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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Make An embroidered tunic top -Sew fashionable

This is a continuation of my previous blog post, Making free- standing lace....  I have made exactly the same top but this time I have embroidered it instead of putting applique lace on.
The pattern is as before by  Simplicity -  Simplicity 4149


When I find a pattern I like I keep it in a large plastic envelope to use again. I liked​ the Navy Blue top on the previous post so much  that I wanted to make another one straight away.
The fabric is a length of embroidered Indian cotton from my own stash of fabrics. I have been looking for an opportunity to use it for a few years!



I am using my Embroidery machine Brother Innov-is 800E which is one of a range of embroidery machines from Jaycotts. I absolutely love it.
I also used Gunold tear-away stabiliser on the embroidery hoop underneath the fabric Gunold stabiliser. It really does tear away from the fabric very easily indeed .
The threads I am using are from a box of 40 satin finish embroidery threads by Brother Satin embroidery threads . Everything is from Jaycotts.co.uk and the links take you directly to the product on their web site


I chose a heart design for on the sleeves and on the bottom of the right  front. This is the reverse side as you can see I am picking away at the residue of stabiliser with a pin and some tweezers. It is very easy to remove 


The finished design is rather pretty. When I was choosing my designs I looked for something which would echo the embroidery on my fabric, but the important thing is for you to choose something which you like!


I tacked the front darts in place and marked the cutting line and stitching lines on the tunic front before placing my embroidery.
I then measured carefully where I wanted the centre of each design to be, marking the grain lines and centre with tacking thread which I did not fasten off.
After placing the fabric in the hoop it was then easy to align the centre of the design with my markings which also allowed me to ensure that it was straight and not off-grain. This is important if you are thinking of mirroring a design on a piece of fabric, because if one is off centre or crooked it will be instantly noticeable.
Pull the tacking threads out once you are certain that your fabric is hooped correctly.
The designs are different from each other but I did carry some colours through each, for example I used the same pink and the same yellow and blue to provide a little bit of continuity. Please don't get too hung up about it at this stage,but where there is an obvious substitution then do make it.


Instead of the French seams on my previous top I used my overlocker throughout. This enables speedy construction! By that I mean just less than two hours after the embroidery had been completed.
My overlocker is very easy to use and more importantly easy to thread  it is the Brother 3934D Brother overlocker Do telephone for the best price and to discuss other options, the contact details for Jaycotts are at the end of this post.




To hold the facing down I am using one of the embroidery stitches on my Bernina Sewing machine Bernina 350PE  Again do telephone to find out current prices and other options to suit you and your budget.
If you are using embroidery thread in your regular machine then you do need to swop to an embroidery needle
There are various choices depending on what you are sewing on Embroidery needles

Did you know that your needle needs to be changed after almost every project? When I am using my Embroidery machine I remove the needle after I have finished using it. Then when I come to use it again I insert a new needle as part of setting it up ready for use.
The pattern is very easy to make. There are no fastenings to worry about and it has nothing complicated about it whatsoever. It is suitable for all abilities from beginner upwards.


This is my finished top. It is very different from the last one don't you think, I like them both!



Please do not hesitate to contact Jaycotts with any questions about their wonderful products and If you have any general sewing questions I am happy to help you too. There is a contact form on the right hand side of my own blog.

Contact Jaycotts by telephone or by completing the online contact form and why not pay them a visit and see and try out  the machines for yourself?

Contact Jaycotts HERE

I hope that you are interested enough to consider purchasing  an embroidery machine, you definitely will not regret it!
 And I hope that you are inspired to explore how you can get the most out of your sewing patterns by re making them with subtle alterations .I do recommend Simplicity Patterns, they are a good fit, easy to use and fashionable Simplicity Patterns at Jaycotts

We would love to see photographs of your makes by the way!

Angela 



Friday, 26 May 2017

Making a tunic top with lace made on my Brother Innov-is NV 800E embroidery machine

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post

My embroidery machine does so much more than just embroidery and I am  working through all the different functions and applications. In this blog post I want to show you how easy it is to make free-standing lace and how to add it to a garment. Have you noticed all the embroidered garments everywhere? With this machine your own unique garments can be made quickly and easily.



When summer comes I am the one who reaches for long sleeved tops and white trousers, don't get me wrong I do love the sun but I prefer to cover up and slap on the factor 50.
This tunic is a style of garment which I wear a lot, it is comfortable and I feel cooler when the sun is not directly on my skin.



My embroidery machine is as you know the Brother Innov-is NV800E Brother Innov-is 800E. It is one of a range of fabulous embroidery machines by Brother at Jaycotts. I do urge you to visit the showroom and try these amazing machines for yourself, they have differnet functions too, some are designed for quilters some combine normal sewing with embroidery. Mine is an embroidery only machine, and by embroidery I mean that it does applique and quilting blocks too, but those are for future blog posts.



The machines have a selection of embroidery frames to choose from, your machine may not come with all of the available sizes but they can be ordered by Jaycotts for you.
You need stabilisers too and for the purpose of making free standing lace you need some water soluble stabiliser Brother Water soluble stabiliser


You also need thread. Lace looks much prettier when made with a Matt embroidery thread rather than the normal embroidery thread which has a sheen.
Embroidery threads are on this link, but if you want anything which is not shown then do telephone as there are many more new products coming into stock daily Brother Embroidery threads




I just wanted to include a short video of the machine making the lace as it never ceases to fascinate me



I think that the ability to produce your own stand-alone lace is one of the most appealing techniques that this machine is capable of.
I remember learning to make lace in the traditional way and although pleasurable it took forever. I sat watching this machine produce the most beautiful lace in just a few minutes. There are many uses for it apart from clothing - home decor and linen are just two but you can also produce things like bookmarks and jewellery , doilies and many other items.
You need to choose specific embroidery designs for stand-alone lace as the high stitch count is what holds it together. There are many designs on the internet.
There are other designs for embroidered lace which is stitched onto a fabric background, like the butterfly at the bottom of my design for example.


You will get through a lot of stabiliser because the key to good Lacemaking is a firm background to embroider on. I found that a single layer of soluble stabiliser tears and pulls the design out of shape so it is necessary to hoop a double layer and embroider straight onto that. Use the smallest frame for your design.


You will end up with lots of seemingly useless bits of stabiliser no matter what you are embroidering so I looked for a way to use them. I found that Brother make a tiny frame which will embroider small medallions and initials and which is perfect for hooping odd bits of leftover stabiliser. I hate waste so this is a lovely addition to your embroidery equipment. Again, ask Jaycotts for more information and current prices.


Once you have finished your lace ( don't forget to mirror the design if you want it on both sides of a neckline etc) trim away as much stabiliser as possible and soak it in cold or tepid water. This will get rid of the stabiliser. You will need to change the water a few times, if it is still too stiff then a gentle wash will remove any which remains.
It is more durable than you imagine and once it is stitched in place will happily whiz through your wash cycle.


Take it out of the water and blot with a towell before leaving to dry.


These are the finished pieces which I am going to stitch onto my tunic top. Notice that I reversed the designs so that they mirror each other, there is a button to press on the embroidery machine which does this for you instantly.


For the base of my design I embroidered some lace directly onto my stabilised fabric.This still has some stabiliser attached to it and my next step is to get my tweezers out and pick out the remaining bits. Can you see the difference between this embroidered lace and the free-standing lace?  This is not dense enough for stand-alone lace ,but once you get used to the process you will soon understand which designs are suitable.


The pattern I am using is by Simplicity Simplicity 4149. I found that the pattern was true to size and needed no adjustments whatsoever. I cut out size 12.

The Fabric is from MinervaCrafts and is a linen and cotton blend Navy Linen and cotton blend fabric I find that blended linen does not crease so much yet still retains the appearance of linen and is cool to wear.



I have marked the centre front slit on the top with tacking thread and placed the designs so that I could see how they looked before progressing any further.






I stitched the seams using a French seam - there is a blog post all about seams on the website if you need a reminder of how to make them
The shoulders need to be joined first and then the front facing stitched on and turned to the wrong side. The pattern instructions are incredibly easy to follow.


I stitched the lace motifs on using a regular sewing machine. I used an open toe foot and a small zig zag. Before stitching, I placed the motifs where I wanted them and held them in place with some temporary adhesive.
Just stitch around the outside edge carefully to hold them in place.


I deliberated as to whether it was better to stitch the motifes straight onto the fabric before inserting the neck facing or wether it would be better to stitch them on with the facing in place. I decided on the latter as they are quite heavy and I felt that they needed some substance behind them to hold the shape of the neckline. To accommodate this I kept my Navy thread in the bottom and used my neutral embroidery thread ( with an embroidery needle) in my machine.



Make the rest of the top as normal. You may want to add more or less embelishment than I did, it is purely personal preference.


This is the finished top and I have to say that it exceeded my expectations, the navy background really shows the lace perfectly and the firm fabric is so easy to sew.


There are other applications for free-standing lace as I was explaining earlier, this is a bookmark which I made.


I am delighted with the versatility of this embroidery machine and love how creative it enables you to be. It definitely takes dressmaking to a whole new level

For information or to arrange a demo then please contact Jaycotts either by telephone on  01244 394099 . Normal office hours are 8.30 to 4.30 Monday to Friday  
Or by filling in the contact form Contact Jaycotts



This machine is amazing, next time I will show you the same top in white featuring embroidery which was stitched directly onto the fabric
 Thank you for reading this post
Angela 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

How to sew an embroidered wool coat. A Minerva Craft Blogger Network Post

This is a very easy to sew coat so even if you have never made a coat before do make one.


The fabric is amazing and needs the simplest of patterns to show it off. It is well within the capabilities of everybody so what are you waiting for? Do follow this link and read the rest of my post. You will be able to read the tutorial and order the fabrics and notions too.

If you have any spare fabric left over it would make a beautiful handbag or  even a coat for your dog  if you have one!

Read the Tutorial and view the fabrics and notions on this link



#sewangelicthreads #MCBN #sew #sewing #tailoring #sewingblog #wool #coat #imadeit #handmade #beginner # fashion










Wednesday, 17 May 2017

How I stitched a coat with a zipper closure

Continuing my determination to have a whole wardrobe of coats to choose from I made yet another one this time with a zipper closure.
This one was not the easiest garment to make but I will explain why as we go along.
The machines and tools are from Jaycotts.co.uk and the fabric is from MinervaCrafts. The pattern is Simplicity.


I love coats and I wanted a choice to wear instead of just having one for best and one for cold winter days shopping. So I have made several.
This time I wanted to explore making a coat with a zipper. The last two coats I made have included poppers - note I have not been using buttons and buttonholes.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Sewing tutorial - very easy Tailoring for beginners on a spring or Autumn coat

I wanted a lightweight coat for slightly warmer days and came across this fabric in my stash which is perfect
This post was actually started a year ago and since then the pattern which I used is no longer in the current Vogue catalogue. However I still feel that there is value in releasing this post as the techniques remain the same no matter what pattern you use
In this post we will discuss
Basic tailoring using fusible interfacings
Buttonholes
Lining




This is my coat pictured today before its first outing.


Monday, 15 May 2017

How I made my stylish cream Wool Boucle two piece skirt suit.

My Cream and Gold wool Boucle suit 

Everybody needs a suit in their wardrobe, not just to be worn for very special occasions but to be worn whenever you feel like dressing up a little. A suit is smart and elegant and can take you anywhere. Dress it up for a wedding with a beautiful blouse and heels and maybe gloves, or wear it for a shopping trip with flat shoes or boots. You can't go wrong!
I seem to have been wearing trousers for months now and I long to get into skirts again, so this is my spring suit, it is in a slightly warmer fabric and I can wear it with tights and boots. i am not keeping it for any special occasion, I am just going to wear it for me.



It is not obvious from the photograph but the fabric is beautiful. it is a cream boucle with a sparkling gold thread woven through.
The lining is a gold satin, and the buttons are antique hand made French glass decorated with Gold.


 The jacket and skirt patterns  are available from Jaycotts.co.uk and are by Butterick
The lined jacket can be purchased on this link  Jacket pattern
And the skirt is also from Jaycotts Skirt pattern

The fabric is from Abakhan fabrics. If you have been to Abakhan before then you will know that there are in addition to rolls of fabric, lots of bins containing every fabric imaginable. I found two pieces of this Wool Boucle in the coating section so it is definitely worth a drive out to one  of their many stores. There are some similar fabrics online though Wool blend Boucle
Choose whatever fabrics YOU like in colours you know suit you.

Another choice of fabric is this one from Minerva Crafts which I really love .


It is an amazing rainbow coloured Boucle and I totally love it . Rainbow coloured Boucle. Do consider this fabric
The lining is also from MinervaCrafts  I chose a plain silky satin fabric in Gold. Choose from these Lining fabrics
I would not recommend using a cheap lining for a suit as it is going to be in your wardrobe for a very long time and it is well worth paying that little bit more for a good quality lining.
The buttons are from The Swagman's Daughter , and I guarantee you will be tempted to make a purchase or two  once you look at her website. The Swagman's Daughter



How to sew your own Vogue coat

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post showing you how to sew coats. Yes, it's easy!
This pattern is by Vogue




Do not be put off by making your own coat. It really is very easy if you follow a few simple tips. What is it that puts you off most? usually people say buttonholes.Well, this coat uses sew on poppers, so what could be simpler than that? a future post will feature a coat which fastens with a chunky metal zip.


I love coats and being able to sew your own means that you are not stuck with the same one all season, so I am currently making a few, this is just one of them!



This is a very warm wool blend fabrics which I picked up in one of the bargain bins but do have a look at their online store as they have lots of fabrics to choose from. Wool tweed is easy to sew, and very forgiving for beginners so it is a good choice.
There are some very nice Wool Boucle fabrics Wool blend Boucle Fabric at Abakhan Fabrics
If you are new to sewing then I would choose something without a definite pattern on it so that you need not worry about pattern matching.

This is the finished coat

Sunday, 14 May 2017

How to sew an Embroidered Denim Shirt-dress by Simplicity

A Jaycotts.co.uk blog post


This dress hits all the right fashion spots at the moment, Embroidery is so very fashionable, as are shirt dresses. Have you seen expensive they are too? Denim is practical and wearable anywhere. The embroidery will withstand frequent washing so please do not worry that it makes your garment hard to look after - it doesn't



This denim dress took me three days to make, one of which was spent embroidering the designs and yes, I do confess to sitting watching the machine embroidering away all by itself for the entire day! I was mesmerised by the whole process. I sent a video of it to my father and he couldn't stop watching it either, but then he is an engineer and he manufactored machinery for the cotton industry.

In addition to talking about how I made  and embroidered the dress I am going to talk about Buttonholes and making self covered buttons.


How to sew Tilly And The Buttons ORLA top - and how to insert a Zip

A review of Tilly and The Buttons ORLA top 

More about exposed Zips

I really like this top and I now have three versions of it, the latest one being stitched in just half a day last week!
The pattern is available from Jaycotts.co.uk Tilly and the Buttons ORLA top




This is the first top I made which has the unusual snowdrop collar.

The top was easy to make, you need some sewing skills but nothing that you cannot handle.  This top would challenge a beginner in a nice way, so if you have not sewn much, you will gain experience of setting in an exposed zip for example, which is a great skill to learn.



Sew Tilly and the Buttons Françoise - and discover more ways with Zips

How to sew with exposed zips a jaycotts.co.uk how-to post

In this post I am going to show you how to use exposed zips by making up this lovely Tilly and The Buttons dress. The pattern is from Jaycotts Tilly and The Buttons Francoise dress pattern





Tilly and the Buttons has some amazing patterns and I love them. I couldn't wait to try out Françoise. I also saw it as an opportunity to talk more about zips, in particular Exposed zips.







There is no need whatsoever in going through the exact making up of any Tilly and the Buttons patterns, because you cannot improve on perfection, the instructions on her web site Tilly and the buttons.com so do take a look.


I made two versions one in some amazing fabric which has been in my stash for ages waiting for the right pattern to come along. As soon as I saw Françoise I knew it was the one.
I also wanted to make another version in Black, but not totally plain. I chose a twill fabric and used a piece of a Liberty cotton for the clarification to add a pop of colour.
The Paris fabric dress has a concealed zip, but on the black one I inserted a metal zip to add back interest.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

How I sewed My 1940's Blouse

This is a MCBN post

Sometimes the perfect pattern comes your way purely by chance and this Blouse pattern by Simplicity hits the mark. It has everything! The 1940's design looks as great today as it did then and makes a wonderful change from loose tops and T-shirts.
As a bonus it is easy to sew too with no complicated seams or shaping. The all-in-one collar is easy to sew too making it a delight to sew, even for beginners.


Want to find out how I made it and to see what fabric choices there are? Click on this link   My blouse on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network    and go to the MinervaCrafts website, you won't be disappointed.

Let me know if you made it too, and what fabric you chose

Angela x



#vintage #1940's #blouse #cottonlawn #sewing #simplicity


Monday, 1 May 2017

Reviews of Prym sewing tools and accessories from Jaycotts.co.uk

These are my reviews of some of my favourite Prym sewing tools and accessories from Jaycotts

I wanted to share with you some of the tools I use when sewing to make life easier. I love gadgets of any kind don't you? These are some of the tools I use from the Prym range and I do recommend them. They are all thoughtfully designed to be easy to hold, easy to use and won't break the bank.