Monday, 13 August 2012

Saving the best for last (Ikea #4)

This floral print was the original and best IKEA fabric - for me - which I bought a couple of years ago with no particular plan in mind.

As so often, after a long wait a plan evolved: my old handbag was battered beyond redemption...

... so I chopped it up (saving those jingley metal bits for another day)...

... and appliqued the handbag lining, with its handy little pocket, onto the lining of a new tote bag.

(Not perfect, but no-one outside this blog will ever see that.)

Then I stitched it all up. It would have been quicker if I'd remembered to attach the straps first time, but even with a bit of seam-ripping it was a swift project.

And there's the inside pocket - so useful, and almost effortless.

Next time, if I don't have another handbag to sacrifice, I'll be using this new tutorial from LiEr at Ikat Bag. How did she know exactly what I was needing?

Saturday, 11 August 2012

P-p-p-pick up a Pendrell (or, the IKEA dream #3)

 Last summer was the season of the Sorbetto. This year I've invested a bit more by actually paying for a pattern - the lovely Pendrell from Sewaholic.

Pendrell front

It shares many of the Sorbetto's virtues: it's quick and simple to sew, and (for the simplest sleeveless version here) it can just be squeezed out of a metre of fabric***. The single metre didn't allow for any fussy-cutting, though, so the contrasting panels were purely down to happy accident.

Pendrell back

I knew the sewing gods were smiling on my Pendrell when the bobbin thread ran out -
at the very end of the final seam.

And when the shoulder seams came together like a pleasing patchwork.

The fabric, of course, came from IKEA.

 (Did you spot its fleeting moment of glory the Olympic opening ceremony?)

But, back to the pattern...

I loved it - quick and easy, and just fitted enough to feel that it's more-than-just-a-T-shirt. The best bit, for me, was the method for attaching the bias tape. It's sewn with both raw edges of the bias tape aligned with the edge of the fabric - just like the neckband of a T-shirt, in fact - but then folded back to form a facing. It makes for an elegant and easy finish that's juts a touch simpler than standard bias tape, and I'm all for simplicity in sewing.

In fact it's so good I had to make a second one straight away - this is the more sedate (and stash-busting) version in a Valori Wells linen. The only change is a slightly lower neckline. 

I'd have added the ruffley sleeves if only I'd had more fabric - maybe for the next-but-one - the next is already cut out in a Liberty-esque cotton lawn.

***I should add a warning about trying to eke it out of a metre: it's not what the pattern envelope recommends, and it led to some ugly cutting within the seam allowances (pictured below - peek, then look away quickly!).

seam allowance shame...

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Living the IKEA dream #2 (or not)

Oh, the best laid plans...

I had very specific intentions for this floral cotton from IKEA, and they did not involve upholstery at all (I was thinking of the Lisette Diplomat dress) but my smallest one had other intentions . She had managed to wear holes through both sides of her car seat, which turns out to be such an old model that it's no longer possible to buy new covers.

A small and masochistic part of me quite enjoyed the repair process (and the satisfying discovery that those grey side panels had originally been navy blue). I'm almost tempted to embark on a complete overhaul, inspired by this amazing pattern from expatria, but will probably opt for waiting for smallest one to grow into the next seat up, which for some reason is much less shabby.

Anyway, I shall be back soon with pictures of Pendrells, but as I've wandered so far off-topic here's a strangely uplifting link to the discovery of the world's earliest known bra. I can't construct a convincing narrative linking it to the car seat cover, but some things are just so good that they should be shared.