Archives // Sewing

My Natural Dye Sawtooth Star Quilt is Finished


I finished my natural dye quilt at the weekend and took it to the woods for photographs. I’m so pleased with how it turned out and can’t wait to make another quilt with fabric I dye myself with plants. I have big plans for the coming year on the allotment, and plan to grow madder, woad, indigo, dyers chamomile, dyers coreopsis, black hollyhocks, and a few other things that can be used as dye plants. It’ll be really fun to have a wider range of dyes and colours than those I can find in the wild. I am particularly excited about having rich blues and greens, which are hard to create with wild plants.

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Crafts Sewing |

Making a Linen Quilt | My First Quilt


I’m making my first quilt. It’s a 90cm by 90cm lap quilt, and the quilt top is made with linen remnants I bought as a bundle from an online fabric store for £5. The bundle was made up with scraps and ends of rolls, and it included a mix of colours – indigo, burnt orange, oatmeal, stone and slate. It’s a mix of Irish linen and washed linen, and I still have plenty left over after cutting the squares for this quilt. Some fibres feel coarser than others, but it’s all medium weight. When I bought the linen last autumn I didn’t necessarily have a quilt in mind, but as I was going through my mum’s craft supplies and helping Dad tidy the house shortly before Mum’s hospitalisation and move into dementia nursing care, I found a 90cm by 110cm piece of quilt wadding in her craft box. Without being able to ask her, but knowing she liked natural fibres too, and judging by the look and feel of it, I think it’s cotton. Dad says she had planned to make a quilt for one of my nephews, and the pile of cotton fabric in children’s prints confirmed it. Whilst the children’s prints went to a charity shop, I brought some of Mum’s other fabrics home with me and thought about trying my hand at quilting to make use of the wadding I had found. I’ve never made a quilt before, but I know how to sew.

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Sewing |

ZW Cropped Shirt | Birgitta Helmersson | Zero Waste Sewing


As a recent sewing project I made the ZW Cropped Shirt by Birgitta Helmersson. It’s a “zero waste” pattern that rather than printing and pinning, you draw onto your fabric. It’s a series of rectangles that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, eliminating waste. The pattern is one size, and fits a range of body sizes. I wear a UK size 8 in blouses and dresses, and the finished garment measurements looked too big for me, so I cut it smaller. This resulted in a few unused rectangles of fabric, but I plan to put them to use in quilting and for making skinny hair scrunchies, so they won’t go to waste.

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‘Alejandra’ Jumpsuit | Returning to Sewing


It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally finished a project! I started sewing years ago, my mum taught me. Twelve years ago I made my wedding dress, with a lot of help from my mum who was a much more experienced seamstress than me. I’ve never really made anything else though. I have made simple things like cushion covers, and once I really tested my patience by making 228cm drop, fully lined curtains without the space to prepare the fabric properly. I’ve stayed away from sewing clothes, because I have never been that inspired by the 1970s style commercial patterns. Recently I have discovered that there are some lovely independent pattern makers, designing and making clothes that I actually want to wear.

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