I was originally going to make two tops from the Vogue sewing pattern V8951, which I also got from White Tree Fabrics. However, I decided on making just one of them for now as I was also eager to make a different top from another pattern I already had. So I’ll do a separate post on that one and start with the lovely Ponti Roma fabric which I used to make View C from the Vogue pattern.
View C from Vogue V8951 using Ponti Roma jersey fabric. I altered the back piece to make it the same length all round as the pattern has a very long back which I wasn’t keen on.
The collar construction looks difficult but the instructions are quite clear. I even managed to add some decorative stretch stitching to it!
The front view: I’d probably make the next size up next time as I feel it looks a little bit neat. Still lovely to wear though.
The back view: I was happy with the fit around the back, so maybe I just needed to adjust the front bust area. Will try that next time. That’s what having four kids does to you, I suppose!
Some tips on sewing with jersey fabrics: use a ball point or jersey needle in your sewing machine. Use a polyester (all-purpose) sewing thread, which has a little stretch and won’t break easily like cotton thread would. Remember to use a stretch-stitch and use an over-locking stitch to finish all the raw edges. I used my over-locker for the raw edges and main seams and I used my sewing machine for hemming. Don’t stretch the fabric as you sew it, unless your pattern specifically tells you to do so. Just gently guide it and let the feed dogs move it through. If you’ve never sewn with jersey before, Ponti Roma is a good choice to start with as it is quite a tight knit without too much stretch.
If you want to have a go at making this top and trying out Ponti Roma fabric, visit White Tree Fabrics and save some money by using this exclusive discount code which White Tree have very kindly offered my readers: SUSIED
I spotted a lovely old Singer® sewing machine, at a local auction house last week. I was so pleased to find it hadn’t been converted to electric, as I’d been looking for one like this for a while now. I had to leave the auction early, before the lot came up, so I left a hopeful bid of £30. I was delighted to win it for £25! I know there’s a lot of them around and they don’t go for much but I’d been having a hard time trying to get my hands on one. I think they’re so popular now, everyone’s snapping them up!
It’s in fantastic condition, with its gorgeous wooden cover, original instruction booklet and metal bobbins. There’s even a pack of old, unused needles. The kids were fascinated by it and I’ve promised to teach them on it. It works beautifully and I’ve checked up on the Singer® website to find out it’s a 1927 model (although the instruction booklet has 1928 on it?) If you’ve got one that you’d like to check it’s age, go to http://www.singerco.com/support/machine-serial-numbers and click on the link relevant to yours – no letter pre-fix, single letter pre-fix or double letter pre-fix. The serial number of mine is located on the front right-hand corner:
Did you know that SINGER® sewing machines were first manufactured in 1851. The manufacture dating on their web site is reproduced from the original company register number log books. They’ve not located the log books for 1851 to 1870 as yet, so the serial numbers for those years aren’t available.
Serial numbers on SINGER® sewing machines manufactured prior to 1900 are numbers only. After 1900, the machine serial numbers have a single or two-letter prefix.
I plan to use mine for teaching the kids on and for putting on display in my new sewing studio (more on that in the very near future). Do you have a Singer®? How old is yours and do you use it or display it?
Hooray! My new book is (at long last) being released next week! 14th April 2015 in the USA, through the Martingale & Co. website and 21st April through Amazon.com. I’ll also have signed copies available through my own UK website from 14th April, ahead of the later UK release. So, if you’re in the UK, head on over to www.susieddesigns.co.uk. Style and Swing: 12 Structured Handbags for Beginners and Beyond If you’re a new-comer to sewing, or you’re more experienced but haven’t made bags before, Style and Swing will walk you through the steps and techniques you’ll need to know. Before you know it, you’ll be hooked on bag-making and you’ll be able to stitch up the best bags ever!
The patterns progress from really easy through to more challenging designs, building up slowly with each pattern so that your confidence can grow as you learn. A comprehensive information section is included at the beginning of the book which includes everything you need to know about sewing terms, tools required, fabric preparation, stabilizers and how-to techniques. So even beginners will feel confident in tackling all the fun-to-make projects included in Style and Swing. The detailed illustrations throughout each project show clearly how to complete each step so there’s no guess work involved.
Beginners will benefit from starting off with the Funky Handbag which gently introduces you into the world of bag-making. The Large Market Bag and the Uptown Shopper are sure to be a hit. They are both fairly easy to make and look absolutely stunning in bright, vibrant fabrics.
If you’re an experienced sewer, jump right in and tackle whatever project takes your fancy. If you get stuck at all, simply refer to the techniques section to learn how to complete a particular task. Get adventurous and adapt or customize your bags to suit your needs. Have a go at projects such as the Trendy Hipster Bag, the Groovy Satchel, the Layered Satchel or the Tri-Fold Wallet. Any of these projects will offer the challenge you’re looking for and you’ll end up with a finished accessory to be really proud of.
Any of the projects included in Style and Swing will make perfect gifts for friends and family, or indulge in some selfish-sewing and just keep them for yourself. You’re bound to find it hard to part with your handmade masterpieces!
Images from Style and Swing by Susan Dunlop, Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved.
I’m delighted to have a new project and an article published in this month’s issue of Sewing World magazine.
My new project is a modern, zippered makeup pouch which I made with lovely yellow and grey fabrics from the Comma collection by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics. There’s an image of it on the front cover!
The article that I’ve written for this issue is all about how I became a project designer for the magazine and what work is involved to design and write the project. I hope that my article will inspire other would be project contributors as the magazine is always on the look out for fresh, modern ideas. Give it a go! It’s fun and very rewarding.
What else is this month’s issue?
TECHNIQUES & FEATURES:
Knits Know-How – Part 5 PLUS pyjama bottoms to make
Pattern of the Month – Simplicity 1615
Fabric Showcase – Trees
Masterclass – Sewing Skills – Facings
From Concept to Publication – The Creative World of a Project Designer
I was so pleased to see this new bag, made by one of my customers. Angie used the Layered Hipster Bag pattern to make this gorgeous version in blue and black, with white butterflies. Love it! Thanks for allowing my to share it, Angie, great sewing!
“I made the layered hip bag last night for a co-workers gift to her sister. Thanks so much for such great patterns!” Angie
I love this bag, handmade by Denise Hayes, over at Through the Looking Glass. Denise used one of my sewing patterns to make this fab bag, with some great adaptions. Great work, Denise and thanks for sharing!
Sometimes I get orders for new items. I don’t usually make bags, but offered to make one for a local lady who already had the fabric. She dropped off the fabric for me and I prepped it.
It was an owl fabric – very cute. However, it was a ‘seconds’ fabric which means that there was something wrong with it. The fabric itself was warped (not straight) and it was cut badly. The owls had also not been printed evenly. After washing, air-drying, ironing and pulling on the corners, it was as straight as it was going to be. If I went by the weave, the owls would look drunk. If I went with the owls I had to decide for vertical or horizontal. I went with the vertical.
Front of Owl Bag
I also decided to patchwork it with some other fabrics I already had to help…
So pleased to have another project featured in this month’s issue of Love Sewing Magazine. This is my Lotta Tote, made with statement fabrics from Lotta Jansdotter in bright pink, black and white. I’ve used cut-out metal handles to compliment this design.
Issue 10 is packed full of exciting sewing projects to get your pins stuck into. What’s more, to celebrate the return of The Great British Sewing Bee, Love Sewing is excited to bring every reader an exclusive Great British Sewing Bee Fat Quarter! Inside the magazine there’s lots of great ideas for using your free fabric, top tips from Sewing Bee contestants and a free blouse pattern designed by the Great British Sewing Bee Team!
You’ll find fun ideas for using your free fat quarter, all with step by step photos and instructions!
Two in One Skirt Pattern!
With every copy of Issue 10 you will also receive a great versatile skirt pattern. You can choose between a tie waist skirt and a wiggle skirt! Or why not sew both – another great pattern from Simple Sew exclusively designed for Love Sewing.
One of my all time favourite fabrics is Petite Street, by Wendy Kendall for Dashwood Studio, so I really pleased to contribute this cute little tote to Sewing World magazine. The January issue is out in the shops now!
This month’s issue has 12 sewing projects to get your pins stuck into, in the New Year! As well as the projects, you’ll also find plenty of features and new techniques to learn:
I joined the White Tree Fabrics blogging team a while back and, at long last, I have my first completed project to show off!
I chose some lovely Tilda fabrics and McCalls pattern K3601, both supplied by White Tree Fabrics, to make a kaftan-style top. This has also been the first thing I’ve made with my brand new overlocker, more about that in another post! So not only did I have a lovely new top to make, I could also make it on my new machine and hopefully end up with a professional looking piece of clothing.
Tilda – Martine Blue Grey
Tilda Jane Blue Grey
K3601 McCalls Pattern
I found this McCalls pattern quite easy to follow, but… it did take little while to get the collar right as it was slightly confusing as to how it would end up the right way around! Got there in the end though, I just needed to follow the instructions very carefully. You need to fold the outer edges of the collar section to wrong side and press, then pin it, wrong side up, to the front/back neckline, also wrong side up.
After stitching around the neckline and the marked centre line, which is then cut to open the neckline slit, it’s turned to the right side of the front/back of top. Then pinned in place and topstitched around the edges.
Due to my own mistake (rushing ahead) I ended up having to do set-in sleeves rather than the easier method of sewing the shoulder edges onto the front/back before sewing the sleeve and side seams. I’d already sewn the sleeve seams by the time I’d noticed and couldn’t be bothered unpicking. It worked out just fine though as they didn’t need any gathering to fit. They fitted into the armhole really well and I was so pleased (relieved!) with the result. I needed more practice with set-in sleeves anyway!! LOL
So here’s my finished top, ta da…
White Tree Fabrics have generously given me a special coupon code for readers to get a fantastic 20% discount and free postage on any orders. Visit www.whitetreefabrics.com to view their lovely range and use the code SUSIED when purchasing anything.
You’ll find plenty of reasons to sit down and sew these boutique-quality yet achievable bags and accessories. Everyone from beginners to experts can create an assortment of modern, practical projects for gifts or personal use. Start with a simple, elegant handbag and progress to more challenging designs; skill-level ratings are included.
Step-by-step illustrated patterns for 12 attractive projects in a variety of shapes and styles
Stylish accessories include a pleated clutch, market bag, satchel, and wallet
Includes resource info and comprehensive how-to techniques; learn about tools, fabric prep, interfacings, linings, and purse hardware
If you’d like to pre-order my new book (big hugs if you do and thank you so much for your support!) it’s available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and other major book suppliers. I’ll also have signed copies available from my website, from mid-march at www.susieddesigns.co.uk
Images from Style and Swing by Susan Dunlop, Martingale, 2015; used by permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved.
Excited to bring you news of my first bag making project for Quilt Now magazine! Issue 5 is in the shops now and I’m delighted that Katy Jones (editor) has featured my new Rail Fence Bag sewing project. Perfect for using up fabric scraps from your stash, this bag is sure to delight any little girl.
Issue 5 is all about those scrappy bits you can’t bear to see go to waste! From little projects to big beautiful quilts, like this issue’s cover star, you’ll find it all. There’s a brilliant range of patchwork and quilting projects suitable for all sewing skill levels. As well as all the great projects, this month’s issue also has plenty of interesting reading and fabric eye-candy to get you inspired.
I’m delighted to have some of my Christmas projects featured in this month’s issue of Love Sewing magazine. I made a Christmas sack and table topper, using the gorgeous fabrics by Lizzie Mackay for Dashwood Studio, called Christmas Wish.
You’ll also find more great projects in this fantastic Christmas issue of Love Sewing, including a free dressmaking pattern to make a fab evening/party dress. Issue 8 will be hitting the shops within the next couple of days, enjoy!
Look what arrived recently! A fabric bundle from Dashwood’s new collection, Cuckoo’s Calling by Bethan Janine. I was delighted to be asked by Creative Director, David Sweet, to make a couple of my purse frame pouches using these gorgeous new fabrics for an upcoming Dashwood open day.
Cuckoo’s Calling is Bethan’s second collection for Dashwood Studio. Cuckoo’s Calling is bright and fun and inspired by Bethan’s Grandmother’s cuckoo clock, pretty meadow flowers and little leaves she drew whilst on her holidays.
Such a lovely collection, I’m looking forward to making some purses with these. The fabrics should be arriving in stores now, so go get them! What do you think you’d make from these fabrics?
Update: here’s some new purses I’ve made with these gorgeous fabrics.