Archive | May, 2012

At last week’…

23 May

this is the pinafore dress we started with before we took the seams in and altered it

At last week’s class Mary brought in a crimplene pinafore dress to alter.  It is dark green, with princess line seams, giving opportunity to alter on all the seam lines.  Basically Mary just needs to take it in – particularly at the waist.  First thing to do is to try it on the right way and consider the fit before turning it inside out and taking it in a little at each seam at the waist and tapering it off towards the armhole and hip area.

crimplene dress 2

trying the dress on to establish where it needs to be taken in and understand how it fits

Once this is done and checked again I realised that it had previously been taken in.  Now that the fit is more or less right I need to look at the seams as they are frequently bulky from all the previous stitching- reduce the bulk, even out the appearance and press.  Hopefully this will be sufficient and the pinafore dress is altered and finished.

The dress tacked and machine sewn then tried on the right way. It is ready to be carefully looked at for the fit and smoothness of the alteration. I’ve identified areas where there is bulky stitching from previous alterations and poor adaptation at the hem.

Last night someone had a 44”man’s fair isle jumper that had dramatically shrunk in the wash to a small child’s size.  Due to the felting it is very thick and there are plans now to make a bag using the collar as a feature.


Berninas, free machine embroidery and upcycling

4 May

Image of free machine embroidery

This work was enhanced by the good use of background material and it was a successful time using their own machine.

In class this morning I looked at the opportunity that free machine embroidery could give to upcycling and I’m getting quite excited!  I know that my new Bernina will be reliable and supportive to learners and so that is a good basis.  They used the class machine and then transferred that confidence to their own machine.  I’ve put an image above of one piece of work done by a complete novice this morning!  She greatly enjoyed the time.

This morning has inspired me to look at other ways in which free machine embroidery can be used and help with upcycling.  

I’ve 2 other images with recent work from classes that I can show you.



Image of pieced cushion

This person was initially cautious and lacking in confidence over their colour choice. As a result in the group we discussed colour possibilities and how to approach colour selection. By the time we saw this piece it had changed a little again. What a success! The quilting was done using an old flanalette sheet and is a beautiful piece of work. The back has the green striped fabric pieced together with the stripes running in different ways, as there was insufficient fabric and top stitched to hold in place and make a feature of this.












The centre of this cushion was a sample piece. This was extended by a wide border of blue linen which is an ideal way to use a favoured piece that is not quite big enough! Around the edge is piping (actually its an old sheet but you would never know!) The sucess of this work lies in its simplicity, colour use and pattern combination.