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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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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DIY Zipped Purse

I recently showed you the bag I made for work.  I have a few small items I take to work and I always struggled to find them in my old bag.  Seeing as I had some leftover fabric, I decided to create a small zipped purse to keep these items together.  I’ve shared the process here.

In the photos above, you can see a few suggestions on how to use your finished purse – the possibilities!

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Pattern Review: The Bibi Pinafore!

Today I am pleased to share with you the positive outcome of cutting into the wrong fabric last Christmas… it’s the bibi pinafore!

Details

  • Pattern name: Bibi
  • Variation/Style: Pinafore
  • Design House: Tilly and the Buttons / Tilly Walnes book Stretch!
  • Size I made: 4

Fabric

I used the leftover fabric from the Kinder cardigan I made my nan for Christmas.  As I have mentioned in that pattern review, I accidentally got two fabrics mixed up (downside to having a huge stash) and ended up cutting lovely thick ponte from a fabric shop in Tiverton which I was saving for a dress.  However, it has worked out beautifully for this make so I feel a lot better than I did at the time!  It is a lovely dark red and a nice quality.  I probably would not have made it from this if the meterage had not decreased as you do not need much fabric to make this pinafore.

Difficulty

The Bibi skirt is the first pattern in the Stretch! book because it is the easiest and made with the most stable knit fabric.  It lived up to expectation and was a nice simple make.

The pinafore variation was not much harder – the bib and straps are provided on the pattern sheet and the instructions were clear on how to add these.

The only challenge I found was getting the straps attached in the right place.  I ended up adjusting them a couple of times to get it right.

Clarity

I feel a bit like I always say this, but Tilly and the Buttons patterns are beginner friendly and feel as though you are being guided step by step.  

Design and Fit

When I first got the book, I didn’t want to make the Bibi skirt.  Firstly, I don’t wear a lot of skirts, and secondly, I didn’t think the shape would suit me.

When I saw the pinafore variation, I was smitten.  I have a soft spot for pinafores and this one was no different!  The great thing about this pinafore is that depending on your fabric choice, it can be smart enough to use as part of your work wardrobe!

The fit is perfect but I would like to make a note of caution – it has no zip or fastening so you need adequate stretch/strong machine stitching on the waistband to get it over your hips!

Time Taken

This was a really fast make which I made in a day.

Conclusion

I am really impressed with this pattern and it works really well with the fabric.  I may even be tempted to make a regular Bibi skirt in the future!  Being in a knit fabric, it’s very comfy and would see you through both a day off or working day.

You can watch my video review below:

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Pattern Review: The Joni Dress

I am gradually getting through the book Stretch! which came out last year!  Most recently, I made the Joni Dress.

Details

  • Pattern name: Joni
  • Variation/Style: Flared short sleeves
  • Design House: Tilly and the Buttons/Tilly Walnes book Stretch!
  • Size I made: 4

Fabric

I have used a simple two colour floral fabric from a local haberdashery a year or two ago.  It is quite thin but substantial and opaque and as a result the skirt section hangs well.

Difficulty

It is a bit more challenging than a simple knit dress, but I think it looks more complicated than it is to actually make it.  I’d say it is suitable for confident beginners who have had a go with knit fabrics before.

Clarity

Like all the other TATB patterns I have tried out, the guidance is very clear.  However, I did follow Sewisfaction’s video tutorial on making the front bodice twist rather than use the book instructions.  Next time, I might try out the original instructions just to see how much difference it makes.

Design and Fit

The design of this dress is great.  The twist detail adds interest and the volume in the skirt section along with the subtle dipped hem makes this dress look more complex than it is.

As it is a knit dress, I found that I didn’t make any adjustments.  My bust size was a bit bigger than the guide for the size 4, but with this fabric it did not matter and fits fine.  As it has a dipped hem, and it has more of an empire waistline, I did not bother to adjust for my sway back.

Time Taken

This was a relatively quick make or a slightly more detailed knit dress.  I took a bit of extra time drafting the flared sleeves and choosing the sleeve length but this was still fairly fast as the instructions are clear.

Conclusion

I love this dress!  It’s so comfy and easy to chuck on for the day.  I definitely want to attempt making one with stripes soon.

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