Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


44 Comments

#Stitching Santa Update – Upcycled Cross Stitch

A couple of weeks ago I rescued this beautiful cross stitch from our local charity shop. It was mounted and framed but needed reinventing into something more usable in today’s modern life and was far too wonderful to leave there.

Only measuring a modest 5″ x 7″, I ummed and aahed about what to do with it for a while, having some brilliant suggestions on Instagram.

Ultimately, this is for one of my Stitching Santa recipients (I’m doing both sewing and yarny versions) so I wanted to make it a useful object. This lady is multi-talented across many craft disciplines, as are so many of my blogging pals, and she dabbles in cross stitch herself so I thought this would be perfect for her.

I decided to make a zipped pouch, about the size of a cosmetic bag, which could have a variety of different uses. Maybe for a portable cross stitch project, a small crochet or knitting project, or maybe as an actual cosmetic bag – it is rather swanky, after all!

So here’s a quick run-through of what I did, which might be informative if you have a similar piece of needlework that needs reinventing.

It had been spray-mounted to card and well laced across the back, so all that had to be undone. I then gave it a little steam press.

After trimming the needlework to a useable size, I used it as a template to cut two lining pieces and a back.

Iron-on interfacing was attached to the reverse of the front and back sections to stabilise the bag.

I used the covered tab method for the zip to give as neat a finish as possible (there are plenty of tutorials online on how to do this).

The zipper tabs should be about 1/4″ shorter than the width of the bag to ensure that they don’t get caught in the seam allowance when the bag is stitched together.

After inserting the zip, I topstitched close to the seam through the lining as well. This means that the fabric won’t get stuck in the zip when opening and closing.

OPEN the zip.

With lining-to-lining and front-to-back (right sides together) stitch all the way around, leaving a gap in the lining through which to turn.

Be sure not to catch the tabs in the seam as you sew.

Trim the tabs to reduce bulk.

Cut across all the corners before turning the right way out.

Close the gap in the lining either by hand or machine.

I added a coordinating leather tassel from my supplies.

The sequinned fabric is a small piece cut from a length of fabric that will become a dress later in the week. It adds a touch of glamour.

Some matching blue lining is a nice vibrant surprise when you look inside.

I hope she likes it!


42 Comments

Stitching Santa Gift – Handmade Sewing Kit

So, before I even knew who I would be sending a parcel to for this year’s Stitching Santa, I made this not-so-little sewing kit. Well, what needlewoman couldn’t do with a new sewing kit?

Tilda's Sewing Kit handmade needlecase

Made entirely with fabric offcuts from my collection, the pattern comes from Tilda’s Toy Box, although you could easily copy mine just from the photos as it is pretty straightforward.

Tilda's Toy Box

Hopefully, you can recognise the shape of a house with its front door and a pot plant under the window.

A little robin perches on the sign above the door which, instead of the house name, says “Sewing Kit”.

The whole thing is quilted with a layer of wadding to add support.

Inside, there is a heart shaped pin cushion and two little pockets…..

…..a place to store hand sewing needles and embroidery scissors.

I’m adding my new labels to my handmade things now.

Including some “Handmade With Love” labels, buttons, pins and needles (all from my own supplies) will make the sewing kit more complete.

I haven’t included any scissors though, as I think I’m going to spend the whole budget on some fabric – a good pair of embroidery scissors could use it all up!

handmade sewing kit needlecase

handmade sewing kit needlecase

How are you getting on with your handmade gifts this year?


28 Comments

Tutorial: How To Make A Faux Sheepskin Bag / Tote

img_3365

No, your eyes don’t deceive you, this IS yet another post featuring the lilac faux sheepskin fabric I bought last month. It really has been the fabric that keeps on giving as I have made not only a full length coat and two pairs of mittens, but also TWO tote bags!

If you would like to make your own, either from similar fabric or from a thick fleecy fabric, here’s a quick tutorial on how I did it.

Materials: Approx. 3/4yd of 45″ wide Faux Sheepskin or fleece

2 Magnetic Snaps

Cut pieces from your fabric following the diagram below (which is NOT to scale). If your fabric has a nap or a directional pattern, be sure to take this into account when cutting out.

You may have to adjust the size of the pocket to suit your particular ‘phone – this pocket is the perfect size for a normal (not ‘plus’) iPhone and you may well have to make it larger for a Samsung Galaxy or similar.

Sheepskin Tote Pattern

This photo shows the main pieces; front and back, gusset and interior mobile ‘phone pocket.

img_1304-1

Seam allowances are 1/4″ throughout.

All raw edges are left unfinished and the seams are constructed with WRONG sides together, making a feature of them.

If you have your own labels, sew them to all pieces before any construction takes place. This avoids any fiddly sewing later on.

img_3344

Sew your pocket to the inside of the BACK section of the bag around three sides only, leaving the top open.

img_3345

Apply the magnetic tabs according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using the photos as a guideline for placement.

img_3321

img_3322

Pin a tab to the top centre of the front and back sections.

img_3346.jpg

Sew in place.

img_3323

Pin the gusset to the back section with WRONG sides together. There will be surplus fabric to cut off later.

img_3348

Stitch with 1/4″ seam allowance, being careful not to get any puckers as you sew around the corners.

img_3350

Pin the front to the remaining long edge of the gusset and stitch as before.

img_3324

Trim the corners off the front and back sections to give a rounded finish.

img_3349.jpg

Onto the handles.

Fold in half lengthways with WRONG sides facing in.

img_3352

Stitch close to the raw edges.

img_3327.jpg

Pin handles about 3″ in from the sides of the bag, on the INSIDE.

img_3328

BASTE loosely in place if necessary, although I just pinned them.

img_3329

Take your 4 little squares – these will cover the ends of the handles to lend a neat finish on the inside of the bag.

img_3330

You will need to remove as much of the pile on the reverse side of the fabric as possible. This will reduce the bulk and leave a flatter surface.

img_3358.jpg

Pin each square over the raw edge of a handle and stitch in place, crossing your stitching to strengthen the base of the handles as shown below.

img_3331

img_3335

And that’s all there is to it!

This is the first one I made.

img_3359

img_3368

I even managed to make a second one using the rest of the scraps. There wasn’t enough to cut the main sections out in one piece, so I had to make a seam for the centre front and back, and I actually prefer this version.

img_3365

I added my label in a slightly different position and it looks just as good.

img_3361

The inside is nice and roomy with the all-important interior pocket to keep your ‘phone easily accessible.

img_3367

The magnetic tabs give an element of security and stop the bag falling open.

img_3334

As always, your own label adds a professional touch both inside and out.

img_3366

The handles are short enough not to have the bag dragging on the floor (if you’re around the 5″ mark like me!), but also long enough for you to carry over your shoulder if that is your preference.

img_3339

One of these is to be a Christmas gift for family and the other one may well end up in my Stitching Santa parcel, depending on who I get in the draw.

Which is your favourite?


22 Comments

Sunday Sevens #140

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing seven(ish) photos of your week outside the blog. Anyone can join in at any time.

1. Half term started well, with lazy mornings allowing plenty of time for a leisurely cooked breakfast every day.

2. My mother and sister came to visit for a couple of days, one of which was spent doing art and craft type things. We visited Ilminster Arts Centre and enjoyed a couple of hours at the current exhibition, together with tea and cake in the café and some time browsing in the shop.


3. I gave in to temptation and bought some handmade ceramic buttons. I don’t have a plan for them as yet, but they’re sure to be the perfect finishing touch to a future make.


4. On the way back home we made a short detour so we could try this Railway Carriage Café, as recommended by a friend a while back.


5. It was lovely inside, full of original character and a great choice of gluten free options on the menu.

6. Later that evening, my mum and sister both got their sketching pencils and paints out and had fun with a squash.

7. Next day, The Boys had two brothers around to play for the day whilst their mother went to work. No technology allowed (my rules!) so they were all worn out by the end of the day with ‘real’ playing.

8. To wind down after their friends had gone, I let The Boys watch a film. They loved it and were totally engrossed, as you can see from this photo. The film?


9. Snow White, the original animation from 1937!


10. Christmas has taken over our local garden centre and the singing reindeer were back for a second year.


11. A family friend came to stay for the weekend and we went to Bath for the day, starting off with breakfast. You can just see the trio in the background who played some wonderful classical music whilst we ate.


12. A few hours later and we stopped to eat again, this time at Yo! Sushi, The Boy’s favourite treat.

13. Crafty things still happened over the course of the week. Progress is good on my Eastern Jewels blanket.


14. I’ve included my new labels on a couple of things I’ve made for this year’s Stitching Santa parcel.

15. Yes, yet more made from the leftover lilac faux sheepskin – it’s the fabric that just keeps giving! I will reveal all in a future blog post.

No.2 Son is at home for a second week of half term, but his little brother goes back to school tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to some time together before he goes back to boarding school. I hope your half term is going well, too!


21 Comments

Stitching Santa – How To Make Faux Sheepskin Mittens

Remember the faux sheepskin coat I made a couple of weeks ago?

img_3374

Well, despite messing up the sleeves and having to re-cut them, I still had some largish scraps of fabric left and started looking for ways to use them up, preferably for Christmas presents or for something to add to my Stitching Santa parcel. The first and most obvious thing that came to mind was to make a pair of mittens.

Having trawled the internet for a pattern, I discovered that it would probably be just as easy to design my own based on a few that I’d seen, so I gave it a go and this is the result.

img_3258-1

They turned out better than I imagined and only took a couple of hours, most of which was taken up hand-sewing the thumb in place.

Boosted by my success, I thought I’d do a quick tutorial as these would make a great handmade Christmas gift. They would be great in a fleecy fabric, too, as the raw edges can just be left as they are without fraying.

There are just two simple pattern pieces to this pair of mittens; click on the links below to download and print.

Printable Mitten Template

Mitten pattern

Printable Thumb Template

Thumb pattern

Cut out the pieces as below for each mitten, reversing the template for the second mitten.

You will notice that the TOP of the mitten has been cut out WITHOUT the curve. To do this, simply draw a straight line connecting points D+E on the MITTENS template.

img_3261-1

Make sure that any stretch in the fabric goes ACROSS the hand width – you can see where I am pulling the fabric to find the stretch in the photo below.

img_3245-1

You may also spot in the photo above that the first draft was one piece folded in half. I later adapted this to make two separate pieces so that there would be a seam all the way around.

Pin the top of the mitten (no curve) to the bottom (with curve) with WRONG sides together. You may find this easier with quilting clips if the fabric is thick like mine.

img_3248-1

With 1/4″ seam allowance, sew from A to D and from B to E, leaving an opening for the thumb.

img_3249-1

img_3250-1

With WRONG sides together and 1/4″ seam allowance, fold the thumb in half and sew from C to D.

img_3251-1

Pin the thumb in place.

img_3252-1

Hand-sew the thumb to the body of the mitten with a BACKSTITCH, 1/4″ from the raw edges.

img_3253-1

img_3254-1

You can trim any excess fur from the seams if you like, to tidy them up, but that’s it – finished.

How simple?

img_3258-1

img_3257

They really are lovely and cosy and much more pliable than real sheepskin, so are much more comfortable to wear.

I managed to get a second pair of mittens out of the scraps, so I am going to put one pair in my Stitching Santa parcel and the other will be a Christmas gift for someone in the family.

img_3343

Talking of Stitching Santa the deadline is 31st October – have YOU signed up yet?

 

 

 


58 Comments

#stitchingsanta 2017!

Button

The last three year’s #stitchingsantas were such a roaring success, that I promised to do it all again this year and the time has come to sign up!

It’s a Secret Santa with a difference aimed at all the like-minded crafty folk here on the internet – YOU!

Whether you’re one of the lucky few whose family know and understand you so well that you receive endless perfect gifts based on your love of sewing/crochet/knitting or, like me, your wish list is met with a “What do you want one of those for….what is it anyway?” – #stitchingsanta is for you.

Can you imagine unwrapping a gorgeous skein of wool, a perfect metre of fabric, some vintage buttons or some embroidery silks? Perhaps a little handmade gift has been popped in the parcel too? All lovingly thought out with your interests in mind and guaranteed to be under your tree on Christmas morning. What a treat!

There are TWO categories to choose from – you can enter both or just one but PLEASE state your preference in your email. Choose from “Sewing” or “Crochet/Knitting”.

The idea is simple: if you would like to take part, comment below by the deadline of 31st October and I’ll send you the details of your lucky recipient.

You may already know this person as a follower of their blog but, if not, have a good look around their blog and try to put together some gifts that they would really appreciate. See my experience of previous #stichingsantas for what to expect: –

Gifted to my Secret Santa recipient 2014

Gifted to my #stitchingsanta recipient 2015

Gifted to my sewing #stitchingsanta 2016

Gifted to my yarn #stitchingsanta 2016

Received from my Secret Santa 2014

Blogging about Secret Santa 2014

Blogging about #stitchingsanta 2015

Received from my #stitchingsanta 2015

Received from my yarn #stitchingsanta 2016

Recieved from my sewing #stitchingsanta 2016

I will update this page with details of the blogs that are taking part so why not follow along and make some new blogging buddies!

How To Enter: –

  1. You can enter from anywhere in the world but I will try to match countries in order to keep postage costs down.
  2. State which swap(s) you would like to enter and send your email address, blog site and postal address to me at info@sewchet.com by midnight on 31st October 2017.
  3. I’ll email you the details of your recipient by 7th November.
  4. Spend a maximum of £10 (€13, $15US, $20AUS) excluding postage.
  5. Blog about your #stitchingsanta (linking back to this post) and share using the hash tag on social media.
  6. Post your parcel in time for Christmas – check last posting dates well in advance!! International dates are much earlier in December.

UK Inland: –

last post

I hope lots of you join in – don’t forget to share, share, SHARE with your own followers, the more the merrier, HOW exciting!

Here’s who has signed up so far: –

sewchet (that’s me!)

The Crafty Creek

Squirrels Knitting Conquests

Mad About Bags

The Tialys

Mollie And Claire

Power Tools With Thread

The Contented Crafter

Appleby Makes

Wendy Wendal – IG: @wendywendal

The Small Sewing Room

Thimberlina

Sewing Nikki

Jo – Through The Keyhole

Let The Sewing Begin

Jana Kaiser – IG: @ja_ma_ka

Pins, Needles and Thread

Little Black Dog SA

The Material Lady

The Snail Of Happiness

Julia’s Creative Year

Nana Cathy Dot Com

Lilly My Cat

Creative Chaos

Feltabulous

Quiet Water Craft

Emma Craft Projects

Quirky Hannah

Beads And Barnacles

Rita’s Designs

The Dartmoor Yarn Company

Sweet Fallen Angels

Enchanted By Books

I Am Simply Hooked

Entropy Creations

Sarah Naylor-Hagger – IG: @sierralima14

Hazelnut Thread

Christerson Adoption

Sharon Ansley – IG: @sharonfa50

Zeens And Roger

Flirty Thirty Guide To Life

Sew and Snip

Annegret Pohl – IG: @annegretpohl

 

Grab A Button For Your Site!

(Just copy image and add as a widget in your sidebar linking back to this post)

Button


27 Comments

Stitching Santa Reveal #2

Having blogged about my knitting/crochet Stitching Santa parcel last week, I’ve locked myself away for half an hour to make sure I blog about my second parcel – the sewing swap.

This box of goodies arrived well in time for Christmas and came from Lynn who blogs at Tialys, with the strict instructions not to open the card in advance of Christmas Day as it contained spoilers.

When I finally got around to opening Lynn’s parcel three days after Christmas, I was greeted with this stunning project bag made from a striking cat print fabric (utterly appropriate from this Cat Lady) and it was put into service immediately for a knitting project.

Contained within were a number of individually wrapped gifts which I was glad I had to photograph as it stopped me from ripping them all open at once in excitement, after all, it had been sitting under the tree teasing me for ten days!

First up was this bundle of pretty floral cottons, so useful for the free motion embroidery that I like to do so much.

A Deer and Doe pattern was a real surprise, and a fab one at that as I’ve never sewn one of theirs.

I LOVE the Liberty print zipped pouch that Lynn made – so pretty and in all my favourite shades of pink. (It will be the make up bag that I keep in my new Mulberry handbag that Mr H-L bought me for Christmas:))

This now holds my car keys – no longer will they get lost in the depths of my handbag:)

The entrance to my studio is into the loft via a ladder so there is no doorway on which to display this – it will be nailed onto the beam at the top of the ladder instead, to welcome me very time I enter. ‘Embroidery Workshop’, Google translate informs me!

A mini photo sticker gave me a clue as to what was in the next two presents……

…….bandanas and a new collar each for Fifi and Tess!

Lynn makes and sells these in her Etsy shop, donating some of the profits to dog charities. Check out her shop if you haven’t already done so – there are some fab and funky designs in there and you’ll be helping homeless dogs at the same time!

Finally, there was a cute little drawstring pouch filled with chocolates which The Boys ‘helped’ me to eat.

I think you’ll agree that it was a very generous and thoughtful mix of gifts – thank you Lynn!