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 + free sewing pattern!

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!

My Liberty-Print T-Shirt

liberty print tshirtFor my birthday in December last year I was given a lovely piece of Liberty Fairford tana lawn by my boyfriend (sorry, my fiancé!). He even chose it himself – I am beyond proud!

I’ve had a stack of Simplicity/New Look sewing patterns hanging around for a while – most of them I bought just before Christmas when they had a half price sale online and I just couldn’t resist stocking up! One of the patterns I had was for this t-shirt design (New Look 6895) which, for a still-beginner seamstress like myself, looked like a great place to get going.

liberty tshirt

The techniques needed to make the pattern include bias binding around the neck, gathers at the front and then a simple double-folded hem around the sleeves and arms. All things that I’ve donebefore, so what could possibly go wrong? Turns out that learning how to get the fit of a garment right is so, incredibly difficult – and this is just a t-shirt!

The neck of the t-shirt is scooped and, for a little person like me, comes down way too low. I only learnt this after I’d sewn in all the gathers and attached the bias binding – why did I not think to check this before? Anyway, after a bit of thinking and Twittering, I decided that my best option was to try and sew in a few more make-shift pleats where the gathers are so that it brings the neckline up a bit and isn’t too obvious. Here are the pictures of my finished top – do you think I did alright for a Seamstress-in-Practice?

handmade Liberty print tshirt

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

Appliqué Bunting Cushion

applique bunting cushionAnother year and another Grandma! Just before Christmas I made my very own Liberty print appliqué cushion for one of my Grandma’s Christmas presents. Not wanting to leave the other Grandmother out, however, I decided to make her one too as this weekend we’re off to a family dinner to celebrate her (whisper it) 80th birthday.

The white fabric I used for the cushion backing (an easy envelope closure) has an embossed leaf design and I believe is the same material my Grandma used to make her wedding dress with. I can’t deal with just how adorable this is, or the fact that she entrusted the fabric to me in the first place!

Anyhow, the bunting appliqué design was an idea from Pinterest. To make the bunting, I drew a triangle template about 3 inches high on baking parchment and simply traced around it a few times across some lovely patterned cottons. I then ironed some Bondaweb onto the back of the fabric before cutting the triangles out and applique bunting cushionironed them onto the backing fabric in a bunting-like arrangement.

I then hand-stitched all around each piece of bunting and did a simple running stitch to string each triangle together. I love the finished cushion – yet another item I’m desperately sad to part with, even though I know my lovely Grandma will love it! Has anyone else caught the appliqué bug recently?