I live and craft in England (or perhaps “live to craft...”?). I love colour and I love pretty things.
I must have been a magpie or a butterfly in a previous life, such is my attraction to colourful and shiny stuff (aka, pretty, shiny things).
This blog is my attempt to make sense, and keep track, of what I make.
confessions of a fabric obsessive
Category Archives: sneek peek
This is just to update you all with my current status. I’m sure a few of you will have noticed there’s been a bit of a gap in my blogging recently. My other, non-sewing (teaching) life has temporarily taken over and will continue to dominate my waking hours for a while yet.
I’m very sad about the lack of fabric-y sewing goodness that is going on in my life as a whole, but on the other hand I’m working in a job I love that will (eventually) allow me to sew professionally too.
Not enough hours in the day to get enough sleep, never mind do fun stuff. I have loads of photos that I need to blog about, and so many sewing projects in the pipeline to tell you all about too.
I just need a ten day week, or perhaps a thirty hour day?
My Spoonflower shop is doing well. I have a few collections of fabric designs including one collection completely created from my own photographs. I am regularly getting messages that this person or that person has bought one of my designs.
I am, as always, incredibly behind with my Craftsy Block of the Month. I might get a chance to catch up around December when the college is closed. Maybe. If I do, you’ll be the first to know.
Quilt requests have been backing up.
I want/need to make one for myself as well. Maybe over the summer holidays?
My WIPs list is so long, I despair. I’ll have to just pick one at random and sew till it’s finished over the Xmas break.
I can’t remember if I blogged about my day trip to the Fashion section of the Collections Resource Centre that belongs to Leicester Museums. I went with a group of other clothes-and-sewing-mad women and there were so many oooh’s and aaaah’s and oh wow’s ….
I know I haven’t shown you all the photos I took at my first trip to the Festival of Quilts (or have I?) at Birmingham’s NEC a little while ago. Maybe next year I’ll go for two days instead of just one. So many quilts, so little time…
I don’t make traditional quilts but I appreciate them like crazy…
Sew-less Claire Bear
At the moment I am loving:
- Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing (angrychicken.typepad.com) if I don’t have time to do it, at least I can read about sewing during my commute
- My weekly email Snippets sewing tips from Coletterie (www.coletterie.com
- Drooling over the costumes at the V&A’s Hollywood Costume Exhibition. It runs until almost the end of January, I hope I’ll get a chance to go
I’ve been busy with a birthday gift for the last couple of days. Trying to sew satin in a hurry is never a good idea. Here are a few tips I have been reminded of the last few days while making a dozen dress-up capes for my nephews 6th birthday party. I think they’re going to be knights, but my SIL requested capes rather than amour, which is probably a good thing really.
1) Before you cut anything, measure to make sure you have enough, then iron so you aren’t cutting through creases (I only cut though one crease) which gives you odd lumps here and there.
2) When trying to use a new foot to roll a hem, find and read the instructions.
3) When you’ve given up on the new food and have decided to do the hems the old-fashioned way, fold and pin the hems and then iron them so they stay. This is very important for slippery fabrics like satin or lining!
4) If your sewing machine tries to eat your fabric more than once, unplug it, clean it out properly with the small paintbrush that you keep specially for cleaning it with and then change to a fresh sharp needle.
5) Don’t think that sewing fast means that the whole thing will be finished quicker. (see 1, 3 and 4 above). The tortoise might not always finish faster than the hare, but at least he keeps his fingers, thumbs and sanity intact!
6) If it looks bad enough to annoy you, rip it out straight away, re-iron and resew it. You’ll be happier later.
7) If you’re going to change the pattern/tutorial you are following from double-sided to single-sided because you don’t want to cut/use two pieces of fabric per cape, don’t round off the corners. You’ll need square corners so you can mitre them. Trying to hem rounded corners is a nightmare, leave it to the robots.
8) If you spend a fortnight trying to work out which fabric to use and getting sidetracked by all of the dressing up cape patterns and tutorials out there in blog land (who me?), you’ll only have 48 hours to get all 12 of them cut, sewn, finished, packed and posted off to get to the birthday boy in time for his party. Think faster and give yourself more time to sew!
They’re finished now and on their way to birthday-party-land. Here is a photo of the finished capery.
Ellen over at The Long Thread has the best superhero cape that works really well as a children’s dressing up cape (and therefore a knight’s cape). The instructions are easy and the finished results are pretty good, even after all my modifications and the sewing machine’s attempts to eat them! Plus, The Long Thread is one of my favourite blogs and I’m so glad to have finally tried one of her tutorials (albeit modified).
More sewing machine related stuff
- Just Stick It (mariefriddle.com)
- Pentagon Spending $1.3 Million To Develop Unmanned Sewing Machine (inquisitr.com)