How to 'sew' a Christmas card (or a dozen!) - with Tutorial

Tuesday, 25 November 2014



Is it possible to  'Sew' a Christmas card? 
Could I turn my compulsion to sew into something  apart from a dress?



And could that sewing compulsion be mass produced to make a decent batch of cards?



 

And it seems that I can! The latest experiment worked! This was a bit of a sewing revelation. I wanted to create something that didn't matter too much whether it was 'neat' or not. The lack of perfection, I hope, would add to the charm.




And in just a couple of hours I've created a decent batch! Enough to send to distant friends - and my blogging friends around the world! Hurray!



And it was very simple. A strip of velvet in the deepest burgundy, which sadly I've failed to photograph adequately. Then a piece of white cotton, an extra layer of sparkly organza, a nd a simple green triangle to finish them off. The biggest slog (and it wasn't too arduous,) was hand-sewing the star shaped sequins. Then I literally stitched the velvet sparkly 'wintery landscapes' on to the cards with my sewing machine. This was immensely satisfying, and so, so easy! For fuller details see the tutorial below.


My little 'photo shoot' turned out to be more complicated than stitching the cards!






I had an idea to create a snow scene - and used icing sugar. Which proved to be slightly crazy. Picture the scene - the cards, houses, white table cloth are precariously balanced on my stairs, because the stair window gets the morning sunlight. In one hand I am shaking icing sugar through a sieve, in the other I am trying to click the camera to 'capture the moment.' I'm kneeling on the stairs, my fingers are getting sticky and sugary, my beloved camera is at risk from icing sugar. And I'm thinking; "If anyone knocks on the door now, they're going to think I'm nuts."

And I failed to capture the 'sugar blizzard' on camera.
But I am fairly happy that I created a little sewing love to share with a lot of people!

Victoria



Tutorial


1. Stitch a strip of velvet to white cotton. (Or any fabric of your choice! Think winter!)
Top stitch sparkly organza along the seam. I deliberately kept the raw frayed edge. Looks a bit frosty! (Apologies for photo quality - all my sewing is done at night, in lighting that isn't great! And please don't mention the stem of a wine glass that has sneaked into this picture).


2. Cut the strip to a long rectangle.


3. Cut the rectangle into small oblongs. Use the size of your card as a guide. Cut Christmas tree triangles and pin.


4. Stitch the triangle trees in place with the machine. No need to be neat! These are tiny, it's a fiddle, Christmas cards aren't designed to last forever. Handstitch a couple of sequins.


5. Stitch each rectangle landscape directly to the front of your card, using your sewing machine. Sorry forgot to take a picture of this step. But honestly, it is as easy as it sounds.

6. Et Voila! Lots of cards, write a message of love, send it to a dear  friend, preferably someone who will say "Wow! Sewing!"








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Take One Dress #11 - Kid Approved

Monday, 10 November 2014

We're in for a treat - Two Take One Dress Creations just a week apart! This week, I'm welcoming Olga from Kid Approved for the penultimate stop on the Take One Dress journey.
Olga is an impeccable seamstress, with great taste combined with real sewing skill. This mac and dress is one of my favourite sewing creations from 2014! 
And now she's here on As it Seams - Over to you Olga...

Hello, I am Olga from Kid Approved. I am super excited to be one of the participants in the Take One Dress series. What a brilliant idea! 

The dress for me was chosen by Laura of Behind the Hedgerow. I love the bright colors and the simple, kid friendly silhouette of the dress.  
I loved the colors of the original dress, but couldn't quite find the right fabric. Nothing really spoke to me, until I looked through my stash and found beautiful linen by Anna Maria Horner. I loved the color palette. It also seemed to go very well with the gorgeous fall weather we had. 



I wanted to keep the A-line silhouette of the inspiration dress. My original plan was to keep the long sleeves as well. Unfortunately, I only had one yard of fabric to work with, so long sleeves were not an option. The pattern, slightly modified,  came from the 6/2013 issue of Ottbore magazine. I love Ottobre! The fit is always spot on, the designs are interesting and kid friendly. This particular issue might be my all time favorite, so many awesome patterns.


Ania loves it! She wore it to school it a few times paired with striped tights in rainbow colors and patterned leather boots. Add bigger then life personality and a mop of curly hair to that and it's quintessential Ania.


Here is what I have chosen for Victoria.  I love everything about this dress (well, besides the price). I like the mix of slightly preppy and slightly whimsical.  It's practical and fun. I also have a soft spot for border prints, show me a good border print fabric and I am in love (here is a similar dress I made for Ania last year) . :) Can't wait to see your interpretation Victoria! Good luck. :) Thank you so much for inviting me! 

 

Olga - I love it! The fabric is one I've been swooning over for months, and you had it in your stash! And you've sewn it for Take One Dress. I am so grateful. Love that you've kept the style so simple and clean lines.
And my sewing brain is heading in all kinds of directions now, with that 'inspiration' dress....Where to start? A city skyline? A shirt collar? Border print.....hmmm possibilities.
I'll be unveiling my creation, Take One Dress# 12 in Mid December, just in time for Christmas. 
I would love it if anyone out there wants to sewalong? Where would this dress take you?
As a Christmas special, if you sew a creation inspired by Olga's choice, I'll publish it here as a 'guest post'. Get in touch, via email or a comment and let me know!
 It's been an incredible year of creativity....Do pop back for the final installment!
Follow As-it-Seams here, to make sure you don't miss the last post.

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Take One Dress #10 - Behind the Hedgerow

Monday, 3 November 2014

Take One Dress is back!! And we're welcoming Laura from Behind the Hedgerow!
Just in case you've forgotten, Take One Dress is a monthly series, where a different blogger sews something inspired by the previous month's blogger's challenge.
It's a chain of creativity and this, the tenth installment, is fantastic. 
It's from Laura, who blogs at Behind the Hedgerow.  I'm so delighted to that Laura's joined this series. She always sews fantastic fabrics, both for her children and herself.
This post was due a few weeks ago, but we all know what it's like when you  try to cram too much into one month, and nothing goes to plan? Well October was like that, and the Take One Dress series slipped a bit. But that's fine by me; sewing and blogging should be fun  - and I was completely happy to wait for Laura's creation.
And it's been worth the wait! Laura was given the challenge of sewing a dress, inspired by Tasha of Glitter and Wit, and she's done something really fun! Over to you Laura...

Tinny Dress // Behind the Hedgerow 

I'm Laura from Behind the Hedgerow and last month Tasha (Glitter and Wit) set me my challenge for the Take One Dress series...and this time it's personal! 
The dress she chose as my inspiration was none other than one she'd sewn herself! 

So this post, and the dress I made, can be seen as an interpretation of Tasha's own personal style - how lucky for me to be given a challenge which includes so much life and joy! More specifically, here is the dress given as my inspiration.

 

When I saw this dress for the first time, something about it immediately reminded me of Straightgrain's Hanami Dress which I recently made

The style is 100% Tasha - contrasting fabrics, unexpected combinations, quirky details - and I was immediately rolling numerous ideas around my head!

 Tinny Dress // Behind the Hedgerow 
Upon further reading, I discovered that the pattern Tasha used here is indeed a Straightgrain pattern - the Peplum Bubble Dress
So for this project I decided to keep with the Straightgrain theme and sew the Tinny Dress (which has been on my 'to-sew' list for far too long!).

  

The Tinny Dress pattern, like all of Straightgrain's patterns, is full of versatility and room for personalisation so I had lots of play with in terms of finished style. I let Tasha be my inspiration here!

 Tinny Dress // Behind the Hedgerow
If you're not familiar with Tasha's blog, Glitter and Wit, then you're missing a real gem in the world of sewing bloggers. Her style never ceases to surprise and wow me. She is the epitome of a fearless sewist - never afraid to try something new be it with fabrics, styles, colours, trims or, where she particularly excels, mixing it all up to create something that just oozes personal style. She always shakes up the status quo and helps keep other sewing bloggers - myself included - on our toes; you just never know what's coming next! 
 Tinny Dress // Behind the Hedgerow 

But Tasha does something more than just throw lots of styles, fabrics and colours in the proverbial sewing blender with a finished garment spat out at the other end. Sometimes it all may seem a bit wild but the patterns, palette, and textures all hang together, creating stunning, well-balanced pieces. With all of this in mind I now turned my attention to choosing fabric. Here I've tried to harness Tasha's fearlessness to create a dress with statement and flair...and I've loved the whole process! The bodice and collar/cuffs are both Kona cotton in one of my favourite colour combinations. The skirt fabric is a linen/cotton blend by Echino for Kokka fabrics that I bought here (there are other colourways available). I just adore those rhinos! The pom-pom trim gives the whole dress a circus feel which I love (not that I've ever seen rhinos in a circus!).

 Tinny Dress // Behind the Hedgerow  
The Tinny dress has a lot of options and I chose the open collar, notched cuffs (to mimic the bunting of the skirt), and the pleated skirt. I made a size a 6 for my 6.75 year old but I extended the bodice by 3cm. While I was sewing I thought it might be too small but in fact there's still room for growth.

 Tinny Dress // Behind the Hedgerow 

This is a real party dress for Margot. As any little girl would, she loves the pom-poms and the quirkiness of the fabric. In addition to this, I love the colours, the playfulness, and the details of the design. In short, it's a dress to make us both happy - whether it's for parties or simply climbing trees! Thanks Tasha for such rich inspiration!

 Tinny Dress // Behind the Hedgerow 

So, now it's my turn to pass on the inspiration baton. I am handing over to the ever-capable, Olga from Kid Approved. 

  

Here's what I love about this dress: bold print; simple and retro design; room for lots of personalisation and accessorizing; it's made by the Dutch company KidsCase which I just love; it's 100% cotton. I love this whole look with the patterned tights, cardigan and shoes. I think secretly I just want to wear this myself! Have fun Olga - can't wait to see what you come up with! 

 Tinny Dress // Behind the Hedgerow 

Victoria, thanks for inviting me to take part in this series - I've enjoyed the whole process and think it's such a fun, fresh idea for a sewing series. Can't wait to keep following along with all the creations. Thanks for reading, Laura x

   
Laura! That is simply brilliant! I love the colours and the pompoms and the rhinos. Irresistible! And it is so Tasha's style. Thank you so much for taking part, and for cramming this post into your busy life! Greatly appreciated! 

Take One Dress update!
So we had to wait a little longer for this month's installment - but the good news is that Olga's creation will be here super-quick! Next Monday in fact! Come back here on Monday November 10, to see where Laura's inspiration dress takes Olga...
Follow As-it-Seams here, to make sure you don't miss her post.

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