Step up: Sewing Machine Starter Ideas

We had a great time at our Basic Sewin Machine Skills class this week, and a great bunch of cushions were made from scratch by complete beginners…

Cushion Class Ladies1

So how do you move on from there and start making other things with those new-found skills?

Here are some of picks from around the web…

A Quick & Easy Skirt

30 Minute Skirt
The Village Haberdashery (who supply all our fabrics) have come up with a simple and quick skirt tutorial. Her 30 Minute Skirt blog post is pretty simple to make and only needs a rectangle of fabric, thread and some elastic. So you could get going on that tonight!
Or if a tube skirt is more your thing, try this from Ma Nouvelle Mode.

Quick Make-up Bag

MakeupBag

A great way of using up some of those smaller pieces in your fabric stash, A quick drawstring bag can be made up in a couple of hours and starts as a basic rectangle, then just add a ribbon or cord drawstring top by folding over the top opening. Makes a perfect gift.
Simply upsize to make a gym bag (or bag to keep all you wool stash in)

A Draped Top

SewingBeedrapedtop
Basically an extension of a rectangle, but with a little bit of gathering, a draped top is perfect for summer. There are a few patterns around online, or you can make the one in the Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe Book. Luci Kimmings blog takes you through how to do it, plus the details in the book are pretty straight forward. If you’d like a bit of hands-on help then come to our Tops class on Thurs 26th June where the author will giving a masterclass with your personally shaped pattern.

Knitting Needle Roll

NeedleRoll1
If you are into loads of crafts then you’ll be needing a needle roll to keep all your bits together. IT is basically a square with a few other straight lines to sew. Check out this tutorial for the instructions.

We’d love to know what tips you have for easy starter projects for sewing machine skills.

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Be inspired by #makedo42

upcycled vintage tea cup pin cushions - #makedo42

upcycled vintage tea cup pin cushions – #makedo42

New Year’s day 2014 saw the beginning of a social media trend for the #100days of happiness, posting one photo everyday for 100 days showing something that makes you happy.
Then along comes May, and the third incarnation of the #MeMadeMay hashtag, wearing something everyday for the month of may that you have made, and posting photos.

– Craft makes us happy.
– We love making things, to wear, (or for the home or the kids).
– The make/do pop-up runs for 42 days.

Welcome to #makedo42

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Is your #MIY outfit a winner?

MeMadeMAy2
Make sure you get your gladrags on for the make/do launch on Friday 23rd May. And if you wear something you have made yourself then not only will toy get a voucher for 10% in the shop, but you’ll be in with a chance to win a copy of Sew your own Wardrobe from the #GBSB series.

Sewing bee bookOn the night, author of the book Sew your own Wardrobe, Tessa Evelegh, will be officially opening the shop, sharing some words of wisdom and signing books. But the highlight will be as she casts her expert eye over your handiwork and presents a signed copy of her book to the person she feels has created a standout garment or accessory.

So what will Tessa be looking for in a winning Make it Yourself #MIY piece?
Here are some ideas:

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#MIY – Sew a knitting needle roll

Keep all your needles ordered and neat and #MIY a really simple to make knitting needle roll.

NeedleRoll1
I am always misplacing needles, or to be exact, one of a pair. So the way to keep them together, and have aplace for all my bits such as needle guage, stitch holders, markers etc, is to have a knitting needle roll to keep them organised and where you need them…

NeedleRoll-whatyouneed
All you need is:
2 complimentary fabrics about 70x45cm – this will be good for the usual 40cm needles. If most of yours are longer, then adjust the long side accordingly.
A long ribbon or cord at leas 40cm long. It will be doubled up and need to wrap around the roll and tie in a bow.
The usual scissors and thread
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#Whomadeyourclothes? – Make it yourself

“Who is she wearing?”

Every day the Duchess of Cambridge has stepped out on their tour of New Zealand, this was the first question on the lips of the watching media.

But this question has been given a different meaning as this week as campaigners asked each of us to ask “who made your clothes”, opening up transparancy in the fashion supply chain. Your clothes tell a story about who you are, but there is also a hidden back story.

InsideOutIt is no coincidence that this week marks one year since the collapse of the Rana Tower garment factory in Bangladesh, killing hundreds of workers who were earning pittance whilst working in unsafe conditions. But the campaign set up by Livia Firth and fairtrade business woman Carry Somers was determined to make positive change going forward. The call to ask each of us to tweet a selfie wearing a piece of clothing #insideout, and demand transparency from garment manufacturers, made all of the top 3 spot on twitter trends worldwide on April 24th, which was dubbed Fashion Revolution Day.

It has been recognised that over the last couple of years there has been a massive rise in the numbers of people getting involved in craft and making their own clothes, home accessories… you name it, we’re having a go at making it.

This will give us tracability as far as making garments goes, but you now have much more options in buying fabrics if you want to know where it was woven or grown. Fairtrade Fabric has a wide range available in fat quarters or on the roll. The Fairtrade Foundation gives a basic list of stockists, or a quick web search for Fairtrade cotton fabric will give you more options.

WoolandtheGangAnd for your knitting projects? Well we Love Wool and the Gang, who have a set-up in Turkish garment facories where the offcuts are made into yarn by local women for you to make something new out of. There is a massive range of bases and colours to choose from, with coordinating patterns – and if you are feeling like you want ready-made, then they also have a fashion range.
We’ll be stocking Debbie Bliss EcoBaby Fairtrade organic cotton range in the Make/Do pop-up shop in Nunhead from May-July, so come in and coo over how soft it is…

So go ahead and Make it Yourself #MIY – Enjoy creating a future story using fabric that you know has a positive story behind it.

#MIY: Sew a quick make-up bag

      MakeupBag1
make do something new this long weekend – or just before it, so you can use your easy-to-sew cosmetics bag to take your bits and bobs on your long weekend break…

Quick, easy and cute. This little drawstring bag has multiple uses, can be adapted to be made in various sizes or fabrics, and also is a perfect little gift when filled with a few cosmetics (or cookies).

This is one little wonder that I keep in my work bag so I can do my make up after cycling to work (it would be a waste of time doing it before cycling as I’d only have to wipe off all those little flies and start again…)

So as I start work again next week after having Bairn #2, I thought a make-up bag refresh was in order. And this is how I did it…

MakeupBag-whatyouneed
{You will need}
– 2 complimentary (or contrasting) fabrics. One for the lining, and one for the outside. If your foundation always leaks, you may choose touse a wipe-clean fabric for the lining. Alternatively, just stick it in the wash every so often… – a ribbon or cord three times the width of your bag.
– scissors
– tape measure or ruler
– about an hour

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Make It Yourself (#MIY): Quick fabric corsage tutorial

corsage

Perfect for a super speedy gift idea, we managed to put this tutorial together during an evening at the pub. You could still make one in time for Mothers Day, or make for friends’ birthdays the night before… I can’t be the only one with a horrendous memory for dates!

As you’ll see from the atmospheric lighting in the photos, the roaring fire and the slowly emptying glass of wine, we really did make this in one evening, whilst chatting at the pub. So with this Make it Yourself (#MIY) tutorial you can make/do something new.

image

You will need:

  • A wide narrow strip of light cotton fabric. Ours was about 40” x 3”
  • A small piece of slightly heavier wight fabric
  • A pair of scissors
  • A pen
  • Sewing thread (a sturdy thread, or just double it over as you’ll be pulling it tight)
  • Sewing needle
  • A safety pin

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