confessions of a fabric obsessive

Tag Archives: The Long Thread

If in doubt, rip it out!

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).



favourite blogs – the long thread

Another blog that I started following long before I started blogging myself is The Long Thread .

It’s well laid out, easy to see what’s there, there are links to tutorials on other blogs as well as on The Long Thread. I’m constantly finding new stuff on it that helps me, whatever my project. Ellen has a great eye for colour (important for me ) and an easy writing style (important for dyslexic me) and lots of photos (fun for me).

Ellen has even written a book, 1,2,3, Sew and is writing her second 1,2,3 Quilt (guess what that one’s going to be about)

Look at this photo

Don’t you love her style? I wish my photos were as good as hers (I wish my house had stairs like this as well, but that’s another story).

I love this bag of hers:

and I want to make it, but it’ll have to wait until I’ve finished some of my WIPs.

I love this pencil case of hers, too:

cllick to see the tutorial on The Long Thread

I’m thinking of making two for my aunt-in-australia (aka: my godmother, my favourite aunt), who is an artist. I’ll probably make one for her brushes and another one for her pencils. I’ll use grown-up fabrics of course, or maybe not, live is too short to be a grown-up all the time.

Another two for my to-do list!

Busy ClaireBear

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