A sneaky bit of Sashiko stitching!

I find the summer holidays a challenge when it comes to sewing time. I am sure I am not alone.  But I do find that I can grab the odd half hour here and there of hand sewing time.  Sashiko and Boro are perfect for such moments.

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Here I am watching ‘the middle one’ at soccer training with some stitching in hand. Of course, I could be watching him train for an hour but what’s the fun in that?

I have been working on this particular piece for a couple of weeks. ¬†I used some scrap pieces from other projects, like black denim and grey linen which I added to some beautiful pieces of Japanese fabric from Indigo Niche¬†and some Kogin fabric from Bebe Bold. ¬†I also used traditional Sashiko thread in denim blue, orange and white, again from Bebe Bold. Of course you can use embroidery floss but the Sashiko thread doesn’t split like embroidery floss¬†tends to do.

I used some traditional techniques and then improvised using ideas from the slow sewing workshop I attended last year, run by Craft School Oz.  A happy marriage I would say.  I am thrilled with the result, although it was hard to stop stitching!

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Sad for me, but this piece is something I am parting with. ¬†Yes, a present for my lovely friend. ¬†A birthday present, a very belated birthday present. ¬†I am hoping it’s loveliness will excuse my tardiness.

Of course I could gift¬†this piece as it stands, she’s a creative sole, she would find a purpose for it but I wanted to send something useful. I thought that a purse of some kind would work, something big enough for makeup perhaps. ¬†It’s a simple process making this into a purse but I though I would do a quick tutorial in my next blog post about how to do this.

In the meantime, here is the finished purse.

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I love these metal antique-style brass zips, I bought this one from Who Says Sew. I also used some grey cotton to line the inside, these pieces were from my scrap box.
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I used this Japanese fabric from Indigo Niche for the back

Lets hope this piece doesn’t go missing in the post (as some of my homemade Christmas presents did!) ¬†Happy birthday to Bev x

 

 

Oops, I did it again…

I just couldn’t help myself. I have only gone and made another Frankie dress!

After the success of my fishy dress and the fact that I haven’t taken it off since the sun came out, I thought I would give it another bash.

There were a couple of tweeks I wanted to make with the fit.  I originally cut my fishy dress to a extra small on the top grading to a small.  This time round, I thought maybe a straight small would be better as the shoulders seams were a little short.  I also decided to add an additional centimetre for some extra room.  This is how I added that extra width.

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I drew a diagonal line from the shoulder seam to the arm hole, cut long the line and opened it up by a centimetre.  It just gave me the extra room I needed.  The final adjustment was to length.  I had reduced the length on my fishy dress, mainly due to fabric shortage so this time I cut the specified short length as per the pattern.  You will notice that I also chose the elbow length sleeve option instead of the short sleeves.

The fabric I used for this make is really special. ¬†I bought it from Faberwood¬†in the UK. It’s quite a bold himmeli pattern and large in scale.

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I had originally spotted it on Wendy Ward’s instagram page and went straight online¬†and bought a couple of metres. ¬†As I was heading back to the UK in August, it was waiting for me when I arrived at my parent’s place. ¬†It was a long wait, but well worth it. ¬†It’s an amazing quality knit. ¬†This is what I like about Faberwood, it’s a well curated and quality driven fabric store. ¬†AND bonus to me, I actually got to meet Fiona who owns Faberwood while I was back in the UK.

So here it is.

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The morning light has sent this a bit blue, the image above is a closer representation of colour.

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Here is the shoulder seam in more detail

I am pleased that I sorted out the fit, it feels less restricted on the shoulders than my fishy dress. I am also pleased I didn’t cock it up as this fabric is so lovely (and no longer available) that I think tears would have been shed if I had made a mistake. I am now waiting with bated breath to see what Wendy and Fiona make with their pieces.

 

Mending, thou shalt not be boring!

I picked up a pair of jeans recently. ¬†They were new jeans with fake ageing. ¬†I have to say I am generally not a fan of such techniques, but they fit really well and I was in need of a quick fix. ¬†This doesn’t exactly fits with my ideals, but hey ho.

I knew that the knees would go pretty quickly as the ageing made them pretty weak and so a hole quickly emerged. ¬†Of course, cool people leave such holes, but I just can’t. ¬†I see creative possibilities and I just can’t leave them.

I have been wanting to try some more complex Sashiko for a while and these jeans presented an opportunity to experiment.

A few months ago I visited the Craft and Quilt Fair in Sydney, not exactly my bag, but worth a trip to meet Jane MacDonald, the owner of Bebe Bold, a local Sashiko supplier and teacher.  It was crazy busy but she chatted to us for a while and helped me choose some thread and impart some of her vast knowledge.  I bought some lovely pieces, three Olympus threads, long Sashiko needles and some Kogin fabric.  Jane also gave me instructions for a pin cushion, the Hitomezashi Hydrangea pattern.

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NB: Kogin fabric has little dots printed on the fabric, it helps to make the stitching process a little easier.  When you wash the fabric, the dots disappear.

I have been dying to try it for a while but it looked frightening complicated so I have been sitting on it.  Time to bite the bullet.

Here’s what I did;

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WRONG SIDE: I started by repairing the hole.  I used the selvedge of the Kogin fabric (no waste here!) and used some iron on glue to press it in place. 
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RIGHT SIDE: Hole reinforced and ready for patching
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I cut a piece of Kogin fabric to cover the hole and pinned in place
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Then it was a case of following the instructions, starting with 2 rows of crosses in blue and orange thread.
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The final stage was weaving the white thread between the crosses

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I am not the neatest hand sewer, even with the dots to help me out. ¬†But it’s quite lovely all the same.

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Boring mending?  Definitely not. Enjoyable mending?  Most definitely.

I loved sitting down with the kids, I rarely do it. ¬†They watched ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ while I stitched away.

Cosmic x