Oops! Darn it!

There I am in the middle of my current project for a workshop at Eternal Maker, when suddenly I realise that I have cut through the largest piece of my project! Accidents happen and while it might be frustrating (the perfectionist in me says buy more material and start again) the realist in me says that its repairable. Ok so not perfect, but then its an opportunity to share a repair technique with you. 
I have used it on clothing and it has been surprisingly invisible, one of my favourite gypsy skirts got caught up in the chain of my bicycle and ripped. After repairing it this way, I was able to wear it again and as the fabric was patterned, no-one noticed (or if they did they were too polite to say!). 
The important thing is to prevent the ragged edges from fraying. 
Thankfully, iron on interfacing includes a heat activated glue that will seal off the edges nicely. 
Match your interfacing colour, use black on dark colours and white on light colours. 
Cut enough so that the piece has at least a 1cm allowance all around the cut. 
Iron the wrong side of the fabric, drawing the edges together as closely as possible.
Lay the interfacing on top, then a pressing cloth (if you prefer your iron to be free from glue)  
Press the iron firmly and try not to move it around. (movement will shift the frayed edges). 
Allow to cool slightly before moving the item so that the glue can set. 
This is the stitch display on my sewing machine, look for something similar. 
Stitch 22, 23, or 24 are all forms of darning stitches. 
If you don’t have multiple stitches then use a zigzag stitch set to a medium width and short length. 
The important thing is to get the right matching thread. 
I find it easier to use an appliqué foot
so I can see the edge and ensure the stitches bridge the cut.
If you use a normal foot just make sure the cut edge runs along the front groove guide. 
Allow the machine to go at its own pace, it will be slower than a straight stitch. 
While this close up shows the stitching its not quite so bad as it looks. 
I will post the project later and you will see for yourself. 
ttfn x 


Cloth Kits Sewing Bee

  

One of the wonderful things about living in West Sussex is that there are four marvellous fabric shops in Chichester, one of which is Clothkits. The brand started in the late sixties was hugely popular with printed fabric patterns for children and adults alike – it was bought by a large company in the eighties and remained dormant for 17 years until Kay Mawer rescued it and opened the ClothKits shop in Chichester. It is absolutely wonderful, old patterns that brought back nostalgic memories of childhood sewing, combine with a beautiful vibrant collection of patterns that have brought the brand on trend for the current wave of stitchers. 
So when this invitation from Cloth Kits arrived in my mailbox I could not resist 
Become a SEWING BEE!    
Professional Finishing Techniques for Dressmaking


Can you already sew?Join Maria Pulley and learn some top tips for turning your sewing into something to be proud of!

This hands on one day workshop will equip you with a bundle of professional techniques in dressmaking. 

The course tutor Maria Pulley was an inspiration as soon as she stepped into the spacious workroom – she was wearing a wool dress of her own design that was beautiful and fitted her  like a glove. 

Maria began the course by asking us about our sewing skills and what we wanted out of the course – she was willing to adapt the course structure to meet our needs.  We were quite a range of skills from beginner to more experienced, yet everyone was thrilled to be learning – and the work room was a buzz of enthusiasm. 

The classroom environment was perfect: large, bright and cheery, each student (8 of us in all) had a machine to ourselves the aspects of the machine were explained to us so that we all felt confident. The large cutting out table gave another working area where Maria explained the techniques together with a huge box of material scraps for us to practise on. Instruction sheets for each technique that were very clear in by the end of the afternoon each student had completed samples to go with each hand out. 



Closed seam – overlocked edge

Understitched facing on curved edge – the understitching does really make a huge different to the finish 

Two curved edges – this technique is very useful for princess seams in particular

Open seam with top stitching along both sides

Piped seam these were beautiful and easy to accomplish

closed seam with top stitching – topstitching looks lovely but precision is key

French seam – right and wrong side  these are useful in lingerie or sheer fabrics, or if you want to encase raw edges. They are a wonderful finish which makes a dress superior to off the peg garments. 
Welt pocket / buttonhole – I have wanted to learn this technique for a long time, I simply adore the effect and it makes a button hole a feature. 
I would recommend the classes,  they are superb value, the class size was just right together with a  constant supply of hot drinks kept us refreshed. I can’t wait to enrol for another course. Maria was a very talented seamstress and teacher. I have been sewing now for over 20 years, but I learned so much, Maria made sure everyone went home confident and enthusiastic. 

Cross-stitch house

This lovely house was made by my Mother in law for my daughter, but she did not want it in her new home so I took ownership of it. It is so pretty and the detail is delightful. 

The kitchen sink is so pretty and I love the little ladles and tools hanging above the cooker. Even the little pot holder is lovely as it hangs from the handle. 

In the dining room the tulips on the table curl elegantly around and I love the plates sitting on the shelf, even the flowered wallpaper is lovingly stitched.

 

I love the claw feet bath and the tidy pile of towels on the shelf. 
I love the way the two seats are facing each other across the cosy warm fire, which is surrounded with book shelves, what a perfect place to relax 

The little bedroom is also beautifully done, the fabric canopy and the oil lamp. 

But the really lovely detail is the basket of knitting – which no home should be without. 
I hope you have enjoyed the little tour round the little house. 

Sew Little

On Saturday there was a little vintage fair and I found this little beautiful pin; it is hand stitched to perfection using soft vintage fabrics. I fell in love with most of the things on her stall, she sews everything by hand with her daughter. You can find her website here she has a lovely eye for mixing vintage finds that delight the eye, but she was also great to chat to. She liked the strawberries on my shopping basket, I offered to send her the pattern. 
That is what I like about vintage fairs, it is the opportunity to talk to like minded souls, exchange ideas and even skills. I have been considering painting my dressers for a long time, and it is one of the skills that Connie Bee is wiling to share in return for me teaching her to crochet. 
I also bought this lovely notebook the fabric is so pretty and the stitching is so neat it made me really inspired to make something of my own. 
It only saddens me that there aren’t more people clamouring to buy these home made beauties. They are an opportunity for us to give our cash which gives encouragement to someone’s dream rather than the ‘global’ trade to some meaningless organisation. 
Etsy and its UK version Misi are a wonderful on line version of the vintage fair, but you simply cannot beat a good chat over a stall with a likeminded soul or even over a cup of tea and home made cake.