Saturday, 30 November 2013

Turquoise Tartan Dress and another bag

I've been busy these last couple of weeks and managed to get a bit more sewing done, I bought some gorgeous turquoise tartan from the fabric shop  two weeks ago and made up a lined shift dress with zip.  I'm really pleased with how this turned out and the fit, again I didn't use a pattern as I feel they are all pretty much the same and once you have made a few dresses you no longer need to bother with over priced expensive patterns.  I urge anyone who sews and uses patterns to take the plunge and buy some cheap fabric and  deconstruct a dress that fits you well and have a go at making your own.  Once you have done this  a few times and changed the styles and yes made a few mistakes, you will save a fortune on paper patterns.   I had a straight dress that I like but I didn't take it apart, I don't need to do that anymore, I just lay it down and cut around it  allowing plenty for the seems and trying on. I make up the dress and also put in the zip, I try it on and it is only at this point that I mark all the darts using pinning, it is best to try on the dress inside out to do this  and you will get a perfect fit. You can also figure out if you need to take in the side seems at this point and if the neck is where you like it.  When you have made all these adjustments you can cut out your lining and mark them all on here also. I could give you endless instructions and some pattern making books I've had from the library make it look very complicated but the best thing to do is jump in and have a go.  Buy some fabric that is cheap and you have nothing much to lose and you will learn, it's far cheaper to do this regularly than take a course.   Here is my dress below.

Here I have unzipped it so you can see the black lining, I already had the lining so it only cost me for the fabric and zip which came to £6.00 for the fabric and £2.80 for the zip, the dress fits perfect and when you consider people pay  around £6.00 for a pattern alone you can see why I don't bother. 

A friend of mine had also asked me to make her a bag that she wants to give as a gift so I have also been getting on with that.  I had a leather bag that someone was giving away and the top wasn't very nice  I also had some new fabric with butterfly design that I bought for myself and had only used a little of.  i bought purple ribbon from hobby craft and a bag strap from the charity shop.  Finally I had a floral second hand dress with lots of fabric in it and some denim of course.  
Here is what I came up with

I cleaned up the leather with leather leaner and it came up lovely and soft, it has a zip fastener and I used the dress as the lining I like it so much  I want to keep it but I can't as it is promised to someone else even though they haven't seen it yet.  I love purple.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Clothes Dyeing 2

Well I dyed the T-shirt but it did not come out well.. When it was wet it looked ok but then you have to wash it and when it dried it appears to have strange patchy marks all over it. Its a shame because the mark on the back looks a bit like a pattern. If that was even all over it, it may look like an effect but its not!
Here is the before

Here it looks like flour is wiped down the front, Oh dear more strange patterns on the back.  Now I only wore this T shirt rarely under things before so it can continue its life in that way now.  I used the correct quantity of salt so maybe I just didn't stir it enough.  I'm sure these dyes are better if you are just brightening to the original colour and not changing it completely. I think any future dye attempts will be done naturally.
I have a lacey effect jumper with a low neck I will probably wear it under that as the neck area at the front looks ok.
I found some good ideas at Burda Style, the flower mashing dye job below looks great.

I think that is the way to go next time, not trying to get it even, if I stencil it on or use an item such as a leaf or petal then I think the results will be more acceptable.  So I have learned something, how not to do it.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Natural Dyes For Clothing

Just recently I bought a dye for a t-shirt of mine that I really like but it is beige, and beige is not really for me. To be honest the t-shirt wasn't very expensive in the first place and I could have just bought a new one.  The thing is there is nothing wrong with it and I like the style so I thought I'd give dyeing it a try and put in some denim pieces while I'm at it to give some of my bags a new shade as a background.  I haven't tried it yet, I am going to do so later.  It is a Dylon one that you put in a bucket ( I didn't want to risk the washing machine one but if anyone has tried it let me know)
This is the colour that I went for, I really like purples and I think this is more purple than red.
Now I know that dyes have chemicals in them but we all wear  clothes with such dyes everyday, this is all the reason to wear our clothes for longer. We can update them, donate or change them into something new.  So I did have a conscience when I bought this dye, so I've been looking at natural alternatives to dyeing clothes and there is loads of information out there on this. Here are some ideas at this blog

 There are also instructions for experiments you can do with kids which is a great way to get the children involved and bring up some interesting questions about preserving and recycling.  I think I will try some of the ideas at Planet Science .
I will post before and after images of the garment to be dyed even if it is a disaster.

I've also seen this lovely book for anyone with little girls Sew Pretty T-Shirt Dresses  I'm sure lots of clothing items could be saved in this way.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Custom Child's Bag

I was just asked earlier today if I could make a little bag for a toddler as my friend wants to give something a bit different,  a gift she can keep. I used my recycled bits and bobs as usual but I have to say it probably took me a while longer than I anticipated as working small is fiddly! I also hand embroidered the child's name on the front as little girls like to have their name on  things.

I did two little handles she can hold, I didn't want anything over the neck as this could be dangerous.
I lined it inside also with the same little butterfly fabric that is on the front.  Also no buttons or fastenings as she wont be able to work them yet.

It isn't very big but when she has done playing dress up with it and is a little older she could keep her crayons in it.  She could also hang it on a peg in her room to keep hair accessories or things like that in.

It would be nice to one day have one of those fancy machines that does all the embroidery for you. That said I do like to sit and hand sew things, it just doesn't have that professional look. Oh well it does have the handmade look though.  It measures 14cm across and is 12cm deep.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

New shop

I have just spent the last few days trying to set up a website with shop. I used which was good as they allow you to set up a site for free and they have templates. However nothing is ever quick is it? This seems to have sucked up lots of my time and some things didn't go as planned you have to go to paypal to sort out your shipping and it seemed to only want to let me have prices based on value whereas i wanted them based on location. For example if I am shipping to USA this was a bit confusing. You can find my Fabbags shop here.  Also my items are one off and it doesn't give you a sold sign on your item as it sells which is something I need really. Oh well I will give it a go and see, I have still kept my Folksy shop also at my folksy shop

Another Shift Dress

The dress I made today is from the free New Look pattern I got with Sew magazine last month. It is very similar to the scuba dress I made bu...