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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

An easy way to embelish almost anything using The Circular Embroidery Attachment

Circular embroidery attachments from Jaycotts.

I do love machine embroidery but I appreciate that it is not for everyone for various reasons. I was intrigued therefore when I was browsing Jaycotts web site and came across these special machine feet.

These machine attachments are perfect for adding circular embelishing to clothing, table wear and anything else you can think of. They make beautiful quilts and make circular applique incredibly simple.
I also like the idea of circular pockets and felt coasters and tablemats.
This is the BROTHER CIRCULAR EMBROIDERY ATTACHMENT  (There is a video showing it in use on the above link.)

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The Serendipity Studio JADE Jacket a MCBN post

This is a Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post for Minerva Crafts

This is another pattern from Serendipity Studios which I have been trying out. It gives options for variations on a simple dolman sleeve jacket. It is a fabulous jacket and I have to admit that it has had several outings already. It goes with most things - smart or casual and I just love it.

The fabric is a beautiful, soft crushed velvet and on my blog post I give a few tips on working with velvet.
Do read my post, it is over on the Minerva Craft Blogger network on this link 

Thank you for reading my post, I would love your comments.


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Very easy, very cute Christmas Decorations .

My Christmas Blog post

A blog post

I wanted to show you how to make some very easy Christmas decorations and table accessories.
These are perfect for you to sew with your children as no special skills are needed for any of them
This post also talks about how to make a narrow rolled hem on your overlocker.

 These are some of the items which I am going to show you how to make, they are all easy inexpensive and fun.

You will need a pattern . This one is by Simplicity and is available from Jaycotts It is     Simplicity 8035   There are other simple toy pattern's in the range so do take a look.
You will need some felt pieces in assorted colours,  I bought mine from MinervaFabrics There are plenty of colour choices plus some sparkly ones see the range here  Various Felt available from MinervaCrafts I used sparkly felt in white, green and black as well as other plain colours. You choose which ones you like best, there are no Rules!

When making the smaller ornaments I found it easier to photocopy the pieces and to cut them out in thin card so that I could then draw around them on the wrong side of the felt to make cutting out easier.
I am starting with the stars which I think are really cute, and I am using white felt which has a sparkle all over it.
Cut the felt shapes out and mark the position for the eyes and the mouth. You will need to embroider the mouth with a back stitch or a stem stitch. The eyes are safety eyes and are available from MinervaCrafts you will need various sizes according to which decorations you are making. The sizes are included on the back of the pattern envelope. Toy safety eyes
The cheeks are made by colouring them with a soft red pencil. You could use a touch of blusher  or lipstick, but practise on a spare piece  of felt first.Once done the features sew two stars together with a blanket stitch, or even  a straight stitch or to be honest any stitch you fancy so long as it is small. Enclose a hanging thread at the top. This can be ribbon or string or a thick embroidery thread as I used. Remember to leave a gap so that you can stuff it.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

My Christmas Dress The Nina Lee CARNABY Dress

It's nice to see a young designer doing well and I am certainly impressed with this pattern by Nina Lee. This Carnaby dress is very Chanel in style, the pattern is very adaptable, simple to make, stylish, fun...what more could anybody ask for?

I was given this pattern to test by Elaine of Sewing Belle. Elaine has workshops on lots of sewing projects held in her premises in Nottingham. This dress will possibly feature in a workshop next year.Sewing Belle Workshops  so do please contact her for details of upcoming workshops
If you want to buy this pattern it is available on Elaine's web site, The Nina Lee Carnaby dress

I wanted to make myself a new dress for Christmas,  a dress which is comfortable and easy to wear. I have a few lunches to go to and this dress will be perfect for them. I will also wear it on Christmas Day. Well,my Christmas Day will be a few days before yours as my son has to work all over Christmas and he is too far away to be able to get home this year. It will be my first Christmas without him, so we decided to do it earlier in the week, which is the only compromise we could come up with.
The fabric I chose is this beautiful wool jersey with a foil print on it. It glitters and sparkles but it is comfortable and snuggly. Perfect! I bought this length of fabric a long time ago and when I spotted it on my shelves I knew it would be ideal.
There are some metallic foil fabrics on The MinervaCrafts web site if you want to take a look Metallic foil fabrics remember the fabric can be woven, it does not have to be a jersey
I also really love these tartans, don't be afraid of using a tartan as these particular ones are not difficult to pattern match, some of these glitter too! What's not to love about them? Sparkly tartans and other fantastic fabrics

The pattern comes with a booklet explaining each stage in great detail. Sewers of all abilities will find the instructions very easy to follow and this pattern is therefore suitable for beginners upwards. Somebody with more experience can experiment with different fabrics and finishes, a contrast skirt would look fabulous as would a dress made in a tweed and lined.
What I really appreciated was opening the booklet and finding size charts, finished measurements and fabric requirements all on the first page. This is a major gripe of mine, hunting for measurements, usually they are hidden away on a bit of the tissue paper, if they are there at all.

The instructions show you very clearly how to insert an exposed zip, so if  you have never attempted one before now is the time to try it out.
The instructions also show you how to make a zip  guard from grosgrain  ribbon which you will appreciate if you are using a metal teeth zip. The teeth can irritate the skin so it is nice to have a ribbon guard to provide a barrier between the two.

This is the back of my dress with the zip in place. I top stitched my zip because my jersey fabric was not behaving itself and it was impossible to get it to lie perfectly flat without.
Which brings me to pressing , do use a pressing cloth, my jersey coupled with the foil print would end up in a terrible mess without using one, so be warned!
 All the seams were finished on my overlocker which gives a neat finish and makes the garment durable .

The pockets are a design feature and are attached to the  front skirt before the top and bottom are stitched together. Because my fabric is soft I stitched some seam tape into the seam to help to support the weight of the pocket.

As this dress features an exposed zipper do choose the correct one to complement your fabric - this could actually be in a contrasting colour and would look especially nice if you matched the zip to the pocket bags.

Finally, I made another version again in a wool mix print.

The pattern includes short sleeved and sleeveless versions but I wanted long sleeves so I cut a new sleeve pattern using my arm length measurement to extend the length of the sleeve. It is a very easy thing to do, try it!

The dress is very easy to wear and improve the style. Smart enough to go out in but equally comfortable enough to lounge around the home in.

Watch this short video clip

Thanks to Elaine of Sewing Belle for the pattern.

Angela x

Friday, 24 November 2017

The Bernina 350PE Sewing machine

This is a review of the Bernina 350PE sewing machine from Jaycotts

This is my own sewing machine and I want to talk to you about why I love it.

This machine is a strong workhorse which will serve you well for many years to come. Bernina are so confident of the longevity of this machine that it comes with a seven year guarantee.

The Bernina PE (Patchwork Edition) comes with a lot of extras making it especially good value.
As you might expect one of the many accessories which are included is a patchwork foot.
Also included is the totally invaluable walking foot and an extension table meaning you can get started on your project straight away.

The machine has a vast selection of inbuilt stitches with 20 utility stitches, 52 decorative stitches 11 quilting stitches Two memory buttonholes and a full range of automatic lettering and font.
It is incredibly easy to select each different stitch in the LCD screen but what really makes this machine so outstanding is its ease of use, smooth running and accuracy whether you are a beginner or experienced sewer.
Take a look at the machine on Jaycotts web site, and if you want more information or to try it out just give them a call, contact details are below Bernina 350PE at Jaycotts

The Bernina 350 PE  comes with a whole range of accessories and features

• Bobbins
• Dust cover
• Extension Table
• Foot control & power cord
• Foot: Automatic Buttonhole
• Foot: Blind Hem
• Foot: Even Feed - Walking Foot
• Foot: Overlock
• Foot: Patchwork
• Foot: Regular Zig Zag
• Foot: Zipper
• Knee Lifter
• Lint Brush
• Needles
• Oil
• Screw Drivers
• Seam Ripper
• Spool Caps
• Thick Fabric Compensator

The bobbins are extra large which comes in handy as one bobbin usually lasts through a project.

The instruction book is clear, concise and very easy to follow.There are plenty of accessories included with it including a walking foot which I use a lot. One small touch which I like is that there is a stitch pattern summary card which slots into the handle and which makes choosing a new stitch easy.