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Topics - Marniesews

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I finally got around to making a proper handbag - my friend's upcoming birthday gave me a bit of impetus but I'm already feeling a bit hooked. I used some polyester furnishing fabric from Immanuel's previously used for a doll carrying bag and some Liberty lawn print (a misprint from Standfast & Barracks at least 5 years ago). Good savings there helped to offset the cost of three different interfacings, hardware & zips and my friend will love the bag even more for the tale of its frugal fabrics. I saved on buying most of the hardware from a pet accessories company and I got away without rivets (which I don't have yet) by using the buttonhole function for a sturdy but very subtle bar tack, No problem sewing it as the fabric has a nice soft fibre :D

Anyone else have good tips for bag making on good quality components at frugal prices? Ive started a doc with details of who has what with prices, p&p etc to help in finding good value plus bundling options to avoid to many different p&p charges. I used the medium woven interfacing from Little Stitcher Sews at half the cost of Vilene G700 and I really like it. The Thermolam fleece was a good price from them too (£3 per half metre) plus no extra p&p. Their Tex 40 thread (Saba) sewed beautifully in my domestic machine and the colour match was fantastic considering it was selected on a computer screen. I'm planning to try their waterproof canvas soon to line a future bag too. It's the lighter weight so should have no problems on my machine.

Very pleased with the pattern too from Country Cow Designs in Cornwall. It's one of her beginner patterns at a low price of £2 and worth every penny. It came together so well and has some lovely details like the card slots inside the interior pocket. The sewalongs on this pattern from the designer and also SiahSwag and Jess OklaRoots meant I knew it inside out before I picked up the scissors. That made such a contrast with learning to sew for ballroom those years ago, even now there's a dearth of good quality information and free advice outside of FB groups.

I've just got some Aldi FQs of Harry Potter fabrics for some Christmas stocking gifts for my HP megafan daughter and my grandson's girlfriend. Zipped pouches, a handbag organiser insert and perhaps a quilted sunglasses case for my granddaughter's oversized sunglasses but definitely not in HP fabric for her!

Yes, the card slots!!!

Fun with Fabric / Last minute practical kitchen makes for uni
« on: September 27, 2021, 00:48:10 AM »
We live a quiet life these days so I suppose this classes as fun.  ;)

I'm trying to drum up the enthusiasm to make a laundry bag for my granddaughter going off to uni but I got side tracked into making some gripper cloths for opening recalcitrant jars as she has quite small hands and struggles with some kitchen tools - her excuse for pinching her mum's tin opener, supposedly the only one she can use reliably.

I used some odd yellow fabric that is somewhat rough and synthetic feeling and some firmish fusible woven interfacing bought at Immanuel's last month for £1pm. I got it for bag making but this is its first outing, initial signs look good. The gripper is the rubber mesh non-slip stuff that Ikea sells and it does seem to work very well. The binding is neon orange stretch satin bias, it was still out after adding it to a net overskirt last week. At least she'll spot them stuffed down the bottom of a box when she needs one.

These were just meant to be prototypes but I decided she wasn't bothered how imperfect they were. Things must be good if this is the main thing I'm worrying she may be short of!  0_0

They might make quite a good little stocking filler to use up the odd unwanted patchwork square?

This may not be all it seems at it was relisted after not being sold but worth closer perusal perhaps…

Fun with Fabric / Route home via fabric shops?
« on: August 15, 2021, 22:13:48 PM »
First night away from home since early March 2020 in a couple of weeks. Very very sadly it's for a family funeral. It's before 10 in the morning and near Keighley around 5 hours drive away so an overnight stay makes the most practical option. We've stayed several times at a lovely gourmet pub about 30 mins away just outside driving up to Immanuel's might make a more cheerful destination on the way up.

As we expect to be on our way back around 2 we can go back on the M1 and stop off at either Fabworks in Dewsbury or Waltons in Goldthorpe. Finding it hard to choose. I could do with some curtaining, wadding for odd projects, remnants for dolls' clothes and fabric for hats - simple sewn bucket/sunhat style but in autumn/spring fabrics as I need more face protection after recent problems. Immanuel's is probably the best single choice for that but I have the chance of a second. I don't have to buy anything to enjoy the visit, just feeling new fabric will be pleasure enough to relieve at least a little of the sadness of the day.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

Dolls and Toys / More fun with 18" doll's clothes
« on: June 02, 2021, 15:11:19 PM »
I've a mountain of patterns amassed somehow (she said disingenuously) so I need to get on.

To celebrate the better bank holiday weather, we've branched out to swimwear. It's the free Liberty Jane pattern downloaded from Pixie Faire. Designed for American Girl dolls it's not a bad fit for my Our Generation doll. There's a tiny fold just above the back leg binding but I'm in two minds whether it's worth reducing the length a smidge. I suspect not, it'll likely only create another further up the body. The large plastic rings where the legs go into the body create a hurdle for the lycra to stretch over one way or another.

The original pattern uses 7/8" fold-over elastic for all the binding – I've never used it but I've heard enough things in dance wear circles to put me off buying it (some can be a bit rough or stiff, does sew particularly nicely etc) and my stingy ways reinforce that saying, "why bother when you've lots of lycra to snip off binding strips?" That's a really good argument if I forget about the extra fiddle of sewing it so I went with it - 1" lengthwise strip with a bit more limited stretch to hold it in place better.

Dolls and Toys / Building a doll's wardrobe
« on: May 04, 2021, 15:17:00 PM »
Well, I've got my first few outfits under my belt so it was time for the pretty dress at last! From the stash and pleased with how it looks but the pattern was frustrating. I'm enjoying learning the different approaches for constructing doll's clothes but this McCalls pattern (M7583) had a frustrating mixture of nice techniques for a good quality finish requiring a bit of skill and real beginner down and dirty ones - exposed raw edges of the skirt although the top is fully lined! I had to alter that.  The pieces to be gathered were too full as well with the underskirts creating a solid lump at the waist even though I was only using a polycotton.

Anyway, I'm pleased with how it looks, at least but will make some tweaks next time. Must improve my photography. Frustratingly I've just realised one loop of the bow is lifted so it looks off centre although it isn't.  -<

What next? Nightgown or underwear? I know! Where are my standards? Pretty dress and no knickers.  :|

Dolls and Toys / My first sewn clothes for 18" dolls
« on: April 27, 2021, 14:05:57 PM »
I had intended to draft the patterns for dolls clothes - has to be easier, doesn't it? Well, yes in principle but I don't have the scale of ease so was rather disappointed with the results. Adjusting by 2 or 3mm increments was just too frustrating at this stage. I wanted to get something made!

There's a good variety of free download patterns so I thought I'd give those a go to start me off. I thought I could fit them to my sample doll, make the alterations and use them as a block from which to cut a variety of styles. This was my first, made from an old T-shirt but the original neckband rib wasn't stretchy enough so the neckline was rather puckered and it was generally oversized for this doll.

I'd joined an fb group for 18" dolls clothes making and couldn't resist getting the odd pattern to start me off after seeing the astonishing variety of styles out there...but then there was no going back! The fine blue stripe trousers above were from Simplicity 8576 view E . The dark wine ones below were the first I made from that pattern.

Easy to sew, including the basic fly. The pattern had a fully elasticated waist which seemed odd with a fly opening so I changed it to just elastic in the back waist and much prefer the smooth front look. Should have given them another press before taking the photograph!

GBSB has prompted the usual Hobbycraft sewing offers.

I always wait for it to come around to buy in the biggest reels of Güterman sew-all thread. This year it's 3 for 2. Be careful though because they always deduct the price of the cheapest spool so you need to organise your basket for the best deal. In the store I've sometimes asked them to put two separate sales for me through the till to avoid that one. I'm buying online this time as it's not difficult to achieve the £25 minimum spend for free delivery when you're getting the 1000m spools.

Tech Know How / Problem with post preview
« on: April 04, 2021, 11:27:40 AM »
This happened trying to preview a new post just now on my tablet and phone (both Android). The preview box was blank with an error message saying my message is empty. When I pressed post it worked without problem though.

I saw this & I thought you may be interested! / Top drawer tools
« on: April 04, 2021, 11:20:50 AM »
Well, Facebook really got it right for once with this suggestion. Classic, beautiful and traditional handmade tailoring tools, some completely new to me such as the wooden designs of chalk sharpeners.

They supply to Savile Row (read their About information) so on the pricey side but the banner says 20% Fash Sale! 🙂

Apologies that it's the last day of this sale (31 March in US, probably to 7am on Thursday in UK) but with Butterick's, Kwik Sew and McCalls patterns at £2.19 ($2.99) and Vogue patterns at £4.36 ($5.99) I thought those patient folk who don't mind cutting and pasting would still want to know or those only after baby clothes (or doll's clothes like me).

The link takes you to a search selection for digital  only but you're in the US it's worth looking at the whole pattern offering as there are twice as many printed paper ones to choose from (109 pages rather than 53!).


Overlockers & Coverstitchers / The US serger/UK overlocker explanation
« on: March 24, 2021, 17:01:14 PM »
It's only a bit of trivia I suppose which I discovered several years ago and didn't get around to sharing it at the time. I do find this stuff interesting though so, hopefully, so do you.

In Susan Huxley’s book, “Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry” (pub. 1996 - great book, now out of print)  she explains that “Whether a three-, four-, or five-thread  version, the home-sewing industry usually calls them all sergers. Yet only a 5-thread serger, which produces an overlocked edge accompanied by a chain stitch seam, can accurately be called a serger.”

It's an American book describing something that didn't happen in the UK for some reason hence all our 'sergers' are either overlockers (with a prescribed number of thread capabilities) or combo machines (overlock/coverstitch).

I've got a few patterns now and some suitable cotton stash fabrics (mostly dance fabrics!) but they're very much an uncoordinated mix. Fine for early garments but it won't satisfy me for long so I've been looking online but really don't want to spend too much as gathering never used stash is one of my many failings. :| I've found several here and there but the postage adds up too so some suggestions would be fab!

I've found several budget polycottons with nice prints and dolly doesn't mind of course but even in the photos you can see the image of the print from the layer below which puts me off.

I came across this listing of fashion design and textile books ages ago when searching for something specific but have only just got around to closing the tab and bookmarking it. It's a good long eclectic list of all sorts both academic and general interest from:

-- Dior to pattern cutting books,
-- niche areas like Hawaiian shirt design to eyeglass retrospective fashions,
-- designer biographies to the Islamic fashion industry in Turkey,
-- fashion theory to fashion in fiction (literature, film and TV)
-- world fashion to fashion illustration,
-- school projects to subversive fashion sewing
-- quite a few publications on historical costumes from Ancient Egyptian/Mesopotamian and Persian costume and medieval armour to 1960s fashion fabrics

to name but a few!

I warn you there are many more categories that I would have liked to mention...but I really don't want to delay you any longer from clicking the link right here!

If you have any favourite comprehensive listings of fashion/sewing related books/blogs/videos (ideally with links to the item) etc please share.  :)

Courses & Classes / Anyone tried any Domestika courses?
« on: February 01, 2021, 12:53:52 PM »
Does anyone know anything about the courses offered by Domestika?

I was thinking about getting one on bookbinding for my DD who started making hand sewn books last March.

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