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New Sewing Pattern Coming Soon - The Gable Top

Friday, July 29, 2016

I've been a bit MIA, mostly because I've been putting the finishing touches on my next pattern, The Gable Top, which is coming soon...


Gable is a modern take on an elegant classic 50's design - with 3 seasonal variations suitable for all seasons and made with comfy knits, Gable is a beautiful and quick project, that'll become your new go-to knit top pattern.

See you soon!

xx
J

Delicate Rolled Hems, Without a specialty Foot

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Just like any hobby, sewing can become an expensive pass-time with all of the different bits and bobs available - whether you're a newbie (what do I actually need?) to an experienced sewer (must have all-the-new gadgets!!).

I might be in the minority here, but I think that the fewer fancy gadgets you have, the better. Yes, you might save a few minutes on a specialty technique with that fancy foot, but you still have to learn how to use the foot AND it's only worth it if you use that particular technique a lot. Almost everything can be done with the basic equipment that came with your sewing machine and yet, almost every technique has it's own specialty thing to 'make it easier and faster'.

So, if you're on a budget or are still exploring whether sewing is for you, here is a little technique that will give you perfect rolled hems every time, without the need for a rolled hem foot. There are a few more steps involved, but you only need your straight stitch foot and an extra 5 minutes for a lovely little rolled hem - it's easier than you think it is.

You'll Need - 


Steps - 

1. Place a line of stitching 6mm (or 1/4") in from the raw edge, all the way around the hem of your Hunter Tank (or other sewing project), starting from one tie end and finishing at the other tie end.


2. Press your hem up to the wrong side along your stitched line, making sure your stitches are just visible on the wrong side. For the Hunter Tank, you'll need to gently ease up the side seams.


3. Secure your pressed fold by placing a line of stitching as closely to the pressed edge as you can. You'll probably be stitching on or very near to your initial set of stitches.


This is what it'll look like on the right side...

4. Trim out your excess fabric, as close to your stitched line as possible.


5. Press your hem up again one more time so that your rows of stitching are to the underside, easing around your side seam one more time.


6. Stitch in place with your machine or using hand stitches and you'll now have a neat little rolled hem. No specialty feet needed.


Of course, you are more than welcome to use a rolled hem foot if you have one, but you'll still get a lovely result either way.

Do you have specialty feet that you hardly ever use? Have you tried this technique to get a rolled hem? I'd love to know how it worked out for you, let me know in the comments!

xx
J

This tutorial is part of The Hunter Tank Sewing Series

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The Longest Night...

Sunday, July 10, 2016
  






I know I'm a bit late to the party, but you guys, it's July already. The shortest day has come and gone and summer is apparently on it's way (if you believe the hype that is. I, personally, am skeptical). It's been sickness and busy-ness and cold around here.

I was reading an article the other day that was talking about the winter solstice - it marks the very centre of the seasons, where the sun goes away to hide for the longest night, and I thought to myself, what a lovely way to think of it. Instead of it being the shortest day, it is instead, The Longest Night.

Now, doesn't that sound cosy? It sounds like the name of the softest inky-blue ball of wool you ever did see. Like the cosiest of nights, tucked up in front of the fire. Like the cold-crispness of a dark and clear winter night with all of the twinkling stars looking down from above.

It's a nice change of perspective. A glass half-full of warm milk with a side of freshly baked cookie. And sometimes, a warm glass of milk, the longest night and a bit of perspective is just what the doctor ordered. Time to breath and re-think.

I've been busy working on new patterns. Two of them. They'll be released at the same time, separately as well as in a bundle, and it's been keeping me pretty busy. But I did find time to finally finish my very first ever roman blind the other weekend. It only took me 2.5 years, and I still have 3 more to go, plus curtains for my sewing room. But all of those combined should only take another 2 years... especially now that I know what I'm doing *wink*.

Stay warm,

xx
J

Perfect French Seams - The Hunter Tank Sewing Series

Friday, July 8, 2016

I love French Seams and though I did a tutorial a few years ago, I thought since releasing The Hunter Tank, that it was the perfect time for a bit of a re-fresh.

The Hunter Tank can be almost completely made up with French Seams (except for the centre front) and it's the perfect little pattern to try the technique on if you're new to it.

French Seams are the best kind of seam to use on delicate, light and sheer fabrics, just what The Hunter Tank calls for.  They enclose the raw edge of a seam and produce a beautiful finish on the inside and out, and they aren't hard at all! Let me show you...

You'll need - 


Steps - 

1. Wrong sides together, place a line of stitching 5mm (or 1/4") away from the seam allowance.



2. Press your seam allowances open (use a Tailor's Ham to keep the light angles on the centre back seam of your Hunter Tank in place).


3. Fold your seam in half, right sides together, along your stitched edge and press.


4. Place a line of stitching along the seam allowance again, this time 10mm (3/8") away from the edge. Press and marvel at your beautiful finished French Seam.


Ahhhh, look at how pretty that is, and so easy to boot! You can do a French Seam with any amount of seam allowance really, just make sure both seams equal the seam allowance that your pattern calls for (15mm for Hunter). And make sure your first seam is smaller than the second seam, or trim your first seam down before stitching in your second seam.

French seams can be used on The Hunter Tank for the back centre seam, side seams and shoulder seams.

Have you tried French Seams? Will you give them a go now that you know how easy they are?

xx
J

Perfecting the Centre Seam - The Hunter Tank Sewing Series

Friday, July 1, 2016
Welcome to the first of The Hunter Tank Sewing Tutorial Series. Today we're going to be looking at getting the perfect centre seam. It's pretty straight forward really, but let's get started shall we?

You'll need - 
The Hunter Tank sewing pattern
Your sewing machine

Steps -
1. Sew your centre front seam together, right sides facing. Press your seam open.

2. Because there is a 2cm seam allowance included in this particular seam, place a set of basting stitches all the way down the middle of the seam allowance by stitching 1cm (3/8") away from the raw edge, providing you with a guide line for the next stage.

Do this to both sides of this seam allowance.


3. Using your basting stitches as a guide, press your seam allowance in half and tuck your raw edge under.

Because of the light curves in this seam on the Hunter Tank, I like to press it using a Tailor's Ham to help keep the subtle shaping.

4. Press, then secure with a line of stitching as close to the edge as you can get it. Press again and voila, a perfect centre seam every time.


Why not try some contrast stitching down your centre seam next time you're making a Hunter Tank? Have you tried this?

xx
J

The Hunter Tank - A Sewing Tutorial Series...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hey everyone,

Let's get onto some Hunter Tank tutorials shall we? 

Below is a little list of some of the tutorials I've already photographed and will be posting about in regards to The Hunter Tank. If you have any other techniques you're interested in knowing a bit more about, let me know in the comments and I'll add them to my list.

Friday 8th July - Beautiful French Seams
Friday 22nd July - Adding a Baby Cap Sleeve to The Hunter Tank

Hope you're keeping warm (or staying cool!),

xx
J

* Fabric used for The Hunter Tank above is Frou Frou Floral in Blue.

An Autumn Afternoon...

Monday, June 6, 2016





I've just realised that it's been an age since I did one of these handmade wardrobe showy-offy blog thingys! I guess I have to try to get back into the habit of taking photos a bit more :) 

We took these back in April on a warm autumn afternoon stroll in a beautiful corner not far from where we live. We're pretty lucky.

This version of the Afternoon Shift Dress is made from a Japanese cotton lawn that I'd had in my stash for a few months. I made View 4 with the pointed cross-over neckline and elasticated back shaping.

I've since removed that lovely vintage button though after some little fingers got a penchant for pulling and pulling at it every time I wore it. And I opted to machine stitch the entire neckline down on this version too, instead of hand-stitching like I normally do, because it felt sturdier and a little more up to dealing with the challenges of those previously mentioned little fingers. 

I've come to the realisation that baby-proofing necklines is a must-do these days, not so much a nice-to-do. And so due to the baby-proofing success of machine stitching on this version, I decided to go back and machine stitch down all of my previous versions of the shift and blouse. I'm giving it two thumbs up so far you guys.

This particular Afternoon Shift dress has become a fairly consistent staple over in my neck of the woods throughout autumn. Though, it's got a new contender for my heart at the moment - a gorgeous snuggly plaid flannel one (you may have seen the sneaky preview during Me Made May). It's seriously like wearing a nighty, but no one has a clue. I'm very down with wearing secret PJ's. Proper photos to come.

Oh, and don't forget, if you were thinking of buying the Indie Pattern Month sewing pattern bundle that The Hunter Tank is in, it finishes in 2 days! The Basic Bundle gets you over 40% off the RRP of all three patterns combined and the Extended Bundle gets you over 50% off the RRP of all six patterns. Woot! Bargain indeed.

Talk soon,

xx
J
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