Grainline Linden Sweatshirt in Liberty Jersey

grainline-linden-in-liberty-print*disclaimer: whilst this is my first post of 2017, I actually made this sweatshirt last year. Do forgive me…

Hello everyone! For today’s post and for my first project of the year, I wanted to quickly show you the Liberty print sweatshirt that I made back in October/November. I haven’t actually worn this since I made it because the cropped sleeves and slightly wider neck make it a bit more Spring-appropriate, but it’s a great garment nonetheless and I wanted to tell you about it!

This is the first time I’ve ever used a Grainline Studios pattern and I have to say, I really liked it. I used the Linden sweatshirt pattern for this make, and it’s printed on really sturdy pattern paper that can easily be used again without fear of ripping. The Linden is one of those patterns that all bloggers seem to have made at some point, and now that I’ve made one I can see why. The pattern is nice and easy to sew up and it’s a very wearable piece of clothing. I can definitely see myself making another!

grainline-linden-sweatshirt-liberty

The fabric I used for my Grainline Linden is another blogger favourite – the super popular Liberty sweatshirt knit in rich blues and greens that Minerva Crafts had on sale for £14.99/metre last year. Unfortunately, this fabric has now sold out, so you’ll have to enjoy it from afar instead! You could make the Linden with any sort of medium-weight knit fabric though, so keep an eye out for sweatshirt fleece, French terry or thick jersey fabrics. I only needed 1m of fabric in total, but that’s perhaps because Liberty fabrics are generally around 60″ wide. You’ll  probably need around 1.5/2m if you’re using a different type of fabric.

liberty-print-linden-sweatshirt

What do you think of my finished Linden? Have you ever made this pattern? If I was to make it again I think I’d put a bit more work into the fit of the neckline – I think because the fabric is quite thick, it’s made the neck band fairly stiff and it doesn’t sit flat against my body. I also chose to make the neck band in the main fabric, rather than using a contrasting ribbed knit like the pattern suggests, so only I can be held accountable for it not being 100% right!

Blogger Network #6 – Liberty Print Summer Dress

simplicity new look 6263 dressIt’s August! It’s sunny! That means a summer dress must be made. For my August Minerva Crafts project I decided to make the Simplicity/New Look 6263 a-line dress. It has a nice floaty shape, no sleeves, a fancy round neck and a keyhole feature on the front – which sounds perfect for hot summer days.

Now, here’s my confession – I really fell out with this dress whilst I was making it. The fabric is absolutely lovely (Liberty don’t you know – it’s the same one I used for my Meet Up Party Dress but in a different colourway). The pattern is simple but challenging (that round neckline caused me a little bit of pain). So why don’t I love this dress?

There’s just something about this dress that just doesn’t feel or look right – I didn’t make the neckline taught enough, I made the top too wide, the shape is really unflattering on me… I’m really struggling to pull any positives from this make aside from the fab fabric! I mean, it looks good on the hanger… just not on me.

simplicity/ new look 6263 a-line dress in liberty print

I think this pattern, whilst lovely on the pattern envelope, is just all wrong. The keyhole looks quite good, I’m happy with the neatness of the curved seams, my bias binding round the armholes turned out ok. Even the length is right. But you can’t make awesome clothes every time you try, right guys? This one might just head to the ‘to-be-recycled’ pile… 😦

Now, show me your sewing fails! I can’t be the only one who’s made something that looks great on paper but terrible in real life…

Liberty Sunglasses Cases

liberty sunglasses caseAfter returning from the Minerva Crafts blogger meet-up weekend not that long ago, I was desperately tired but desperate to sew, and this Liberty print sunglasses case project seemed like just the perfect thing to make. Two of my closest friends had birthdays just recently too and were in need of a present that I could post to each of them – luckily a well-timed Tweet from Liberty Lifestyle was all it took for me to decide that this was what I was going to make!

liberty sunglasses caseAnd I am definitely making more of these – they were such a delight to sew.

The fabric I used to make the cases is a Liberty lawn that came in a patchwork bundle my mum got me for my birthday last year. Each piece in the bundle is a long strip, about 10″ wide, and so I keep dipping into it for small sewing projects like this one every now and then. My lining fabric is just a blue cotton I had in my stash, as were the buttons and the gold elastic used for the closure.

liberty sunglasses case and patternTo make the case, you need to line each of your pieces with interfacing and attach a layer of thin wadding to the lining so that it’s nice and squishy and will protect your sunglasses from scratches whilst they’re in there. The pattern also calls for box corners – something that I’ve never done before – so I’m glad to have now learnt that skill! If you need help with box corners, try this handy guide that I used myself.

Now that they’re finished and posted off to their recipients I think it’s time to make another one for myself – especially now that I’ve seen all the fingerprints on my glasses in these pictures!

Blogger Network #4 – Mystery Party Dress!

For our June Minerva Blogger Network projects, me and the rest of the Minerva network team were given a fairly exciting brief: make an outfit to wear to a celebration but keep it secret! We were allowed to choose any pattern, any fabric and any notions that we liked on the premise that we don’t tell a soul until the weekend of June 14th when we all attend the Minerva Crafts Meet-Up (are you coming? tell me you’re coming!).

So, for my June post, all I can share with you is a few photos of what might be…. (is that Liberty lawn I can see?)…. for the completed project you’ll have to hang on a couple of weeks for the Big Reveal. I can’t wait to show you – this is possibly my most amazing sewing project to date!

dress1dress2

Oh and don’t forget to enter my Simplicity Sewing Book giveaway if you live in the UK and haven’t already taken part! I’m accepting entries until Friday 6th June so you’ve still got time!

Reupholstered Liberty Print Piano Stool

Liberty print piano stoolI love visiting Grandparents – you come home with all sorts of treasures – and this time was no exception! We recently came into possession of my Grandma’s old piano stool and, despite not yet owning a piano, we snapped it up so that Mr Stripey Scarf could feel a bit more professional whilst composing tunes at his keyboard.

The piano stool we received, however, was a little bit outdated and in much need of a makeover. With its mahogany wood and tired, unfashionable seat-cover, I decided to have my very first go at a bit of reupholstery!

Armed with only a staple gun and a piece of delightful, blue, car-print Liberty tana lawn fabric, here’s what I came up with! It really was very easy – you just need to unscrew the seat cover, neatly wrap the fabric round and staple it in place underneath, then screw the seat back on again. What do you think?

reupholstered Liberty print piano stool

Liberty Appliqué Cushion

handmade liberty applique cushionFor Christmas this year, I decided to be a bit creative and made my Grandma this lovely appliqué cushion using Liberty print fabric – what a lucky lady she is!

The template for the appliqué leaves comes from the Liberty Book of Simple Sewing – a very lovely book to look at, never mind sew from! The book has many different projects for all kinds of occasions and skill levels (remember the Liberty table mats and Liberty patchwork photo frames I made before?) and would make a fantastic New Year gift to yourself if it’s not under the tree for liberty applique cushionyou this Christmas time!

The dusky pink backing fabric I used was out of my stash box and I made a simple envelope closing for the back of the cushion. To make the appliqué design, you simply need to trace or draw your emblem onto baking parchment and then transfer it to your chosen Liberty print (the print I used is called D’Ango and is in the pink colourway).

To attach my appliqué, I used iron-on Bondaweb and then hand-stitched all around the edge using a contrasting colour cotton. I even added a few flower-shaped buttons for decoration! I’m more than certain my Grandma will treasure this handmade Liberty cushion forever… now I just need to make another for myself!

The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing: Book Review Part 2 – Patchwork Picture Frames

the Liberty book of Simple SewingTime for another project out of my new Liberty Book of Simple Sewing! Last week I made the Liberty print table mats, complete with cutlery pocket. This week I’ve made something completely different – patchwork picture frames!

OK – so this post is a little confusing: I’ve made something out of a sewing book that doesn’t actually involve any sewing. Sometimes it’s fun to shake it up a bit though, right? Plus these Liberty patchwork frames were just a bit too difficult to resist. And it involves a nice bit of recycling and using up those fiddly, small pieces of fabric that you don’t know what to do with otherwise…

Liberty Simple Sewing patchwork picture frames

To make the patchwork picture frames, you first need some old, wooden frames (the more intricate the detailing the better). I didn’t own anything that fit the description, so I headed into a local charity shop and picked up the 2 in the picture for about £3.50. Success!

The next step is to get out your PVA/decoupage glue and paintbrush. Cut your fabric into strips big enough to cover the frame, paint the frame with glue and then lay the fabric on, using your paintbrush to push it down into all the frame detailing. Repeat this according to the instructions in the book (pay attention to the corners!) and the end result is one lovely patchwork picture frame!

Liberty Book of Simple SewingI’ve hung the two I made in my powder blue bedroom as it really makes the colours stand out. I used a postcard I picked up in Paris for one frame and kept the embroidered garden-scene from the charity shop in the other (this wasn’t the original plan, but it’s signed by an old lady named Dorothy and I just couldn’t bear to throw it away! Plus it looks quite nice alongside the Liberty print…) What do you think? Is it something you’d like to try for yourself?

If you’re interested in buying the Liberty Book of Simple Sewing, published by Quadrille Craft, for yourself, the RRP is £20 but I hear Amazon stock it much cheaper! It’d make a great Christmas present for yourself…. sorry, I mean for your friend who loves sewing…