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I was lucky enough to be provided with another Craftine box to review (I received the box for free in return for an honest review) and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

The June box consisted of 2 dress making fabrics, a beautifully soft cotton jersey and a lovely viscose/linen blend, the colours work so well together. There are also 3 patterns included in this months version, a top and skirt or a dress.

You can see inside the box in the video below which will help you to see just how lovely the fabrics are.

The June Craftine Box - YouTube

I planned out what I wanted to make by sketching on my "My Body Model" croquis, this helped me to realise that I loved the T-shirt pattern, but the skirt wasn't really my style (I'm not a huge skirt wearer), so I decided instead to sketch the T-shirt with a Helen's Closet York pinafore.

I used the digital croquis along with ProCreate on my iPad to make the sketch, and I instantly knew that this was the outfit for me!

I wasn't sure if the linen would be too lightweight and sheer, but it was absolutely fine, its perfect for this red hot whether that we are currently having!

The pinafore is finished using bias binding, and I decided to make my own from Liberty of London cotton, its soooo pretty.

The method that Helen instructs in the pattern for attaching the bias binding is the best method that I have used so far, she includes under stitching in the binding process which really does make a huge difference.

The Craftine box also included a wide ric-rac which I have added to the super deep pockets.

The T-shirt was so quick and easy to make, and is a lovely relaxed fit, the jersey was so good to work with, it really was like sewing with cotton.

How cool is that print!! Perfect for any season with the variety of colours.

So, yet again I was so pleased with the contents of the Craftine box, the fabrics are beautiful quality and the patterns are lovely too, but it also goes to show that even if the patterns are not your style, you can use the fabrics to make something else.

I think that the box is super value and it makes a refreshing change to have "proper" dressmaking fabrics rather than just quilting cottons.

Thanks for reading and I'll be back with another make very soon! Oh and apologies that some of the photos are a little yellowy, the sun is so vibrant here at the moment so its impossible to get the lighting just right!

 

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I was lucky enough to be approached by Craftine Box UK to review one of their boxes (I received the box for free in return for writing an honest review).

In this post I will tell you all about it. I had so much fun photographing and videoing this project as it felt like a special gift and the colours are just so me, it's exactly my palette. 

To be honest I was not overly familiar with Craftine, they are a French based company and are very popular there, but they are now also looking to branch out in the UK.

It's a subscription or gift based service where you basically receive a box which contains everything that you need to make the suggested garment, so it includes fabrics, pattern, thread, instructions and any notions required, oh and some little sweets too.

It costs £33.90 in the UK with a PDF pattern, or its an extra £2.50 for a paper pattern so super reasonable.

The box that I reviewed is the April version and it contained everything that is needed to make a lovely trench jacket, and I love, love, love it!

First of all, let me show you what is inside the box, I recorded a video when opening the box so that you can see all of the details. It felt like it was Christmas!

What's inside a Craftine Box? - YouTube

I thought that this jacket was going to be quite complex to make, but I was so wrong, it was super quick and relatively easy and came together really well.

In the video below I show you all of the details of the jacket (I thought that its easier for you to see the details on video as I can zoom in super close), I also show you the pattern instructions on a screen recording so that you have got an idea of how detailed they are.

My Craftine trench coat - YouTube

I honestly can't tell you how much I love this jacket, I've not taken it off since I made it and it's got so many compliments. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to try it out and share it with you.

I'm also super excited that I will be receiving my June box very soon and I can't wait to see what's inside.

I hope that you enjoyed this review, as much as I loved making it.

 

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I was lucky enough to be approached by Fibers to Fabrics to try out some of their beautiful fabric which is created in India, you can also find them on Instagram here.

I chose a beautiful Ikat fabric as I'd never worked with this type of fabric before, I love how natural it is. Sadly this version is sold out, but there are lots of other styles to choose from.

It took me ages to decide which pattern to use, I wanted a dress but something that I could dress up or down, so I decided to combine the bodice of the Sew Over It Betty dress with the skirt of the By Hand London Kim dress, and I love how it turned out.

I did make a slight adjustment to the back of the dress after it was completed as it was ever so slightly loose, I simply added a couple of small darts (watch the video below to see the detail up close). I also added my first ever decorative zip and love it!

I have recorded a video to show you all the details and this lovely fabric in much more detail so be sure to watch it below.

My Ikat Betty and Kim combo Dress - YouTube

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Sewing!!

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The Colette Laurel is my type of dress, simple in design but an absolute wardrobe staple. It’s a great pattern for beginners as it really enables you to focus on getting the core structure of a garment just right, it also doesn’t take too much fabric (approx 1.5m) so it enables you to go for quality over quantity.

It’s easy to fit and has a bonus pack to make different adaptions, which is great for adding a personal touch. This dress also works well with different fabrics, so far I have made 3 different versions of this lovely dress in 3 different fabrics.

Version 1 is made from a quilting cotton that I purchased from the remnant basket at Abakhan and edged with a contrast bias binding around the neck and sleeves, there really are some lovely quilting cottons out there so it’s great that they work with this dress.

Version 2 is made from my favourite Liberty of London Tana lawn print, wiltshire berry. This version is finished with a bias binding around the neck, but this time with it finished on the inside, and the sleeves are finished with a ruffle cuff.

Version 3 is made from a beautiful stretch Lady McElroy crepe that I recently tested for Minerva Crafts (this means that I received the fabric for free in return for reviewing it in a blog post that will go onto Minerva's website, my fabric review post will be available soon). This dress was actually made from the leftovers after I made a different dress from it. This fabric works so well and because it has some stretch I didn’t even have to insert a zip, yay to that! I added contrast pockets to this version from quilting cotton and finished the neck and sleeves with bias binding finished on the outside.

Be sure to watch the video below to see all 3 versions up close, I have also included a screen recording of the PDF pattern and the bonus pack so that you can see exactly what you get with the pattern.

Colette Laurel - YouTube

Have a wonderful week!

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I had a real gap in my wardrobe for comfortable but classy tops, tops that I can wear in the office but that can equally be dressed down with jeans and trainers for everyday wear.

When I received a newsletter from Jennifer Lauren Handmade telling me all about her new pattern, the Ostara top, I knew that this would be the perfect solution.



The pattern was really quick to cut and tape together because there were only approximately 25 pages, and I trim about 5 pages at a time using my rotary cutter so it was ready to tape in no time.

The pattern consists of a bodice front and back (both cut on the fold), the sleeve which can be short or long, and a neckband, so it was super quick to cut out too. I used a Prym chalk wheel to trace around the patterns rather than pinning as this helps to ensure that the fabric doesn’t stretch out of shape.



There are 2 neck options, a scooped neck or a sweet heart neck which is created by adding pleats.

I wanted to make 2 versions of this top, both with the sweetheart neck as this feels a bit more dressy for work. The first fabric was a 95% cotton 5% spandex polka dot fabric that I purchased from Abakhan, it was from the roll (rather than the remnant baskets) and was reduced from £12.99 to £4 per meter, bargain!



The Jennifer Lauren Handmade Ostara top sewed up so quickly and easily, and the fit is just perfect. The only area that I had to think about was the pleating of the neckline, I explain in the video below how I did this along with showing you more detail and a screen recording of the PDF pattern.

Jennifer Lauren Ostara Tops - YouTube

I sewed them both on my Overlocker, other than the topstitching which I completed using a zig zag stitch on my standard machine.

The second version was made from beautiful Art Gallery Fabric jersey which is also 95% cotton with 5% spandex. I purchased this from Minerva fabrics. The quality of this fabric is amazing, it’s so comfortable to wear and sews up like a dream, it washes really well too.

My little pooch Trixie paid a visit on this post too!



I had made both tops within 2 hours and love them both, this is definitely a pattern that I will use over and over again!

Remember to ensure that your fabric has enough stretch as the pattern is drafted with negative ease.

Do share below if you have made this lovely top too.

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I'm so excited to share with you a sewing challenge that I am co-hosting with the lovely Atia from @thebrightblooms, let me tell you all about #alittlelawnparty.

The challenge is to run from the 15th March 2018 - 15th May 2018 and the idea of the challenge is to celebrate the upcoming spring months through your handmade wardrobe.

Atia and I both have a love for cotton lawn, and often make our garments from it, this is where the idea came from for #alittlelawnparty. Initially we were going to run the challenge specifically with cotton lawn in mind, however we established that in some areas of the world, cotton lawn is very difficult to get hold of, or is super expensive so we decided to open it up to any fabrics that scream spring.

So, the challenge is to simply make a garment that is celebrating spring, this could be through the style of garment, the fabric, the colours, the print/pattern and then share it using the #alittlelawnparty.

In my mind I am imagining floaty dresses, blouses, skirts and trousers and lots of floral fabrics. I am seeing pic-nics and of course lawn parties to show off your beautiful garments, how amazing would it be for sewers to get together at a lawn party to share your lovely makes (now thats an idea).

We also have a selection of lovely sponsors who have Kindly donated prizes to make the challenge even more fun, we will be selecting winners at random during the last 4 weeks of the challenge.

The sponsors/prizes are as follows...

There are no heavy rules to the challenge as we wanted to keep it easy to take part in, but we would really appreciate the following

  • Share the graphics for the challenge from 15th March on your social media to spread the word (the more the merrier)! There is a square image above that will work well in IG feed, but also an IG stories sized image below
  • Make your "spring themed" garment
  • Photograph your make and share it on IG and any other social media using #alittlelawnparty (feel free to share your work in progress images too)
  • Tag myself and Atia in your IG post
  • We would also like to encourage you to follow and/or connect with myself, Atia, fellow participants and the sponsors, after all this is a "social thing"
  • Encourage others to take part through sharing your post

We also have a lovely selection of sewers who are supporting the challenge, be sure to check them out and keep an eye out for their makes for more inspiration.

My #alittlelawnparty make

I am so pleased to share with you my first outfit of the year to celebrate spring and I hope that it gives you a little inspiration.

Now I remember culottes from the 1990's, I used to live in them, they are so comfortable and can be dressed up or down so easily. I found the Named Clothing Ninni culottes sewing pattern and fell in love.

I had some super vibrant Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric in my stash that really does scream spring, it is full of what looks like painted flowers in all sorts of lovely colours, but the pattern called out for stretch fabric such as jersey.

I pondered for a while and looked for another culottes sewing pattern, but I struggled to find another that had an elasticated waist, and for me this element was important as this is the comfort.

So, I decided to just go for it, the culottes are loose fit and its an elasticated waist, and cotton lawn drapes so well so I was confident that it would work out.

The pattern came together really easily, it is made up of trouser front and back, pocket and waist band, that is all!

The only tricky area was the pockets, the inseam pockets were not installed in the way that I normally sew them, normally I attach the pocket to each trouser leg, and then sew the front and back together, sewing around the pocket bag, but this pattern instructed you to sew the trouser side seams together first, leaving the pocket gap un-stitched, and then attach the pocket bag to the seam allowance.

I found this method quite complicated, and difficult to sew as the fabric got caught up in itself and I had to unpick it a couple of times, so next time I may try my normal method as see if it works out ok.

I teamed the culottes with an Ogden cami that I made from left over linen from Merchant and Mills (the link takes you to the fabric that I used but sadly they don't have any of the colour left that I used). The Ogden is so quick and easy to make and the fit is so perfect, I love it!

I can't tell you how comfortable this outfit is, its certainly secret pyjama territory! and how spring like is that Liberty fabric!

I decided to return to my local Abakhan to see if they had any of the Liberty of London fabric left so that I can make a matching Ogden cami to give a faux jumpsuit effect (no stripping off when I go to the loo like a standard jump suit), and I was super pleased when they did have some left (I couldn't believe that they did as it was so long since I purchased it, but this fabric doesn't look the most appealing on the roll, luckily for me), and they had reduced it to £5 per meter! They do not have it online but they did still have some left in the Hanley (Stoke on Trent) store on 25th February.

If you want to see the outfit in action, watch the video(s) below, I actually filmed the first on the 24th Feb when it was 3 degrees outside, so I was freezing cold prancing around in my garden (you can see me slowly turn blue), but I can feel spring in the air!!!

The second clip that I added in with the matching cami was filmed on 28th Feb when it was snowing and -5 degrees! Definitely not very spring like.

A little Lawn Party - YouTube

I can't wait to see your entries for #alittlelawnparty, its so exciting. If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to contact myself or Atia.

Oh, I would also like to thank Fiona from Figero Designs who created the super cute cotton reels and needle and thread images (and a whole load more of sewing bits and bobs) that we have used to make our logo super sweet, we love them!

Thanks for Reading


 

 

 

 

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I love the look of a wrap dress on other people, how it hugs the body in just the right places to show off a beautiful shape. My own figure is quite boyish so I’ve never really been drawn to making one for myself as I don’t think that it is a style that compliments by body shape so well.

However, when I saw the Wear Lemonade Dita dress I fell in love with it. The batwing sleeves, the floaty skirt and the most clever thing of all is that you can wear the wrap at the front or the back, so it was risk free to make as even if the wrap shape does not suit me at the front, I could just wear it at the back.



I thought that this dress needed a fabric with drape so that the batwing sleeves don’t sit too stiff, so I decided to use some floral Liberty of London tana lawn that I’d had in my stash since Christmas 2016. The print is really pretty, it has a stormy background with beautiful "painted" roses.

The pattern asks for 3.3m of 140cm wide fabric, and I had 3m. Normally I find that the pattern over estimates what you need (I think that they normally allow for shrinkage) but I was a little short for this dress.

For once I was super pleased that I am short (at 5ft 3") as I shortened the skirt length by a few inches and then had just about enough fabric, however, I'm so pleased that I lay out all of the pattern pieces before cutting any pieces out as I would have been a little stuck otherwise.

It is a little shorter than I would like, but I'll wear it when I'm feeling a bit "cheeky", or just wear it with tights.

The pattern came together really easily and the instructions are also in English on the PDF pattern. I have mentioned many of time before, but just incase you have not seen any of my previous Wear Lemonade posts, I am a member of the PDF pattern club, its costs approx £5 per month but then you can download all of the patterns, and there are loads! Most of them (but not all) have English instructions too.

As I mentioned before, my favourite element of the Wear Lemonade Dita dress is that it is reversible, so you can wear the wrap at the front or back, this is what it looks like with it at the back.

Personally, I think that the dress looks better on me with the wrap to the back, I have a very small bust size (32A) and I feel that the wrap at the front makes this more obvious than it is normally.

I love the sleeves, they drape so well with the Liberty fabric, but be mindful that a fabric with less drape may be too stiff for this shape.

I will definitely be making more versions of this lovely dress, but next time I will ensure that I have the full 3.3m so that I don't have to make the skirt quite so mini.

Have you ever made the Dita or any other wrap dress?

 

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I just can't bring myself to throw away any scraps of Liberty of London fabric, its just too beautiful (and expensive), so I needed something to use up all those leftovers so that they are not taking over my sewing room!

I decided to make Liberty of London coat hangers so that they can be used to display items of clothing or hang my lace and trimmings from in my sewing room.

Liberty of London tana lawn is great fabric for this project as it doesn't fray too much and is easy to cut into thin strips.

This quick tutorial shows you how to make one, its soooo easy to do!

What do you need?

  • Liberty of London tana lawn scraps
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • A wooden hanger
  • Glue (I use a hot glue gun)

First of all, cut your scraps into thin strips, they don't have to be perfect or exactly the same width and length, just use up as many of the scraps that you can, you will be surprised how much you have left over. I cut mine to be about 1cm wide.

Sort your strips out ensuring that the right side of the fabric is facing in the same direction (this helps to ensure that you don't accidentally attach it with the wrong side of the fabric facing up!

Next, start to cover the hanger by placing a blob of glue on the hanger at the point you want to start wrapping from, place one end of the strip on top of the glue, wrap the fabric around pulling it taught and ensuring that it isn't twisted, blob little bits of glue as you go to help secure it, watch the video below to see me in action!

Liberty hanger video - Vimeo

 

Keep going, wrapping the strips around, overlapping them and blobbing bits of glue as you go.

Once the hanger is fully covered, check it over and add more glue if necessary. If you have any areas that have not covered or are a little loose, just overlap another strip on top of it.

Tah Dah!! Thats it, all done!

Watch this space for a blog post that I will be adding soon to show you how to sew picot elastic like on the Liberty knickers below (you just have to love Liberty knickers).

 

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I wasn't sure if I liked the "paisley pattern" Liberty of London fabric that I had in my stash as its a bit "busy" and purple isn't normally my colour, but it was a bargain (reduced to £12.50 for the 1.5m) in my local Abakhan fabric store, and I just can't resist a bargain!

I decided to give the Tilly and the Buttons Fifi set a go as this only required 1.5m of fabric, perfect!!

More often than not I use PDF patterns nowadays as it's instant purchase (although that's a bit dangerous sometimes) and I like to store the instructions on my iPad rather than having loads of booklets lying about the house needing storage space that I haven't got!

 

This pattern is so pretty, but its not a beginner level project, the camisole is constructed from fabric cut on the bias which makes it a bit tricky to handle, I had very little experience of working with bias cut patterns so this was a bit of a challenge, my top tip is to stay stitch everything as this stops it from going out of shape!!!

This pattern also has french seams throughout, I love a french seams but again I haven't done them all that often, they are actually pretty simple, it just takes a bit longer than normal as you are in effect sewing each seam twice! I also found that I had trained my brain to always sew with the fabric right side to right side, so when I had to sew it wrong side to wrong side to make the french seam my brain kept telling me to STOP!! 

I love the french seam finish though, its so professional!

I also love the pleats on the camisole bust, it gives it such pretty detail and makes it fit really well, but oooops! can you spot the little pucker in the picture below! (I'll sort that out later).

Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric is great for this set as it is crisp but still drapes beautifully!

Liberty Fifi cami - Vimeo

 

The shorts were much easier to construct, and Tilly gives a great way to make the elasticated waist band (sewing the elastic onto the shorts directly rather than making a fabric tunnel) this will ensure that the elastic doesn't twist, I just hate it when that happens.

I'd say that all in all it took me about 5-6 hours to make the set, I just did a bit here and there to break it up. I did struggle with a couple of areas of the instructions, that being the pattern layout guide (it confused me as some of the direction lines varied to that on the actual pattern piece itself, so I just winged it), and I struggled with the centre of the bust cups, the seams didn't quite match up, so I must have got something wrong at some point?! But it all worked out in the end.

The set is lovely, and I actually love the fabric now too! I will definitely be making more versions, its great as it only needs 1.5m of fabric.

Feel free to ask any questions below.

If like me, you love Liberty, check out the bag and purse set that I have on sale in the shop!

 

 

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Prym snap fasteners are such a great alternative to buttons as they are so quick and easy to install, and they are so inexpensive too! I used them recently instead of buttons on a pretty blouse.

They are especially good for baby clothing as there is no risk of buttons becoming loose (which could be a choking hazard).

They are really simple to install, but the instructions are pretty much non-existent so I hope the steps below help you out!

You will need the Prym tool and snap fasten kit, they are not expensive to buy and will pay for themselves pretty quickly with the cost saving on buttons.

Ok, so first thing to understand is which bits are which. For each snap fasten closure you will need 2 covers (the smooth round ones in the picture), 1 male snap (the one with the sticky out bit, they really are called the male!) and 1 female snap (the one with the hollow centre).

First step is to mark where the snaps need to be inserted on each side of the fabric (where the button and button hole pattern markings will be), I simply stick pins in the fabric as shown below.

I then use a darning needle to make the hole a little bit bigger (this just makes it easier to insert the snap).

Next step is to push one of the snap covers through the hole with the spike end facing down (so the plastic cover sits on top of the right side of the fabric).

Next insert the male snap on top of the spike that is sticking out of the wrong side of the fabric, with the sticky out bit facing outwards.

Next use the tool to secure the snap, the snap cover will sit in the white cup side of the tool, and the male snap will be on the clear rubber side, squeeze the tool firmly so that the snap is secured.

Next, use the darning needle to make the hole on the other side of the fabric, then insert the snap cover but this time the plastic cover end will be on the wrong side of the fabric, and the spike end will be sticking out through the right side of the fabric.

Now place the female snap on top on the spike, with the hollow side facing upwards, and repeat the process to secure the snap.

Sometimes they are a little stiff at first so you need to open and close them a few times to loosen them.

If you have any queries just ask below in the comments.

 

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