KATIE BETTY SEWING BEE SEWATHON #2

It’s episode 2 time! This week the team tackled children’s clothing so I decided to make a little something for the newest tiny person in my life, my friend’s niece Harriet Florence Merlot! She’s tiny and of course adorable, and a great inspiration for this weeks Sewing Bee project. Taking full advantage of the sale we have at work at the moment (including McCalls and New Look Patterns, a BAGILLION fabrics and other such joy!) I used McCalls 7038 which includes two tops, a pinafore dress and my make, Dungarees! The baby staple. I used our Plain Indigo Stretch Denim fabric to give Harriet some literal wiggle room, and at just £3.99 per metre it would be rude not to use it, really.

I hadn’t anticipated just how many pieces would go into constructing a pair of dungarees, or how much top stitching was involved! The pattern instructed you where to top stitch so you didn’t have to guess and it gives it a really professional finish. Also, with baby clothes a spontaneous motif can hide a multitude of sins and not look out of place! I wanted to make the colouring neutral, so I opted for Gutermann Sew All Col. 1pearl buttons and snap fasteners to make them a bit special.

TOP TIP! – something I learnt from reading a jeans tutorial by Jo from Three Stories High is that using the long stitch setting on your machine gives a professional look to your top stitching. I think it does, but you can obviously judge my top stitching for yourselves 😀

The thing I found interesting about making baba clothing is the practicality of it all. For example, on the pinafore dress there are, basically, sewn in knickers with poppers on the gusset so baby can crawl away and not flash everyone their nappy but also gives parents an easier time when changing bottoms! The crotch of the Dungarees also has poppers for for this instance and as interesting as it is, the sheer AMOUNT of poppers is time consuming, but definitely worth it!

I also got to tackle bias binding, which is a first for me. I learnt a bit about it from last week’s GBSB but I turned to Vicki and Annette for some hands on advice. Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? Most definitely! As you can see from the photos, I think it really works well.

The press studs were fun, as I got to whack stuff with a hammer! So bizarre that such force goes into something that will be worn by something so delicate.

I cannot tell you how many times I tried and failed at the button holes! Thank goodness there’s a stitch on my machine for this, I very nearly replaced them with velcro or snap fasteners!

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So what do you think?! Please do leave comments, and I’ll be sure to upload some pictures of Harriet sporting them!

Next week the gang are tackling Vintage! This theme was tailor made for me 😉

Craft or Glory!

Katie B

Katie Betty Sewing Bee Sewathon

It’s here! IT’S HERE! The Great British Sewing Bee is upon us and wow-wee what an episode! Now I’ll be honest, I went into this season with a favourite, Debbie. She’s from my neck of the woods and she’s also a friend of a few people I know (small world or what!). Saying that, however, there are some stars in the making aren’t there?!

I’m taking this opportunity to really dive in head first and really grasp being a blogger with both hands and  thought I’d start with a BIG event- the Katie Betty Sewing Bee Sewathon! I’m going to do a project a week to tie in with the theme of each episode of the Sewing Bee. Six weeks, Six projects. Am I mad? Most definitely, but it’s going to be true challenge as a sewer and a blogger.

So this week saw the gang working with cotton. Being from Lancashire, particularly Darwen, that stuff practically flows through my veins! One of our major landmarks is an old cotton mill! Cotton is always a great fabric for first time sewists as it doesn’t slip and slide, it presses easily (often too easily hehe) and it’s a lovely natural fabric so it breathes and takes dye very well, too. There are many different types of cotton; drill, klona, lawn, all sorts! I opted for a poplin for my project this week as it’s not too thick to make it difficult to stitch but it has enough about it to handle easily. I decided to make an A-line skirt, which is a good starting point as it is all straight lines to sew and doesn’t use up a silly amount of fabric. I mixed it up a bit and added an invisible zip, which I’d never done before, and I even picked a tip up from GBSB tonight!

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I used a lovely bright red cotton poplin to match a blouse I bought which typically was in the wash when I finished the skirt and needed it for photos! Luckily, I seem to have a plethora of red shirts to choose from.

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As you can (kind of) see from the back is I have two small panels for the back, this is because I somehow make the thing two sizes too big! There is supposed to be one large panel down the back, but to ensure I took it in evenly I basically created a new seam up the back. It looks alright I think!

I took to Craftsy for a tutorial on how to do a concealed zip, but the main tip I got was from tonight’s Sewing Bee in that to get the stitch as neat as you can to the zip itself you need to roll it right out so it will then fold right back in all lovely and neat. Simply darling! It’s actually easier to insert a concealed zip than a standard zip, I think! Unlike the Sewing Bee I didn’t have a dedicated machine foot to insert a concealed zip, but I did have a normal zipper foot which worked well enough. I’d definitely recommend investing in a zipper foot. It creates a truly brilliant finish which makes your hand made garments stand out as something special.

I decided to omit the waistband from my pattern and create a simple hemmed top which is more the look I’m going for.

I used a pattern I already had in my stash but for a cheeky thrifty tip, Love Sewing magazine have THREE free skirt patterns included along with their other tutorials and a free GBSB fat quarter! A great way to start working with cotton 🙂 if you want another cotton based project, pop over to my latest post on the Minerva Blogger Network for my Stash Busting Fat Quarter Infinity Scarf.

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So here I am all cottoned up with my poplin skirt and fat quarter scarf!

Next week it’s children’s clothing! I’ve never made children’s clothing before so this should be very fun. Also, keep your eye out for a customization tutorial!

See you next Thursday crafters!

Craft or Glory!

Katie B xo