September marks the start of spring here in Australia. Here is Queensland we have very mild and dry winters but spring marks the end of winter sports (think hockey, rugby union and league, soccer and netball) and the start of ‘beach’ weather (think surf lifesaving, beach holidays on long golden beaches).
This also is a traditional time for ‘spring cleaning’. Time to get those unfinished quilt tops out and completed before starting on a new spring inspired project. To help you get those tops finished, I am offering 10% off all quilting for September. Just email a photo of your quilt top and the measurements, let me know the style of quilting you would like and I will prepare a quote for you. Not in the Brisbane area? No problem, couriers or insured postage can be easily arranged.
We have completed 5 more blocks as part of our Strawberry Hill Quilt. For those that have not yet joined the fun, we are using blocks from the New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar by Katja Marek. Our blocks are English paper pieced and we are aiming to complete about 5 blocks per month. It’s not too late to start as the tutorials for all the previous blocks can be found here.
I have also had the opportunity to quilt a couple of amazing quilts this month. Some are for gifts so they cannot be revealed just yet but here are a couple of photos to get you motivated to finished those projects. Check out our gallery.
Wow! July has been a busy and somewhat stressful month here at Sewn Together. As some of you would be aware, I was employed as a patchwork teacher and long arm quilter at a patchwork store based in the southern suburbs of Brisbane called Sewco Sewing and Patchwork. A couple of weeks ago, the store owner made the difficult decision not to renew the lease on the premises and to close down the store and retire after 26 years of trading. Sadly, the last day of trading for Sewco was last Saturday, Ausust 4th. As you can imagine this was a rather stressful time for the staff and customers.
But as one door closes, another often opens. The opportunity was presented to me to purchase the Bernina Q24 long arm quilting package! I had been working in store using the machine and quilting for customers so I knew what an amazing piece of machinery it is, but to buy it and work at home and be self-employed, well that is a ‘whole different ball game’ so to speak.
Sometimes opportunities come from the least expected places and I have taken the plunge and purchased the long arm. This meant a complete rearrangement of most of the house and a good excuse to have a clean out. So, I now have a wonderful, bright airy quilting and sewing studio and the rest of the house, well, I’ll get to it later. Quilting is more important than housework, right?
As a result of the turmoil of the last few weeks, the last 2 blocks for July for the Strawberry Hill Quilt have slipped under the radar. I have had a week of catch-ups and these tutorials are now available, making a total of 5 for the month of July and 17 blocks in total. View the tutorials here.
I hope you have had a great month and don’t forget to post photos or progress shots of your blocks in our Facebook group. The first block for August will be available tomorrow.
I have been very quiet on the blog front for the last few months, so my resolution is to bring you some great sewing ideas, tutorials and patterns in 2018..should be easy, right! There are so many amazing options available to us so we should never be short of ideas and inspiration. This year I plan to focus on the independent designer. This post features one of my favourite designers – Patterns For Pirates!
2018 Completed Sew #1
Although it’s only the 3rd day of the new year, I have finished a garment. Admittedly, I did cut it out and begin to sew it in December, but life got in the way and it never got finished. Sound familiar, life gets busy and most of us have at least a few unfinished projects. I’m proud to say, I now have 1 less!!!!
Sew #1 for the year is a very simple one – the Pumpkin Spice Dolman from Patterns for Pirates. (great name, isn’t it).
It’s a super simple sew for knit fabrics with lots of options. I have done the sleeveless version so only 3 pattern pieces – front, back and neckband. It’s designed as a loose fitting garment and mine is made in a size XXL. I am a size 16 in RTW (Australian sizes). The fabric is from my stash – actually I’m sure where I bought it. It’s a soft knit with a small amount of stretch in the length of the fabric. A nice lightweight fabric for a Queensland summer.
The only edits to the original pattern are to make the armholes a little smaller and I cut it as long as my fabric piece would allow. When I allowed for the pattern matching, the length was a little shorter than a tunic length (I’m 172 cms tall so often RTW tops are too short).
Things I Like About This Project
Firstly, I like the loose shape of the design. This is actually the 3rd summer shirt I have made using this pattern as well as 2 long sleeved winter versions. The shape is flattering and very versatile. It can be dressed up or can be a more casual look. I am currently looking for a knit fabric with maybe some sequins to make an evening version.
It’s a super quick sew. I can make this top in an afternoon.
It’s great for fabrics that require pattern matching. Because it has only 2 body pieces, it’s very easy to match designs.
Apart from the hem, the top can be made entirely using an overlocker (serger). I use a 4.0mm stretch twin needle for the hem and armholes. I also like to twin needle stitch around the neckline. I find it just holds the seam allowance in place and makes the neckline a little firmer.
Things I Learnt Making This Garment
It is definitely worth taking the time to ensure that the pattern matching is exact. Perfectly matched patterns give a professional finish. We have the opportunity when making our own garments to create a better finish than RTW garments. Having said that, we should not be too hard on ourselves. Sewing is a skill and it’s takes time to develop. Enjoy the process and don’t be too hard on yourself is things don’t quite turn out as expected. I’m sure even the most acclaimed seamstress or tailor has had their fair share of disasters. Put it aside or dispose of it and move on!
I need a coverstitch machine. The twin needle stitching is good but coverstitch is sooo much better and quicker!
I am thankful for having a Babylock brand overlocker with jet air threading. I never have to stress about not having the right coloured thread on my overlocker. The threading system is super easy!
I need to make more of these tops. They are super simple to make and light and cool to wear in our Queensland summer. The current temperature is 32 degrees C (about 90 degrees F)
So I’ll be off to finish another project. In my post Christmas sewing room clean up, I found a beautiful pair of navy rayon shorts that just need hemming. They will look perfect with this top. I’ll get the details to you when I’m done.
Don’t forget to check out the amazing designers on our Marketplace. Purchase the pattern and download the instructions in just a few moments. We would love to expand our pattern range, so if you are an independent designer, apply to become a vendor. It’s quick, simple and free to step up your store. Need more information, email us!
Sewn Together has no commercial relationship with any companies mentioned in this post. We will always disclose any and all commercial agreements. Whilst we are happy to consider all requests, the information we supply to you as a reader will always be our honest opinion of the product both good and bad points. If you would like me to review your product or pattern, email us.