Friday, February 7, 2014

Finally...a quick and funky sheer top from Serger Pepper

Omg what a couple of weeks, the days are quizzing by at warp speed and I can't do a thing about it.  This is gonna be brief because my lil chap is still off form after a dose over the weekend plus my hands are sore, arthritis is a bummer and causing me no end of problems at the moment.

Last post I committed to sewing a garment.... And I did it!! Yay! After too much faffing around with fiddly projects, I signed up to be a pattern tester for Irene at Serger Pepper and got to try her amazeballs sheer plaid top.  It's been released over the weekend and is now available to purchase for the ridiculous price of $2.90.  I mean it's practically free!  Such an easy item to sew, two pieces of fabric to cut from one pattern piece and a rectangle to cut on the bias and c'est tout.. Easy peasy lemon squeezy as my son would say.   I am trying to add pictures but blogger really sucks on ipad by the way, can't format my pics as I'd like..grrrr.!  I'll try one at the end of this post, but it does noooooo justice to this garment so check out the link at the end for some realistic pictures from my fellow testers.

The top has a French seam and it's sooooo easy and gives a lovely tidy effect to the finished item. Tbh the fabric colour I used is not to my liking, it was a remnant I got years ago but was a lovely weight to sew with, just the print I didn't like.   Still you get the idea :)

It was lovely to work with Irene, her instructions were great, she really likes to keep it straightforward and accessible to all, and is such a warm person, her love of sewing shines through and her enthusiasm is infectious.  So if you want a nice simple pattern to knock up in an afternoon, but that looks really nicely finished, this is for you.  Irene has some lovely pics on her site where
some of my tester colleagues used nicer fabric and took better photos so you get a better impression of it.   Thank you dear Irene for having me work with you, I really enjoyed it, hopefully more to
follow! Try the Sheer Plaid Top here :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Hellloooooo.... Anyone there? Have been missing for years at this stage, however I might just get back to posting the odd sporadic item.  Currently sewing again, but in bits and pieces, that what happens with an almost 4 year old and a 7 month old in the house.  I'm pattern testing at the moment for a lovely lady who runs Serger Pepper  so once I have sewed the lovely item, and once I'm allowed, I'll post some pics.  There, I've said it, I'll have to do it now.  But hey, it's cut and all, so only the sewing to go... Easy...even for procrastinators r us... Right?  Of course !

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Book Reviews - David and Charles

I recently got the opportunity to review four e-books from David and Charles...titles as follows :
How to Sew - Basics
How to Sew - Machine Sewing
How to Sew - Applique
How to Sew - Patchwork

I was quite excited about these because I love sewing and love reading about it, and I really wanted to love these ebooks.  Unfortunately, I was not as impressed as I wanted to be !
Let me just state here that I am coming at this as a sewer who has been sewing for about 18 months, so while I am fairly confident with basics, I still have plenty to learn.

Lets start with the 'Basics' book.  This really should have been combined with the 'Machine Sewing' book and made into one larger more comprehensive book.  However, I digress, lets get back to 'Basic'

My first issue is that it doesn't show how to thread a sewing machine or wind a bobbin - which is as basic as it comes.  Neither does it deal with selecting tension, stitch type, stitch length although it does deal with machine needles!   (Now you might say...'oh but the Machine Sewing book will cover those'....nope!)

My next issue was that the section on fabric did not deal with the whole 'grain' issue - later in the book, cutting a pattern is advised with the grain, however I think the book could have benefited from an explanation of the grain, the warp, the weft, the bias etc.  Bias binding does gets a chapter but I think an earlier short description of all of this would have been great.

Also, the zip section is not great - it's a little unclear in the section about inserting a visible zip - I know techniques differ but the one used would not be so easy for a beginner.  Also, there were not enough photos or illustrations of the zip insertion.

I think this book is trying to do too much, it would have been really helpful to include more info on the zips, info on threading a machine, winding a bobbin, selecting tension and stitch length, edge stitching, seams, seam allowances, seam finishing, and it could have omitted the patchwork and quilting and the bias binding.  Neither is the info on gluing fabric particularly relevant at this stage.  Beginners need to know the mechanics of what they are doing (i.e. simply joining two pieces of fabric) the things needed to be considered for that (e.g. fabric, grain, bias) and the mechanism for doing it (seams, seam allowances, stitch length, tension).  So I'm sorry to report, I am disappointed with this book.

Now I put aside my niggling disappointment and assumed that the 'Machine Sewing' book would deal with some of the omissions from 'Basic'...however it didn't.  The info on the sewing machine covered types of presser foot (but didn't mention a button-hole foot) but did not deal with threading, bobbins, tension - the most basic of machine sewing considerations.  It did deal with stitch types and seams, but not in as much detail as I would have liked.  There were projects in this book - bag, cushion, window blind...nothing inspiring.  I would have much preferred less space given to projects and more to how to actually operate the machine.

The next two books dealt with Applique and Patchwork, neither of which I have done yet....but have been meaning to get to both.  To be honest, these did not inspire me to have a go.  The techniques looked fine, but the projects were a bit uninspiring again - e.g. the patchwork quilt given as a project was a bit tacky - big shiny squares, a brocade backing with no quilt binding which looked mass produced - miles away from the fabulous handmade folksy creations that are adorning the blogsphere and sites like etsy and folksy.  These last two books provided templates which was a plus though.

So, I'm really sorry David and Charles, I was a D&C virgin until now but had heard of your reputation for producing great craft books....boy was I disappointed in these ebooks.  There was some useful information in them, but on the whole I found the glaring omissions and uninspiring projects just too distracting so any useful information was lost for me.   Maybe some will say ' you can't include everything' and I agree but anything titled 'How to ...' is surely be aimed at beginners and should be pitched accordingly.

And don't get me started on the typos....!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I love sewing, jewellery making and card making, I really do, but for some reason of all the crafty things I love, jewellery making is what I am mad for at the moment.  I got as far as getting my kit out and having a look at my beads, so I am getting there.  I bought some lovely stuff from amazing beads recently, and Sue kindly enclosed a silver heart pendant as an extra gift with my order, and I am dying to do something with it, as well as with the turquoise and gold beads I bought from least I think I got them from her, I can usually recall where I got all my supplies but baby brain is playing havoc these days.........
I also got some long ear wires from her which have been very hard to find, so can't wait to make some more earrings.  Have a few birthdays coming up so might try and make some gifts.
Anyway, the bottle-making calls so over and out for now.

Friday, April 9, 2010

time flies........

OMG - the fun I could have with this blog if I had more time, just discovered this site which is rather cool!  Lots of fun to be had changing layouts and adding buttons. 
Still no crafting done - just no time after babs is fed, washing is done, bottles made, hoover dragged around, email checked, babs is fed, more washing is done...and so on.  But I am SO not complaining !  How could I when I get to look at this every day.

I keep reading all these other blogs and seeing other creations, and I am getting very jealous of their organisation skills.  Still, once babs is a bit older and needs less intense attention, I will have time to do a bit more.  Of course, I could just let the washing slide............ :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What I have learned in the past three weeks... doesn't matter how sore it is as long as the important people are ok
it doesn't matter how much dust there is in the sitting room, as long as the important people are ok
it doesn't matter if the garden is a mess, or the bed needs changing, or the washing needs doing,
All that matters is that the important people are ok.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

An eventful few weeks....

..which is why I am only logging in today and seeing that Millie nominated me ( ?????) for a Kreative Blogger award - I mean lovely...and I feel so undeserving because I have been awol such a lot...but with good reason over the last couple of weeks.  Darn it, how do I publish the button for this too?  HELP ............
Crikey, also, seven other blogs which I find creative and seven things you don't know about me....mmm..first things first - seven blogs that inspire me :
City of Blackbirds
Tree Fall
Twelve 22
Pink Penguin
Flossie Teacakes

Seven things you might not know about me...
1 - I cannot figure out how to link back to the Kreative Blogger button (please tell me how.....)
2 - I am suffering badly from baby brain and cannot remember anything !
3 - I love banana and marmite sandwiches
4 - I LOVE fabric.....mmmm.....and sewing, but actually moreso fabric
5 - I dream of working part time as a crafter and writer
6 - I am a qualified trainer but hate public speaking - I can do it, but I hate it!
7 - Our beautiful baby boy was born 2 weeks ago so I am now head over heels in love with him and so have been again neglecting my blog despite my resolution to get back to regular blogging.  He made his early appearance totally by surprise, but he's perfect, and I'm recovering and all is well with the world.
blast... my laptop won't let me upload any pics for some reason, it didn't, then it worked, now it's gone crazy again - arrgghhhhh
item 8 - I am hopeless at technical matters