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Thursday, 3 December 2015

New dress joy and brightening up winter coats

If I had to sum up my week so far in a word, it would be tantrums. Terrible twos, anyone?

Sewing lessons and workshops have been a welcome change, once the evening comes. It is a weird but true fact, that, whilst natural instinct might be to flop on the sofa and drink wine or eat chocolate, spending time sewing really helps me unwind. A lot of the ladies who come to my classes say the same thing - they reach the end of our couple of hours together, and comment on what a relaxing form of escapism sewing has given them.

Collette's new dress joy
Last night, I had the dress making gang round for a final session, to insert invisible zips and finish off their dresses. I just had to share a couple of pictures here - there were some lovely moments of new dress joy, phone numbers being swapped and talk of sociable sewing nights amongst the group by the end of the evening.

Charlotte's self-drafted Peter Pan collar
It would be fair to say I'd happily steal any of last night's finished dresses for my own wardrobe. I particularly adored the addition of the Peter Pan collar on Charlotte's dress - a stroke of genius on her part, that totally lifted the dress from the ordinary into the designer, I think! I like her method for cutting out and showing where the seam allowance is and the cutting line tabs. She has plans to make a matching black belt, with her grandmother's sparkly buckle in the middle.

brightening up winter coats
Tonight is the Sewing Bee workshop I'm holding at the cake shop round the corner. I would be lying if I said I wasn't thinking gleefully about an evening catching up and sewing with people, and eating scrumptious cake, whilst my husband Mark puts our four girls to bed.

We are going to be making these festive looking brooches. I've got lots of colour and fabric combinations ready for people to choose - including a range of Liberty prints for those who really want a splash of colour on their coats. 

They are simple enough to make in an hour (make that a couple of hours, if you are gossiping and eating cake). Here is how:

1. Sketch a leaf shape. Mine measures 5 cm at the straight base, and is 7.5 cm high. Cut ten in your main fabric and another 2 or 4 in your leaf fabric.

2. Right sides together, hand sew or machine round the two curved edges of two leaf shapes. Keep your stitches small, and chop the tip of the leaf/petal off once finished. I use double thread that I have run through beeswax for hand sewing - it works wonders with preventing knots and tangles, and makes the thread stronger.

3. Turn the leaf/petal out the right way, poking it gently at the tip, and then gently easing it out from the right side with a pin.

4. Fold the leaf/petal in half, and sew a small dart, about 0.5 cm from the fold and about 2.5 cm long.

5. Once you made all the petals, fan them into a circle, and stitch them together. As for what to put in the middle, the brooch on the left, has a covered large marble at the centre. I did this using a square of fabric bunched round the marble and sewn securely in place. I then arrange the petals around it, and just kept sewing pin stab stitches until everything was securely in place. The alternative to this, is to sew large or lots of little buttons in the middle - whatever you like. 

6. Add a leaf or two to the back of the flower.

7. Take two felt circles - sew a brooch pin through both layers, and then stitch this to the back of the flower, going all round the edge with small over sewing stitches. This stage is a good time to add a few extra tiny little pin stab stitches through the petals to check everything is nicely held in place.

Ta-dah! Make a few more in front of the TV, and enjoy having happy little flowers to brighten up your coat on a grey wintry day.

1 comment:

  1. I often visit a site of my friend and she also loves to sew to “wind down” after a long tiring day. I just recently started with sewing and I did not get it at first how come she likes to do another “chore” instead of watch TV or sleep. But now that I am into a bit of sewing myself, I can understand why she finds it a great escape from her usual activities within the day.