Kids Sewing – Silver Lame Pillowcase

It did not take toooo long. The shop that we bought was pretty new so not much people went there. The cutting was not super hard, It was just that I couldn’t get it to be in line with the the case. I made the mistake of cutting the joint that connected the two squares but was easy. Luckily, there were not a single thing like an omega sign  like these ones:⊗ ‰ ℵ ω ψ χ φ υ, e.g.

                                                                                 O – The Pillowcase Maker

This isn’t kids sewing as in I sewed something for the kids. This is kids sewing as in the child creates the item with my assistance where adult supervision is necessary – in this case; the overlocker.

My second son came with me to Fabrics for All on Sunday (I needed more of the red birds Christmas fabric) and the stretch silver lame fabric caught his eye. He said he liked the smooth surface and that he’d make a pillowcase out of it. I stopped myself from inserting my opinion about his vision (it was hard – a new habit for me). 

As soon as we got home he started on the project. He got his favourite pillowcase, laid it over the folded fabric and cut around it. I forgot to tell him about seam allowances but since the fabric is stretch it was fine.

We bought a half meter for the pillowcase. The fabric cost £6/m

He then went on to the overlocker. He has used it several times before but never with jersey fabric. It was quite a learning curve for him and by the end, he had figured out how to keep the seam straight. Some of the seams are wobbly and wavy but the half of the last seam he did is perfect!

Its a simple pillowcase but does the job!
It very good at reflecting light too :-).

Though silver lame is not what I would use for a pillowcase myself, I can see why he liked it. Needless to say, he loves his DIY pillowcase and the other 3 younger kids want their own silver pillows! I am so proud of him because he wanted to sew it straight away and he did. 

 

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

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Halla Coat from Named Patterns: Breaking the Pattern Book

A few months ago MinervaCrafts and Quadrille offered me an opportunity to review a sewing book that would be released in November. I eagerly signed up along with 4 other bloggers to make something from the book, write a review and of course take pictures.

Book Cover of Breaking the Pattern by Named Clothing

As soon as I received the book I was immediately taken by at least 6 patterns so selecting what to make for the MinervaCrafts blog was challenging! In the end, I used the logic of sewing for the weather I am in right now. Plus the coat pattern is called Halla kinda loosely alliterates with Hila. Hila’s Halla sounded fun. My fate was sealed :-).

If you’d like to read my 800 word review of the book then please click on the link here: Hila’s Halla Coat which will take you to the post. You can check out the other makes from the book posted by the bloggers over there.

Halla Coat – Breaking the Pattern

I love (lurve) the colours of the boiled wool! I have my eye on the mustards and the emerald green….

Have you also got Breaking the Pattern; A Modern Way to Sew? 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

NB: Quadrille Publishing provided the book. Minervacrafts provided the materials. I did all the hard work of tracing, sewing, taking pictures and writing up a post. So yeah – all  opinions are 100% my own. I was under zero obligation to proceed with the review if I didn’t want to.

Christmas 2018 Sewing Plans

I have been making the most of the autumn sun, getting organised for winter and stocking up for Christmas. I love December for all its excitement and sparkle. Its the month that always goes by at a dizzying rate; school productions, Scout troop/colony parties, Christmas pantos, tree trimming, the twins’ birthday, daily mince pie baking….the list goes on.

This year I have added two new things that, depending on how well it all goes, could join the pantheon of our Christmas traditions. The Santa Dash and Christmas sewing.

Santa Dash

Apparently, there is a run through town centres done in a Santa costume! It is for all ages, abilities and pets are welcome. The organisers raise money for St Gemma’s Hospice. Instead of unilaterally signing up the family for the event, I sought consensus. The first thing the kids asked was “Do we get chocolate at the end of the dash?”. To which I answered “Yes. Absolutely.”. And that was that. My husband, on the other hand, was less keen (he is very suspicious of me now – on account of all the hints I throw around about how running/yoga/gym/swimming are SO good for wellness). But the kids swayed him. So we will be doing the Santa Dash in December! I am hoping we all have a great time and can make it an annual fixture. Wish me luck. x

Christmas Sewing

For years I have considered Christmas sewing but for once I started considering it in time to actually do a little bit of it. Like most of my sewing life  – it was a random idea that started it all. For some reason, I woke up with a vision of a vintage style skirt in Christmas fabric with a border. Something like this..

 

Christmas Theme Skirt 

The very same day I stopped by Fabrics for All to have look and et voila I found a cotton poplin border print tablecloth that fit the bill.

Christmas Fabric – Fabric For All

I couldn’t be happier with this fabric – its bright and just the right weight. I plan on making a dirndl that doesn’t require a pattern. I will be adding pockets at the side seam using a pocket pattern piece from a McCalls M7242 that I have made before (I realised that I need to make another one of these dresses).

As most trips to the fabric store happen for me – I picked up other bits and bobs of fabric. My eye was caught by the red birdies on a navy background. The fabric is a brushed cotton twill that is so soft to the touch. I just knew that I had to make matching pyjamas for the whole family! At only £5/m it is a great bargain. I have traced out New Look 6170 for the younger 4 kids trousers. For the 3 adult sizes, I used a different pattern.

Brushed cotton from Fabrics for all – lighting is so dull. The red is much brighter irl.

Pocket piece that I will use for the skirt.

I drafted the simple pyjama pants pattern for my oldest son using Winifred Aldrich’s book.

All five pants cut out – ready for sewing.

I am also going to give making Christmas theme pillowcases a go – I have been inspired by Tialys’ adventures in home furnishings so I am starting small (and simple).

All the pattern pieces are cut out. I want to have everything ready for next week Saturday when we decorate the house for Christmas.

It’s not much by way of Christmas sewing – but it is a start and I am excited! So I am curious, when would you recommend to start planning for Christmas sewing and when to start the actual sewing itself? Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

I made a video the day after buying the Christmas fabric and was so excited I made a video about the plans.

The Frida Kahlo V&A Exhibit

My husband and I went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the V&A.

I had no idea what to expect. I confess this is my first time going to see a special exhibit that has to be paid for separately.

Before I share my thoughts let me give a bit of background. I found out that the exhibit was happening in December 2017 while leafing through a magazine at an indoor play centre. I told my hubs straight away that we would be going in July to see it. I have loved the few paintings by Frida that I had come across though I knew little about her. To prepare for the exhibit, I decided to read up on her life and her works.

In Leeds, we have a well-stocked Arts library that had over a dozen books on Frida. I read three book – my favourite was Kahlo by Gerry Souter. Over the months even my kids got in on the Frida love and they loved leafing through the giant art books studiously examining her paintings. They liked the ones that had a lot going on like this one…….

My Dress Hangs Here by Frida Kahlo 1933

They played at trying to tell the story of the picture. They were fascinated by the fact that she survived such a horrific accident and still lived her best life.

By the time we went to the exhibit, I felt like I knew enough to be able to get the most of this possibly once in a lifetime opportunity.

It was really packed. We all ended up ignoring the whole personal space rule otherwise you couldn’t get a chance to see properly. I was annoyed at people taking pictures in the exhibit despite all the signs saying not to.

I had decided that I wasn’t going to be taking any pictures or doing Instagram on that day because I wanted to savour it through my own lens and it was the right decision.

The dresses are magnificent, beyond words. Despite the beauty of the selection of clothes on display, it was the previous room that made the most impact on me. The bright clothes are juxtaposed with all the turbulent imagery of her medical paraphernalia. The steel and leather corsets, the prosthetic leg that was made for her amputated leg. All driving home the incredible amount of pain she endured. Gazing at them I couldn’t help but wonder if she had known that she would be so famous – would she have behaved differently or done things differently? I doubt it.

As I exited the exhibit lost in my mind thinking about Frida and her life, in awe of her resilience, fortitude, passion for life; I was jolted back into the instant gratification brightly lit world of our modern life in the museum shop. I was surrounded by loads of Frida merchandise. From the tacky to the luxe. Brightly coloured earrings and little cut outs of her dresses. It was quite jarring.

Its probably standard and something that I will get used to as I go to more special exhibits like this. I have a healthy respect for commerce but this felt ……odd…for me. I felt robbed of my introspective dialogue. It felt like an intrusion. I bought a few bits and bobs to take back home to my kids – they had so wanted to come with us.

As I paid for the merch, I couldn’t help but wonder who is profiting from all this? I hope the money ends up with the people of Mexico whom she loved so fiercely.

It was interesting to see it with my husband who knew little about her. He liked that it did a good job of painting the person. It wasn’t about the art. They expanded on the Frida Kahlo myth; building the character for a new generation. He enjoyed it too.

Our next V&A trip will be to see the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibit. I am interested in this because I watched an Amazon Originals show called The Collection which was loosely based on Dior’s post war “New Look”. Though the I didn’t ultimately like the show enough to want to continue watching another season – the designs were exquisite.

Thanks for reading. Did you go to the Frida exhibit? What were your thoughts? I’d love to know.

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Kids Sewing – Skater Dress

Earlier in the year I made some Skater dresses for my twins which they loved. Unfortunately, the pink and white dots did not survive very long. The material was not the best. I had made a promise to make a replacement.

Luckily for me, the fabric was already available that she had selected herself when I took them with me to Fabworks. You see, they have developed their own unique tastes and I can no longer get away with picking what I believe will be “cute” for them. I have learnt the painful lesson of lovingly sewing a garment that had a luke warm reception from one and outright rejection from the other. They are very involved in the process now – much less heartbreak on my part. 

On their side – they absolutely love the garments sewn with their input. SO much so that getting them to change out of the garments is a challenge. 

Cotton jersey from Fabworks Mill Shop.
The dress has been washed several times and the fabric has held up exceptionally well for the £4/m price range.
Always nice when I manage to get the neckband flat like this.
Replacement Skater Dress in purple jersey fabric. Leggings are pattern from Ottobre Kids Design.

I don’t know why its taken me so long to realise that of course, they love the things they are involved in more. Its the same with food – my kids will eat anything they have had a hand in making or growing at the allotment. In the past, I have indulged them when they happened to be with me while I was fabric shopping or when I made birthday dresses. But now I see an opportunity to do an activity together – wherein I help them to create the visions they have in their heads. I will try to be open to what may otherwise seem like odd combos to me and I am excited to see where that will take us. Should be fun!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

Kitchy Coo Skater Dress

The girls’ skater dress is described as funky yet functional knit dress has a fitted bodice, high neckline and a curved flared skirt. With a generous cut, the dress is designed to be worn for up to two years per size, here the skirt hits at the knee in the first year and just above the knee in year two. There are options for a sleeveless, short sleeve and long sleeve version, with bodice pieces drafted specifically for either sleeved for sleeveless.

Its only available as a PDF on the Kitchy Coo website. The size range is from 18months to 8 years. I traced the size that corresponds to 4 years age (4T) and the fit was spot on. The instructions are easy to follow and well supported with pictures. Just like the Lady Skater dress its also easy to sew up.

 

My first 10k race

On Sunday 4th November I set off on my very first 10K race along with approximately 11000 people. It was a fine day for running – not too warm and not too cold.

My main goal was to run the whole way. I didn’t want to walk. I ran all the way non-stop. My pace was slower due to the sheer numbers of people on the road.  I did a lot of fancy dodging and weaving to keep my pace up.

I was more than happy with my time. Bearing in mind that I sprained my ankle badly in July and wasn’t able to train for 8 weeks, I had adjusted my original goal of a sub 60min race to 75  mins.

I did it in 61 minutes and 35 seconds.

Oddly enough the most daunting thing was running with men. My run group is all women run group for which I am eternally grateful. When I did the triathlon I opted to start with the Leeds This Girl Can wave which meant I was surrounded by women for the most part. So this was a new experience for me.

I crossed the finish line to my twins cheering me on. Unfortunately, they only spotted me just as I crossed so my beloved managed this picture of my waving arm at the bottom of the picture:-).

Can you spot me?

I could hardly walk by the time I got home though. Road running is not quite my forte yet. All that pounding made my left knee upset. I only got back to normal on Thursday. Either I need new trainers or my technique needs work.

There was a great atmosphere. I will be going for it again.

Kids enjoying the free chocolates I got for them after the finish line. They now all want to do the race next year if it means you get free chocolate 🙂

 

 

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate that.

Peace and love,

Hila

MCBN November: Mens Smart Trousers Burda 6873

The thing I was most scared of sewing was smart work trousers for my husband. I have sewn him T shirts, jeans, hoodie tops, shorts, shirts, a coat; but trousers for work? That felt like out of my league. As the year has progressed I have been trying to push myself out of my comfort zones. I had to try it before the year was out. And here I am – feeling like I can finally call myself an advanced seamstress because not only have a made him trousers for work – they are the best fitting pair of trousers he has owned. Ever! Thats my November Minerva project. I am calling it my levelling up project (any World of Warcraft players here?) :-).

Here is the link that will take you to the post on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

A Q&A with Diane of Dream.Cut.Sew.com

I am thrilled to have Diane on the blog to talk about starting a blog, BurdaStyle advice, favourite quote and so much more. I have been following Diane on her blog DreamCutSew.com and Instagram for over a year and it’s easy to fall in love with her blog – she is a woman who radiates ease in her being and fabulous style. I had the pleasure of meeting her in real life at The STitchRoom Sewcial earlier this year. What struck me the most about Diane is how she exudes an inner radiance that makes the world shine just that little bit brighter. So I reached out and asked her if she’d like to do a Q&A guest blog post and here we are. Grab a cuppa and settle in.

You will love this guys. Enjoy! Enjoy!

What was your lightbulb moment for starting your blog Dream Cut Sew?

Hmm, I wouldn’t say it was a lightbulb moment as such, but I had been on Instagram for just over a year in Sept ‘16 and whilst on holiday in Greece, I started to get a thought that I couldn’t get rid of. At the back of my mind I kept thinking…why not start a blog?… I think I have a point of view that I could share…

At the time I hadn’t a clue how to do it and wasn’t a bit technical. A lot of Googling of how to start a blog ensued! I started my blog in January 2017

What has been your proudest moment so far on this journey?

Well, I was thrilled to be chosen to be one of the BurdaStyle Influencer team, so I guess that would be it. But also learning a whole load of technical behind-the-scenes blogging stuff that I didn’t know I was capable of doing.

You recently became a BurdaStyle Influencer, can you advise anyone who wants to sew with Burdastyle?

Always add seam allowances! And read all of the instructions through thoroughly before you even start. And then read again as you sew. I would suggest sewing one of the simpler silhouettes up as a starter project and get a feel for how things are described by Burda within instructions. Oh, and if you don’t want to trace from a magazine all of the patterns can be downloaded as PDF’s on The BurdaStyle.com website.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to anyone wanting to start a blog?

Well, this could vary depending on what you’re aiming to achieve. If you’re happy with just starting on a free blogging platform then you couldn’t go wrong with using Blogger or WordPress free sites. However, I wanted full control and my own domain name right from the start. I would say find a good hosting platform and be self-hosted as you have total control over your website. I would also suggest taking time choosing your blog name as it could be a right faff to change it down the line.  Also, take time to connect with comments that people leave on your blog.

How do you balance sewing with your life pursuits?

Hah! Sewing IS my life! I’m not very good at balance and get into ruts easily.

How do you switch off and relax?

I really struggle with switching off or relaxing, but I guess I like to go for a walk, or out to dinner, or maybe watch a good movie.

What does the future hold for Dream Cut Sew?

Ooh, well I want to keep sharing my love of unique designs and my sewing projects. I would also like to build my readership maybe to work with more brands.

What are your other interests/hobbies?

Photography is something that interests me a lot and since earlier this year I’ve been getting to grips with using Lightroom and shooting RAW photos.

I’m also really interested in Fashion and style generally, which goes hand in hand with my sewing.

I also dabble in a bit of gardening occasionally (I’m a bit of a fair-weather gardener though!)

What is your most used swear word when sewing?

I’m not one that swears that much but if I  accidentally chopped a hole in something when I’m sewing then I’m likely to shout  ‘shit’ or’ bugger’ 🙂 I have a strong dislike of  the ‘F’ word so I never use it

Dogs or Cats?……….

Easy to answer this one. It’s cats! I have a gorgeous dark tabby and white cat called Bilbo and we have cat conversations. I even know the word he uses for food 🙂 It sounds like “nang”

Scary movie or happy endings?

This one is a bit tricky because I do like both, but I tend to watch an awful lot of sci-fi and thrillers. I love ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Walking Dead’ for instance, but I adore the film ‘Meet Joe Black’

Can you share your favourite quote with us?

This one is easy. It’s a quote by Coco Chanel

 “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”

Thank you Diane, for sharing your answers. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you better.

Meanwhile, you can check out Diane’s blog DreamCutSew and her Instagram @Dream.Cut.Sew for fabulous inspiration.

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila