Sew for Victory

sew for victory

(Picture via Pattern Patter)

Advertisements

1910 Singer sewing machine manual

I have an old Singer machine, which you can read a bit more about here. Well, the other week, I was checking out the Betsy’s Button Shop Facebook page. This is always interesting, as she sells lovely bits and bobs, but the 1910 Singer sewing machine manual caught my eye. I thought it may come in useful for really getting to grips with my machine. singer sewing machine manualIt really is a work of art, the same as the machine. Check out the graphics on this page about how to wind the bobbin.
singer sewing machine bobbin instructionsThe only problem is that it is incredibly fragile, so I’m going to have to be really nice to it to make sure it doesn’t fall apart.

Knickers, model’s own

I recently read this article about a woman called Caroline who has set herself the challenge of wearing charity shop clothes for a whole year. Her project is called Knickers, Model’s Own (in reference to those captions in magazines where they say things like “necklace, model’s own). Over the next year, she is only wearing charity shop clothes from Cancer Research UK, alongside her existing charity shop wardrobe – she’s not buying anything new. This is in homage to her mum who sadly died from cancer last year and used to volunteer in the local CRUK shop. Check out her facebook page here – she posts pictures every day of her outfits, and she has a justgiving fundraising page too.knickers models own CRUK railI think this is such a sweet idea, and she seems to have been drumming up some extra business for her local CRUK store with her own rail of specially selected items (shown above). I love charity shops and always have a nose around to find a bargain. I finally know what shape of clothes suits me, and therefore what to look for, and will always check out the dresses, tops and jeans first. I’ll then move onto skirts and other trousers. A lot of my books and craft stash comes from charity shops too. Here are some of my favourite charity shop purchases!

My mustard yellow jumpers and blazer – I LOVE mustard yellow clothes. They’re so bright and sunny to wear.
mustard yellow jumpersMy stripy dress – pretty much every time I wear this dress, which cost me about £3, I get complemented how polished and put together I look.striped dressBird print dress and jumper – anything with a pattern is good, especially if it is birds! The dress has a kind of robin print to it and the vintage jumper has a sequinned flying bird appliqué.bird print dress and jumperMy elephant print dress – I really love this vintage elephant print dress. The elastic waist has gone though, so I need to do some work on it to make it more wearable again. In the meantime, I have to rely on a belt to take it in a bit.elephant print dressand I’ve also has some great practical items, including a brand new running body warmer and my warm and waterproof Superdry ski coat.

What do you look out for in charity shops?

Beautiful vintage sewing goodies

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year. I just wanted to share with you my Christmas present from my in-laws – a biscuit tin of sewing goodies. Random possibly to the uninitiated, but to me it is absolutely brilliant!
vintage sewing itemsMy favourite bits are the wonderful clock buttons – how cute are they? And it is a full set, so I’m thinking what outfit I can add them to. I also love lovely colours and names of the Sylko threads. The colours are so vibrant, I’m sure modern threads are not so exciting.

I didn’t get chance to make many presents this year, but I did make some calendars for my grandparents, using these blank calendars. I printed off copies of my family and the pets, and used some craft paper, punches and my letter stamps to decorate them. It took ages, as I had to wait for each page to dry, but both sets of grandparents were thrilled, which is all that matters.

How to make a pack a bag

Earlier this year, I was asked if I would like to do a blog post for a new website, Seams and Scissors.  I came up with this packable bag idea, and it was featured in early September.  I thought it was high time it also made an appearance on my own blog.

The idea for my pack away bag came from a really useful bag I was given as a present a few years ago, and I finally got around to trying to replicate it.  It is surprisingly easy, and and doesn’t require masses of equipment. These fold away bags are small enough to bung in your handbag, and very useful when I go to visit my family in Wales (where you have to pay for plastic bags). cocojude pack a bag tutorialIngredients

  • Cotton fabric (a nice, thick good quality one is recommended. I did try version one with thin cotton, and it was a bit of a nightmare. My bag is made from some very retro curtain fabric)
  • Cotton thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Sharp scissors for cutting fabric

Recipe

To make the main body of the bag

  1. Measure and cut a piece of fabric to 44cm by 70cm.
  2. Hem the top edge, fold in half width ways and sew around the bottom and open side. Zig zag the edges for a tidy finish. bag finished edge
  3. To make the straps, cut out two strips of fabric, each measuring 60cm by 9cm.
  4. Fold in half length ways, right sides together, and sew down the length. Turn the right way out and iron flat.
  5. Turn the bag inside out, and sew the straps securely into place, by sewing backwards and forwards a few times.  Make sure they are evenly spaced! sew strap into place

To make the mini pack bag

  1. Cut out two rectangles of fabric – one measuring 13cm by 16cm, and the other one 13cm by 22cm. Hem the top edge of both rectangles. pinned mini bag
  2. Lay the bigger rectangle right side up on your workspace. Fold the hemmed edge to make a 5cm flap.  mini bag ready to sew
  3. Right sides together, lay the smaller rectangle on top. 
  4. Pin everything into place and then sew around both edges and the bottom. Zig zag the edges for neatness. finished mini bag

Assembling the pack a bag

  1. Turn both the big bag and the mini bag inside out. Stitch the bottom of mini bag to the bottom of the big bag. sew mini bag into place
  2. Ta da! Your bag is now finished! To pack it away, all you need to do is stuff the big bag into the mini pack bag. completed bag

Very quirky cushion and charity shopping

This cushion is so silly it hurts! My friend has started church bell ringing as a hobby (as you do) and the other day I noticed this rather odd framed picture in a charity shop window. I love charity shopping, I find it so hard to walk past them without nipping in. This picture was just sitting there, waiting for me, I’m sure.framed bell ringing pictureYes, it is a framed bell ringing montage, printed on a felt fabric. What is all that about?! I HAD to get it for her, and ended up carry a massive frame all through town. Anyway, I spent a while musing on what to do with it (a picture is just a bit too random) and hit upon the idea of making a cushion. completed church bell ringing cushion cocojude

The front side is the montage, and the back is made from the very retro yellow fabric which I got from another charity shop. yellow retro fabric cushion cocojude (1)I stuffed the whole thing with stuffing rather than use a separate cushion pad, as it is a slightly odd size. I’m so pleased with how it turned out, it actually looks quite nice! I shoehorned it into a box to be posted up to my friend, and she said (and I quote) “I think it may be the best thing in the world ever!”