I thought I would quickly share with you all the places you can find me!
My most favourite place to hang out is Instagram. You can find me there at @sewinthegarden and @buttonsinthegarden.
Sew in the Garden is my main account with lots of sewing photos and loads of colourfulness.
Buttons in the Garden is where I show off all the amazing buttons that I sell over on Facebook. Facebook makes it extremely hard for small pages to get seen so if you have any button loving friends please feel free to tell them about my page.
I also love Pinterest! I have lots of inspirational boards, from home ideas to quotes for handmade cards to crafting goals. I do find it very addictive once you start pinning!
And of course here on my blog you can read all about my sewing with a little bit of vegetable growing over the summer months!
Please pop over and say hello and let me know I can find you!
It’s a true fact that everyone in the sewing community is in love with pockets. I therefore think you should all follow The Crafty Pinups tutorial and add heart shaped pockets to your Coco’s.
Abi’s instructions are super easy to follow and include lots of pictures. This is a really quick and easy way to customise your Coco ready for Valentine’s Day.
I attempted to make the pockets out of some jersey I had left from another Coco but I kept stretching the fabric as I was sewing the curves so instead I used some corduroy left from the Cleo I made. Yes pockets are perfect to use up scraps of fabric!
Each pocket needs two heart shaped pieces of fabric and as the corduroy is more structured than the jersey of the Coco I used a cotton, again from my stash, to line the pockets so that they weren’t too thick.
You could add heart shaped pockets to any garment with similar placed pockets. I’m thinking of adding a large heart shaped pocket when I make my next Cleo, what do you think?
I’ve made my first ever skirt! The Clemence skirt is one of my #2017makenine and is by Tilly and the Buttons, from Tillys Love at First Stitch book.
I would definitely recommend Clemence for a beginner skirt sewer. It’s simple and easy construction consists of a waist band with a gathered skirt and fastens with an invisible zip at the back. Tillys instructions, as always, are clear and detailed which make it a straight forward sewing project.
My sewing goal is to use up my stash and I’m definitely making the most of what fabric I have. This piece of fabric wasn’t long/wide enough to to make the waist band so i have added joins at the side seams. Due to the pattern I think the joins are pretty discrete!
The only adjustment, well it’s not really an adjustment as you make your own pattern pieces, is that even though I measured my waist twice and used a 1.5cm seam allowance I had to take it in by 5cm after checking the fit.
I’m very impressed with my skirt and will definitely be wearing it lots as it looks great with tights or will make a lovely summer skirt when it’s warm enough to go tightness!
With lots of lovely quilting cotton in my stash I think I’m going to attempt the Audrey or Emery dress in March.
I couldn’t resist Tilly’s latest pattern, Zadie, and ordered it straight away. I’m going to to have a go at making one of these using my knit fabric scraps from all the Cocos I’ve been making. I will use up my stash!
Well January has been a busy, productive and creative month.
I started a bullet journal at the beginning on the month and it definitely seems to be working for me. I don’t think I’m following the traditional bullet journal layout but the basics are similar. I’ll share my bullet journal with you in the next few months when I’ve really got the hang of it. Having my journal to plan my month, week and days means I’ve been super productive and have achieved so much without being my usual stressful self.
I used to try and cram everything into my two days off and be so exhausted as I never had any rest/me time. I now make sure I have one day a week doing “nothing” and spread out the other “to do” tasks over the other 6 days rather than fitting them into one day.
The month started off with lots of sewing where I made a Tilly and the Buttons Cleo and three Cocos! I blogged about them both and if you missed the posts just click on them and it will link to the posts.
After lots of sewing it was my birthday and I managed to drag out the celebrations over four days and it wasn’t even a special birthday!
We have also started on the bathroom renovations which I am so excited about. I’ve been living with the “second hand” bathroom since I moved in nearly six years ago.
As we are doing the bathroom I thought why not do the spare room too, so up come the carpet! Yay floorboards! This room is always dark and where I have set up camp to do my sewing. I’m thinking of painting the floorboards white and having white walls and a yellow feature wall to hopefully brighten it up.
On Saturday I leant how to lino print. It was with the lovely Katie Allen at The Higgins museum in Bedford. It was so much fun and I am so pleased with my first attempt. I definitely think i will be making more of these. Possibly a logo for my blog?
I’ve also be crocheting away in the evenings and have finished a blanket for the bed. As I was crocheting away I wasn’t sure I liked the colours but once it was finished an I had added the boarder I loved it. It’s the Cosy Blanket from Attic24.
Blogging is one of my goals I really want to focus on this year. I’m aiming to post once a week, unless I really have nothing exciting to say then it will be less frequently. So far this month I have managed to achieve that and have had so many visitors and views to my page which is great. Feel free to have a read of my other posts whilst you here of why not follow me so you never miss a post!
Well January has been a great start to the year. Here’s to a productive February!
Due to the bathroom renovations which have now spread to the spare bedroom being decorated, why just do the bathroom when you can do two rooms and have complete chaos?, I have been unable to do any sewing this week. I decided to use this as a good opportunity to clean my sewing machine.
I have a brother LS14 (purchased from Hobbycraft) which I’ve had for about 2 years, maybe 18 months. I can’t remember exactly when I got it. It wasn’t that long ago but I’ve had it since i started making clothes and have been using it a lot.
The machine previous to this was also a brother and I’ve got to say they are great. Touch wood (tapping head) I’ve never had any problems with them. Their helpline was brilliant when I needed to ask a question, I had trouble with the tension but it was the cheap thread I was using not the machine causing the problem. I’ve only had the basic machines but it’s all I’ve needed, however I am considering upgrading. Any recommendations on a new machine?
Before attempting to clean out all the lint I checked the manual and online to see what brother suggested.
It seemed simple and easy to do. So here’s what I did:
Take a before photo, because you always need photographs of everything you do.
Turn off power, remove foot and needle.
Unscrew needle plate and remove.
Remove bobbin case.
Brush out all the lint and take an after photo.
Replace bobbin case, needle plate, needle, I put in a brand new one, and foot.
Ta dah super shiny lint free machine. Oh and check it works!
When reading the manual, brother state that cleaning is essential. This only took about 15 minutes, including taking all the photographs. I’m definitely going to try and get into the habit of doing this at the beginning of every month.
If this has inspired you to clean your sewing machine please don’t just follow my instructions and check the manual for your machine. It’s definitely worth doing and very satisfying seeing all the lint that comes out!
When was the last time you cleaned your sewing machine? Do you a have any cleaning tips?
Tag me in your sparkly sewing machine pictures on Instagram @sewinthegarden.
This week I have definitely fallen in love with the Coco.
I made my first Coco back in October and it was the most amazingly comfortable dress I have made. It’s the type of dress you can wear everyday with sparkly pumps or dress up for a meal out.
This week I went Coco crazy on my sewing machine. Monday started off with some birthday sewing and I made a grey and navy version. The front panel is grey with the back and sleeves being navy and finished off with grey top stitching.
Work then got in the way and I had no time for sewing until Friday night. Go me and my exciting Friday night plans! First up was another colour blocked version with a black back and the front and sleeves in a mini black and white dog tooth print.
The third Coco of the week was a grey version with pink top stitching. I’m hoping to add pink some pockets to the front. I thinking of trying the pink heart pockets following The Crafty Pinups tutorial. What do you think?
I did make a few small alterations to the pattern. I cut the pattern in a size 8 (massive boobs!) and then graded to a size 6 under the bust. I also had to take in the sleeves by 4cm and the hem up by 6cm. I really need to learn how to do a FBA, another of my sewing resolutions!
I can’t tell you much about the fabric other than it is a type of knit, is so so soft and very special. I was given the fabricwhen we were sorting Mr C’s mums craft room. Ros very sadly didn’t get a chance to do all the crafting she had planned in her craft room which was filled to bursting. I’m sure she would love my Cocos.
Another one of my #2017makenine complete and January isn’t even over yet! As we are currently revamping the bathroom my craft space has been taken over so no sewing machine activity, hence the massive Coco sewathon. I do have a crocheting project on the go which I’m hoping to get finished in the next few weeks and I also want to get the fabric sorted for the Fancy Forest quilt.
Yay it’s finally finished! 1350 hexagons hand sewn to make this amazing, if I do say so myself, double sided quilt.
Yes it’s taken forever, about 2 years, it was a winter evening project and wasn’t even looked at during the summer months. My hand sewing skills are now brilliant!
I couldn’t decide between making two quilts or a double sided one and having a selfish sewing moment I decided to make it double sided as I didn’t want to part with one of them!
The millions of needle pricks and hundreds of hours of hand sewing were definitely worth it as I will treasure it forever.
I decided I didn’t want to add an edging so just used the sewing machine to sew together the front and back right sides together (remembering to leave a gap to turn inside out!), I then overlocked the edges together to make the join sturdier, turned it inside out and hand stitched (yes more hand sewing) the opening together and there you have a simple quilt finish for a quilt that needs no fancy finish!
I wrote all about my inspiration to make a patchwork quilt in my first ever blog post which you can read here. My nan is very impressed with the finished quilt and was the first person I showed it to.
I won’t say I’ll never hand sew a patchwork quilt again but it’s definitely not on my current sewing to do list! However I do have a patchwork quilt on my #2017makenine list (make nine was started by @rochelle_new on Instagram). I’m hoping the amazing Fancy Forest quilt by Elizabeth Hartman will use up my stash of fat quarters.
I purchased my copy of the pattern from Sew Hot. I’m looking forward to making a quilt on the sewing machine.
Have you ever made a hand sewn patchwork quilt? Do you have any tips for making a patchwork quilt using the sewing machine?
Sew… With all the love I have been getting on Instagram for my second Cleo I thought it would make the perfect first blog post of 2017, along with sharing some of my sewing resolutions.
I made my first Cleo at the beginning of December and have been wearing it so much that I knew I had to make another one! With one of my sewing resolutions being to use my stash before buying fabric, probably the most common resolution in the sewing community!, I knew I had the perfect Liberty chambray waiting.
I’m not going to use this post as a tutorial as Tillys instructions are so amazing that an extra input from me would not help in anyway! I did make one adjustment due to my massive out of proportion boobs! For the top part of the dress I use the largest measurement and at the side seams I cut two sizes smaller. I then adjusted the facings.
I will admit that the Cleo is definitely not the most flattering dress on me due to my gigantic boobs but I love it anyway. It’s fun and comfortable and I will definitely be making more, I’m thinking yellow denim for the next one. I would possibly lower the underarm opening on my next one to see if it sits better with the boobs. Does anyone have any fitting suggestions for the Cleo?
This has been my first make of 2017 and I am hoping for many many more makes this year. I took part in @rochelle_new#2017makenine and definitely want to complete these before the end of the year. My choices fit in perfectly with my stash resolution as I have 6 of the patterns already and suitable fabric to go with them. Another resolution is to complete #memademay so I need to get in lots of sewing in the next few months.
I’m hoping to make a Coco this week if I have time. Can you tell I’m a massive Tilly fan?! What are your sewing plans for 2017?
Well after a brilliantly busy and creative September I want October to be just as great. However there is no photowalk or Handmade Fair to go to but I’m sure I can still inspire myself!
First up here’s what I’m hoping to sew:
I’m going to attempt my first Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress. I’ve never sewn with knits but I’ve got the correct needle for my machine and all of Tilly’s very helpful posts ready to follow so I should be ok! I bought this amazing coral ponte de aroma online from Fabmill Works, there only 9 meters available which you can get here.
Last time, my first time and it certainly won’t be my last time, I visited the Fab Works Mill shop I got this cotton denim with a teeny tiny red polka dot to make the Simple Sew Skaterdress. As its getting cold I really need to get this made so I can get lots of wear out of it over the winter.
I’m just going to commit to the two dresses this month as I have lots to do around the house that I can’t keep putting off to sew!
One of my other loves is my garden. I like to grow lots of vegetables and for the first time I’m attempting suede, turnips, pak choi, spinach and broccoli over the winter months, I usually just grown garlic over winter. I really need to get out in the garden to give it one last tidy up before winter really sets in so that really needs to be at the top end of my to do list.
Already completed this task as well, well partly!! Some of the flowers still haven’t died down but I’ve made a good start.
I also need to paint the new amazing scaffold shelf brackets and organise all the pretty “stuff” on them so they look their best.
I have actually managed to sort the shelves already as I was so excited to have them looking amazing.
I’m also planning another trip to the Fabworks Mill as I will be up visiting my dad at the end of the month so will be checking my patterns to see what’s next on my sewing list.
It doesn’t sound a lot to get through but working shifts and fitting everything in is always a challenge. Next year I’m going to start a bullet journal so any tips on those let me know!
I’ll keep you up dated throughout the month.
Sew… This post was written at the beginning of the month but time has just flown by and I completely forgot about posting it. So here it finally is.
I want to share with you my sewing achievements for June. I’ve made four dresses and a tie. I’m new to clothes sewing and seeing everyone’s #MMMay on Instagram and watching The Great British Sewing Bee I have been really inspired to make more clothes.
I had signed up to the lovely Kitchen Table Sewing Megan dress course which started in May. Over four weeks, 2 hours a week, Janet taught us to make the dress. First we made a toile. I’m so glad we spent the time doing this as I always struggle to get dresses to fit me properly. I only had to make a few adjustments but they were definitely worth it. I lengthened the bodice by 7cm and lowered the bust darts by 1cm. My big boobs mean that bodices are never long enough to sit under my bust. I also shortened the skirt by 7cm as it came to below my knee which I wasn’t a fan of.
With Janet’s guidance we followed Tilys instructions in Love at First Stitch. Tilys instructions are so clear and easy to follow. The more detailed sections about inserting sleeves and invisible zips were great as I had never sewn either of these techniques before and they worked first time!
The fabric I used was from a fabric swap and I have no idea where it is from but as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to make it into a dress. The scenery detail along the selvedge edge has made a perfect hem line. I didn’t have enough of the daisy print to make the sleeves but I actually really like the scenery detail in the sleeve. I also had to completely line the dress as it was slightly see through. I was worried about doing this as this was the first dress I had made but glad that I had Janet to guide me though and now I feel I would be able to line future projects should they need.
I have worn the dress a lot since finishing it at the beginning of June and will definitely be make more Megan dresses, I may have already bought fabric to make the next one!
Feeling confident about sewing after completing my first dress I had a rare day off with no plans so I decided to make the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress. I already had some washed fabric that was just about big enough to make the version with no pockets. I didn’t make a toile this time as it is a loose fitting style. I did add 7cm to the length of the top as I would rather this be extra loose over the bust than tight. The skirt was also shortened due to the amount of fabric I had but this was fine as I would have had to shorten it anyway.
Again another brilliant easy to follow pattern by Tily. I finished the dress in a day and it fits! This is another dress I have worn lots in June and will keep wearing it and most likely make more of. I do need to get some lighter weight interfacing as I think the one I used is a bit heavy but it still looks and hangs fine.
I had planned on making the Lilou dress for a wedding we are going to in July (this weekend, see I wrote it so long ago the times are out of sink!) but I was lucky enough to win tickets to Royal Ascot and decided five days before we were going to make the dress now! I did make a toile for this, well part made as I was running out of time. I had read in Love at First Stitch about wearable toiles so thought I would give it a go. I had kept my old bedding to practice sewing with and then it doesn’t matter if it isn’t wearable as I hadn’t spent money on fabric to go in the bin. As I had already made two of Tilys dresses I traced the bodice pieces and added on the 7cm in length and lowered the bust dart by 1cm. After sewing this together and pinning it on it filtered fine. I then made the skirt to practice at pleats, another the new skill learnt using more amazing instructions from Tily.
After attaching the bodice to the skirt and trying it on it didn’t fit! We pinned and unpinned and repinned but no it was too small across my lower back on the bodice. I unpicked the bodice and skirt, cut the added 7cm off of the bodice and sewed them together. I don’t know what made me do this but I just kept thinking where am I going to find a dress for Saturday! I tried it on again and it fit perfect! I didn’t need the added 7cm and for some reason adding it made the proportions wrong. Thank god for toiles! Due to running out of time I didn’t finish the toile and got stuck into making the actual dress!
I used amazing Liberty Tana Lawn from Alice Caroline.
Although the top is lined I also lined the skirt to give it some body. I asked Janet for some advice and she said to treat the skirt pieces and lining as one and not make a separate. This also saved me loads of time. Janet also provided me with the pattern and wadding for the tie. She is super. After finally plucking up the courage to cut into the amazing fabric I soon finished the dress. I loved the method for lining the bodice and I was so pleased with my invisible zip.
I had also decided to make Mr C a matching tie, why do I do this to myself when I am a beginner sewer with not much time! On the Friday night with 12 hours to go I made the tie. I expected this to be a bit of a challenge as I remember of the Sewing Bee a few years ago they struggled with this but I found it quite straight forward. I used the pattern and instructions from a Sew Over It tie kit I borrowed from Janet, how would I survive without her!
We had a great day at Royal Ascot, although I was a bit dissappointed that Gok didn’t ask me where my one off dress was from and Mr C decided that the tie didn’t match his suit so didn’t wear it!
Repeating myself again but another super dooper pattern from Tily. More will be sewn in the coming months. Oh and yes I did finish the wearable toile and it is definitely wearable! Sorry haven’t had a chance to take a photograph.
I am now truly addicted to making clothes. There are so many patterns I want to try, however I have decided I am not going to make any more clothes until I have an overlocker. Role on Julys payday, which is now tomorrow!
Can anyone recommend a good pattern for a tshirt and a pleated skirt?