Sewing mojo is back! – knickers and jeans 

Sewing mojo is back! – knickers and jeans 

I’ve been so busy and sometimes even just so busy in my mind and unable to get on with real life stuff that I’ve not done any sewing for me for ages. I’ve done the odd quilt block for the Farmers Wife quilt along but even with that I’m way behind. 
I’ve put my life and peace of mind back together, everything is looking up again and consequently I’m less “fake” busy and more able to concentrate. And today whilst running a Jeans workshop I cut out two patterns! One for a simple pair of woven fabric knickers, the pattern, fabric and elastics for which came free with a a magazine. Knickers. They take about 30 minutes to make and once you find a fit, there’s a whole world of possibilities out there. Woven fabrics are totally usable as long as you get decent elastics and cut the pattern correctly (laying it out on the bias correctly). I’ve mostly stitched a pair and even though the fit isn’t great (the elastic seems way too baggy) I’m super excited about this new trick in my sewing box. I do love a quick pattern. Next up knickers from old t-shirts. Watch this space: 

   
 Here’s some links to blogs about sewing underwear. One day when I’m a bit more together (and not about to watch a film with junior) I’ll also link to all the amazing bra making blogs out there! 

IndigoOrchid

VeryPurplePerson

Kollabora

 The next thing I cut out was a pair of jeans. Another pair of Ginger jeans. I don’t have enough of this denim to make a full length pair which inspired me to make some shorter wider jeans, like culottes maybe. I literally just cut the pattern a bit wider without measuring or working it out. We shall see if it works. It’s tough, sturdy denim without any stretch so very different from the last two Ginger jeans. I’ll keep you posted. 

  
By the way Closet Case Patterns have released a Sewing Jeans e-book which tells your ALL you need to know about choosing denim, threads, needles and how to cut and construct your jeans. I strongly recommend it! Here’s the link: Jeans sewing e-book  

 
I’m running more jeans classes and would be delighted to run knicker making classes, just let me know if you’re interested! [email protected] to let me know 😻

Bookings and schedule here

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Sewing machine fixes

Sewing machine fixes

I fix a lot of sewing machines. Some are very poorly and need lots of TLC. But many aren’t actually broken at all, just not used properly. 

Let me  just run through some basics which you should look out for and which I regularly see in my repair shop:

  1. Wrong bobbins being used. Not all bobbins fit all machines. If you use a bobbin that is too tall or too wide or too small your machine will not work well, or at all. Please make sure you use the right bobbin for your machine and if you buy more make sure they are the right size and a decent quality. Bobbins from the poundshop or old plastic bobbins from charity shops can cause huge problems.
  2. Check your needle. Run your finger along the length of it. If you feel burrs or barbs or it is bent it will break your thread, make your stitches skip or worse. If in doubt change your needle and definetely every time you’ve hit a pin or a very chunky seam. A new needle can solve all kinds of issues. Check the size, again not all needles are identical. And make sure you insert it the right way round!
  3. Use the same thread on the bobbin as you are using on top. Don’t use random bobbins with unidentifiable thread. If you’re not sure what it is, take it off. It’s not worth the aggro. Use a decent thread. Stay clear of the super market brands and again don’t buy from the poundshop. Nasty thread will snap and snag and cause tension issues. 
  4. Keep your machine covered up when not in use and keep it clean. Remove threads and broken needles from the bobbin area.  
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Sewing plans for 2016

Sewing plans for 2016

I realised that I once again bought more patterns than I made last year so some of these are being carried over into 2016. 

I kinda feel I’m a bit late to the table with my 2015 review and 2016 plans but hey ho, I’ve been busy with work and life so here we are. 

Some quilting plans then; I’m still taking part in the Farmer’s Wife quilt-along. Confusingly there’s two running at the same time and I’ve kinda done blocks for both. Lots of tiny fiddly paper piecing, very different from how I usually work, enjoyable but slow. And I’ve ground to a halt, haven’t done any blocks for about a month now. I’ve got 10 I think.   

May have to get inventive with them as I’m not sure if I can carry on committing to more. I seem to have no selfish sewing time at the moment and am itching to start something new too. I still want to make the Gypsy Wife quilt and may have to use the blocks I have in there somewhere. I do like going off-piste!

  

I bought the Shimmer quilt pattern from CluckCluck Sew and have to make it. Isn’t it lush?  

And I still want to make my own Swoon…

This one was made by Gnomeangel, also of the Farmer’s Wife QAL:  

I bought so many PDF patterns, I really need to do an inventory and plan but for now I’m sticking to lusting over these paper patterns:    

   
 
And I want to make more bras!

Here’s to 2016. Let there be more time for sewing!

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Best Black Friday sewing deals

Best Black Friday sewing deals

Yes I know, lots of people are taking part in buy nothing Friday and I’m with you. I’m not running to PC world or Argos to buy tons of gadgets or plastic. My kids are once again getting books for Christmas 🙂 

  
But we all need some cheap fabric and patterns in our life don’t we? A nice pre-Christmas present to yourself? Here’s a nice roundup of my favourite Black Friday sewing deals. And no need to go anywhere near Amazon!

Closet Case Patterns is one of my favourites. They don’t have many patterns released but every one is a stonker! The bombshell swimsuit? The only swimsuit I will wear, it is classy and sexy and makes everyone look a bombshell no matter what your size. The Ginger jeans, my go-to jeans pattern. A new one, the Clare coat. Super cute and we’ll written. I’ve just ordered it! And they now have an e-book to help you with your jeans sewing adventures. What’s not to like? The code THANKSGIVER gets you 20% off.

http://www.store.closetcasefiles.com
Plush Addict, another favourite shop. Millions of funky fabrics, the only place to buy colourful cheap poppers that actually work, it’s where I bought my thread stands from, and they have threads and quilting accessories and wadding all on big discounts today: http://www.plushaddict.co.uk/black-friday?utm_source=Plush%20Addict&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=863549_Black%20Friday%202nd%20send&utm_content=Black%20Friday%20hero&dm_i=2D0F,IIBH,4ANXD,179HJ,1

M is for Make have ace patterns, haberdashery and lots of gorgeous Japanese fabrics. They have 15% off with the code blackfriday15

http://www.misformake.co.uk/?ct=t%28April+1%29&mc_cid=2f92f6e102&mc_eid=%5BUNIQID%5D

My Fabrics is the cheapest place for wool, jersey, sweatshirt material and funky European prints. I mean super cheap!! Their code FABRICS271115 gets you £10 off!! The website is here: https://www.myfabrics.co.uk

Just look at that funky fox fabric! 

 
Fabric Rehab. Need I say more? The first for me and still one of the best. Shop their fabric sale: http://www.fabricrehab.co.uk/sale.html?limit=98

Colette Patterns again is one of my all time favourites. I use their gorgeous and well written patterns for my classes, their blog is awesome and they have a monthly e-mag with patterns that just pisses all over Mollie Makes etc. All patterns are 20% off and some 70% off! https://www.colettepatterns.com

 And of course I have all my lovely quilts on sale for you guys in my www.etsy.com/shop/handmadebycheeky shop! 

    
 

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Liberty in fashion – fashion and textiles museums London

Liberty in fashion – fashion and textiles museums London

Today I went on a little trip to the fabulous fashion and textiles museum (Zandra Rhodes’ baby) in Bermondsey, London. 

I love this museum. It’s pink and orange on the outside for starters!

  

 It’s small but perfectly formed and always has interesting exhibitions as well as a gorgeous little shop. They also have a great eductional programme, I’ve done excellent photoshop and marketing courses here and would love to also do the 3 day Illustrator course they offer. One day. 

Today I went to see the Liberty in fashion exhibition. Fascinating and colourful and well worth a visit. 

                          
    
After I went to Islington and did some serious salivating and shopping in Loop yarns and Ray Stitch

                        
    
    
    
    
 

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cheeky handmades