Friday, 29 April 2016

Making Lavender Sachets

I have been meaning to make these Lavender sachets for months but as usual my attentions were diverted to some other passing fancy.  As I was starting to pack away some of my winter clothes I felt like now was was the right time, although with the current snow, sleet and hail here in the UK most things have already been unpacked!
Lavender Sachets

The fabrics will probably be familiar to you, if you have been following the blog for a while, as they have been used in the Summer tops I made last year and also in the bags for the Advent Calender.  My Magpie tendencies won't let me throw anything away that I think might come in useful.
Stamped fabric

Knowing that the finished items would not need to be either washed or worn I took the opportunity to stamp onto the white fabric (one of Hubby's old shirts), using a little kit I brought from the local market.  Influenced by the soothing properties of the lavender I chose to stamp words associated with it............ peace, calm, zzzz.
Stamping set

They are nice and simple to make and are ideal for using up scraps, hence the different shapes and sizes.
red spot lavender sachet
If you have only a small amount of fabric it can still be used for decoration or you can have a different fabric on the front to the back, you really just have to play around with what you have to hand.  I toyed with putting buttons on but couldn't find any that I felt fitted in, maybe on the next batch.
Choose your design

Lay out the design until you are quite happy with it and then sew it on, it needs to remain in place but isn't going to get any hard wear so you can leave some edges free, I do however recommend the use of pinking shears or you will need to hem your edges unless you are looking for a frayed edge.
Hem  along the sides
With the design facing inwards hem along the edges leaving an opening at one end, a bit like a pillow case. On the red spotted sachet I pinked all four edges and stitched on the outside, as it adds another texture.
Bag of lavender

Turn the bag through so that the right side is showing, you can press it to give nice crisp edges or you can be a lazy bones like me and just go straight to filling it with lavender.
filling the lavender sachet
I found the least messy way to fill it was to stand it in the bag containing the lavender and use a piece of rolled paper as a makeshift funnel, then just pile it in there. You want the sachet to be quite well filled so I would suggest over filling and tipping out the excess.
tuck the ends in

When you find the right level fold the ends of the sachet inside to give you a nice neat edge and sew along.
Red stitches

The red stitches of the visible hem contrast nicely against the white of the fabric
3 lavender sachets

All three sachets are tied together by the use of the base fabrics as contrast on the other two.

This would have been a nice quick make if done on the machine but I opted to hand sew and underestimated how long that would take me, luckily I wasn't under any time pressure.

These are ideal as birthday or Christmas presents, it is never too early to make a start!

Just a reminder that the Me Made May challenge starts on Sunday, I hope all who take part have fun with it, please feel free to leave a link on here to your blog or put up your instagram name so that we can follow you.  I haven't decided how I am going to document my little effort, but as my pledge is only once a week it won't take up too much time!

For those in the UK enjoy your bank holiday weekend and I hope you get to see some sunshine 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Free make for April

I felt like it was time for a change from the mini bunting tea light holders I put together when I had my crafternoon at the beginning of March.  I wanted something more spring like and hit on using a left over paper napkin I had put on my Easter mood board.
up-cycled jam jars

I haven't tried sticking paper napkins to glass with a glue stick before but it seems to have worked!  The smallest of the three took the longest to do as I thought it would look sweet if I cut out some of  the flowers.
pink roses

For the largest -an old mayo  jar, I roughly traced bird shapes from the Sania Pell book ""The homemade home", I thoroughly recommend  this as an excellent source of inspiration and great detail on how the projects can be achieved.
Spring birds

I found this a little more challenging than the roses as the layers of paper separated so I decided to go with that and flipped them over to make a "facing" image.  Each of the bird shapes are a little different as I didn't want them to be too uniform.

And the last one was the most simple, I just cut a length of the napkin and wrapped it around the final jar and tied it off with a bit of paper ribbon I had salvaged from Christmas day.  I put a couple of loops of this around the necks of the other two jars to finish them off.
Wrapped jar for Spring

I have arranged them on the mantle ready to use this evening although I must remember to add batteries to my shopping list as some of the twinkle lights are not very bright.
Spring mantle
When I set up the twinkle lights I try and maximise their output by using the glass jars and the mirror, I have used one set of lights between two jars draping it over the top of the battery operated candles.  It may look  little odd in the day light but it works really well in the evening with the big light turned off.

On the whole I am very pleased with the result, I did have to remove any excess glue from around the shapes but it rubbed away very easily and left a nice clean finish.  I made the mistake of trying to do this straight away but it tore the paper so my advice would be to wait until it has dried.

Total cost was zero, the napkin had sat in the corner of the dining room since Easter and was in danger of ending up in the recycling, the paper ribbon was salvaged so just the cost of the glue which was probably less than a penny.

A quick update on the Navy skirt, I have changed patterns, when I went to cut it out I realised that because of the pockets it would be too confusing for me to work out how to taper between the waist and the hip as well as adding the pocket so I have gone for a much simpler design.  As usual with my sewing I am spend a fare amount of time thinking about it and faffing around instead of getting on with it, somethings never change.  I am hoping to get it done this week,  so long as I don't get distracted!

Have you had any free makes lately? or are your energies being directed towards your sewing ?

Saturday, 9 April 2016

In the Navy - new look 6106

I have settled on the project to get my sew-jo back, nothing earth shattering or too wild just a nice simple navy skirt New look 6106 view B but knee length.  I brought a vast quantity of this navy cotton fabric for very cheap from My Fabric Place a couple of years ago and this is the last of it.  It is a little bit heavier than a standard dress cotton so I think it will be fine for a summer skirt. I used some of it to make the dress that was the project for the sewing classes I attended last year, I haven't worn this a great deal as the pattern is not one that I would have chosen, however in the interests of making do and mend I will endeavor to wear it during Me Made May 16
New look 6106

I have a lot of navy and white striped tops that I wear with jeans or the light weight navy trousers that I picked up from Next last year so it should slip into my current wardrobe really well.  If I was a more confident sewer I would love to do this with a contrasting mustard, red or even orange thread, but I am aware of my limitations and will be happy to have a wearable skirt at the end of things!
Contrasting threads

I will need to tweak the fit on the pattern as my waistline is hiding under a comfort blanket made up of Christmas and Easter chocolate! so I will need to pick up a larger waist size than hip size and taper down, also I don't want such a pronounced "A" shape so I will need to do some more tapering to achieve this.  Tears, tantrums and triumphs will no doubt follow I will share all of course!

There is a half price sale in the UK on all Simplicity patterns at the moment if you are looking for a bit of inspiration why not have a little poke around.  I love this vintage wrap around dress but after my disastrous encounter with the walk away dress last year I think I will just stick to admiring from afar!
Simplicity 8085

Anyone else got any sewing plans or is your sew-jo still missing?

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Me Made May 2016 #MMMAY16

Last year when I was just taking baby steps in my sewing life I was fascinated by the Me Made May campaign that is run buy Zoe, the premise is to wear something that you have made yourself everyday during the month of May.  It is an opportunity for the sewing, knitting, crocheting and crafting family to be proud of our achievements and to go out in the big wide world and proudly show off our talents. Many participants post photos on their blogs and through the usual social media outlets, just search for Me Made May 15 to get an idea of what was happening last year

You make your own pledge that fits with what is achievable for you and post it  in the comments on Zoe's blog, here is mine

Blogger sandra gilbert said...
'I, Sandra from, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least one homemade garment each week for the duration of May 2016'

I don't have a huge amount of homemade clothes so I wanted to aim for something that I knew I could easily accommodate as I felt this was very much about participating. If the weather is good I will wear more as most of my homemades are summer clothes.

Looking back to my blog last year here I was full of enthusiasm for Me Made May and made some very committed sewing plans to go the whole nine yards and have outfits for the full 31 days, how times have changed, I haven't sewn anything this year at all!  There are sparks of life in my sew-jo and this is helping fan the flames a little more, I am planning a new skirt, I just need to narrow down my choice of pattern and pick the fabric.

So is anyone else making a pledge for #MMMAY16 ?

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Sew-jo inspiration

My sewing mo-jo has taken a vacation and it feels like it is time to get it back to work so I have dressed my newly painted  mantle piece with a spot of vintage sewing haberdashery to fire up my Sew-jo
Vintage Sylko boxes
Vintage sewing pattern
The Vulcan children's sewing machine
Ladybird book of sewing
Vintage haberdashery
Sew-jo inspiration
 The framed vintage sewing patterns were from this January post Free make 2 I don't know if my sew-jo has returned but I certainly need to organise my vintage haberdashery collection and share a few more pis and pieces on here.

How is your sew-jo? have you got any projects on the go or do you need a bit of sewing inspiration?