Jelly Roll Jam Baby Quilt

Those that know me well know that I love a Jelly Roll! Made of 2 and a half inch strips of co-ordinating fabrics, jelly rolls are the ultimate way to get in to quilting. There’s also something so beautiful and tempting looking at the way they are sat there with all their patterns on display, they just scream buy me! When I lived in New York for a month, I took the opportunity to grab some Moda jelly rolls which are much cheaper in the US than they are in Germany. Since then, I’ve been steadily sewing through them.

One evening I was in the mood to sew something simple, so I used half of a jelly roll to create a jelly roll jam quilt top for a baby blanket. That finished quilt top was gorgeous, but I didn’t have any coordinated backing and binding so it’s hung around in a drawer for about a year. Finally yesterday I took myself down to Quiltmanufaktur to take some advice from the lovely Andrea Kollath on how to finish this one up, and found my sewjo to back, quilt and bind this bad boy in the rest of an afternoon.

There are three reasons I love this quilt:

1) The colours are an unusual choice but somehow really trendy, I just love the way it’s come together

2) I loved finishing an ancient WIP and getting so much enjoyment out of it

3) I hand sewed the binding whilst listening to the Stitchers’ Brew podcast and it was just a lovely, relaxing, mindful experience!

Overall, finishing this quilt has helped me find my sewjo again!

 

The finished quilt has a really lovely finish to it, I love the contrast grey binding. This quilt will be a gift, but right now I am tempted to keep it!

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Whilst buying the backing and batting for this fabric, I may have been tempted by yet another Moda jelly roll from the gorgeous Gingiber …. I feel a new work in progress beginning! Oops! Some happy autumnal sewing for me though!

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Cleo Dungaree Dress

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As soon as I saw Tilly’s Cleo Dungaree Dress, I was sold on it. It’s the sort of item of clothing I would love to buy in RTW stores, but would never fit me on account of my unusual *ahem* proportions. Sewing it myself was a great opportunity to make my little dungaree dress dreams come true!

Normally I’m not a big fan of kits, as I like to choose fabrics myself and I think it adds to the individuality of a make. In this instance though, Tilly has done such an amazing job of sourcing great fabrics, that I swooped and bought an aubergine needlecord kit as soon as it went on sale. It seems to be a good job that I did, as since the day I purchased the kit it seems to be constantly sold out – I believe at the moment there is a waiting list! So I feel extra special to have gotten my paws on a hallowed Tilly aubergine kit.

Anyway, on to the pattern. This pattern does 100% what it says on the tin – it’s a speedy and satisfying make with nothing too tricky. Or at least it wouldn’t have had anything too tricky about it had I remembered the special email Tilly sent out saying there had been a printing mistake with the front facing and to use the email supplementary piece she sent out. As I completely forgot about this until I came to try and get my damned facing to fit, I had no choice but to perform extensive facing surgery (especially as I was out of aubergine needlecord fabric). I was actually quite proud of myself in the end though – I found a creative solution which actually looks relatively normal from the inside. Could definitely have been worse! What is the lesson here? DO NOT FORGET to use Tilly’s supplementary facing when you cut this out the next time!

The other lesson I learnt on this make is to pay more attention to pocket placing markings. I accidentally placed my pockets wwwwaaayyy too far down the skirt and had to take them off and re-attach, which was kind of sad as they were so straight and perfectly top stitched the first time round. You live and learn though right?

I cut my usual size 7 grading to a 4/5 on the hips as I do with most Tilly patterns and this worked perfectly for me. My partner did make some helpful comments about me maybe widening the top part/doing an FBA on the top to give me more boob coverage, but you know what, I’m just going to be happy with what God gave me and leave it as it is. I like it and that’s the main thing!

What I loved most about the Tilly kit is that the dungaree buckles and interfacing and thread are all really high quality. The buckles attach super easily and hold really well. I feel like I’ve made something that will really last which is great! I liked the kit so much that have now purchased a second – the dark denim. I can’t wait to stitch it up and combine it with fun t-shirts – maybe even some of my more fun printed Agnes tops which I’ve made! I would definitely recommend this make – even for beginners absolute beginners! Give it a go! I’m glad I did!

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Half Yard Heaven Notice Board

Even I am the first to admit that my love of fat quarters may have gotten a little out of control. I’ve become somewhat of a fat quarter tourist, and if I happen to find a nice bundle on my travels, it must come home with me as a souvenir! I’ve been filling up a little suitcase with them, and have decided that I may as well use them for decorative purposes on display on my craft table!

A trunk of fabric joy … 

I did, however, receive a fabulous Christmas Gift which should help me enjoy my expansive collection to the maximum! My brother and sister-in-law got me this great book, Half Yard Heaven, by Debbie Shore, for Christmas, and it’s got lots of great projects in it! They are accompanied by lovely pictures and step by step instructions. It’s one of those lovely books to have a flick through when you have the itch to make something from your stash. Nothing needs more than half a yard of fabric, so it’s great for scraps too!

The first project I set my sights on was a fabric covered noticeboard. We’ve had a rather sad looking Ikea cork noticeboard in our hallway ever since we moved in. Prompted by the lovely pictures in Half Yard Heaven I decided it was a prime target for a makeover!

I chose to use my fat quarter bundle from Rowan, which contained a lovely selection of coral and black florals. One coral fat quarter was the perfect size for covering the cork board. I then made three small pockets using a couple of strips from two other fat quarters in the bundle. Despite following the book’s instructions, my pockets turned out quite small, so if I were making one again I would definitely make slightly larger pockets.

This was my first time wielding a staple gun, which was a little bit scary. PB ran for cover as I waved it about ominously in our lounge! Stapling in to wood was pretty hard work – but was worth it for the results!

I struggled a bit to get the pocket placement straight though. You end up in a vicious circle, as you can only place the pockets straight once the fabric is taught and stapled down, but if you do that, you can’t sew them on! As a result it took a bit of guess work, but for me they are functional enough! I finished the board with some thin elastic which minimises the need for extra pins. Overall I’m pleased with my finished make! It was pretty speedy too. I’m already plotting my next one for my craft room in the new apartment!

Making Moneta

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It’s been a busy busy time recently, which hasn’t left much time for sewing or for blogging. When I have been sewing, I’ve mainly been squirreling away at a couple of Christmas gifts that have taken a serious amount of man hours! I’ve managed to finish them now, but won’t be able to share the finished results with you until Christmas, so in the meantime I thought I would share my unblogged Moneta with you. 

Moneta was my pattern of choice for my first ever sewing class. I chose the pattern as I wanted to learn more about bodice fitting at the class, so thought a dress would be a good choice. It was also my first attempt at side seam pockets and shirring with elastic, so all in all it offered a good number of techniques to get some help on! 

The fabric that I chose for this dress was a touch on the expensive side at 28 euros/m, which notched up the sewing fear factor a bit further! I’m glad my teacher encouraged me to choose this fabric though, as the quality is fantastic and I feel like I have a classic and timeless dress now that will last a lifetime. I do refer to this fabric as the sea sick fabric though, as it has tiny white dots on it and when I was sewing the hem I got a sort of car sick feeling from watching the dots go through the machine! It seems to mess with your eyes …. No pain no gain though! 
We made quite a few alterations to the bodice and sleeves. On the bodice we added some extra on the width as the fabric didn’t have much stretch. We also added 4cm to the sleeves to account for my bingo wings. The sleeve alteration was a great learning point for me as I finally got my head around using the finished garment measurements on a packet to work out if something is going to fit before you sew it. It’s simple now I know, but as a self taught sewer I’d never worked it out! After sewing up the bodice we also added a bust dart to get a better fit up top which seems to have worked really well. 

In terms of construction this dress was really fun to make. I got a bit lucky with the shirring on the waist as I eyeballed it rather than using four separate sections as the pattern suggests. It seemed to turn out just fine though! I loved learning how to do side seam pockets – now I want to add them in to everything! I also got my first go on an overlocker making this dress – we overlocked the hem before sewing it down which produced a nice tidy result … And my desire to get my hands on such a wonderful machine!

My sewing teacher insisted that we add a facing to the neckline, as she didn’t think much of just hemming the neckline as the pattern suggests. It was great in terms of learning how to self draft a facing, but to be honest I’m not sure if I agree with her that it was necessary (shhhh don’t tell her) as sometimes it likes to make an appearance when I’m wearing the dress. 

My final verdict is that I love this dress though, and I really love the pattern. It’s a flattering shape for me and the pockets and sleeves make it very wearable. I wear it  all the time to work, it’s become a real favourite. It’s also been on business trips crumpled in a suitcase and still come out completely wearable. I’m planning on making another one of these in a jewel tone purple which I think would make a lovely Christmas dress with lots of room for turkey!! Despite me wearing this dress all the time, we’ve still not managed to get a picture of me in it in daylight, so Maud has kindly stepped in! She doesn’t wear it as well as I do though! 

 
Have any of you tried Moneta? Did you love it or hate it? Do you have any other great jersey dress patterns for me to try?