#sewgoodintentions2019 project 1: the Deer & Doe Plantain tee

#sewgoodintentions project 1 is my Deer & Doe Plaintain tee, with twin needle hems and cuffs! I also made Rose @sewingforthesoul‘s too cool for school ‘turband headband’ with the scrap cotton jersey fabric left over from the project.

For the images in this post, I decided to give a proper glimpse at my new sewing corner, as I usually take my sewing photos in front of a neutral wall – this is truly where the magic happens!

Here are my tips for first time twin needle sewing:

  • Read the pattern carefully to identify the distance from the hem you’ll need to sew before you start (this will have been calculated exactly to create the effect you need, bridging the hem inside the garment to create a slightly raised edge);
  • Check the needle type (i.e. jersey twin needle) and the mm distance you need to sew between the two lines of stitiching before purchasing (the gap between my needles was 4mm);
  • Read Sewessential‘s blog post and watch their twin needle video tutorial, and a more in-depth twin needle video tutorial by Easy Sewing for beginners;
  • Let that knowledge settle and practice threading, and sewing on some scrap fabric (ideally from the project you intend to sew);
  • When threading from two spools thread the first spool feeding left from the bobbin or spool in the usual way into the left hand needle, then thread the other emerging right from the spool in the normal way to the right hand needle (don’t thread this into the thread guide directly above the needle -see my picture above and the video tutorials for further guidance;
  • Use a steam iron on a high heat to even out your sewing at the hem, run the iron over the ‘bumpy’ stitches a cm or two from above (there’s no need to press), run your finger over the hem immediately after sewing (make sure that the fabric has cooled a little first – we don’t want any burns!).  This action will remove the gathered effect of the hem you’ll notice when sewing – see my image above. You can press the hem and sleeves later;
  • Don’t panic if your bobbin jams or if you come to the end of the thread on any spool or bobbin, pause, trim the ends and re-thread, you can neatly sew over the stitching you have already made without causing problems, it appearing unsightly or noticeable.

Thoughts on the pattern – this is the first Deer & Doe pattern I have used, and it was excellent. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, the steps preparing you for sewing and diagrams to ilustrate the steps were really useful as I prefer visual instructions. The top is a very flattering style for my shape, it creates a nice silhouette at the bust and flows out at the waist and hip. The gorgeous (and very soft) pink cotton jersey fabric was purchased from Harriet @sewmesunshine.uk. I can’t wait to sew another Deer & Doe pattern in the future, I have my eye on the Chardon skirt and the Belladone dress…

I am very glad that I launched my challenge #sewgoodintentions2019 this new year to improve my skils, and looking forward to sewing my first pair of trousers and a coat. I’m still looking for flattering patterns for a pear-shaped body, if you have any suggestions?

Thanks for reading my post, and happy sewing!


A year in my sewing life, and introducing #sewgoodintentions2019!

My make nine projects 2018

So it’s been a while since I blogged, and I wanted to round-up a year of my sewing progress in 2018 – for me it’s been an incredibly clarifying experience. I have discovered that:

I value quality over quantity. My sewing priorities change with the seasons and I am drawn to dress patterns, above separates. My head is easily turned by that exciting new sewing pattern release or a new fabric I fall in love with. Ultimately I want to look at the finished garment and think “Wow! I made that, it looks amazing and fits so well”.

Before 2018 my sewing was never really quantified, I rarely thought too much about setting challenges. I picked up a pattern and made it, and often disregarded the skill level. I now understand that what is most important to me, to be spontaneous – sewing should be fun and I don’t feel I want to be tied down to my sewing wants six months ago. For me, sewing is a hobby and it should not feel like a chore.

To that end, I have decided to set myself some Sewing Intentions – a list of five areas I want to focus on to grow my sewing skills in the new year. You can also join in on Instagram by using the hashtag ‘#sewgoodintentions2019’. Simply set yourself no more than 5 priorities for your sewing, so that you can focus on making an improvement and take the time to finish your garments to your best standard…

My #sewgoodintentions2019 are:

  1. To improve the finish of my garments inside and out by learning new techniques (linings, interlining, finishing hems and sewing french and princess seams) – conveniently to include watching the ‘Great British Sewing Bee’ and taking notes;
  2. To sew and fit a pair of trousers, so that I have a pattern that suits my body shape which I can sew on repeat;
  3. To sew a skater style coat;
  4. To improve my topstitching accuracy on all my me-made garments;
  5. To sew a jersey project with a twin needle.

I hope that this will be a great challenge for sewists at a range of skill levels, to identify their priorities for the year ahead, share their progress whilst working on them and to review them at the end of 2019.

My make nine 2018

Looking at my #makenine2018 projects pictured above, I made 1) a Sew Over It Molly dress, 2) an Ultimate shift dress in Fox print Crepe from Minerva Crafts and 3) the Tilly and the buttons Margot pyjamas from my original list.  I also made 4) another Cleo dungaree dress (I live in my denim version) – a kit from Tilly and the Buttons and 5) Delphine Skirt whilst watching Stranger things btw (instead of the Deer and Doe Chardon).

I  almost finished the 6) Great British Sewing Bee Tea Dress – rather than the full-skirted dress (just a concusion-related zip issue to rectify!) and a hem to sew in the new year. The Cocoon coat was not really my style on reflection, the excitement of making a coat ran away with me, but I would love to find the perfect skater style coat pattern to make.

By the summer I had gone off list and made a 7) Simplicity K6459 in cream and black polka dot fabric given to me by a lovely lady who sold me my Singer Overlocker. Followed by 8) an Origami Shrug with fabric and pattern from Make at 140, Plymouth. Finally, I made a Sew Over It ‘Silk Cami’ for my sister for Christmas and cut out another for me!

What a year – I am certain that the new year will include more sewing for me, probably with fewer patterns and possibly making some of the more successful patterns again! (a coat and the Cotton and Chalk jumpsuit are definitely high on my list).

Wishing you a very happy year of sewing, and please tag me @shelovestomake.uk if you’ll be taking up #sewgoodintentions2019!

Emma x