Sunday, 16 April 2017

Pineapple Top

When I spotted this amazing fabric from John Lewis, it was a definite must-have! I think it's one of the most awesome fabrics ever! I decided a wanted to make a top, and because the pineapple print is quite busy I didn't want it to seem like too much. I chose to do a Tilly and the Buttons contrast yoke Coco hack (you can find the tutorial here). I love the Coco pattern, and I've been wanting to do this hack for a while, and I think that this was the perfect opportunity. I paired the pineapple print with a lovely light grey jersey, also from John Lewis.

As with all of Tilly and the Buttons patterns and tutorials, this one was really easy to follow. The steps are very simple, and the whole top sewed together really quickly. Also, there wasn't any problem sewing the two different fabrics together, which was good, as jerseys and cottons don't always sew well together. It seems like I might finally be able to wear some of these summary makes, as the weather warms up, but I won't speak too soon!

The back is exactly the same as the front (apart from the front neckline being lower) so the only thing to take care of is matching up the bottom of the contrast yoke, although this isn't very difficult. Overall, I'm so happy with this top, I know I'll be wearing it all summer long!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Nautical Tote Bag

Tote bags are one of my favourite things to sew, just because they are such a fast and satisfying make.  However, I've made so many, that there really don't need to be any more in my house! So birthdays are the perfect occasion for me to whip up a tote bag.

I really enjoyed making this, I think that my favourite part of making tote bags is choosing the fabric, as there is a contrast band around the top. I went to fabric land to choose the fabrics, and I found a really nice anchor print fabric to go with a denim. The lining is a really nice blue spotty fabric, which I like as it's brighter. I love when a lining contrasts the outer fabric.

I'm really pleased with this tote bag, it was fun to make, and I think it looks really nice. I'm looking forward to giving it to the inteneded receiver, I hope they like it!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Lavender Bag Tutorial

Lavender Bags have always been something that I've loved to make. I think its to do with how they always turn out well - even if they don't look perfect, you can still make your clothes smell heavenly with them! I came up with a way of making lavender bags smell nice and look nice, I hope you enjoy the tutorial!
You can make these lovely lavender bags as a gift for a friend, or maybe a sweetly scented treat just for you? Follow these simple steps to make your very own.

You will need:
  • Two different types of fabric (scraps are great)
  • Dried lavender
  • Ribbon and any extra embellishments

Step 1

Cut out two rectangles measuring 5cm x 7cm in your first fabric, and two 5cm x 7 cm in your second fabric, as well as four rectangles measuring 5cm x 8.5cm (two in each fabric). You should have four rectangles in your first fabric, and four in your second.

2010 - present

  • Step 2

    Put the rights sides of the same sized pieces of fabric together and sew two of the smaller rectangles (one in each fabric) to two of the bigger rectangles. You should have four large rectangles made out of eight smaller rectangles.

    Step 3

    Press out the seams using an iron and sew the two big rectangles with the two small rectangles. Do this with both sets of rectangles. You should have something that (hopefully!) looks like this...

    Step 4

    You should now have two rectangles. Sew them together like this:

    Step 5

    Fold over a fraction of the edge on each side of the rectangle, and sew down. 

    Step 6

    Fold over the top of the fabric (approx 1.5cm) and sew along the the fold. Your ribbon should be able to fit through!

    Step 7

    Fold the material in half and sew up one edge and the bottom. Make sure that you stop sewing before you reach the fold where your ribbon will fit through.

    Step 8

    Finally, fill 3/4 of the pouch with lavender and thread the ribbon through with a safety pin (about 30cm should do).

    Et Voila! You're very own lavender bag.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Jam Jar Patchwork

This is actually a project that I finished a very long time ago, but I wanted to share it here because I just love it! The idea came to me for doing a jam jar patchwork after I made the bag from the front of this magazine (issue 15) , and I realised that the same technique could be used. I drafted my own pattern, which did take a long time, but it was definitely worth it! The hardest part was probably sewing with pieces of fabric that measure about 2cm x 1cm!

You can see the construction a bit more clearly from the back. Pieces of fabric are sewn together to form long vertical rows, and the rows are then sewn together to create the overall collage. The hardest part of this is making sure that all the seams match up (for example, the bottom of the table-cloth).

Two of my favourite things about this are the labels and the lids. I love how they turned out! The 'lids' were appliqu├ęd on afterwards, and I think that they add a lovely finishing touch! I also had a lot of fun choosing different 'jam-coloured' fabrics - purples and pinks are really lovely colours! One of the things that I like about patchwork is that you can choose fun prints that just wouldn't look right in dressmaking. The frame is also something that I really like - it's an embroidery hoop, but I think it works really well and is a creative alternative to just framing embroidery in it. The overall patchwork stands out really nicely against a white wall.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Fairfield Button Up

I actually finished this project in early February, but have only just got round to photographing it. It's a shirt! A proper button-up men's shirt! I am so, so pleased with it. I've wanted to make a shirt for my dad for a while, but never quite felt brave enough. I finally decided to make one for his birthday, and I am so pleased I did! It was a challenge for me, but I succeeded, and he was really pleased with it! To create a garment for someone else that they can actually wear was a first for me, so I was quite nervous, but it means that I feel even prouder.
The fabric for this shirt I bought from Sewn. Its a really lovely Robert Kaufman chambray. For the pattern, I used the Thread Theory Designs Fairfield Button-up. I would definitely recommend the pattern (although there were a lot of pieces to cut out and trace!) the instructions were very clear, and I was able to learn a lot of new skills. I went for a mix of variations 1 and 2, so my shirt includes back darts rather than a pleat, and cuffs on the sleeves. 

The cuffs are definitely one of my favourite features. I'm really proud of them, as it was the first time I have sewn cuffs. I'm also pleased with the button holes (I've sewn button holes several times before, but every successful one is a win!). Overall, I am really happy with this shirt. My dad was really pleased too, and it's projects like this which remind you that you can do anything!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Pencil Case

I always seem to have a million and one things that I'm supposed to be sewing, which means that when someone else asks me to make them something, or I want to make something for another person, I do have to ask myself if it really is going to happen... But, it is all about priorities, and although it meant taking a bit of time off from the project that I'm currently on, this was definitely worth it! I made this pencil case for an old teacher of mine, and the project was quite special, so I wanted it to be just right. I feel confident making pencil cases now (this is my fourth!) so I was able to make this in a couple of hours, which is always a great feeling.

The tutorial that I use is this one. I find it's really good, but I use my own measurements. These are: a 10" zip, 4 10"x5" pieces (2 outer fabric and 2 lining) and I box the corners in by 1". The pencil case comes together really speedily, but if you are making one, make sure you read the instructions twice! I would also recommend using the tutorial even if you know it by heart, as I have made mistakes despite having made so many. I chose some lovely grey fabric for the outside which I found in France. The fabrics that I've used are all water-resistant, and rigid enough to keep their shape. 

One thing that I love about using subtle colours is to add a pop of something bright! I've added in a bright pink zip tab on here. Another lovely thing about making this pencil case is that I was able to add one of my 'Handmade by Anna' labels! It was such a fun thing to do, the finish felt so professional too! Overall, I'm really pleased with this pencil case. It always feels really special to be able to give someone something you've made.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Raindrop Top

A few weeks ago,  Faberwood very kindly contacted me and asked if I would like to sew something out of one of their gorgeous fabrics. Of course, I said yes, and after much 'umming' and 'errring' I settled on this jersey Aime Comme Marie fabric. It is absolutely gorgeous! The fabric feels so nice, and the pattern is really cute, but at the same time not at all childish. Also, some of the drops are glittery! So what's not to love?

For the pattern, I decided to do another pattern hack. I knew that I wanted a raised hemline at the front which then dipped down at the back. As usual, I used the Tilly and the Buttons Coco pattern as my base. I then cut a curve in the pattern which turned out not at all as I had immagined... However, with a bit of tweeking I got the curve just as I wanted it, and I love how its turned out. 

You can see from the picture that the hem follows a curve (the fabric has bunched up in the photo but the curve is smooth!). I really love this side view, I love the proportions of the top. Another detail that I added was the make short sleeves and turn up a small cuff on the end. The fabric is lovely and smooth on the back, so it works really well on the sleeves. The pattern doesn't go through to the back either, which was a bonus for what I was trying to do.

Overall I am so pleased with this top! It's different, which I like, but I am thinking of doing some more versions. The fabric was such a joy to sew with, it really is gorgeous! I have some left, so I'm hoping I'll just be able to scrape another top out of the rest! Thank you so much to Faberwood for sending it to me, your fabric is lovely!