Upcycling for home furnishings: recovering an ottoman

recovering an ottoman


Lately dressmaking has taken a back seat and I've been putting my machine to use for home furnishings. Mostly these projects came about whilst looking for specific items and uttering those words that many of you are probably familiar with...."I'm sure I can make that". In this case, it was sort of an experiment that I wouldn't be too upset about going wrong. I have to say the stitching skills required were minimal, but I did have to use a bit of my knowledge of working with fabric and cutting to get to a finished point.
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Kaare hat - free pattern

This is the first hat I knit...I knit it years ago and never blogged it, which is awful because it is a great FREE pattern that is brilliant for beginners and enjoyable for more experienced knitters who want a quick and satisfying project.


Kaare hat free knitting pattern for beginners


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Sew Liberated Matcha top with modified long sleeves

Sew Liberated Matcha top with modified long sleeves

I've had this top on my make list for years....perhaps all the way back from the #wardrobebuilderproject! The paper pattern has been cut and ready for use with a number of fabrics that would work well, I've just never got round to it. So there it was, languishing in the pattern stash when I came across a lovely geometric polyester from Minerva and it felt like the right time to go for it. It was a gamble as I've always thought that cotton or rayon would be best, but it's worked out great. I've surprised myself with this pattern because I've always thought of it as a summer top, but in a lightweight fabric, could even find its way to New Years Eve!

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Creating a sewing room

Create a sewing room: supplies and furniture

I am very fortunate that I've been able to set aside a room in my house for my sewing and knitting. I know my actual sewing has been neglected whilst I moved house and have been busy putting this together instead. A lot of measuring and research was needed as well so I've put together a full list of all supplies in case any might be useful to you, along with why I selected them. You'll probably be unsurprised to find that Ikea features heavily.... I really did look around a lot elsewhere, but they were the best value to be honest.

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Colette Wren / McCalls M7531 Franken pattern

Colette Wren / McCalls M7531

Recently, I'm a big fan of knit dresses. Not slinky viscose drapey knits, but sturdy fabrics that can hold structure as well as having that bit of stretch. Basically I'm after secret pyjamas that look smart enough for work. Since lockdowns, finding the kind of work wear I need has also been more difficult, with a lot more floaty looks rather than tailoring about. Handily, learning to sew means I can make my own dresses in any style I like so I've been setting about adding to this wardrobe area. You will have seen last year's dress that I used suiting fabric for. This time, I went for a nice thick ponte, to head for that secret pyjama feel. As it happened (as often happens actually), major deviations were required due to problems encountered. My sewing fortune was in though as I think I've needed up with a far better outcome than I would have done if I followed the original pattern just on its own.

Interesting as well to compare commercial and independent label patterns in one project.

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How to sew an Advent Calendar

How to sew an Advent Calendar

I've wanted to make one of these for a while now and have been looking around for a design that I liked. I wanted to find one that was quite traditional and liked the colours in this panel, especially the gold accents. As part of the Minerva Makers brand ambassador programme I was able to pick this panel and what I've written here is a bit of a tutorial if you happen across a panel as well.

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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