Get More Sewing Done

Last week I wrote about improving my social media skills because I had enrolled in a workshop, about growing your businesses with Instagram, on Skillshare. On of the things I learned was to plan and prioritize my use of images and one of the things I decided was to post more photos of people using my products and also have flat-lays of the things I use when designing and sewing with some behind-the-scenes info.

In order to have products to photograph I must produce more items, hence the blog post title Get More Sewing Done. Also, sewing is part of my design process, because I am looking for sewing patterns that I want to use as a base for planning my surface patterns for clothes collections.

Above you can see some of the photos I posted on my Instagram account to showcase one of my latest surface design patterns called Neko because the design features the Japanese word neko, which means Cat, written in both the kanji and the hiragana script.

My fabric designs can be bought on several types of fabric in my shop at the print-on-demand site called Spoonflower. Their digital print process uses water-based pigment inks and dyes, with very little waste; they also have a selection of eco-friendly fabrics.

Next thing I need to get better at is taking great photos. I am watching some Skillshare classes on the subject as part of the workshop that I mentioned, but mostly it is just practice, practice practice. I might get myself a small tripod for holding my phone so I can take picture of myself with the timer function.

Practice makes progress…

next thing on my to do learn list: taking great photos

The skirt is finished 

I finished the skirt yesterday!

I was a relatively easy skirt to sew, but I did encounter a small challenge when I made the elastic waist. At first it was a challenge to get the elastic band through the very long casing, but I taped it to a long plastic stick and guided it through.

Then, unfortunately, one end of one of the elastic bands got loose after I had sewn them in place, so I had to cut open some of what I had just sewn and then try to get a hold of the loose end inside the casing.

After that I just had to attach the last pocket and then the skirt was finished!

Here I am wearing it – not the best photo, but you get the idea. I love the pockets. 🙂

Here is a close up of the waist and pocket details…

Sewing: The mouse is finished!

It is actually quite a while ago that I finished sewing it, but I haven’t found the time to blog about it. I take that many photos of the process of sewing the mouse, but I’ll show you the few I did take.

Last time I blogged about making a stuffed toy, I had cut out the fabric. The next step was to sew all the pieces together and I made a quick plan in my head of the process – I decided by starting with the head and working my way down; so first of all I needed to sew on some eyes.

Stuffed toy

Here’s the mouse half finished…

Stuffed toy

I made the bottom heavy by filling it with plastic pellets and stuffed the rest of the mouse with light fluff.

Stuffed toy

And voila! A finished mouse…

Stuffed toy

The tricky parts of sewing this was to remember to fill the paws and ears with stuffing before sewing them on and then also attaching the ears turning the right way around (for some reason this was difficult for me and had to do it over twice!).

We haven’t named him yet, so far is just known as ‘musen’ (the mouse).

Stuffed toy

Sewing: The beginnings of a stuffed toy

It seams like I’ve taking a detour from my learning-how-to-sew by book and went head over heels to making-it-up-as-I-go-along. Hmm… I wonder if this will end well.

So this time I wanted to try to make a stuffed toy for my lovely and adorable baby girl. I have always had lots and lots of stuffed toys and just some years ago my husband gave me a stuffed toy that I love and probably will not let my daughter play with: the rat from the Pixar movie ‘Ratatouille’. So I thought ‘how difficult can it be to sew a look-a-like rat?’

I used some paper napkins to drape and sketch a pattern based on my beloved rat.

Sewing a rat

After cutting the pieces out I pinned them to the rat to make sure they fitted reasonably well.

Sewing a rat

I then figured out which way the pattern pieces should go on my choice of fabric and used a highlighter to sketch a rough  seam allowance around the pieces.

Sewing a rat

Sewing a rat

Sewing a rat

And I’m almost ready to start sewing!

Sewing a rat

I haven’t bought the filling yet, and I also need to find some matching threads. I think the biggest challenge is to figure out a sequence of actually sewing everything together.

I see this as a learning experience and am not expecting a great result. I am sure my daughter will find a use for the stuffed toy no matter how it ends up looking.

I hope to post more on my progress on the rat soon.Just need to find the time to get buy the material and do some sewing in between playing with the cutest girl who wants to run around even though she can’t quite walk yet


Sewing: Recycling my white shirt into cute toddler size shirt

After the success of recycling one of my shirts into a shirt for my cute baby girl, I wanted to repeat the experience using the same type of shirt that I had in white.

I used this white long sleeved t-shirt

White shirt ready to be recycled

I used the same pattern that I had made for the red recycled shirt, and it all went well until I ran out of thread…

Running out of thread in the middle of a seam

I didn’t want to stop sewing while waiting for finding the time to go buy some more thread, so I decided to start adding the collar. I wanted to try a different approach than I used last time, so I used white thread and kind of sewed the collar bind piece of fabric first before attaching it.

Binding neckline

Then I sewed it to the inside of the shirt.

Binding neckline

And then I basted it to the right side of the shirt.

Binding neckline

In stead of using a straight top-stitch I decided to use a decorative stitch to secure the collar edge. I quite liked the end result, but I think there must be an easier way to attach an edge to a neckline.

Anyhow … here is the finished shirt!

Finished shirt

I added quite a few nice details to the shirt; here are some close-ups:





I am really happy with the result. The only problem is that I have had to remove the decorative buttons because my cute baby girl likes to use her new teeth on everything and managed to bite one of the buttons off the shirt after having worn it for just half an hour! And safety goes before fashion, so the buttons had to be removed.

Stay tuned for my next sewing adventure…. a stuffed toy!