Tag Archives: tutorial

DIY: Origami Needle Wrap (+ free pdf pattern)

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

Sometimes I need a break from sewing and just need to get my craft on! For ages my sewing needles have been scattered about between my pin dish and various other little pots and drawers; and I could never find the needle that I wanted, when I wanted it. And so…this little leather origami needle wrap was born…ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

The origami needle wrap features  a simple envelope shape, with a wrap around magnetic closure. The whole thing opens out to lay flat on your work surface and 3 separate felt inserts allow you to organise needles by type/size etc. It’s super simple to make and you can download the free pattern at the end of this post if you want to make one of your very own 🙂ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

I made mine from 1mm natural leather. I got the whole thing out of a 20cm  x  20cm square purchased on ebay here. I used 1mm wool felt for the inside. Also purchased on ebay here. Magnets used here are strong neodymium disc magnets that I had left over from my air dry clay fridge magnets and are available here. ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

First step is to cut out and trace the template onto the leather. I used a Frixon pen for this, as the marks can be removed later simply by applying heat from an iron (through a pressing cloth as opposed to directly onto the leather)…I use these quite alot directly onto fabric when I’m sewing too. Awesome pens!ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

To mark the position of the slit opening for the strap, I simply used the tip of my seam ripper to make an indentation through the paper pattern and onto the leather…ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

Cut the whole thing out carefully…

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

Then using a scalpel cut the slit opening as indicated on the pattern. Note the pen marks that are currently still visible…

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

…and after the application of a little heat, magically vanished!!

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

The wrap is then assembled as above. The strap slides through the little slit from the RS. Magnets are super glued in place. Make sure before you stick the magnets down that they are the right way up. If you stick them the wrong way, the closure magnets will repel away from eachother as opposed to fastening.  The placement marks on the pattern are right for the materials that I used. But different materials will have a different “turn of cloth” value (they will fold slightly differenly) which may subtly affect the placement of the fasteners. Tape the whole arrangement above in place, and just test it all wraps up and closes to your satisfaction before you commit to gluing the magnets in place and securing all the element permanently. ( I use magic tape as there isn’t the sticky residue that you get with sellotape)

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

The strap is stitched in place from the outside, and there is a dotted line on the pattern piece for the strap that lines up with the slit to help you get it in the right position. (if you sink it too far in to the slit, it will effectively reduce the length of the strap which then won’t wrap around fully).

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

Cut and stick in the felt (magnet is now nicely covered!) I used bondaweb for neatness , but glue/spray adhesive should be fine too; as long as it doesn’t soak the felt too much or seep out onto the leather around the edges

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

Add your needles and stand back and admire!

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

I really am a little in love with the neatness and simplicity of this shape…

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

The absence of any visible closures adds to the clean lines 🙂

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

The pattern is available, free to download, here and conveniently prints onto just one sheet of A4.  I’d love to hear from you if you make one so do let me know in the comments, or tag me @portialawrie over on Instagram so I can see!

ORIGAMI NEEDLECASE - FREE PDF PATTERN FROM MAKERY.CO.UK

Enjoy your new “luxe” needle wrap!!

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+

The Copycat Crepe Top – (Part 2) – Making a pattern from an existing garment

Following on from Friday’s post (don’t forget to enter the giveaway on that one btw!) today I’m going to show you what I did to create a sewing pattern from this here rtw top…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

The method I used involves completely deconstructing the original top. If this is something you absolutely don’t want to do then you could try the “rub off” technique. Not a method I’ve tried yet. But the rub off technique has the benefit of leaving your original garment intact. This method though, enables you to seperate the original pattern pieces and have everything lay flat. Thus enabling easier/more accurate tracing and measuring.  In this instance the top I started with cost me £2 from a charity shop (So I’m not gonna be out of pocket financially here) It was 1-2 sizes too big (label had been removed so not entirely sure but I couldn’t have worn it the way it was). I didn’t like the colour on me (judging by the feel of the fabric there was a high level of synthetic content so dyeing  wasn’t really an option) and there was a stain right in the front. So all in I was happy to slice this one up and make a pattern from it from which I could make multiples of the same design.

The process of deconstructing a garment is such a useful one in terms of learning about construction order and construction techniques. Since rtw garment manufacture will often use more time efficient methods than home sewing patterns, it’s a great opportunity to have a delve and learn a few things that you may be able to apply to future makes. I seam ripped this top in a couple of hours one evening while I was watching Netflix. As I went I noted the order in which I deconstructed the top. (Essentially working backwards from the original construction). When I finished, I simply reversed my deconstruction list to give me my construction order for remaking the top! Make sense? The way the inside seams lay on top of eachother will tell you the order in which they were sewn. It was during this process that I noticed that the underarm and side seams had been sewn after the sleeves had been inserted flat. Prompting me to try this on my first toile and leading to much happy clapping and squealing in shedquarters when I finally achieved the perfect sleeve head! Even if this top hadn’t worked out, that would have been enough of a pay off from this process, for me!MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

Deconstructing left me with these 4 pieces. (Front, back and 2 sleeves). I removed/seam ripped all  of the stitching, taking care not to disrupt any of the raw edges or stretch the fabric around the curves as this would disrupt the shape of the pieces and I want to trace them as closely as possible to what they would have been originally. I also marked the back and front of one of the sleeves. Once they’re laid flat it’s easy to lose track of which side is which and this is of course, an important piece of info in achieving smooth sleeve insertion on the final top! You’ll also notice the folds along the edges where the original seam line was.  Again…important info to have going forward as the amount of seam allowance the top is to be sewn with will impact on the final fit…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

Before tracing, press all the pieces flat. (You’ll only need to press one of the sleeves obvs). Being careful not to stretch the fabric as you press. The key thing here is we’re pressing (lift, press, lift, press)….not ironing (moving the iron across the fabric in one continuous motion whilst applying pressure)…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

The next step is to split the front and back of the top in half to give the familiar 1/4 pattern piece.  (Below is my front piece). To do this I folded the piece in half lengthwise and  meticulously lined up the neckline, shoulder, armscye and side seams right on top of eachother; and pinned in place…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

 

MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

This essentially gives me a long straight edge that will become my CF seam. I pressed a sharp crease along that edge then opened it all out again….MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

It gave me a super clear and straight cutting line so that I could accurately split the piece in half…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

 

MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

Retain one of those to use as a template. Discard the other. Repeat for the back piece. (nb: my back piece was a little tricky as it had a zip installed so I pinned it as I did the front and pressed the CB as far as I could. But ommitted this “cutting up the center” step and skipped straight to tracing around the folded pattern piece).

Weight each piece down, smooth and flat, on top of tracing/pattern/wrapping/brown paper. (I’m working on my sleeve piece here) I didn’t use pins as they can disrupt the line around the edge of the fabric. Carefully trace around the perimeter of the pattern piece…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

I used a dotted line snugged right up against the edge of the fabric, taking care to draw in any corner points as accurately as possible…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

I was left with a dotted line, which I then carefully smoothed out using a French curve or ruler…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

Checking things like seam junctions and corners were square and adjusting my pencil lines as needed…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

Cut out. Add in those all important front/back sleeve head notches and centre notch….MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

The next measurement I needed was the amount of seam and hem allowances the top had been constructed with. Measuring from the edge with a seam gauge I established those measurements (they’ll vary across the pattern)…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

And marked them on my pattern piece along with the grainline and pattern details.  NB: The seam allowance on a deconstructed garment will be small as the “trim excess seam allowance” step has already been carried out during the manufacturing process. So further down the line you may want to increase the seam allowance on your pattern.MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

Repeat for the front and back pattern pieces…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

Once all the pattern pieces are cut out line up any seams that will meet, Shoulder seams, side seams, sleeve seams etc) overlapping seam allowances, and smooth out the edges…you can see that neckline curve below isn’t sitting flush and smooth…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

 

MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

Again, any seams that will be sewn together, line up the pattern pieces and snip little notches to give you alignment marks for the construction stage…MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

And that’s it. I marked all my pattern details onto each pattern piece including the words “First Draft” so if I ever needed to work back to a certain point  I’d know which pattern was which. Then I toiled it…and, well it worked! To the point that the size and the way it hung when worn was  identical to the way the original top fit me. So a win then!MAKING A SEWING PATTERN FROM AN EXISTING GARMENT

 

As I mentioned, the original top was too big and consequently, so was my copy top! So later this week I’ll share the process I followed to grade it down which incidentally, is the same process for sizing a pattern up, bar one detail. I’ll be back later in the week with that post.

But in the meantime, hop over to part one if you haven’t seen it already, for the finished top, and a chance to enter a fab giveaway from The Splendid Stitch

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+

Refashion: Fleece Sweatshirt to Minimalist Cropped Jacket

refashion a fleece sweatshirt into a cropped jacket

It’s been all about the cozy around here. Temperatures as we know have been less than balmy and Shedquarters has been a little chilly to say the least. So an extra layer (or two) has been a prerequisite recently. Enter this oatmeal coloured “blah” fleece!

turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan (1)

“Blah” because of the shape. But the fleece itself is super soft and has the appearance of felted wool….except way way softer! So I set about chopping it up….and this is what I ended up with!turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

A cute little cropped cardi/jacket with simple lines, that sits just on the hip at the front and dips down at the back. Couldn’t be simpler really. No raw edge finishing required as the fabric doesn’t fray. Just a few cut’s and minimal sewing. You can apply this to any similar fleece or sweatshirt. Here’s what I did…turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

Trimmed away the neckband close to the stitching and rounded off that V shape a little (optional)…

turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

Cut straight up the middle to create the opening….

turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

Cut a dipped/curved hem, removing the hem band in the process…

turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

Cut the sleeves down to my preferred “bracelet” length, leaving a little extra for turning…

turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

Turn and hem the cuffs and bottom hem…

turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

Turn and stitch a narrow hem arround the neckline. This would normally be a no no but as this fabric had a degree of stretch (and I didn’t have any fabric left for a facing) I went with it and it worked fine 🙂

turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

Then turn under and stitch either side of the opening….

turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

In all instances stitch as close to the raw edge as poss. This will give you a super clean finish and as you can see, that rule breaking I did with turning rather than facing the neckline? Not a problem 😉 Still a nice clean corner there . You can also see a double row of stitching along the vertical edge of the opening. (Partly decorative. Partly functional)

turn a aweatshirt into a cropped cardigan

And that’s that! It’s a perfect little extra layer to chuck on and much much less blah than the original! Even better, it takes about 30 mins. Gotta love fleece/sweatshirt fabric! More sweatshirt stuff coming up this week. Watch this space!

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+

Refashion: Contrast Texture Sweatshirt

This sweatshirt has been sitting in my refashion pile for several weeks. I have a preference for raglan sleeve sweatshirts as I find the fit more flattering. But this sweatshirt was so soft I nabbed it from the charity shop anyway. What’s more the underside of the fabric was really interesting to me (loopy terry texture and a pinkier colour than the right side) and even as I was lifting it off the rack in the shop, I knew I wanted to play with contrasting the wrong side of the fabric with the right side…sweatshirt refashion (1)

Whilst I am not overly sold on the final fit of this garment, I am in love with the contrast elements of it. I think it’s a really effective way of adding some interest to a plain sweatshirt and has applications for both refashioning and “from scratch” dressmaking. I’m sure it’s not just me that looks at the “wrong” side of the fabric and thinks….well that’s just as interesting as the intended right side. In fact I often spend time deciding which side of the fabric I prefer and want to use. The answer could be…..use both sides!sweatshirt refashion - contrast texture detail

The sleeves were a simple case of removing the ribbing cuffs and creating a turn up to display the underside of the fabric.

The triangular panels are also pretty simple. I did wing this a bit as it was an experiment. So there’s a couple of areas where I’ll tell you what I should have done to make things easier. But hey, the outcome is pretty much the same!sweatshirt refashion (14)

I began by opening the whole thing out. I knew I was going to need to reshape it at the side seams anyway. So began by cutting it open along the side seams and underarm seams…from the hem all the way to the cuff. Both Sides.

In this pic the whole thing is opened out (like a big cross) and then folded along the length, lining up sleeves and side seams so it lays flat and I could deal with the front and back of the sweatshirt separately. This is the front. I marked out and cut a wedge from the side. From the underarm to the hem. Cutting through both layers at once…sweatshirt refashion (15)

With hindsight, I’d actually advise removing the hem and any other bulkiness like it (I had those bulky hem vents) before marking and cutting the wedge. And actually I would measure and mark each side separately rather than cutting through two layers at once. The bulk of those seams and the double layers of thick sweatshirt fabric skewed my scissors resulting in slightly “non-identical” wedges. We need them to be identical for the next step.

Flip those wedges over and apply them to the opposite side of the sweatshirt (with a scant seam allowance) from which they were cut. Essentially reconstructing the shape of the sweatshirt. But now you have those contrasting wedges either side! sweatshirt refashion (16)

Press SA towards centre and top stitch.

Then repeat that process on the back…sweatshirt refashion (17)

…and reconstruct the sweatshirt by placing RS together and sewing together from cuff to hem on both sides…

I wanted to continue the “contrast triangle” element onto the neckline and swap out the ribbed triangle …sweatshirt refashion (3)

Plus I prefer a slightly deconstructed look as opposed to a thick band of ribbing…19

Pretty simple to do this using reverse applique.

First of all I made a snip up to the stitching line on the neckline ribbing…sweatshirt refashion (4)

sweatshirt refashion (5)

…and cut that ribbing away right next to the stitching line.

I’d shortened the sweatshirt at this stage so had some scraps left over…sweatshirt refashion (6)

I cut a square large enough to cover the triangle detail I was looking to reverse applique…

…and pinned it behind the triangle with the textured side facing outward…sweatshirt refashion (7)

Make sure it is smooth and flat.

Over at the sewing machine, line up your needle with the existing top stitching around the outside of the triangle…sweatshirt refashion (8)

sweatshirt refashion (9)

Then stitch right on top of that line of stitching to secure the new scrap of fabric in place…

This is how it looks on the reverse….sweatshirt refashion (10)

sweatshirt refashion (11)

Trim away the excess on the inside close to the line of stitching.

On the outside…make a snip into the “old” ribbed fabric that you want to remove being careful not to cut the new fabric behind!sweatshirt refashion (12)

sweatshirt refashion (13)

Then with small sharp scissors cut away the old ribbed fabric close to the stitching, to reveal the new fabric behind!

Hem…and that’s that!sweatshirt refashion (2)

I’m planning on revisiting this concept with my preferred raglan sleeve sweatshirt shape as I don’t feel 100% comfy in this shape. As I said, the fit part of this I’m not entirely content with. The contrast element concept though??sweatshirt refashion - contrast texture detail

Well, I think I should call that part a win don’t you??

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 6 |