Tag Archives: fat quarter

Silk eye mask

14 Sep

I needed a quick win, so figured I’d make something simple for a boost:)

Years and years ago, long before I got a sewing machine, I had a lovely silk dress from Monsoon (UK) and it was about half a foot too long, so I hemmed it by hand. What a long evening that was..!

I kept the scraps and apparently completely forgot about them. I found them recently and decided it would make a lovely backing for an eye mask :) I lost my last two eye masks in the move, so need a new one! My backup is ok but RTW and a bit too big…

I’ve used the tutorial from the red kitchen, which has a great template (I add a second strap though to go under my ears to keep it in place).

So here it is! Liberty lawn, fleece, and a layer of well washed silk – with some soft lingerie elastic to finish it off. The photo makes it look much brighter than it is…

It is weirdly not as neat as usual but I think contrasting the white thread with the dark blue silk didn’t help – but it’s only for me to see!

The silk does feel so much nicer on my skin and the fleece gives it a nice weight and blocks out the light – perfect!

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Mini box cosmetics bag

7 Sep

For my sister’s birthday, she asked for a kit for taking care of her hands and nails.

I got her some nice classic nail varnish shades, strengthening products, creams, and a manicure kit with cuticle tools. And I figured she needed a cute little bag for them to go in!

This is about 4x2x2″ – so cute and dinky! WhatsApp Image 2019-09-07 at 17.26.20

I used the Truly Myrtle box bg tutorial which I’ve used about five times before (first when making a sewing kit to leave with my old sewing machine at my parents’ house for my family to use and a sewing kit for my sister, and two others to keep my fabric scraps in!)

To make this size, I used:

  • Fabric 8″ and 9″
  • An 8″ zip
  • I cut the squares for the corners at 1″ instead of 1.5″ (I’d have made it smaller but I was worried I wouldn’t have been able to turn it inside out through a hole!)

I always find making smaller versions of things harder, as there’s often less space for things like turning it inside out, and it’s easier to accidentally sew extra layers in and then have to unpick it… somehow I avoided that here!

These fabric are from a kimono Fat Quarter set, which I absolutely love – they are soft and wash really well :)

Teaching my sister to sew: another zipped purse/small bag attempt!

29 Dec

Every time I show my sister something I made, after her initial response (usually a compliment thankfully!!), she normally tells me that she wishes that she was able to sew. I think she did a little bit with a machine when she was a kid in primary school (up to 11 years old) but not since.

As we are both at our parents’ home for the break between Christmas and New Year, and I recently put my old sewing machine there, I decided to bring done fabric and show her how to make a small zipped bag.

I showed her the three tutorials to choose from (Melly Sews, Sew Me Happy, or Crazy Little Projects) and she chose Melly Sews, which is the one I used when I made a bag for my sister in law for Christmas (blog post here).

And it went much better than my last one did!

I think it helped that I used the zip that was the right length to begin with rather than shortening a longer one, so it had the softer ends.

I walked her through the tutorial, and helped her work out which bits to pin together and in which directions, but made her do the sewing machine bits all herself including reverse stitching and eventually turning corners. She did so well, and she loves it!

It took about an hour and a half including picking and cutting fabric, it went well :-)

Box bag, needle book, and trying to find a knit circle skirt pattern (!!)

28 Oct

It’s been a slow few weeks sewing for me, as work has been busy and I’ve been engrossed in a few books (my favourite was We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson, I didn’t find out til after finishing that there’s a film of it out this year! Odd that I picked it up from deep in the fiction section of the library)

But I got the sewing machine back out this weekend, for a little bit of sewing therapy using only my stash for maximum satisfaction!

First I made a box bag, using the tutorial from Truly Myrtle. It’s a great tutorial and I’d recommend it! I admit that I can’t quite figure out the maths of it, so I made it exactly the same depth and width as the tutorial, but my fabric wasn’t wide enough so I used pieces about 10*17 inches. All the pieces were from my stash, the pink was from a FQ bundle and the blue was a half FQ from a charity shop ☺️

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Last time I made this (for a sewing kit for uni my sister) I was too scared to add the handle, so I thought I’d try it this time. It was really easy to add but I think next time I’d try to make it half as thick as it’s difficult to hold it.

Next, I made myself a needle book for my hand sewing needles. I used four of these small rectangles I got in assorted packs from Durham market, some Vilene H630 for a little body to it, and some leftover white felt.

I didn’t add a closure as I’ve decided to invest in some Prym pliers and some non-sew snaps, so I want to add one of those when they arrive. I love this fabric so much, I am really glad that I found a way to use it!

I am slightly baffled by all the available fasteners and tools, but I am going to get the Prym love vilio pliers, some colour snaps, and a mini metal snap set including the tool. That should cover all my needs in the near future!

Then I made the second one of the circular pot holders that I made a few years ago (I cut out the fabric for two but only made one), but added a much longer strap this time so I can hang it up easily.

Now, I think I am ready for some garment sewing next! I have this stretch crepe – this shade of blue is exactly right for a half circle skirt to coordinate with some of my favourite tops (the black is a woven crepe that I plan to use for a skirt or dress)

My problem is that I can’t find a pattern for a skirt like this that seems like it would be ok for knits. I like Simplicity 1200:

When I read an article about things to sew with knits, it suggested the hollyburn skirt, but it only recommends wovens and all the reviewers online seem to have used wovens.

So, I would love some help to help me make this perfect blue skirt!

  • Has anyone used a knit fabric for a pattern intended for wovens? Did you have to make any changes?
  • Can you recommend a knit skirt pattern that is like (but not necessarily exactly like) a circle skirt? I’m terrible with self drafted patterns but that’s all Google will give me.

A lined tote bag and a new laptop case!

3 Dec

I am doing a lot of travelling for work at the moment (not to anywhere exotic :( ) and so I need a sturdy tote bag to carry my laptop, notepad, etc, between the hotel and the clients’ offices, letting me keep a small handbag for my essentials and a small suitcase for lugging everything on the flight.

Enter a lined, box bottom, tote bag!

I was super chuffed to find that my local charity shop has opened a haberdashery section, and even moreso to find that they had 2m of this gorgeous blue Laura Ashley fabric for just £7!

I used the tutorial from CrazyLittleProjects but only used one outside fabric (instead of two) and the lining fabric. I also made my fabric pieces 14″ wide and 18″ tall, but next time I might make the bag wider and straps shorter. To make the box bottom I measured in two inches from the corner, which gave a nice size bottom to put A4 papers in the bag. The right side of the strap should face the right side of the outside fabric when sewing them in – took me a while (and a few pin pricks) to work it out in my head…

I love that the fabric is interesting but work-appropriate!

Although the bag has a bit of padding with the interfacing, I just got a new laptop so I want to keep it extra safe. I used the same tutorial, cutting the fabric to the same size as the laptop and replacing the strap with a 4*7″ piece of fabric to act as the flap to hold the velcro to close it. It used two fat quarters of fabric.

The outer fabric, lining, velcro, and battng were all from my stash – and it only took an hour! Very happy with it :)

Child’s drawstring backpack

22 Dec

I wanted to make my nephew a small backpack with some cute teal elephant fabric I got from Goldhawk road a few months ago – but obviously, at the time, I had no idea what I would use it for I just loved it so bought some!

Joseph's bag.png

The photo on the left is closest to real colours – terrible winter light!

I used the tutorial from Hobbycraft’s blog, but make sure you read it through carefully and slowly before you start – it is an easy process, but they have made it fairly confusing. I wanted to use the Hobbycraft one despite the many good ones out there because I REALLY wanted to use the eyelets. Here’s the changes I made:

  • I used 4mm drawstring (because then I could get it in grey, and it’s comfier too).
  • I used Prym’s 11mm silver eyelets as the 5.5m ended up too small to fit the drawstring.
  • I didn’t use the quantity of fabric they said to use. Instead I used 4 pieces of 14×12 inches to make this a little bit smaller.
  • As the bag was smaller, I only needed 2m of drawstring, which is great because that’s all I had received despite ordering 3m!

I then filled it with lots of chocolate coins – I don’t expect a 2y old to be particularly delighted by a bag so this is to make sure he still loves his Christmas present!

I still have two sewing Christmas presents to finish off – I hope yours are all going well! :)

Laptop cover: Sew Selfless September

7 Oct

This is the last of my SSS items! I didn’t actually finish it in September, but that is due to a combination of: making the beanbag cover from my last post when I should have been doing this, then being ill, then my sewing machine going haywire after I’d only sewn about a quarter of it. Anyway, my sewing machine perked up again on Sunday so I decided to finish it and hope that it could still count.

Sew Selfless September_bigger

Click to go through to Sometimes Sewist’s SSS intro

My boyfriend has decided to replace his 8-year old laptop (surprisingly) with a shiny new, fast, smaller one since he is starting his PhD. He got a MacBook Pro 13″ (normal, not air). Ages ago he chose this zig-zag fabric without us knowing what to do with it, and when he got the MacBook I hoped that the single fat quarter which we bought would be enough for – and it turns out that it definitely is!

I decided to opt for an envelope-style, as he wanted it to be waterproof and I felt that needed something which was covered on all six sides. So this needed a FQ of outside fabric, a FQ of batting (I used quilting cotton batting), and a FQ of waterproof fabric (mine was navy nylon).

Laptopcase_bottom

Here’s the stripes all lining up next to the flap:

Laptopcase_tom

And a close-up of the binding which I used to close the edge where the case opens to let the laptop in/out – it is not perfect by any means and I think the envelope style makes it a little harder to have neat edges – I wonder if somehow a zipped-up case might have actually made it easier to have all the raw edges enclosed and everything a bit neater? Anyway, I made my own bias binding for the first time! It was only about 25cm worth but still.

Laptopcase_binding1Laptopcase_binding2

I haven’t written out all of my instructions but I kept all of my measurements and doodles, so feel free to ask, though there’s so many out there already that unless you are as fussy as me I am sure you can find what you want.

He is really happy with it and it kept his laptop dry when he and the contents of his bag got quite wet during a cycle in the rain (yay British autumn) so it serves its purpose!

I didn’t have any sew-on Velcro and my metal snappers/fasteners risk scratching his laptop so it doesn’t fasten for now, but the flap is just long enough to get away with that until I can get to Hobbycraft / John Lewis.

If that is allowed to count in my Sew Selfless September, then I managed to complete my task successfully! Though if it doesn’t I don’t mind much, as I was able to make plenty of things for people and three people have benefitted well from it :)