The ‘Where am I?’ cushion

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Hayden and I were given 3 massive feather filled cushion inners not long after we moved in a couple of years ago, and until now only 1 has been covered and usable. The other 2 have lain forlorn and naked in the corner of the front room, with me pretending I can’t see them…

About 3 weeks ago, I felt a sudden and strong urge to make something, make anything, and I wanted a quick, instant gratification project to get my sewing fix! Enough was enough, a cushion cover must be made, and I dug out one of the cushions ready to make it a lovely new cover.

I bought this cotton remnant from a stall at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia in early 2015, and had earmarked it way back when as a wall hanging project, but when I got itimage home I realised the irregular map print just wouldn’t look as nice as a proper map would, so into the stash it was flung, just waiting to be made up into something soft and squishy. A few weeks later I visited the Rag Market in Birmingham for the first time and picked out a soft khaki coloured cotton as a backing… and then that ended up in the stash too! There it sat until earlier this year, when I dug both pieces out to find an invisible zip that matched. But then it all went back into the stash again!

imageUntil now! When the urge to sew struck, I knew I had to get my fix, and a simple cushion cover seemed like the obvious instant gratification choice. In terms of construction it was very simple, even though it turned out the map fabric was too narrow for the cushion inner! Only by a teensy bit so I made the cover as big as I could and squished the inner into the cover. It’s fine, it’s functional! Just don’t use it in a pillow fight as it might pop!

I started by cutting fabric pieces as big as the cushion inner plus as much seam allowance as I could manage. I think I used 0.5cm in the end just to make the measureimagements easier to work out. Then I inserted the invisible zip along one edge of the front and backing fabrics, joining the pieces to form a rectangle but leaving a few centimetres at each end to allow for tidy square corners and a neater zip opening. Then, placing right sides together with the zip opened up to at least halfway, I stitched around the squares to make the cover, making sure to stitch a little further along than each end of the zip to make sure the opening was neat. Once that was done, I trimmed the seam allowance a little and then used a zigzag stitch to neaten the edges and turned it all through.

The insides are by no means perfect, but the whole project took about an hour from start to finish and definitely scratched the sewing itch! It actually sits really well against the first cushion I made! Not sure what to do with the other one – our sofa in the front room is running out of space!

The bee’s knees

You all may be aware of this by now but as I am part sloth, I like being as comfortable as possible at all times and as such I am a huge fan of pyjama trousers. There is nothing like having a nice hot bath and then stepping into lovely clean pjs and getting all snug on the sofa… Ok, so that’s actually quite a wintery image, but after the weather we’ve had recently, it’s not too far from the tr20160604_162237uth!

On my last fabric shopping adventure to Birmingham, we stopped off at the utter glory hole that is Barry’s. I long for the day there is a fabric shop like it near me! I had seen this
amazing bee print fabric on instagram made up into some really cute tees and dresses and I knew I had to get some. I loved the duck egg blue colourway, but now I think about it the navy version would work really nicely for a summer dress… *grabs credit card*. I think I picked up about 2.5 metres as the fabric is only about 115cm wide but it wasn’t very pricey so it was nice to splash out!

I really really love the print, but I knew I would never be able to turn it into anything like a shirt a dress or a shirt as the print is just a bit much for me, but I am very fond of of a loud print in a pyjama – somehow with lounge wear you can get away with a lot more!

I used the free pyjama trouser pattern from the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee (the link will take you to the full list of free downloadable patterns from Series 1) – the same one I used for these pj trousers. I didn’t do anything differently this time except use the overlocker instead of doing French seams, and I’m really happy with them. I do think my overlocker might need a once-over though as it had a little bit of a struggle with this fabric, but it’s lovely cotton to sew – crisp and a bit rustly but softens up nicely with some wear.

When cutting out I forgot that the pattern is quite regular so it’s not pattern matched at all but as I hadn’t realised this until one entire leg was assembled, I didn’t have enough to go back and re-cut. As I’m probably never leaving the house in them I figured it’d be fine but it actually seems to have turned out absolutely fine. I also somehow managed to get a perfect pattern match on most of the centre front seam – no idea how it happened but I couldn’t have done if I tried!

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I don’t know how I did it but I’m chuffed!

Thoughts on Me Made May

Some of you may have noticed that I have been somewhat silent during Me Made May – doesn’t take much guess work to realise I just didn’t take part.

I first became aware of Me Made May last year, around the time I started my blog and started discovering more sewcialists online, but as I was only just regaining my sew-jo after a long absence away from the sewing machine, I knew I literally did not have enough clothes to participate without wearing the same thing every day. Wind forward to 2016 and I once again chose not to participate as I still don’t have enough me-mades to wear.

However, I did observe from the sidelines, and whilst being massively impressed at peoples amazing hand made outfits, it has made me start to evaluate where the gaps are in my own wardrobe.

You may remember that about 6 months ago I wrote a post about my sewing goals for the year ahead, which contained a list of the patterns I would like to make over 2016. As it turns out, I have made exactly zero so far. (One of my other goals in the post was to lose some weight but that hasn’t really happened either, shhhh….)

However my sewing goals for the remainder of the year are more or less the same – my focus is still on making separates, although the Seamwork Adelaide has now crept onto my list to make over the summer! Hayden’s Negroni shirt is still top of the sewing pile as he has been waiting since Christmas, but over the next few months I will have plenty of sewing time to catch up on some selfish sewing!

I am hopeful that next year I will be able to participate in Me Made May (if it runs again) – I really loved seeing how much thought people had put into the challenge as well as how the clothes that they make work with other pieces in their wardrobes. I’m never going to be a capsule wardrobe kind of girl but I do want to reduce how many clothes I own to more accurately reflect what I actually wear. It is so tempting to get caught up in the whirlwind on social media when a shiny new pattern is released, but as I get  older (maybe even a little wiser?) I have realised that not all that is new will suit me, so I hope that this year is the year I really get to know what shapes do and don’t work on my frame. And if I do shift a few pounds along the way, then there’s an added bonus! But for now, I’m off to drink a bucket of sweet tea, rewatch the last episode of the Great British Sewing Bee and buy some beautiful cotton-linen blend for Hayden’s shirt. Might even tackle some unpicking…Probably not though…