Recently I’ve been going to the dressmaking class at the Darn It & Stitch workshop, Pinworks, in Oxford. I decided that I either had to learn how to use my sewing machine with confidence or I needed to get rid of it. Plus, I’m always rather envious of the sewers on the Great British Sewing Bee. The ability to use a sewing machine so confidently and are able to turn beautiful fabrics into great garments. I wanted to be able to make something to wear and improve my sewing skills.
I chose to make a skirt, as I wanted to be able to make something simple and straightforward. Most of the other class members made dresses, but had to do some work in between lessons. I didn’t want to have a project that I had to work on outside of the class. We all finished our garments in the seven lessons we had. I picked my fabric and pattern up from Masons in Abingdon and used the Simplicity 1109 pattern. While my sewing still isn’t perfect, it’s come a long way. Not only has my sewing improved, but my confidence and understanding has grown loads. I can’t believe I’ve made something that I can wear, and have worn. I’ve got my sights set on a few other things, including this gorgeous pattern from Tilly & the Buttons! I’ve definitely rediscovered my crafty mojo.
I don’t know about you, but I have been well and truly transfixed by this year’s Great British Sewing Bee. The standard of sewing has been impeccably high, making my own sewing skills look non-existent! I have no idea who’s going to win, as they’ve all made some amazing things.
For me, the show highlights how difficult and time consuming it is to make clothes, the skill involved and the fact that clothes shouldn’t be cheap and disposable. The amount of time, care and attention that goes into everything they make is inspirational – it makes me want to be a better sewer, though I have a feeling I’m a lost cause! One of my favourite things they do is the alteration challenge. I would love to be able to buy some clothes from a charity shop and alter them to fit me properly or make something completely different. Who knows, I might just have to give my old sewing machine another try to see if we get on this time!
Recently, some friends of mine asked me to help out with their wedding decorations. I was in charge of the place cards and the seating chart. They wanted them handwritten – No pressure then!
Making the place cards couldn’t have been easier with the (c/o) Cricut Explore. All I had to do was set the size of the place cards in the Design Room and go. I was using A4 card that matched the colour scheme of the wedding. The Design Room makes it easy, as you can add as many shapes as you can fit on the paper. I was able to fit five on a page and I used the Scoring stylus so the cards were easy to bend. Super simple – my kind of craft!
Then I used Scrabble tiles as the first initial for the place card and then hand wrote the name. I also used the Cricut Explore to for the seating chart so that everything was cut to perfection. I was so pleased with how it all turned out and along with the amazing decorations at the wedding venue, everything looked great. Take a look!
It was such an honour to be a part of such a beautiful day. Everything was lovely, the food was great, the speeches were hilarious and the grooms were very handsome! Congratulations Mark & Ashley!
Disclosure: I was sent the Cricut Explore to review, but as usual, all opinions are my own.
Last Saturday found me getting my sew on. I signed up to a class at Darn It & Stitch to make a cosy pair of pyjama bottoms. I love pj bottoms, the cosier the better and I’m pleased to say that the ones I made do not disappoint! Let it be known that I can be a bit of a haphazard sewer. Sometimes my creations are great, sometimes they are only fit for the bin. But the help of Anna from Custom Made, I was able to make something wonderful!
The first thing we had to do was pick out our fabric. I picked this dreamy flannel cloud fabric & I love it! I can remember my Mum making me flannel nighties way back when so I really wanted something flannel, plus the clouds! How cute are they?! Then it was back upstairs to cut our patterns down to size, though I could skip this step, thanks to my generous thighs! Next came the scary step of pinning the pattern to the fabric and cutting it out. I picked up quite a few tips like how to pin correctly, so the fabric doesn’t pucker. This is just one of the reasons why I wanted to do a sewing class – the little tips that no one ever tells you online or in books.
The next step was to start sewing. This bit terrified me, as it’s when things start to go haywire. But I had no problems stitching the legs together. The only problem I had was that my sewing machine hated doing the zig zag stitch, which was a slight issue as I had to do this on every seam to stop the fabric fraying. At first it was just me, but then it did for Anna too. It was quite frustrating. I felt as if everyone was miles ahead of me and I wasn’t going to be able to finish them. Fortunately, with a bit of luck, Anna was able to talk the machine into it & it succombed to our will! I was finally able to move on to the waistband and threading the elastic through. While sewing the waistband, the machine let us know that it didn’t like the thickness of the materical & decided to bend the needle. After a prompt needle change, and hemming the legs, my pyjamas were complete. I was so relieved – mainly because I didn’t want to have to finish them off at home. And I didn’t. I was able to pop them on as soon as I walked through the door. (and I’ve barely taken them off since!)
I really, really want to be able to sew well & now I feel much more confident, especially as I’m currently wearing my little creation! Plus, I came away with something useful and wearable & I learnt loads, which is awesome. The only downside was the dodgy sewing machine. It made what should’ve been a lovely peaceful afternoon into an inwardly stressful one. (Had I been at home on my own, there would have been tears & swears!) Despite that, I had great time & I love my new pjs! Great class, great value for money, happy, warm & cosy me 🙂