Pattern Review: So Sew Easy Serger Scrap Catcher

Today I am sharing my thoughts on a free sewing pattern you can follow on the So Sew Easy website – it’s the Easy Serger Scrap Catcher!

Details

  • Pattern name: Easy Serger Scrap Catcher
  • Variation/Style: N/A
  • Design House: Pattern from So Sew Easy website
  • Size I made: made according to the pattern’s suggested measurements

Fabric

I used some remnant fabrics to make this – I would say that the toucan fabric pictured is quilting cotton weight.  From the image below, you can see I had two colour ways of this fetching fabric.  I also added fusible fleece to it to give the final mat and pocket structure.

Difficulty

I found the bias binding element (all around the top of the pocket and all the edges) particularly challenging on this project.  Usually, I opt for machine sewing one side down and then hand sew the other side in place, but I didn’t have the time on this occasion and opted for top stitching by machine.  It is not my finest piece of work as a result as the tape dragged a bit, so if you haven’t used bias binding much, you may need to work carefully at this step!

Clarity

I printed a grey scale copy of the instructions and struggled, so I would recommend either reading off your screen or using colour!  I am not sure whether I just wasn’t feeling great at the time or I had a fixed idea on how it would work, but I did struggle a bit with comprehension and may have veered off from the instructions on occasion.

The linked guide on how to create mitered corners with bias binding was really good.

Design and Fit

This pattern fits my overlocker perfectly – however it is a gift so I hope it fits the machine of the recipient!!

I love the big pocket for scraps at the front as well as the fact that it protects the table I am using while I overlock.

Time Taken

The longest aspect of this project was cutting all the sections out.  I didn’t quilt (just ironed on the fusible fleece) so if you do this element, it will take a bit longer.

You could do this in a day, including cutting out, particularly if you are a savvy bias binder!

Conclusion

Love the concept, but I may have a play around next time to tweak the design for my own machine.

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5 Ideas for quick sewing gifts (all free patterns/tutorials)

I love to make a gift for my nearest and dearest, and while I start with huge ambitious plans, I’m normally grappling with time.  Here are a few ideas if you find yourself wanting to make gifts but needing some faster options.

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Make a mini Christmas Brooch!

Fancy something to wear to get in the festive spirit but need something that will go with your pinafore or is less obvious than a festive jumper?  A little Christmas brooch may be the answer.

What you need:

  • Download the template for this make here
  • Cardboard for the middle section (to improve the structure, but you could leave this out if not available)
  • Felt scraps in the colours of your choice
  • Embroidery thread in the colours of your choice
  • Brooch back
  • Scrap length of yarn if making the bauble design
  • Double sided tape
  • Bondaweb scrap (optional)
  • Interfacing (optional)
  • Paper scissors
  • Fabric scissors
  • Darning needle
  • Sewing machine if you want to add decoration on the sewing machine

1. Draw out the main pieces of your design onto the interfacing if using and attach to the felt (or draw directly onto the felt if not using interfacing) and cut out

For the stocking design, you will need to ensure that you cut one on the reverse side if using the interfacing.

Attach to the interfacing by placing the shiny side of the interfacing on the felt so that the non-shiny side is facing upwards.  Press with an iron until it attaches.

If you are not using interfacing, you can trace the design straight onto the fabric and then cut out.

If you want to embellish on the machine, do this before cutting the shape out of felt as it will be much easier!

2. Attach the bauble top or stocking brim

I used interfacing to trace the shape and then attach to the main front piece, but you could just place on top and then sew in place.

Here, my partner used a straight running stitch to attach the bottom of the brim of the stocking, but you could choose a hand embroidery stitch of your choice.  I used back stitch.

3. If you are adding any embellishment using hand embroidery, add this now to the front piece

On the blue bauble I made, I added some cross stitch shapes and running stitch to add a bit of detail in both orange and white thread.  I used two strands of embroidery thread doubled (4 in total) – see the video for more about this.

4. Add the brooch attachment to the back piece

Secure the brooch piece on the back piece in the top third of the shape securely with some thread.

5. Add the cardboard middle, if using

I like using the cardboard middle to give the brooch a firmer shape and used some packaging rubbish for this.

Trace the shape of the middle piece onto the cardboard and cut it out.  Next, attach right in the middle of the wrong side of the front piece with some of the double sided tape.  This will help prevent it from moving when you stitch around the edges.  Attach the back piece in the same way with double sided tape, by placing the piece over the front piece, wrong sides together.

6. Stitch around the edge - and add a yarn loop to the bauble design

You can choose your preferred stitch for the border.  In the video below, Phill and I both used blanket stitch, but in the one I made with free machine embroidery decoration, I used chain stitch.

Finally, for the bauble design, I secured a small length of yarn in the desired colour to the top back of the shape.

Watch it on the Vlog!

You can watch Phill and I make these in the video below:

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Birthday card: Dog themed

Recently, I shared a birthday card where a ginger tabby cat was the theme of the image.  This time, I’m sharing a dog themed birthday card – a Jack Russell themes one to be precise.

I was fortunate to find many real life dog photos of Jack Russells being dressed up for the birthday spirit, so it wasn’t difficult for me to picture one with a birthday hat and a party horn!  Based off these photos, I drew the outline of the illustration.

For this design, I used an air erasable pen to trace my design onto the calico I was using as the base.  I used black thread to create all the outlines as well as the facial features.  For the hat, I used a simple orange for the circles, and a multi-coloured thread for the background hat colour.  The party horn was coloured in blue.

For the markings on the dog, I used a brown thread and kept using a straight stitch.  However, I moved the fabric faster to create larger stitches to create a fur-like shading.

Finally, I attached to the card template with spray mount.

Watch it on the Vlog!

I made a timelapse of stitching this card which you can view in the video below:

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My non-essential “luxury” sewing tools

In recent years, I have become much less of a minimalist in my sewing tools.  And I have to admit, most of them are not essentials, or even necessary, but they are fun additions to have if someone is struggling to find you a gift!

Here are my top non-essential tools for sewing that I own.

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Pattern Review: TATB Freya Cowl Neck Dress

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Details

  • Pattern name: Freya
  • Variation/Style: Dress – Cowl Neck
  • Design House: Tilly and the Buttons / Tilly Walnes book Stretch!
  • Size I made: 4

Fabric

This owl knit fabric is quite stretch but very cosy.  I originally bought it from Fabricland UK a few years ago but I can’t remember which one!

Difficulty

I found this a simple make.  The cowl neck was easy to do and might even be easier than the mock neckline that is featured in the other variations in the book.  I think it is easier to add than a neckband in my own experience.  Apart from that, it was very similar to the Coco Dress (also by Tilly and the Buttons) to make up.

Clarity

I feel a bit like a parrot on this point, as I keep gushing over the Tilly and the Buttons pattern instructions and how it feels like someone is holding your hand, guiding you through the process!  I don’t remember encountering any issues with the instructions.  The book guides you nicely through all the steps.

Design and Fit

It is shorter than I would normally wear – similar length to the length of the Coco Dress – but as I would wear this with tights it is not too much of an issue.

It feels a bit snug on the bust so next time I may need to grade out a bit on this section – or it may be that I accidentally moved the fabric when cutting it out, reducing the width.

I really like the cowl neck and feel it adds a stylish yet simple addition to the pattern.  It would look great in a plain fabric as well.

Time Taken

You can make up this garment within a day.  However, I did leave the garment to rest a couple of days before I hemmed it,as I felt that the fabric needed this.

Conclusion

My conclusion is that I would recommend the pattern and this particular variation.  However, I would like to make the mock neck style as a sweater next time.  As I get warm easily and where I live is fairly mild (or shall we say muggy?) I don’t feel like I need many of these in my wardrobe, however.

You can watch my video review below:

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