Friday, 28 September 2012

Learning Curve

So yesterday afternoon, I spent a few hours snapping my products to update the website and new etsy shop and during those hours, I learnt a few things, such as:

1. It would be really useful if I could keep my home moderately clean most of the time.  I wouldn't waste so much time trying to find stuff or doing extra cleaning just so I can take a picture.

2. The ipad is great.

3. It is a good "investment" to buy nice things so I can use them for props.  Honest Mr L, we really need them...(not sure what yet, but when I see the essential piece of furniture or picture, I'll be ready and waiting with this line)

4. I  have just been taking photos in quite a dark room, trying to avoid the direct sunlight and the shadows - turns out, things went pretty well.  Lesson was "give it a go, you never know".

5. The ipad is great, did I mention that already?

I'm also feeling quite pleased with myself as this week I have made some major accomplishments...I have hemmed the curtains that have hung in our window for nearly 4 years, I have also hemmed a dress and hung a picture on the wall within a month of it's arrival.  Like I said, MAJOR accomplishments.

My next challenge is to make a curtain for the dining room window in some Liberty fabric that arrived this morning from Backstitch...

And yes, that is a dress pattern.  I wonder how long it's going to take me to even open the packet and take a look....

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How to sew a Zip Tutorial

I may have mentioned that I'm not a super-experienced sewer...for ages I was wondering how to sew a zip without all the seams showing.  Surely anything that needs a separate foot must just be really difficult, right?  Wrong!  Sewing a zip is SOOOOO easy!

Here is a little tutorial for a simple little purse, useful for coins, cards, keys, anything!  And the best part is, once you've done it once, the zipped world is your oyster.

You will need:

2 x outer fabric
2 x lining fabric
2 x fusible interfacing
1 x zip

Tools - zipper foot, your sewing box.

1/2" seam allowance

You can make this to any size as long as your zip fits, mine is 6.5" x 4" and I use a 7" closed end zip.

1.  Cut all your fabric and interfacing pieces to the same size and iron your fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of your outer fabric.

2. Now, we need to make a zip sandwich.

Take 1 of your outer fabrics and lay right side up and place your zipper wrong side down across the top, like so:

Take 1 of your lining pieces and place right side down on top of the zip, pin to keep everything in place.

3.  Attach your zipper foot - now this is where I always got confused, which side do you attach!  You want your foot to nudge right up to the zip so you can sew close to your zip.  You can see in this photo, my foot is attached on the left side to get a nice close stitch.

You will need to undo your zip a little, sew down a few inches and then (with your needle down) do your zip up again as it won't have room to pass under your foot.  Backstitch at both ends to secure.

Once sewn, fold over your lining so that the wrong sides are together.  Press away from the zip.

That's your first side all done.

4.  Now to attach your other side.

Lay your second outer piece right side up.  Take your zip (with attached fabrics flipped over so that wrong sides are together), and lay the un-attached zip edge across the top of your second outer piece so that your 2 outer pieces are right side together (are you still with me?).

Your second lining piece is then laid on top across the zip as before - try to line up the top edges.  Pin and sew as before (you don't need to change anything about your zipper foot).  Backstitch at both ends to secure.

You might need to fiddle a little with the zip again but remember to keep your needle down!

Flip your fabrics over and you should now be all've done it.  You've sewn in a zip!  

5. Press the lining and outer fabric away from the zip and with your purse all laid out flat (each side has a lining and an outer),  topstitch on both sides along the side of the zip (you  can use your zipper foot for this bit too!)

Make sure your lining is gently pulled away from your zip when doing this to avoid it bunching up and getting in the way of your zip when you try to open it.

6.  Now, to sew it into a purse.  Open your zip at least half way - don't forget!!

Change back to your normal zigzag foot and flip over your fabric, so that your outer pieces lie right sides together and your lining pieces are right side together and your zip open in the middle. Pin; you will notice that your open zip teeth can lie towards either the outer or the lining - you get cleaner corners if you make them lay towards the lining!

Sew all around the 4 edges leaving a gap of a few inches in the bottom of the lining for turning.  Backstitch to secure at start and finish.

Clip the corners and trim the ends of the zip; turn through the gap in the lining and push the corners out.  Press, sew up the gap in your lining with matching colour thread.

There you have it...a cute little zipped purse.  Once you have got the hang of it, you can knock up quite a few little purses in an evening.  

Even better, you can start using zips in all sorts of things...very handy!

Fabric - Amy Butler, Lark Souvenir Lemon
Zips - Bright Button - zips in huge choice of colours and lengths, great prices too!