Top five: Beginner sewing tips.

top5.So you have a machine,  you’ve spent a small fortune on fabric and your ready to go… Not just yet, have a quick read through my top 5 tips for beginners before you start.

1: Patience. You need to have it or you’ll crumble. Sewing is a testing craft, one minute your flying through, creating a master piece, loving life.. And then all of a sudden it gets fiddly, things aren’t working the way they’re supposed to and you could quite happily set fire to your machine.. No, just me?! Ha. But seriously a little patience, take a break, make a cuppa’ & come back to it with a fresh perspective.

2: Unnecessary purchases. Just because something is sold as a sewing accessory doesnt mean you NEED it, wait until you’ve cracked the basics before spending more money on random bits & bats. (I’ll have more on this over the next few weeks).

Tools

3:Be prepared to create your own little ways of doing things . Example, a lot of seamstresses I know, use patterns for pretty much everything, some buy them, some create their own. I don’t. Rarely will I draw up a pattern, and I haven’t ever once in my life bought one. My process is just to roll with it, pin out my measurements & cut. It takes a certain level of confidence i’ll admit, but i’ve messed up enough projects to know the do’s & dont’s. My point is, this is how I like to work best, and over time you’ll find your own way to do things, just because its not what others do, as long as the result is same it really makes no difference.

4:  Use your creativity. Don’t make something random just because it says its made for beginners. Every project takes effort, wether you’ve just started or have been sewing for years. Dont waste that effort making something rubbish, there are plenty of beginner tutorials for things you’d actually want to use afterwards. I have a bunch of easy tutorials made for beginners Here if you fancy something new.

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5: Fabric choices matter! As a beginner keep it basic, cottons, poly-cottons, canvas cottons, stiffer fabrics. Those floaty lovely, fine fabrics are all well and good but if you don’t know how to work with them you’ll cause yourself uneccesary annoyance – see point 1-

Of course, I have a billion more, but i’d be writing all day. I’ve had to whittle it down to the most important ones. Feel free to pop your top sewing tips down in the comments section, I’d love to know!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

DIY: Kimono tutorial.

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I’ve had this tutorial planned for what feels like forever! But finally here it is! There are a few ways to make a kimono, but i’ve gone for the easiest. I love how flowy (?) this version is, the perfect throw over on a sunny day.

So heres what you’ll need:

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-Fabric (we’ll discuss how much you’ll need in the first step.)

-Fabric shears

– Tape measure

– Dress makers pins

– Trim, this is completely optional. But I like the added weight a trim gives to the sleeves of a kimono.

 

Now lets get started.

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First up, we need to figure out how much fabric you’ll need.  This particular one was made up for Mischa (Age 4-5) but the great thing about using this tutorial is that it fits izzy (2-3) and would fit someone bigger. The easiest way to figure out how much you’ll need is to simply use your tape measure. You want the length from shoulder to how long you want it (Mischas was 22″) and the width from middle of the neck to mid arm – you can easily adapt you your style, so no arm or full arm if you wish. (Mischas was 12″)

So i’ve doubled the length. – we need a front and a back. and doubled the width.

Easy as that.

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Next, fold your fabric in half (Length ways –  so it will now be a piece of fabric 24″ x 22″).

There isn’t any specific formula to working out your sleeve width, but of course you want it baggy, its a kimono not a fitted garment. I decided to half it (11″) but that seemed slightly too much, so I took a little bit off and went with 10″. Anywhere between 1/4 &  1/2 of the length measurement will work perfectly.

 

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So now we’ve done that, you’ll need to pin, and then pin downwards towards the open end of the fabric. I’m using a piece of fabric that works either way. But if you are using a fabric thats only one sided, you need to fold it, with pattern on the inside.

 

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Once you’ve pinned, you can sew. REMEMBER to stop once you’ve reached your last pin, many of times i’ve let my mind wander and ended up sewing the entire side closed. You don’t want to do that. Its a pain to unpick.

If you have an overlocker, use it to finish your seam, if not you can read here on how to finish using just your sewing machine.

 

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Now you need to fold your fabric again, width wise this time. So you’ll have a piece of fabric 12″ x 22″ .

 

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And now we need to cut the neck hole. This is the only tricky bit, if you cut too much, your kimono will be a pain to wear, it will constantly slip off. So start small, taking off more in small amounts if you need to. Cut at the fold and curve upwards towards the top fold. I’ve cut at 5″ inwards. it doesn’t sound like a lot, but once you open it will actually be a 10″ hole.

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Once you open your fabric out, it should look like this. essentially you now have a poncho.

 

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Now, you need to fold your fabric back, like before and VERY carefully cut up the length of only one piece. if your a bit shaky with scissors, you can cut it opened out. simply measure and pin so you have a straight line up to the neck hole and cut that way. You only cut one piece of the fabric. This is the front. if you cut both, your cutting into the back and you’ll have to start again.

 

 

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Now, you can turn your kimono out the correct way. Up by the neck hole, there are two triangles that will need to be cut off, nothing too harsh, just cut a gradual decline like above. (Open yours out & compare to mine and you’ll see what I mean.)

 

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Now you can finish the edge with your machine. I have used my overlocker, then folded inwards and top stitched. Again if you don’t have an overlocker you can use THIS method. you want to start down at the bottom, work your way up, around the neckline and back down to the other side. If your using netting, you don’t actually need to do this, it won’t fray, but it gives a much nicer finish. You can also use a bias binding or even a trim if you want to make it a bit fancier – this is all up to your individual creativity.

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Now do the same along the bottom. This is a great place to use a trim, I decided against it on this one because I have chosen quite a bold trim, one that could quite easily become tacky if overused.

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Now you can finish your sleeve. You don’t have to use a trim here either if you dint want, but this is where I like the extra weight that the added fabric gives. Simply, pin around your sleeve hole, cut once you’ve come back to the beginning and finally sew on. So easy. And that can be done to anything. T-shirts, dresses, kimonos. this is such a cheap and easy way to up-cycle any of your wardrobe.

 

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And thats it, your kimono is finished!

Mischa was so happy with it…

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And… This is her half an hour later, she just loves to dress up – although I’ve absolutely no idea what she’s dressing up as! Ha.

 

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There are a million and one combinations for these, this is a perfect way to have a play around and really grow your creativity. For this particular kimono tutorial I like to use very lightweight fabrics, net, chiffon. ect. It’s a very drape-y fabric and exactly what you need for this. anything thicker and you’ll have something very stiff & almost hospital gown like. – not a good look!

 

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I made this one for myself a couple of weeks ago and with this beautiful weather we’ve been having I’ve finally had a chance to wear it! Mine is actually made from an old net curtain!! its the  perfect fabric to use, cost nothing seen as almost everyone has some of it stored away, and if you want you can always dye it aswell!

Hope you can get some use from this tutorial, if you’ve any questions about the steps or get a bit stuck feel free to message me on any of my social media accounts, or you can email me at info@thelittlewomanpretends.co.uk.

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Classic bow tutorial.

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If you follow my social media pages, you’ll know yesterday I accidentally deleted all the photos for a completely different tutorial I was planning, irritated at my own clumsiness I decided to do something quick and super easy instead, i’ll have to re-make the other one later on in the week (Its a really good one!!).

So bows, the perfect accessory and if you love handmade you’ll know theres no shortage of sellers. This was something I sold a lot of back when TLWP was a children’s wear shop, I love how completely versatile they are, no matter the outfit you can always find (or make) one to match. So today I’m making one to match Mischa’s summer dress/ uniform for nursery.

Heres what you’ll need:

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-Fabric, the fantastic thing about making a bow is that you can use scraps, there really is no set size, so if you’ve got a beautiful piece of fabric but only a small amount left it will still work.

– Fabric shears.

– Chop stick or anything skinny but blunt, you’ll need this for turning out your corners.

– Hot glue gun. these are so cheap to buy, I think mine was about £4 off ebay. I guarantee once you buy it you’ll be using it for all sorts of crafty little jobs.

– Dress makers pins.

– Crocodile clip – Alternatively you can use an elastic band or even a plastic headband, whatever works best with your little ones hair.

– Iron on interfacing, This is completely optional, you can still make a perfectly good bow without it, but I use this to stiffen, especially if i’m using I flimsy fabric, I use white/medium for light fabrics & black/medium for dark. If your using a stiff canvas type fabric you don’t need this, it will just make it harder to turn out.

– Bow template, again completely optional, but if you plan on making a fair few bows up its easier to have one. I just used an old cereal box and mine is 7″ length & 5″ width.

 

So lets get started.

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First, using your template, cut your fabric. This will be the main part of your bow, you’ll also need to cut  a piece for the middle, I usually make my middle strip around 1 and a 1/2″ wide and about 3″ length.

 

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Next, you want to cut the same (or there abouts) with your interfacing. before ironing the two together. You want your interfacing on the back side of your fabric *Remember to iron your interfacing textured side down, the glue is a nightmare to scrub of your iron.

 

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Whilst your ironing you should also fix your middle bit. Simply fold the insides in slightly & iron thoroughly.

 

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Next, fold your fabric in half, (interfacing on the outside) I don’t usually need to pin, but if your still a bit shaky on your machine then you can.

 

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Now you sew. I start up at the left hand side, down & round into an ‘L’ shape. stop, cut your thread, leave an inch or so gap & re-start doing the same up the other side. *Remember to lock your stitch, this is especially important around the gap, the next step will pull your bow apart if you don’t.

 

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This is where you’ll need your chopstick (or other pointy object, nothing to sharp or it will just go through your fabric).

 

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I’ve found the easiest way to do it, is to poke both of the corners furthest from the gap through, so you have them both peeking out, now simply pull gently & the entire bow will turn the right way out.

 

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Now use your chopstick again to poke through the gap, inside and give the corners a good poke, this will give a nice turned out corner. It will give a beautiful finish to your bow. Once you’ve done this, pop an iron if it quickly to get rid of any wrinkles.

 

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Now we need to fold your bow in half.

 

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And then fold back on its self. Keeping tight hold of your folds, flip your bow over & do the same again.

 

14 Your bow will now look like this. Secure down the centre with a couple of stitches.

 

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Now is the time to plug your glue gun in. Glue the end of your strip down the middle of the back of your bow. The back can be any side you like, I choose the side that has the most folds.

 

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Now fold your strip around until you’re back where you started. Snip off any excess fabric. I like to have a little give, so don’t pull it tight, just loosely around.

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Finally, clip your crocodile grip onto the end of your strip leaving a little excess, blob some glue on the excess & fold over, keeping hold until the glue had dried a bit and your bow is secure.

 

 

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And your bow is finished. I like to turn the corners under a little and with the interfacing inside it will keep in shape nicely. Don’t worry if you can’t perfect it first time, it will take some practice, but I guarantee within a couple of tries you’ll have it sussed. Also sorry about the glue gun burns, you’ll get used to that – probably. I don’t think i’ve had fingerprints for the last 6 months.

 

end.

 

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Personalised bunting tutorial.

I’m currently in the middle of re-locating all of my sewing stuff up to our spare room. Since my machine’s are both packed up, I’ve not been able to get a sewing tutorial up. I do however have a very talented friend who’s letting me share hers. Clare over at Maybush Studio recently Vlogged (Video blogged, for those not in the know) a very simple & completely adorable Personalised bunting tutorial over on her blog.

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These are the perfect project for some of you that I know aren’t completely confident on your machines yet, but still want to make something useable. Claire explains everything so simply, you’ll most definitely be able to pick it up in no time.

The link for her tutorial is Here.

Claire is also my top pick for the 2015 MAD awards Photography category, If you’re planning on nominating this year I urge you to pick her. Not only does she make fabulous tutorials but she is absolutely amazing with a camera. See her recent idyllic  beach picnic photographs for a perfect example!

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P.S I’ve also been nominated for the best craft blog category, I’d love a couple of other nominations if your voting!

Nomination forms are Here.

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

5 ways to beat a creative slump.

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We’ve all been there. You’re just about to start or are already in the middle of doing something crafty and all of a sudden it just feels like a chore,  before you know it your absent mindedly muddling through, making silly mistakes and practically ruining what should be something great.

Well here are my top five tips for beating that slump and getting yourself back on your way to completing awesome projects.

1. Stop. Stop whatever you are doing. Go make a tea/coffee/glass of wine. Watch an episode of Friends, fold some washing. Just do anything but your craft half heartedly. You’ll come back re-energised after a little break.

2. Go outside. The outdoors is an entire world of inspiration – litterally. Go for a walk, somewhere scenic where you can gaze at the natural beauty surrounding you, fresh air is proven to re-fresh and there WILL be something that catches your eye and helps push an idea you didn’t even realise you had stored.

3. Use pinterest. Make an inspiration board. Remember to pin everytime an image inspires you, no matter how random.

4. Ignore what others are doing. Creativity is a personal experiance. Do yourself a favour and keep it that way, copying is a disservice to your individual brilliance.

5. Have other outlets. I love sewing, but sometimes when i’m feeling crafty I just don’t want to sew. So instead i’ll go and tackle another project. I’ll make something new & delicious for us to eat or tackle a project I’ve had planned for the house. Creativity comes in a million and one different forms & you’re allowed to have more than one outlet.

creativity

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

 

Super easy, elastic waisted full skirt.

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I haven’t been around the blog or social media much over the last month, but I have still been busy doing projects. One of those projects was making up this adorable Midi- skirt for Izzy. I love this fabric and used it last year in the shop, making the most adorable ‘Indian Summer’ Kimonos (A tutorial for these will be put up at some point.)

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Now that I no longer make up things to sell, I’m able to use my little bursts of creative-ness to make pretty things for my girls. First up is skirts, mainly because these are just so easy!

So heres what you’ll need.

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-Fabric of your choice (we’ll work out how much in the next step)

-Fabric shears

-Tape measure

– Pins & a safety pin

-1 inch wide elastic.  (again we’ll work out how much in a moment)

 

I’m giving this a difficulty rating of.. Easy. And wether you’ve just started to sew or have been sewing for years, I guarantee you’ll always come back to this super easy way of making pretty summer skirts.

 

Heres what we’ll do.

 

First, we need measurements. wether this is for an adult or a tiny baby, the method is exactly the same, the only thing that will change is the measurements. For this pattern you’ll need two measurements.

1- The waist – simply wrap your tape measure around the waist, not to tight, not too loose. I’m making this one up for Izzy so i’m using her waist measurement of 21″

2- The length –  this depends completely on how long you want your skirt, I’m choosing a midi- length, I wanted full length but not in this fabric.. and I really wanted to use this fabric.  Izzy’s is 13″

So now we have our measurements we can work out how much fabric we’ll need.

And this is the trick. The more fabric the fuller the skirt. If I was to use her waist measurement of 21″ the skirt would have no give, it would be straight up, straight down.  So I like to double the measurement, It seems like a lot, well it is a lot of fabric, but I promise it is more than worth it when you’ve got a fluffy full skirt.

Here’s what I cut out,

Width – 42″ across – this is double the waist measurement, it doesn’t have to be exact. for example if double your waist is 50″ but you’re fabric is only 45″ just use 45″. it won’t make that much difference in the scheme of things, as long as you remember the less fabric the less fullness.

Length – 15″. the length I want is 13″ but I have to remember this is an elastic waisted skirt & I am using a 1″ elastic. I need just over 1″ excess on the top and just under 1″ at the bottom for the hem. bringing it to 15″

You’ll need to cut this pattern out twice, so work out your fabric needed before you go shopping.

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So we have our fabric cut, we’re now ready to sew.

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First we’ll place both pieces of fabric together, pattern on the inside. Line up the edges and pin together.

 

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Sew down the pinned edge, fixing both pieces of fabric together. Switch sides and do the exact same to the other side. Use your shortest stitch for this and remember to secure your stitch when starting and finishing with a simple back stitch,  See Here if you’re unsure how to do that.  You can use an overlocker to finish your seam – if you have one!- or you can follow the steps Here to finish using just your sewing machine.

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By this point you should have a large hoop of fabric. Now we need to hem. Again if you have an overlocker, use it before top stitching (using your largest stitch length) or you can simply double fold and top stitch like you would if you was securing your seam.

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Next we need to make the ‘pocket’ for the elastic to slip into. So using your tape measure, mark just over an inch at the top of your skirt, fold over and pin – you can overlock first OR remember to fold a little extra fabric under before pinning.

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Now you can sew along your pin line (going back to your shortest stitch length), this bit will take a while, especially if your making an adult skirt. But your patience will pay off. keep going!

You need to finish just over an inch away from where you started. If you don’t leave this little gap open you’ll have no way to thread your elastic.

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Next, turn your fabric the right way round, and sew a top stitch along the top. This isn’t a must, but I think it gives a better finish to your waistband.  The top of your skirt should now look like this.

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Now its time to cut your elastic. I don’t have a set way to measure this,I probably should but  I usually just wrap it around and see what fits the best, I cut it at 16″ for Izzys 21″ waist. If I was to cut it at 21″ it would have no hold, nothing to grip the body and keep it up, just the same as if I cut it too small it would be too tight to wear. have a play around, see what is most comfortable to you. Once you’ve cut it, you’ll need to attach you’re safety clip to the end.

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Now you can push the safety pinned end through the gap in your waist.

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Push your elastic through the entire waist, making the fabric gather as you go. This is definitely the most time consuming part. But it will easily pass.

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Keep a tight hold of the other end of your elastic! Do not let it go or you’ll have to pull your elastic out and start again.

 

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Once you’ve pulled the pinned end of your least out the other end, you can pin both ends together.

 

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And sew them together. Using a combination of your back stitch lever and forward stitch on the shortest stitch length, go back and forth a few times. This part of the elastic will take the most strain, so its important to have it properly secured.

 

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Now, give your waistband a little stretch, pulling all of the elastic inside the skirt. Finally you can sew the little gap shut.

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Elasticated waistband. Done!

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And for the very last step, simply pop your iron over your skirt, giving a nice crisp hem and smooth seams.  Super easy, elasticated full skirt. Finished.

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I did try to get a picture of Izzy wearing her new skirt, but she hates the camera.  I chased her round the garden for a good fifteen minutes, in the end I realised this would be as good as it gets!

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Thanks for reading, I hope this tutorial can be of use to lots of you, as always you can message me on any of my social media sites with any questions regarding this or any other of my tutorials OR email me directly at info@thelittlewomanpretends.co.uk.

And please do send me pictures of your skirts, I love seeing your hard work!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

 

 

 

Easy children’s Bloomer Tutorial.

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Is there really anything cuter than a little squishy baby in bloomers? No. no there isn’t!

Bloomers were & still are a massive seller, back when I used to sell handmade children’s clothing ( all those 1 months ago!), and its not hard to see why, so many combinations of fabrics to make something so ridiculously adorable.

There are many ways to make a pair of bloomers, I’m giving you the super easy version.

Difficulty rating: Easy.

Time to make: 30 minutes max.

 

Heres what you’ll need.

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-Fabric, a Fat Quarter will do, but always buy extra, that way you don’t have to work under the pressure of a mistake will mean having to stop to go & buy more fabric.

-Tape measure

-Dressmakers pins

-Elastic, 1/4″ thick, you can buy this in bundles over on ebay (and other places) I always recommend you have a small supply of this in.

-Fabric shears

-Bloomer pattern.

Here are your free Bloomer patterns, I have four sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months & 12 -24 months. I will try and get some larger sizes patterns up soon (if they are requested.) These sizes aren’t restricted to this age, you’ll find that they’ll last a lot longer than the age it was meant to.

0-3 months: http://thelittlewomanpretends.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/0-3months.jpg

3-6 months: http://thelittlewomanpretends.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/3-6-months.jpg

6-12 months: http://thelittlewomanpretends.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/6-12-months.jpg

12-24 months: http://thelittlewomanpretends.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/12-24m.jpg

 

Now lets start!

First you need to print off your required size pattern, you can do that by clicking one of the above links & printing. simple as that. once you’ve got it printed you’ll need to cut it out, I’ve already incorporated the seam & hem allowance into the pattern, so just cut across the black lines. I’ve noted below what the numbers are on the pattern, other than the age, you don’t really need to pay any attention to that just yet.

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Next you need to get your fabric and fold across, making sure the fabric will fill across the pattern cut out.

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And pin your pattern to the fabric, the fully straight side going against the fold on the fabric.

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Now we cut.

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You need two of these pieces, so do exactly the same as you’ve just done again. Until you have two identical pieces of fabric.

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Now, we open out the fabric and put both pieces front to front (the pattern side both on the inside. Pin down the sides 1/2″ in and across the bottom & then sew. You want to set the stitch on your machine to the smallest straight stitch.

*REMEMBER… Don’t forget your back stitch, at the beginning & at the end of your stitch or it won’t keep tight.  You can finish these seams of with an overlocker like I do, or using only your sewing machine (click hear for that tutorial)

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Now you have the base of your bloomers. They’re a bit massive & aren’t very cute at the moment,but don’t worry, it will all come together!

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Next we need to give your raw edges a better finish, so remembering what I said in the Sewing & securing a seam tutorial, follow the same rules. Fold & fold again, securing with a pin, first around the waist of the bloomers.

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Once you’ve secured your fold, you can take to your sewing machine & sew it.

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Now you can move on & do the last two steps to the leg holes, it is a bit tricky around the inner thigh part, but be patient & try to give as even a fold as possible. Another step done.

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This next part is completely optional. If you want to add any extra trims, or in my case pom poms, now is the time to do it. Really easy to do, simply line up where you would like your trim to go, pin to secure, then sew taking out the pins as you go.

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Now its time to add the frills… Or add the elastic that will make the frills. I mentioned before that there are many ways to make bloomers, today I’m teaching you what I think is the easiest way. First, using the measurements on the front of your pattern, you measure & cut your elastic. You need one waist & two legs. First we’re working on the waist, so you now simply line up the edge of your elastic up at the top, on the inside of your bloomers (not the very top, bring it down to where your stitch is that you did to hide the raw edge). Go over back and forth a few times using your back stitch to really secure and then slowly pulling your elastic out you sew, stretching your elastic until the end meets with where you started. Remembering to go over it a few times again with your back stitch to finish.

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Done! They’re starting to look a bit more bloomer-ish.

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Now we do exactly the same with the leg holes, remembering to back stitch to secure & to place the elastic slightly below the edge, so your fabric has room to frill.

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And, thats it your bloomers are done!

finished,

 

You can turn your bloomers into a co-ordinating set, making up a matching head tie (tutorial here) or a bow. The possibilities for fabric & trim bloomer combinations really are endless!

Here are a few of my favourites.

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Don’t forget I love seeing your hard work, so if you do decide to tackle this tutorial this week, I’d be so happy to see your finished piece.

Happy friday!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Rockin’ Handmade.

The reason I learnt how to sew was so I could make my own clothing. I love fashion but I’ve never been an ‘on trend’ type of gal. Opting more for choosing my clothing based on whats inspiring me lately or what type of mood i’m in – mainly tired mum mood, which pretty much consists of leggings & vest. Every now & again though, I go through a phase where I want to dress up every day, and when that happens I have a constant urge to make every design that has crossed my mind over the past month. My process for making clothing is pretty simple, I see a fabric I like & automatically my mind starts ticking over, planning what I would make with that fabric, or even if I see something on the high street.. what would I do to it to make it more me?

Having the knowledge to be able to work a piece of fabric into a finished garment is really rather amazing and something I feel so proud of myself for – especially seen as I’ve had no formal training.

Tonight I’ll be rockin’ handmade, wearing the gorgeous Indian embroidered fabric crop I made on Wednesday & the Black Midi-full skirt I made last night. A little bit classy with a boho twist. I feel amazing in this outfit, which really is the most important thing.

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

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maybe 2

Sewing tutorials- Retro style head tie.

headtie2

 

Finally! We’ve hit the point where we can actually make things! I thought this would be the perfect choice, its simple and something that I know so many of you want.

As you’ll see from the first picture I’ve given this a difficulty rating of… Easy, because it really is! And this project should take you no more than 15 minutes.

So heres what you’ll need:

1

-Fabric of your choice (we’ll be working out how much in the next step)

-Tape measure

– Dressmaking pins

-Fabric Shears

-Chop stick (Yep, really!)

-Your sewing machine.

And here’s what we’ll do.

First, we need to take your head measurement – Simply wrap your tape measure around your head (or whoever’s head you’re making the tie for). You want it nice & snug, not too loose, not to tight! Pull the tape measure from around your head, using your finger to secure the size.

Now take that measurement & add 12″. Measure that out on your fabric and mark it off. (My head measurement is 22″ + 12″ = 34″). If your making up one for a child add 8″ on to the head measurement  instead of the 12″

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Next,  we need to mark off the width. I like my head ties to be a bit chunkier, so I make mine around 4″ wide. The easiest way to do this is to fold your fabric over, mark your 4″ up & cut, making one whole piece that is 8″ wide. Again if your making one for a child make it less wide, starting from around 5″ altogether for a newborn, adding more as they grow.

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Now, use your markings and cut out your head tie fabric.  So  34″ Length by 8″ Width. Don’t worry if its not super straight, as long as you don’t cut into the measurements, better to have a little extra fabric if you tend to get a bit scissor happy.

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 Next, we need to fold your fabric over, front to front (you want your pattern to be on the inside) & pin down the open edge at half an inch in.

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And now we sew. You want to place the top left hand corner ( the fold side) under your machine foot at an angle, pointing out towards the pinned side. You want a nice gradual decline and then manoeuvring into a stitch that runs straight across the open (pinned) end of your fabric.

*DONT forget your back stitch to secure when you start*

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Once you get to the centre point you want to stop, do your back stitch to secure & cut your thread. Give a 1″ – 2″ gap & then start again, remembering to do your diagonal stitch up to the fold at the end. This gap will be how you pull your tie the right way out.

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Next, we need to trim the excess fabric from the ends of your tie, give about half an inch excess. If you want you can secure your seam (see last post if your unsure how).

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And now we can turn the fabric the right way out, simply pinch inside your gap, and pull – be careful, you want it to come out smoothly, not ragged out with the stitching coming undone. If its too difficult to pull through, you may need to snip back a few of the stitches, secure using your back stitch on your new end point & this will make your gap a bit bigger.

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Next, poke the chopstick through the gap, and up to the end of your tie, use the thin, blunt end to gently turn out the corners.

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Now can give it a run over with the iron, giving it a nice crisp finish. You can either leave it as it is ready to wear, or sew further with a top stitch. If i’m making for others I will use the top stitch, closing the gap as I go, but as its for me I don’t tend to bother.

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Now your head tie is ready to wear! The perfect way to glam up ‘Mum-hair’.

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And you know they’re are a billion and one combinations for the head tie, so many fabric choices, something to go with every outfit you own – if you want to make that many!

Feel free to send me pictures of your head ties, I’d love to see how your getting on!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Sewing & securing a seam.

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So now i’m going to teach you how to sew a seam.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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-Two small squares of fabric,
-Snips
-Dressmaking pins
-Tape measure.
-Sewing machine.
-An iron.

And here’s what we’ll do:

Place both pieces of fabric front to front. I’ve used a one sided patterened fabric to show you this.
You ALWAYS sew your seams inside out -so to speak- that way once you turn your completed item the right way out …. Voila… you cant see the sewing on the outside.

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So you have your fabrics on top of each other & lined up. Now I want you to grab a couple of your dressmaking pins & your tape measure. Measure 1/2 of an inch inwards like this. (mind my torn tape measure, I do have ones that aren’t shredded… but I’ve never used another – i’m kind of attached to it!)

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And pop a couple of those pins through your fabric to secure – you don’t need to pin the entire length of the fabric, just a few separated out.

Before we sew we want to double check a few things –

-Is your machine & bobbin threaded up properly? If it isnt you’ll soon know. *Check my last post if your unsure on how to do this*

-Have you set your tension correctly? I’m using a simple cotton for this, so mine is set to 4.

-Set your stitch, usually you’ll have a guide either as a sticker on your machine or on the dial, switch it to the shortest straight stitch.

 

Okay so now we’re ready. Next we want to place the top of your fabric under the foot of your machine, take your first pin out, lining up where your needle will drop to where the pin just was & lower your machine foot.

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And your ready to go, I want you too slowly press the pedal of your foot, only making two or three stitches, then you should have a leaver on your machine that will make it do a back-stitch, if your unsure of where this leaver is, look for a curved arrow symbol – press that leaver/button as you press your foot on the pedal & you’ll back stitch.

Go back two stitches & then continue forward down the rest of your fabric, taking out pins as you go. At the end of your fabric, repeat the backstitch *Doing this will secure your stitch, keeping your seam nice & tight)

seam
You have a seam!!

Next we’ll secure it further, now as I mentioned in my last post, you dont need an overlocker for this, I use it just because I’m used to it & I like having a professional finish on things I’ve taken the time to make up.

But to secure it further without an overlocker is really very simple. First, we need to fold the edge of your excess fabric over a little bit, no more that one quater of an inch.

7And then again, forming a loop.

Pin as you did earlier to secure.

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And pop it back under your machine. sewing down as you did before – Dont forget your back stitch!

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The last step is so, so important for the final presentation of your seam! You’ll need to pop your iron on, first iron the inside you have just sewn, flattening it. Then turn your fabric over & iron across the seam.

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And there you have it! Easy as that!! You’ve just sewn two pieces of fabric together!

Thats pretty much the process for anything you make, just getting two pieces of fabric & sewing them together, obviously the more extravagent the project, the more seams to be sewn – and thats the tricky part! But the basic principle is the same.

Have a practice, go slow until your confident enough to just whizz through a seam.

Now I think I really have covered all the basics! So in the next post we’re going to make up a head tie, Y’know those super cute retro style head bands? They’re so simple to make & are so stylish!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.