Thursday, 21 June 2012

Made my first silk flower!

I get so excited trying something new. I never know if it is going to turn out well, but I was so into this project, that I got up at 6am to finish it!

I used a pure silk furnishing fabric, which probably wasn't the best to use for a first time go, as it was quite heavy and hard to stiffen, but once started, I just had to carry on. The petals were cut out and stiffened last night using a combination of cornflour and PVA.

I have no millinery flower tools (way too expensive), so the kitchen drawers and workshop tools came in handy.....I used a melon baller, an awl and a couple of screwdrivers!

I find millinery so gripping, just can't get enough of it lately :) The hat is not quite completed but what do you think?

I just wish our weather was better so that I could take some photos that don't look like I live in a cave, but at 7am it was pretty gloomy!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Make a turban - Tutorial

I love turbans, and think they are under rated, towelling ones are great for the beach or bath, and any turban is good for a bad hair day.

Liz and Joan always make them look good!

This is just an easy peasy turban that took me about 40 minutes to make...

This style of turban works best with stretch fabric, and the pattern pieces should be cut on the bias. I have cut 3 pieces out of some funky floral stretch that has been in the fabric stash for a while.

In total I cut 3 rectangles, one 24" x 10", one 24" x 5" and one 4" x 5", This makes a large head size (23 - 24 inches) so if you want a medium size just make the 2 main pieces 23 x 9 and 23 x 4 .

The long thin band should be folded in half wrong sides together and sewn to one long edge on the largest piece. I used an overlocker, but if not, its best to use a stretch stitch.

Once the band is stitched on, fold the turban in half right sides together, and stitch around the edge forming a curve in the corner, and leaving a 3/4 inch gap at the end.

Turn the hat right side out and form 3 pleats at the back of the hat, you will need to adjust these to suit, and try it on to get the best effect. Then stitch these pleats down by 'stitching in the ditch'.

The small pattern piece that you have left should be folded right sides together and sewn to form a nice band when turned out, This band is then fed through the hole left at the front seam, the fabric gathered up and the small band ends sewn together. I also made a little bow to thread through the band, but this could be removed it needed, I didn't bother stitching it in.

you could get new looks by adding a brooch or decoration to the front.

Let me now if you make one. I think I will make some more now, as the weather here is still very dismal and rainy, so it's much more fun to stay in and sew!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Workspace and tools

I am so untidy when sewing, this seems really strange to me because I am practically OCD about the rest of my house. I love things to be clean neat and tidy...expect when I get the fabrics out, then they are all over the floor!

Perhaps its because I don't always have a fixed idea in my head for a design and often its the fabric or trim that sparks an idea. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't. But being creative often leads to part finished projects, so I have hidden all of these away until I can think what to do with them!

I am lucky in that I have a space to work, and somewhere to put everything. It is really the guest bedroom, but being a large room and having a man who is handy with DIY, I was able to snatch a largish area.

I use a computer workstation to keep my Pfaff sewing machine and Husqvarna overlocker on, and the lower shelf houses the laptop. I made sure I fixed lots of extra lighting above the table, and lots of electrical sockets underneath. I can never have enough plugs!

The curtains pull across the work area if someone is staying over, and then they don't have to stare at my clutter all night!

I never store my fabrics according to colour or weight or just about any sort of system, and as I keep lots of small pieces (ideal for hats)it does have a tendancy to spill over sometimes.

I did try and tidy a bit to take a photo, I also thought I would take a photo of my favourite tools whilst I was at it, and here they are

From the left; Calculator, a must have for drafting my own patterns

Bias binding maker - I love, love, love this little gadget. I will be making some bias in a future tutorial so I will explain how to use it then.

Magic laundry pen- This is great for marking out fabric, as it disappears like magic after a little while.

Stitch/seam ripper - I have loads of these, I am always putting one down and can't find it!

Tailors chalk - if the pen isn't practical

Rotary cutter - great for straight lines or curves, especially great when making bias binding

Scissors - not for cutting paper or anything other than fabric

Fluff sticky roller - so great for cleaning any bits off at the end of a project.

and they are all on top of my large cutting mat, which saves my table getting scratched and really useful when I need dead straight lines.

I did forget to add things to my list like my French Curves, but I love tools so I could have gone on forever...adding in....glue gun.....white cotton gloves (used when sewing fine fabrics, 'cos my hands are rough!)...etc..etc

I would of taken a picture of my specs, as I can't do anything without them, but I had them on at the time :)