To make a french seam, firstly pin, then sew a 5mm seam with the WRONG SIDES  together.  Next, fold your fabric pieces so the RIGHT SIDES are together and press and pin so that the seam is aligned to the fold. Stitch again, this time with a 1cm seam allowance, encasing the raw edges inside. Finally, press your french seam to one side.

FABRIC REQUIREMENTS: See the chart below for fabric requirements.

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You will also need: a reel of thread, an iron, pins, a hand sewing needle, a poker (a chunky knitting needle is good or a chopstick).

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Pattern pieces for FRONT (1), BACK (2), SLEEVE (3), FRONT BAND (4), POCKET (5)

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Here we go!

CUTTING OUT THE PIECES 

Using the Layplans above as a guide, cut out the following pieces:

FRONT (1)– Cut two.

BACK (2) – Cut one on the fold.

FRONT BAND (4) –  Cut cut two pieces.

POCKET (5)– Cut two pieces.

SLEEVE (3)– Cut two pieces on the fold of the fabric.

SEAM ALLOWANCE IS 1CM

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SEWING THE KIMONO

Pin the front pieces to the back at the shoulder seams with the right sides together. Sew. Finish the raw edges with a zig zag or overlock to prevent fraying. Press the seam allowances flat towards the back piece. Topstitch on the right side. 7Now pin your sleeve piece to the body at the armhole edge, sew.

Press the seam allowance towards the sleeve. Top stitch. Repeat for the other sleeve.

FRENCH SEAMS

Pin the front to back at the side edges with the WRONG sides together. Sew a 5mm seam.

Turn inside out so the RIGHT sides are together, press with the seam aligned with the fold.  Pin. Sew another 1cm seam encasing all the raw edges. Press.

 

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HEMMING

On the lower edge all around, fold over and press to the wrong side 1cm then again 3cm. Pin. Sew

Make the same hem on the sleeve raw edge.

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SEWING THE FRONT BAND

Join the front band pieces at one short side to make one long strip with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam allowances open. Topstitch either side of the seamline.

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Fold over and press 1cm all along one long side of band.

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Starting at the centre of the back neck and with the right sides facing together, pin the unfolded long side of the band to the back neck and front at each side, pin all around to the front sides either side, aligning the raw edges as you go and make sure to leave 1cm of band fabric extending beyond the body front lower edge on each side. 

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Stitch a 1cm seam allowance all around from front left side to front right.

Press the band away from the body with the seam allowance pressed towards the band on the reverse side. Top stitch on the band right side.

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At the far ends of the front band at each side, fold the strip ends in half widthways with the right sides together and the raw edges matching, opening out the 1cm fold a little at each end. Pin, then stitch across in line with the body front lower edge up to the fold line.

Trim the seam allowance to 5mm, cut across the corners of the seam allowance then turn inside out to right side, pushing out the corners gently with a poker.201.jpg

 

Press the band over to the wrong side all around so that all raw edges are encased inside. Pin, then hand stitch the band at the folded edge all around with small slip stitches. Its a good idea to line up the fold of the band to the line of stitching previously made. Make sure your stitching is as neat as possible. If  you would like to have front ties** on your kimono scroll to the bottom of this page for instructions to make and insert before sewing the band.

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Finally press your kimono.

SILK KIMONO

POCKETS (optional)

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Finish the raw edges of two longer sides and one short side of the pocket pieces.

On the unfinished side, fold over to the wrong side 1cm, press then again 2cm. Press. Stitch.

Fold over and press 1cm on the 3 un-hemmed sides to the wrong side.

Place in position on to the kimono. Pin. Top stitch all around, reinforcing the top corners.

**FRONT TIES (optional)

Cut two pieces 60cm x 4cm.

Fold over 1cm to the wrong side each long side and press. Fold the piece over again in half so you have a piece 60cm x 1cm. Tuck under one raw end. Tip: secure the folded short end with a small piece of quilting tape or wondaweb. Stitch close to the folded edge. Press.

Insert your ties raw edge under the band approx 1cm s cure with a few hand stitches before hand stitching your front band.

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MATCHING QUILTED CLUTCH PURSE

What a nice quick project to make out of the leftover fabric and a perfect accessory to match your kimono. IMG_1291IMG_1292This easy to make quilted clutch purse makes a lovely addition to any outfit for a special event. With its optional loop handle, useful for carrying lipstick, powder compact, money and keys.

Finished size: 23cm x 16cm approx

You will need:

Outer fabric

One piece  41cm x 25cm (bag) and one piece 5cm x 30cm (handle).

Lining fabric

One piece 41cm x 25cm.

Wadding

One piece 41cm x 25cm in fusible H640 fleece Visilene wadding or wadding with fabric spray glue.

A magnetic clasp.

One gorgeous button

An invisible marker pen.

This is what you do…..

1. First spray glue your wadding to your outer bag piece or fuse with an iron if using the H640 Visilene.

2. Mark out lines at a 45 degree angle and 5cm or 2″ apart with a fabric invisible marker pen.

3. Stitch along the lines to make a criss cross quilting trellis pattern with a stitch length of 2.6.

4. Place your quilted piece on top of the lining piece with the right sides together. Pin together. Round off the two top  corners using a saucer or small plate to mark out the curves, then trim.

5. Sew all around the edge of the piece with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving an opening of approx 4cm at the lower un curved edge at the side for turning. Nick across the corners and curved seam allowance with small V’s.

6. Turn your piece inside out and push out the corners. Press.

7. Make your loop handle. Fold in each long side 1cm and press. Fold in half lengthways. Press. Top stitch down each long side.

8. Insert your magnetic clasp (masculine side) at the rounded flap side, positioned at the centre,  2.5cm (1″) down from the top edge of the lining.

9. Fold your bag piece straight side up 13cm, with the wrong sides facing. Pin at the sides. Insert the handle loop raw ends, sandwiching them in between the folds, so the loop section is extended beyond the bag. Top stitch down each side 4mm (1/4″) from the edge.

10. Insert your magnetic clasp (female side) at the straight side, positioned at the centre,  7cm (2 3/4″”) down from the top edge of the outer fabric to match.

11. Stitch on a button at the flap outer side in the same position as the magnetic clasp.

There you have it!IMG_1291

 

 

MAKING PATTERN WEIGHTS

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Here are some pattern weights that I made myself and I find really useful when using a more sturdy paper pattern. I use them instead of pins which not only saves time but also keeps the pattern flat as you cut.

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I make them out of scraps of fabric but actually this fabric was printed with squares in exactly the right size, but you could use anything you like. Its fun to use all one type of fabric, like Liberty fabric if you are a fan or just mix up your favourites from your stash.

i like to put something like corduroy on the bottom because I think it makes them a bit sturdier underneath but its not essential.

The weights measure approx 5cm x 5cm but you could make bigger ones if you prefer.

I also put a bit of good old poly stuffing in mine so I can stick my pins in them as I work which is pretty good.w4

What you need:

Square metal washers 5cm x 5cm which you can get at any good hardware store or online here . Screwfix also do packs of 10 for a fiver which are slightly bigger.

Cut out two pieces of fabric 6cm x 6cm for each weight. (or add 1cm to the widths each side if you are making ones in a different size).

Polyester stuffing or scraps of wadding are good.

Thread.

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This is what the metal washers look like.W3

Sew your pieces with the right sides together with a 5mm seam allowance. Clip the corners and turn inside out. Poke the corners out or tease out with a needle.

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Insert your metal washer. Add some wadding under the top section only.

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Turn under the raw edges of the opening and hand stitch. i sometimes do a fancy bit of blanket stitch here with some embroidery thread to make a feature of it.

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There you have it. Also good for needles , don’t want them to feel left out!

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Ta dah!

I also like to make a simple little zip bag to put them all in. But thats another post for another day.

CECILY DRESS

IMG_1446fiona in cecily worthing beach

This is one of my favourite dresses….Cecily! Here I’m out and about in Brighton and on Worthing beach, near where I live.  Below shows some Cecilys in different African wax fabrics….IMG_1503Here are some more sensible options….303EC59A73-BCC2-4D91-BE97-D89B7312A612This Cecily dress is made in fabulous Italian 100% fine linen pinstripe fabric (bundles available on my Etsy shop) Ive turned the fabric on its side for the bodice, so the stripes run horizontally and then vertically on the skirt section. I really like the effect it gives and I have to say, I do wear this a lot when Im going somewhere special.

You can buy Cecily Dress pattern from my Etsy shop here is a link……

BUY CECILY PATTERN

CECILY PATTERNWhen I wear Cecily dress, I feel amazing, like I’m making a real statement about who I am, so I tend to make it in bold prints but it also looks great in more subtle fabrics such as the Kaufman railroad denim or the grey pinstripe linen (shown above).

So this is a time to show yourself off….. you are amazing….. as we all are!

You can make this frock with or without the tie belt, but I prefer it with one (I just love a tie belt). This pattern has cap sleeves but on the latest addition of Cecily I have added a short sleeve template for those of you wanting a slightly longer sleeve.

Cecily is designed to be loose fitting on the waist so its more comfortable to wear, it has a side concealed zip too, but I can pop mine on without undoing the zip, so if you feel that inserting a concealed zip is beyond your skill level, try making it without. Of course, having a side zipper does make it easier to get on and off, and inserting a concealed zip is for some people easier than a standard zip. I have popped a concealed zip tutorial link below, so have a peek to see what you think or why not have a go, you will never look back if you conquer this technique.

PREPARATION/ADJUSTING THE PATTERN

Its a good idea to check your measurements against that on the pattern. If you are, like me, a bit top heavy, go for the larger size that fits your bust measurements, you can always adjust to fit afterwards. The pattern is suited to a bust cup size B. If you need further bust adjustments, see these useful guides for a bust adjustment:

FULL BUST ADJUSTMENT TUTORIAL

You may also need to lengthen the shoulder to waist length so measure your body from these points and adjust accordingly. Its a good idea (especially if you are using expensive fabric) to make up the bodice section in cheap fabric or calico first to see how it fits and to determine whether the pattern needs adjusting. It doesn’t take long to do and like that you can feel more confident, secure in the knowledge that the fit will be right. I want you to make lots of Cecilys (like I have), so tweaking it at the outset will give better results in the long run.

CECILY BACK NEW
SIZE GUIDE

You will also need a 30cm concealed zip and 20cm of lightweight fusible interfacing

Seam allowance is 1cm.

Finish all raw edges with an overlocker or zigzag stitch.

Here is an over view of the pattern instructions included in the pack with a few extra tips, it will give you a taster of how to make this charming frock:

Start by inserting the darts.

1a

 

Sew the upper back pieces together.1b

Join to the upper front at the shoulders. Press seam allowances towards the back. 2a

Topstitch.2b

Neck facings

Block press your facing pieces on to fusible interfacing3

Join at the sides. Press. Finish the outer edge.4

Pin to the neck edge of the upper front and back.5

Hand tack.6

Nick the curved seam allowance. Tip: reduce the bulk of the side cross seam allowances.7

Press over to the wrong side. Pin.8

Hand tack.9

Stitch evenly all around, go carefully as this stitch line will be seen on the right side so it’d better be good! I like to take it slow at this part.10

LOWER SKIRT SECTION

Mark out your pleat position with pins on the front and back skirt section at the top edge.11

Fold the box pleats.12

Hers a diagram to help you.

diag 1 copy

Machine tack stitch1314

Sew to the upper front bodice with the right sides together.

diag 3b

Press. Tip: why not top stitch on the right side close to the seam on the bodice side.15

POCKETS

Pin to the left side of the skirt (see template for the position). NB if you are left- handed you may prefer to insert the pocket on the opposite side.16a

Press away from the skirt. Top stitch.16b

Insert the side concealed zipper here. Here is a link to my tutorial about how to insert a concealed zip with either a standard zip foot or a concealed zip foot.

CONCEALED ZIP TUTORIAL

17

After sewing in the zip, pin then sew the seam together below and above the zipper.

Join the front to back at the side edges from underarm to lower hem all around pocket.18

SLEEVES

Sew the sleeves together at the sides. Press. 19

Hem the lower edge.20

Pin to the armhole, align the back section of the sleeve to the back body. Hand tack.21

Sew, make sure you have no puckers!22

TABS

Fold over and press 1cm to the wrong side of each long side.23

Stitch along each long side close to the edge. Press over 1cm each short side.24

Pin to the body 2cm in from each side. Stitch down with a small rectangle at each far end.25

TIE BELT

Join the tie pieces at the short sides with the right sides together. Press seam allowances open.26

Fold the tie piece in half with the right sides together. Stitch down the long side and at a 45 degree angle at each far end to make a point, leave an opening of 4cm approx at the centre point. Trim the seam allowance to 5mm and Nick the corner point. Turn inside out through the opening.

27

Press. Topstitch all around which should close up the opening at the same time.28

Tie a big Esme tie at the front on your lovely dress.29

There you are! You can also wear without a belt if you prefer. Now time to pose!

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Cecily dress with matching bike!

 

 

HILDA TUNIC

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I absolutely adore wearing this tunic, its stylish, light and airy, roomy due to its pleat at the front neckline and has two gigantic pockets at the side. Its a perfect holiday tunic or perfect for just about any occasion. Oh and its also very easy to make!

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I made Hilda in hand block printed Indian Indigo cotton, which I think works so well. Hilda suits fabrics such as linen, viscose challis, lightweight cotton or any medium to lightweight fabric that drapes nicely.

Hilda Tunic is in two size ranges: 8-18 and 20-28. Prior to making, please check the size guide and finished garment measurements below to see which size suits you.

I have also made a longer Hilda (+ 15cm) and added a frill on to the sleeves like this one shown below, also a Hilda without the sleeves so If you would like to know how to do these simple alterations,  see the ‘Hilda Hack’ at the end of this post page.

 

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You can purchase HILDA dress pattern here:

BUY PATTERN

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Linen

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 21.03.07HILDA BACK +size-1

You will also require 20cm of light/med weight fusible interfacing


LETS TALK ABOUT FABRIC….By the way, I do have some fabrics on my Etsy shop suitable for Hilda, such as this fab Indian cotton voile.

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Alternatively you might like to use one of these fabulous indian block printed cotton fabrics from slubbedprints.co.uk.

There are many to choose from and I think they are just fabulous!Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 14.11.08
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HOW TO MAKE HILDA ……….

Firstly iron all your fabric pieces.

Tip: Its a good idea to trace off the pattern pieces on to dressmaking pattern paper, newsprint or wide baking paper, keeping it intact so you can pattern share. The pattern templates are printed on sturdy paper so I would advise ironing the pattern pieces after cutting them out with a cool iron (no steam!).

Cut out the following pieces using the above Layplans above as a guide:

FRONT (1): Cut one piece with pattern lined up to the fold of the fabric.

BACK (2): Cut two (align pattern to the vertical grain of the fabric)

FRONT FACING (3) & BACK FACING (4): Cut one piece with pattern lined up to the fold of the fabric. Interface both pieces with fusible interfacing to the reverse side.

SLEEVE (5): Cut two on fold of fabric.

POCKET (6): Cut four (two pairs)

SEWING GUIDE:

Seam allowance is 1cm which is included on the pattern.

Finish all raw edges with an overlocker or zig zag stitch. 

Press in between stages of sewing to obtain a better finish.

RST= Right sides together. WST= Wrong sides together. 

  1. MAKING THE FRONT PLEATIMG_9639Make an inverted box pleat at the centre front neckline as shown on the template. Stay stitch all around 5mm from the raw edge to secure the pleats. Here is a diagram to help you….

diag 1

2. POCKETSIMG_9643Next pin your pockets at each side of front and back with the RST in position as shown on the template.IMG_9645Sew down each straight side of the pockets (NB seam allowance is 1cm).

I like to finish the raw side edges at this point, but you could do this after the side seams are sewn together if you prefer.

Press the pocket away from the tunic. Top stitch the seam line 3mm approx on the pocket side.IMG_9646IMG_96473. SEWING THE FRONT AND BACK TOGETHER

Now, pin, then sew, the front to the back at the shoulder edges with the RST. Finish the raw edges and press them towards the back.IMG_9650IMG_9648below shows the reverse side view …IMG_9649

4. MAKING THE NECK FACINGIMG_9652 With both facing pieces interfaced on the reverse side, pin then sew them together at the short sides with the RST. Press the seam allowances open.IMG_9654Finish the raw outer edge only all around. If you don’t have an overlocker you could fold under and press the outer edge 5mm approx and sew all around, it makes it look much neater. Or for a quicker job just overlock it.

Here is a picture of a neck facing in another colour with an edge turned under 5mm approx. to show you what it should look like.

IMG_1034IMG_9656Pin the neck facing to the neck raw edge with the RST, aligning the cross seams at each shoulder. Sew all around. IMG_9660Nick the seam allowance at the curved edges with small V’s and reduce the bulky side seam allowances to 5mm. I also trim the cross seam allowances at the side seams to 5mm to make it less lumpy.IMG_9664

Turn the neck facing to the reverse side and press so that the fold is aligned with the seam line all around.

Now, its not written on the pattern, but sometimes I like to Understitch the neck facing. So, you sew a line of stitching all around the neck facing, a few millimetres from the seam on the facing side, this helps to hold the facing in place, its not essential, I have left this out on many occasion, but with some fabrics it helps to keep the facing in place.

IMG_9661Secure each side of the neck facing at the shoulder seam allowance with a few hand stitches to secure in position. Now heres a tip: if you have some wondaweb why not sandwich a few pieces here and there underneath all around and press to secure the facing a little more in position, especially at the centre front and back.

5. SEWING THE SLEEVESIMG_9665Pin the sleeve curved edge to the body at sleeve edge with the RST aligning the centre point to the shoulder seam. Sew. Finish the raw edge. Repeat for the other sleeve.IMG_9666Press the seam allowance towards the sleeve.

Top stitch on the right side, 3mm from the seam line on the sleeve side.

6. SEWING UP THE TUNICIMG_9667

IMG_9669With RST, pin the front to back at the sides, under arms and all around pockets. Sew. Finish the raw edges. Press.IMG_9673 Just a couple of snips under the arm at the seam allowance will prevent it bunching up.IMG_9670

Fold over 1cm then make a nice big 3 or 4cm hem at the sleeve edge, alternatively if you would like the addition of a frill, follow the instructions shown below and omit the sleeve hem.

Sew approx. 3mm in from the inner fold.IMG_9671

Fold over 1cm then make a 2cm hem at the lower edge and stitch as before or hem to the desired length. If you would like to keep the tunic as long as possible you could hem it using bias seam binding or make just a small 1cm hem.

HILDA HACKS

HILDA WITH SLEEVE FRILLS.

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To make a frill at each sleeve and maybe some extra body length , you will need some extra fabric (40cm -50cm approx).
For the sleeve frills cut two extra pieces measuring 16cm wide by the following lengths:
Size 8 = 65cm , Size 10 = 66cm, Size 12 = 67.5cm,
Size 14 = 6.5cm, Size 16 = 70cm, Size 18 = 71.5cm
Size 20 = 73cm, Size 22 = 74.5cm, Size 24 = 76cm Size 26 = 77.5cm, Size 28 = 79cm.
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Cut one frill piece for each sleeve, see above for the measurements for each size. Join together at the short side edges with the right sides together. Finish the raw side edge, press to one side. Make a small hem at one long edge. On the opposite long edge, gather the fabric, to do this, sew a line of longest length straight stitches. Pull the top thread only to gather up the fabric. Distribute the gathers evenly all around the frill piece.
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Next, pin the frill piece at the gathered edge to the sleeve edge. Sew. Finish the raw edges together.
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Finally, press the frill away from the sleeve.

If you would like to extend the length, measure how much extra you require on the length, allowing approx 2cm for hemming and 1cm seam allowance. Extend the line downwards by the extra you require, following the curved  line of the bottom hem. Follow the pattern as normal.

There you have a lovely floaty Hilda, with some really simple additions, makes a completely different style. Love it!

HILDA SLEEVELESS

HILDA 2

Leaving the sleeves off Hilda for a cap sleeved version, is a pretty nice idea too. Ideal for popping on under a cardigan and, as you see in the pic, I’ve made a matching mini bag too. This is made in a crisp African Dutch Wax cotton fabric which Im a big fan of!

HOW TO MAKE A SCARF OUT OF THE REMNANTS

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So heres a lovely quick accessory to make out of the scraps you would probably just chuck away. Suitable for floppy viscose fabrics which make great scarves, probably not for more medium weight fabrics but hey give it a go.

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So first cut two equal strips of fabric the longest and widest length possible from whats left.IMG_0994

Join them together at the short sides. Press.

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Fold in half width ways aligning long raw edges. Pin. Fold over at a right angle triangle at each far end and press.

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With a 1cm seam allowance, sew along one long edge and across the triangle end, using the foldline as a guide. Trim the excess fabric. Remember to leave an opening at the centre for turning inside out.

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Turn inside out through the opening. Push out the corners. Press so the seam is in line with the fold.

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Finally stitch up the opening by hand with a small slip stitch.

Ta dah! There you have it!

Simple but oh so lovely.

For more Sewgirl news follow me on instagram or sign up to my newsletter via my website. All the very best to you X Fiona

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All images and text are the copyright of Fiona Hesford. Please do not copy without prior permission. Contact info@sewgirl.co.uk for details.

BAFTA WINNING DRESS 2018

PITCH PERFECT FOR THE BAFTAS!

DRESSING MISS DAISY!

Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 20.52.06

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 00.12.17When I was asked to make a dress for the Baftas award ceremony, I must say my initial reaction was one of trepidation. But when I found out it was for my friend Jane’s niece, Daisy May Cooper, one half of the uber talented ‘This Country’ BBC 3 comedy duo, well I just couldn’t resist.

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For anyone familiar with the award winning mockumentary, Daisy aka Kerry Mucklowe and her cousin Kurtan (real life brother and writing partner Charlie) are a hapless pair of yoofs getting up to all sorts of trouble in a quiet Cotswold village. The series is up for several awards, namely Best Scripted Comedy and Daisy is also nominated for the Best Comedy Actress. Not only that, together they have been chosen to present the ‘Best Soap’ award, one of the highlights of the evening, so to say that I was feeling the pressure would be an understatement, but equally over the moon to be involved in this amazing opportunity.

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Daisy’s original dress

Daisy had recently found a gown which had inspired her to commission a dress made in the style of her character’s favourite attire- a Swindon Town football club shirt….a genius idea! The trapeze shaped dress was made in a black silky fabric, edged with silver sequinned fabric all around the hem, neckline and cuffs.  Although short in length at the front, the hemline swept gracefully almost to the floor at the back and the neckline featured an interesting double band of sequin trim. Its potential was obvious to see. If  copied in red fabric with white trim, it would accentuate the spirit of a football shirt, albeit a glamorous one.Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 10.42.49 copy

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Firstly, we had to find a suitable fabric. A polyester crepe fabric from Minerva Craft seemed to fit the bill, I had used it a while back for a Sew magazine project and I thought would be ideal, being lightweight, possessing wonderful drape and the perfect shade of ‘Swindon Town FC’ red colour that we were looking for. After ordering some swatches, 3.5m of bright red fabric was winging its way to me along with five metres of white sequin elasticated trim. Gulp! there was no going back now!

WP_20180423_16_56_47_ProDrafting a pattern from an existing dress is something I do quite often and as it fitted Daisy well, there weren’t any adjustments to make, it seemed quite straight forward. To make things easier, I removed the sleeve of the dress to make a pattern from it. After cutting out, and stitching up, the dress was ready for its first fitting.

WP_20180424_16_42_04_ProAt this stage, I’d just pinned on the sequin trim as we weren’t too sure how much to use. I was worried that edging the entire hem risked the dress resembling a Father Xmas outfit!IMG_9219Lettering was traced off onto bonding web and felt which was pinned temporarily to the front and back. My son Alfie, an avid football fan and graphic designer had found the perfect football typeface to use for the word ‘Swindon’ on the front and ‘Mucklowe’ on the back. We had also retrieved a badge and the number 1 from a bought football shirt to give it an authentic feel. It was all coming together nicely.IMG_9211The biggest hiccup was that the dress fell too short. At the fitting it was decided to omit the sequin trim around the hemline, thus not having any weight to anchor it down, so after a bit of wangling, another 15cm or was added on, ensuring a nice border all around the edge that now skimmed just above the knee. Daisy is quite tall at 5ft 9 and she would be wearing high heels so the extra length was definitely called for. Fortunately the extra hem panel added a detail enhancing the style of the dress.

IMG_9221
Our measuring tool!

 

IMG_9223With all the letters securely fixed, it was then a question of laboriously hand stitching on the sequin trim which took several sessions over a couple of days. I had visions of them falling off in mid speech Theresa May style, so I made sure they were stitched on securely.

IMG_9213Making sure the dress was kept clean was paramount, so handling it was kept to a minimum. Finally came the pressing bit which was a very stressful affair. Laying a sheet underneath the ironing board helped, I kept the iron on a low setting, worried that I would burn a hole in the fabric last minute and ruin everything. A cool iron with a protective cloth and lots of steam later the dress was finally finished.

What a relief!

IG square

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IMG_9288As an afterthought I had an idea to make a matching quilted purse with a loop handle so Daisy could sign autographs and carry her belongings. So after quilting the fabric with wadding and stiffening it with fusible interfacing to give it stability, I made a simple clutch bag with a magnetic clasp, slipping in the loop last minute. I was dead pleased with the result.

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Charlie (aka Kurtan) came to pick up the dress with his mum as Daisy was on holiday which was a surreal experience having a celeb at your home but he was totally adorable and their Mum was charming too. they loved the dress and I was delighted how it had come together.

Daisy was over the moon with the finished article.  And they bought home two awards at the Baftas! It all went crazy on social media but I wasn’t surprised. What a result!

Well done Daisy and Charlie!

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Click a link to listen to these interviews with Fiona about THE Dress!

Radio Wiltshire Fiona interviewed by Ben Prater       scroll to 1:58

BBC radio live drive Fiona interview with Rachel Bland      scroll to 2:25

ORLA TRAPEZE DRESS

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I love this dress. I mean I REALLY love it!

I love its swingy shape, I love its retro trim, useful pockets, Ive made myself so many of these Ive lost count.

I named it Orla because Im a big fan of Orla Kiely and also 1950’s vintage aprons, you know the ones that are edged with glorious bias binding in contrast colours. Well this pattern is my homage to them both.

Its easy to make, trapeze shape, darts, its got great side pockets and an optional front placket with 3 buttons, bias trim edged neckline and short sleeves.

Hope Ive sold it to you! Theres other Orla variations at the bottom of this page to tempt you.

Available in sizes S/M/L/XL

PATTERN COMING SOON!

Heres a guide to sizes/ fabric requirements etc.

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Remember the seam allowance is 1cm.

This is how to make it….

Cut out your size dress pieces. You should have front, back, sleeve, front placket (an optional front and back facing if required). Alternatively you can use bias binding as shown in these pictures to achieve that retro look.

This is what you do:

Sew back pieces together. Leave the top section open as shown on the pattern or insert a zipper into the seam. If you want a tutorial on how to insert a zip see my A-line skirt post.

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Sew the darts. Shown here on a different fabric. 1

On the placket piece, edge with bias binding with the RS of the binding facing the RS of the placket piece. Stitch. Fold the binding over to the reverse side. Press.

6ajpeg

Place on to the dress front, make sure its dead centre. Then stitch in the ditch around the outside of the bias trim. You can also stitch around the outside edge but I like to leave it like a little flap.

Stay stitch around the neckline (front and back) at this point close to the edge (5mm approx).

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Now sew the front to the back at shoulder seams. RS facing. Finish the raw edges. Press shoulder seam towards the back.

Now you can see that I have left the back seam open but you might have put in a zip which is also good.

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Attach the top neckline edge with seam binding. Pin to the RS then sew. Fold over to the WS. Press. Pin. Stitch by hand (best in my opinion) or machine stitch to secure.

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Try to match the width of the neckline binding with the front placket.

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Don’t forget the pockets! Stitch at each side RST with pocket facing inwards. One for each side. Be careful to make sure they are aligned. Then fold outwards and top stitch close to the seam line on the pocket side.

IMG_4779Now you can pin and sew your front to back. All along from under arm to bottom hem on both sides. Don’t forget to finish the raw edges!

IMG_4792Now to the sleeve bit. Fold over the sleeve pieces RS facing. Pin then sew at the side edge.

Finish the raw edges. Tack stitch at the sleeve head.

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Pin the sleeve to the armhole. Make sure you have your back section to the back of the dress. If in doubt check the pattern.

IMG_4794Tack stitch all around.

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Sew on the machine then finish the raw edges.

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All you have to do now is attach your binding to the sleeve edge and hem the lower edge.

Oh and sew on your three buttons.

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If the back seam is open at the top, I insert a hook and eye or a chain stitch loop and tiny button.

One last thing. As the hem edge is very flared due to the trapeze shape its best to hem with seam binding its also easier to sew….just saying! remember to ease the binding into a curve before attaching.

You can also make some variations. Here for example I edged the neckline with same fabric bias binding that I made myself and sat it behind the neckline edge. This is fab Echino linen mix fabric. I love this print.

ORLA with sleeves jpg

I also made a longer version in this stretch poplin.

Mid calf Orla

Then why not make a sleeveless version like this one which I made from a fabulous vintage curtain. Ain’t it fab!

I also edged the hem too with binding.

ORLA sleeveless

This one I added a neck facing which is included on the pattern. I like this print, its so Scandi. I often wear this one with jeggings and pumps.

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Anyway thats all for now.

Why not make yourself an Orla for Spring/Summer or to take on holiday ?

SEW A FUNKY KITCHEN

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Who doesn’t love a groovy apron? Its the place where you can wear loud patterns to add zing to your kitchen. Frankly Im completely addicted to sewing for my funky kitchen so much so I replace labels on pots of (bought) jam and chutney like so…..IMG_8228Making a matching jar topper in the same fabric as your apron is just pure joy, and simple to do, just cut a circle out using a saucer or small plate as a template or print off a template here Jam topper template and secure with a cord ponytail band (available everywhere). Would you like a Funky Kitchen label to print off ? well here you are then. funky kitchen label – for your own personal use please! Just cut them out and stick on with a bit of Pritt stick (other glues are available!)  they look nice too printed off onto coloured paper.

From my FUNKY KITCHEN PATTERN you can make an apron, tea cosy and an oven mitt.

Then I make a matching …..IMG_7967 yep you guessed it…Tea cosy. This one is un quilted so if you don’t have a walking foot that is probably easiest. If you want to quilt it to make it more structured, it will look like this…..

IMG_8370 and what about then a matching ……IMG_8374

yup oven mitt. Corr… thats kitchen porn as far as I’m concerned, all in fabulouso African fabric which is not only easy to find (ebay), you can get in either 6 yard bales or buy by the metre. Its sturdy stuff too, perfect for aprons and kitchen accessories…..So where was I, oh yes, My Funky Kitchen. This is what the pattern looks like…..

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You can see included on the sheet is a template for an apron, oven mitt, tea cosy, pot holder, jam pot topper and some ‘Funky Kitchen‘ labels to cut out and stick on your homemade (or bought) jam or chutney for example.

Funky Kitchen patterns are available to buy as hard copies posted or PDF downloads from: HERE and you can follow these step by step photos how to make them, Funky Kitchen pattern is absolutely great for beginners or anyone who just loves making fun easy stuff. So switch on some funky music (Craig Charles springs to mind), get yourself a piece of homemade cake and a cuppa and enjoy sewing your Funky Kitchen.

You will need:

Equipment:

A pair of scissors, pins, iron, invisible marking pen, poking tool such as a chunky knitting needle, chopstick or blunt ended pencil.

NB. When sewing projects with thermo interfacing sewing will be made easier if you use a walking foot attachment* to your machine.

Fabric Requirements:

Apron = 1m of fabric (if your fabric is 112cm wide you will need an extra 30cm if you want a pocket in a different fabric). NB. you could always use a different fabric for the ties and pocket as an alternative for extra quirkiness.

Tea cosy = 30cm x 80cm of main fabric, lining fabric and thermolam wadding. 1m of 25mm wide bias binding (or make your own from the left over fabric).

Oven Mitt =25cm x 70cm of main fabric, lining fabric and insul-bright interfacing and 50cm of (25mm wide) bias binding.

Pot holder = 25cm x 50cm of main fabric and insul-bright interfacing and 1m of bias binding.

HOW TO MAKE AN APRON

Cutting guide: from your fabric cut the following pieces:

Cut one apron front piece on fold of fabric.

Cut one neckband piece.

Cut two tie pieces with pattern lined up to the fold.

Cut one pocket piece if you have sufficient fabric or in a contrast fabric.

Cut one piece for the loop 5cm x 10cm

THIS IS WHAT YOU DO

Fold over and press a 1cm then again 1cm then stitch along to make a small hem at the two slanted top side edges of your apron front piece.

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Next make your neck strap and side ties.

So fold the strips of fabric in half lengthways matching the raw edges and with the RST* (right sides together). Pin then stitch along the open side all the way down.

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With the side ties only stitch across diagonally as shown on the template at just one end then trim off the excess seam allowance leaving a 1cm approx margin.

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Now turn inside out so grab yourself a poking tool (as mentioned above in equipment section) and push the tie or neckband inside out.

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Then iron your ties so the seam lines are aligned with the fold.

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Alternatively , if you find turning inside out too tricky you could just fold and press the long raw edges 1cm then fold the whole band in half and press. Stitch down the sides close to the edge and then hem the ends.

Right so with all the ties and neckband made why not top stitch them on the RS* (right side). I always think it finishes it off so much better and I love a bit of topstitching!IMG_7280

Next we sew the neckband into the apron, so first double fold over and iron a 1cm hem at the very top horizontal edge of the apron. Now before you stitch it just tuck in the raw edges of your neckband under the fold and pin to hold ….hanging downwards towards the apron like this….IMG_7281

Be careful not to twist your band so it should be the same sides facing down each side.

Then stitch across from one side to the other sewing in the neckband straps as you go. Finally fold straps up and stitch across at the upper edge of the hem again like this….IMG_8242

You will need to sew in any loose ends of course. Brilliant. Now to the side ties….

Fold over and press 1cm then again 1cm at the side vertical raw edges each side. Now tuck the raw edge end of the apron under the fold just like before with the tie extending towards the apron.

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Then stitch down the side hem close to the inner fold.

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Next you just fold back the tie just like you did before with the neckband and stitch again.

IMG_7288 All thats left to do now is to hem the lower edge.

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and there you have a lovely funky apron!

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To add a pocket make a 1cm double fold hem at the top edge of the pocket piece. Fold over and press the remaining  three sides 1cm. Pin the pocket on to your apron front in the required position tack stitch all around by hand. Sew around the three un-hemmed edges about 4mm from edge, make a small triangle at the top two corners to enclose the seam on the inside. remove tacking stitches.

HOW TO MAKE AN OVEN MITT

So to make an oven mitt is a joyful thing, a perfect companion to your lovely apron don’t you think! (up there with cake I’d say!)

The fabric requirements are at the top of the page.

First I start quilting my fabric pieces together, to do this you may need a walking foot attachment which looks like this…*

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A strange looking thing I know, but it does make it SO much easier when quilting multi layers of fabric and wadding together but if you haven’t got one, don’t despair, you could either try stitching it without one or just leave out the quilting bit (tack stitch your fabric together to hold layers in place).

So firstly lay your pieces together main fabric RS up followed by a layer of thermo interfacing then a layer of lining RS facing outside. Pin to hold.

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Draw a diagonal line using a marker pen on the fabric layers at the centre.1b

You can stitch lines 4cm apart  using the long quilt guide, lining it up to the previous stitching. Stitch across one way and then the other until you have a trellis like pattern.

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Do the same for both pieces, then place your template on top of the fabric and cut out two mitts NB cut one with template facing up and one with template facing down so you have two pieces mirrored.

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Pin the mitt pieces together with main fabric right sides together. Stitch all around with a 1/4″ (6mm) seam. Zig zag the outer raw edges all around and nick into the corner between the thumb and mitt to allow for movement.

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Turn your mitt inside out and push out edges with a poking tool.

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Nearly there now, just a few things to do before we arrive at Oven Mitt Heaven!

First lets make a tab loop so we can hang it up on display for everyone to see.

To do this we cut a strip of fabric 10cm long by 4cm wide.

Fold over and press 1cm each long side like so….

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Then press over in half and stitch down each side like this……

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Insert your loop at the top edge of the mitt and tack stitch on the machine close to the edge like this….

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Next we stitch some binding at the top edge so either cut yourself a strip of fabric 4cm x 32cm (fold and press 1cm each long side) or use some ready made bias binding available at most good haberdashers. You could use an accent colour from your fabric print to enhance the design. Bind the top edge of your mitt thus encasing the raw edges.

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There you have one fab mitt.

HOW TO MAKE AN TEA COSY

See above for fabric requirements.

This is what you do:

Sandwich your 3 fabric pieces together with the RS of fabric outermost and the thermal interfacing in the middle. Pin all around.

Draw one line diagonally in each direction, across the top fabric at the centre with an invisible fabric marker.IMG_8331

Then stitch along the line, using a stitch line guide, what is that! I hear you say…..

here it is you’ve probably seen one in your accessories box and wondered what it was for.

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well  fitted onto your machine at the back of your foot or walking foot, it helps you keep straight lines, parallel to each other at the set required distance from each other.

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So once you have quilted all your tea cosy it should look like this on the front…IMG_8335

and like this on the back…

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Next you cut out two tea cosy shapes using the template on your pattern sheet.

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Making the loop

Now we put the little loop in at the top. So cut a strip of fabric 5cm x 10cm in either the main fabric, lining or use a strip of bias tape. Fold and press 1cm each long side, then fold in half again so all raw edges are enclosed and sew down each long side lengthways. Pin, then stitch on to one of the tea cosy pieces at the centre of the top like this….

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Place the two tea cosy pieces together with the right sides facing each other. Pin all around then stitch 6mm from the edge all around (except the bottom straight edge of course…derr!). Zig zag the outer raw edge.

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Then turn it inside out, pushing out the seam edges from the inside.

So just one more thing to do, thats the binding. You can use bias binding, which looks nice when you pick up on one of the colours in your print pattern (yum!) or make your own by cutting a 4cm strip of fabric and folding over 1cm on one long side (WS on the inside). IMG_8346

Pin one unfolded edge of the binding to the RS of the tea cosy at the lower raw edge. Stitch along the fold.IMG_8347

Fold over the binding to the reverse side. Pin, hand tack stitch to hold in position then stitch in the ditch* on the machine on the RS, ensuring the stitching holds the binding on the reverse side.

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There you have a lovely tea cosy.

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And if you fancy making a pot holder like this:

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just cut out two pieces in main fabric and one piece in Thermolam from the pot holder template, a strip 4cm x 10 cm in main or contrast fabric and you will need a metre of (25mm) bias binding too.

Layer your pieces just as you did for the cosy and machine quilt in much the same way.

Make your loop that you have stitched just like the teacosy one (above) and tack it in to the centre edge of one side.IMG_8343

Sew your binding on all around, overlapping about 1cm at the cross over section.

There you have it. Ta dah!

One very Funky Kitchen!